19.50, a very ordinary sunset with no sign of volcanic dust
The weather was fantastic today. First thing this morning I loaded the car with bits and pieces to take to the boat. There was a wispy mist around the garden, but the sun soon broke through. On arrival at Burnham I tied the ladder to the mast and rove a new port hand flag halyard. While I was up the ladder I straightened the crosstrees and fixed their ends to the shrouds to prevent them from drooping. I shipped the rudder, fitted the tiller and set up a bungee to keep the rudder from lifting in a seaway. Next, I shackled the plough anchor to the chain and secured it with ties; then I tried the new mounting for the GPS which worked a treat. After checking the battery acid, I cleaned the topsides.
Back at home after lunch I cut the lawns, and trimmed the hedge.
Very unusually, there were no aeroplane trails in the sky because all passenger flights over the UK have been grounded. For the past three days there have been no jet planes overhead because of volcanic ash drifting high in the atmosphere. The culprit is an erupting volcano in Iceland. Minute particles of volcanic dust can clog jet engines, causing them to stop; hence the closure of UK air space. A few small propeller driven aircraft have flown overhead; one was particularly interesting because it looked as if it had been made by enthusiasts. The plane was like a power-assisted glider with almost transparent wings which revealed their framework.
My wife told me that most of the digital TV channels were not working and I wondered if the volcanic dust was the cause, or whether it was just the effect of the high pressure system. The area where I live does not have good digital reception, because the local broadcasting aerials have not been upgraded. I thought the dust may bring about a superb sunset, but that was not the case. I watched the sun go down and held my breath, but I didn’t see a green flash or an array of gorgeous colours.