User talk:Delatbabel

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Again, welcome and have fun! Bring out that hidden "Cruising Guide writer" in you. Athene of Lymington 17:51, 17 October 2012 (BST)

You asked me (Grantmc): I wonder if you could indicate how much of that material (TRs etc) is relevant to a transit of the Cook Strait, rather than a crossing. i.e a boat transiting from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean or vice versa? in respect to the info on Cook Strait. You make a good point I confess I'd not even considered. I'll add a section on that soon. Thanks for the suggestion. Grantmc 5:12, 14 August 2013 (BST)

Hi again Del, I've just been reading your blog and now understand the motivation of your query in respect to traversing through Cook Strait. There's no big deal to travelling through, BUT you must do it with a northerly (occurs about 70% of the time) when travelling west to east. There are plenty of places to hide at the head of the Sounds (I can send you a list if you wish), and New Plymouth, Whanganui (best avoided), Mana harbour or behind either Mana or Kapiti Islands. Hey and we sail in this area just for fun. I'm not suggesting you drop your guard (and the weather can get bad out) but I always feel far less safe sailng in Sydney Harbour with all the total nut bars driving their 800hp speed boats, ferries that seem to want to chase yachts etc. And at night it is just crazy with all the background lights.

You should still make a TR once you're within VHF range of either D'Urville or New Plymouth (or Wellington) depending on your course. Traffic in the Strait is busy and its as much about everyone knowing who else is there as much as if something goes wrong. Of course all the ships and the Cook Strait Ferries have AIS anyway so I guess not so important these days

Actually I have just replaced the motor on my sail boat. I looked hard at a 1GM as I had an old Yanmar YSE8 but in the end a second hand 14hp 2 pot Ruggerini came up. It's going really well but cost way more than I'd expected to install. That's boats.

If you get to Wellington give me a call (021 157 3594) and we can catchup. Cheers, Grant McNamara


Country Template

You can find this in Template:Country.

World Cruising Guides

I added your new pages to World Cruising Guides. --Istioploos 13:56, 22 July 2013 (BST)

Marlborough Sound

I changed the page Pelorus Sound to a redirect pointing to Marlborough Sounds. This is the standard technique for synonyms or variants of place name.

Regards Vasilis --Istioploos 13:10, 30 August 2013 (BST)

Navigation Bar etc.

I have entered the discussion on this but I do not want to do any hasty changes.--Istioploos 15:48, 4 September 2013 (BST)


You and Peter are the experts on that region. So go for it. But you may want to wait a few days to see if I can find a way of implementing active i.e. clickable maps.--Istioploos 15:52, 4 September 2013 (BST)


Congratulations. This is an excellent page and conforms very well to the Port Template. I made very few cosmetic changes and changed it from Guide1 to Guide2 indicating that this is a complete page.

I also changed the Google root map from 900 x 600 to 600 x 600 and centered it. As I said before I think that this is an excellent idea. If you want, I can make for you a static picture, from Google Earth, annotate it and add clickable links. The advantages to this are:

  • More readable, gets rid of the large red circles
  • Shows names when you move the cursor over a an area
  • Single click gets you to the link
  • does not inadvertently zoom in or out if you hold down the mouse while scrolling

The disadvantage is that you lose the scrolling and zooming in and out.

Please let me know. --Istioploos 14:08, 8 September 2013 (BST)


OK, I will do so and keep notes for you. But It may take me a couple of days. --Istioploos 09:25, 9 September 2013 (BST)


I have placed it in the Sandbox.

Here are some rough instructions on how to create Image Maps (clickable links) on the wiki

Also see Extension:ImageMap - MediaWiki.

  1. Find the area of interest in Google Earth or Maps or another map graphic
    1. Disable all labels
    2. Mark a distance on nM (outside the area of interest)
    3. Save the image as a jpg
  2. Open the saved image with a graphics editor such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements
    1. Make a scale graphic and move it inside the area of interest
    2. Crop the image to area of interest and if needed resize to no more the 900px wide
    3. Add the scale in nM
    4. Annotate the points of interest
    5. Add Google logo
    6. Upload to the wiki
  3. Open the map file with a graphics program (I use GraphicConverter on the Mac) that shows x & y coordinates in pixels
    1. Choose areas that you want to be clickable. These can either be rectangles or polygons. Rectangles are easier.
    2. Note or copy the coordinates
  4. On the wiki page you want the image map add the following
    Image:YourMap.jpg|thumb|frame|Map label - ''Click on name or areas''
    rect x1 y1 x2 y2 [[link|Link label]]
    poly x1 y1 x2 y2 … [[link|Link label]]
    1. For every clickable area add either a rect or a poly

I would appreciate it if as you experiment with this you can expand and polish these instructions so that we can include them as a help file.

Vasilis --Istioploos 13:30, 10 September 2013 (BST)


Fixed. Take a look.

Marina Template


While I agree with your changes in the marina template I had left the headers the way they were and not made them conform to the headers of other pages. The reason for this was that almost all existing marina pages were in conformance with the template as it was.

What do you think? Should we undertake the large task to revise exiting marina pages so that they conform to the "new" template or should we revert the template?

--Istioploos 05:42, 5 September 2014 (BST)


I stand corrected in the use of periods in bullets. That is items that form a sentence to end with a period and others without.

Now as to the:

I'm not a big fan of the 1 or 2 trailing empty bullet points that we seem to have at the end of a bullet list. i.e. I think that this:

  1. Item 1
  2. Item 2
  3. Item 3

... looks much better than this, especially if I'm reasonably certain that the list is complete:

  1. Item 1
  2. item 2
  3. Item 3

I agree that trailing empty spaces are bad. But one can do this:

  1. Item 1
  2. Item 2
  3. Item 3
    ... looks much better than this, especially if I'm reasonably certain that the list is complete:
  4. Item 4
  5. Item 5
  6. Item 6

What do you think? --Istioploos 14:57, 29 October 2014 (GMT)

Wiki Upgrade


I send the following msg to Andy:

Dear Andy,

We three together with Delatbabel seem to the most active administrators of the Cruisers Wiki. Several months ago, Vasilis asked for an update to the Wiki’s MediaWiki engine because we were running a very old version. For several reasons this did not happen. We think that it is vital that the Wiki gets upgraded.

Currently none of the active administrators seems to have the access needed to install the upgrades or new extensions and remove the old ones after an update. We think that this, the most active administrator group, should be given the relevant credentials for SSH/FTP access to the host running the Wiki.

Among us Vasilis has over 40 years’ professional software development experience and Vadim has by far the deepest knowledge of MediaWiki administration.


Gordon Knight, Vadim Shlyakvok, Vasilis Riginos --Istioploos 19:13, 18 February 2016 (GMT)

I got an email from Andy and I sent a message back to him asking that you 3 be granted server access. I have been meaning to get on to the wiki upgrade for a while but then I went sailing and after that got busy with work. I will offer what help I can especially on the server side, I think the entire thing would go more smoothly if we collaborated on it -- set up a test/deploy/monitor process between us. Delatbabel 01:06, 19 February 2016 (GMT)

Future of the Wiki - a viewpoint


It is with no small regret that I have decided to relinquish my admin status on the World Cruising Wiki. I have given this decision quite a lot of thought over the past few days and I have concluded that it is the best decision for the future of the Wiki. While I am happy to continue as a contributor (at least, for Croatia, where I now cruise), I feel I can no longer take an active part in the Wiki's future development.

I signed up for the Wiki in 2010, following which I undertook the reworking of the country and port pages for France, Spain and Portugal over 2010-11, with much early guidance from Lighthouse and Istioploos as I found the editing (and particularly page creation) process initially very complex. I addressed Corsica, Sardinia and all the Italian islands in 2012-13, creating or fleshing out most of the port pages, for which little or no content existed. From 2013 I worked with Istioploos on Turkey and Greece, updating content and photography for many of the islands and ports for which data was lacking and revamping the Sea of Marmara section to add detailed entries on the harbours there.

In 2014 while based in Ionian Greece I revamped all the islands and ports, with revised content and new photography, following which in 2015 I completed the major task of building the Italy, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania sections, for much of which there was again very little existing content, creating entirely new pages for the majority of the harbours. Lector, si monumentum requires, circumspice.

I write this not out of self-satisfaction but to demonstrate that I have committed a great deal of time to the Wiki and, I believe, developed an acute sense of its strengths and weaknesses as a result.

So, it may seem illogical that I have decided to reduce my involvement at this point. However, by resigning I feel able to offer my candid views on where the Wiki has failed and the challenges it must address if it is to survive and flourish.

My thoughts were crystallised by a message I received from [1], a subscriber I signed up in 2014 and whom I had re-approached following the recent change of the Italy, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania pages to test a new approach to encouraging more contributions. His experience is by no means exceptional and is, I believe, why we have around 1,500 subscribers to the Wiki but almost no regular, active contributors if you exclude the admins. His message is below (I've omitted his personal details as I haven't asked permission to reproduce it here):

HI Gordon,

Thanks for your email.  How are you finding cruising north of Greece?

I confess I stopped uploading to the Wiki some time ago.  A number of updates I made were reverted back to their original (out-of-date) content within a week or so of me making the amendments.  I sort of got the impression someone wasn’t happy about having their original postings modified - I could have got it wrong but that’s how it came over.

Anyway,  it is without doubt that the Wiki is a very, very good idea.  Pilot books by their very nature are often out of date before they even hit the shops and the CA’s Captains Mate is held back because, for some reason, they don’t want to be seen competing with printed books.

Personally, I am very grateful for the ‘accurate’ information you always leave in the wake of your visits and I am only too willing to pass on my findings too for others to benefit so will look forward to the new style submissions. Not sure I can remember my passwords etc., so a bit of digging is in order to get up and running again.

Fair winds

Best regards


Time and time again over the past five years I have witnessed subscribers sign up then wade in to edit the pages (after all, the Wiki does encourage them to 'Grab the page and build it!). They find, inevitably, that the formatting is quite complex and the templates not easy to manage without messing up. So, either they get immediately discouraged or they do their best and the result is exactly what one would expect from a pilot book if several people scribbled notes all over it. The admins then spend time patiently trying to restore order without de-motivating the new subscriber (not always an easy task and sometimes I wonder that I myself survived as a newbie!).

It seems there is a general consensus that the Wiki should develop into an authoritative and credible alternative to the numerous pilot books that, because they are in print form, are invariably months or years out of date. To achieve that, however, the content needs to be well-written, accurate, up to date, consistent in presentation and credible. In my view this will prove impossible to achieve if every subscriber, regardless of experience, skills and even knowledge of English, is encouraged to edit at will. The result will be, and indeed already is in places, a 'dog's dinner' and the admins will continue to spend their valuable time restoring pages instead of filling the numerous gaps on the Wiki or mentoring new editors.

You'll notice that I have made a distinction here between subscribers and editors and that is at the heart of the change that needs to take place in my view. I no longer believe that new subscribers should be encouraged to 'Grab a page and build it' because experience shows that all too often they lack the necessary skills. It's like turning a novice driver loose on the freeway without a single driving lesson. I believe that new subscribers should be encouraged to input their comments or updates on the new 'Comments' page but only be allowed to change the 'Last visited' section on the main page until they have earned their spurs. Once a subscriber demonstrates the necessary commitment and skills – and after a suitable period of mentoring by the admins - then and only then should they be given editor privileges and let loose on editing and creating new pages. To me, this is a win-win situation, since less committed or capable subscribers would still feel motivated by just submitting comments and updates while more competent and experienced ones would feel privileged to be invited to become editors. It wouldn't be difficult to implement at this point since there are virtually no regular contributors and it could be done in conjunction with announcing the new easy-to-use 'Comments' facility to existing subscribers.

I know this 'three-tier' approach, with admins, editors and contributors, is controversial and it is unlikely to achieve much traction at present, but if the Wiki is to achieve the status and quality of content that I believe it can it will require a move in this direction.

Meanwhile I wish the Wiki and its remaining admins every success for the future. I hope this note may help focus discussion on the measures needed to ensure that success.

GORDON KNIGHT Athene of Lymington

Discussion about the Wiki


You may want to take a look at the on going The Discussion about the future CruisersWiki. --Istioploos 22:07, 29 February 2016 (GMT)

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