For Berrimilla's first circumnavigation, the International Space Station
and the North West Passage, go to

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Little dramas to pass the time

Why we love 2 handing there I was, middle of the Celtic Sea, middle of the night, all alone in the cockpit. Dismal night - low indeterminate cloudbase, mizzly rain, Iguacu to leeward, no noticeable vmg towards the Fastnet. Conditions a bit like the Bering Sea but without the ethereal and utterly exhilarating glimpses of snow covered volcanoes through the murk.

Time to get rid of the reef. Attach autopilot. Unroll self from cockpit seat, dodge the torrent, hook on to the jackline and start undoing the strop and the knitting. Rain down neck. Headsail backs - autopiloy beeps madly - race back to cockpit - what the hell is going on. Roll in headsail, finish the reef and try to work out what has happened. Wind down to nothing, Then a smidge - unroll heady and try to sail. Sails drenched and shapeless - no want to work. Small small movement through the water, steerage way - to the north. Even worse than before but - but - a tack would point us directly at the Fastnet. One armed paperhanger act with sheets, tweakers, recalcitrant autopilot everything dripping wet, velcro in cuffs undone by winching, water up sleeves - and Berri eventually, slowly, turns through the tack. More mayhem and trimming and - magic - we're pointing at the bottom left corner of Ireland instead of Birmingham.

Time to wake Pete...

You can probably see where it all happened on the tracker. And you may want to ask why, unlike the rest of the fleet, I expect, I did not know the change was coming and anticipate it. Good question, long story but basically relying on 3 day old weather info and then misinterpreting it...Geriatricity and technology and no excuse.

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: