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

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Arse-bone of an Ass

0700/4th position 0321 02423 Trip 110/24

And other matters fundamental. Berrimilla is a moving object - moving through spacetime but also moving relative to her inhabitants and quite violently at that. I've written about this before in the first blog - starting with the first of the bus shelter analogies. Imagine you are sitting in a bus shelter in Sydney or Oxford Street and a cherry-picker comes along and picks the whole thing up with you still sitting on the bench and starts to fling it up and down and around in all three dimensions. Fast and jerkily. You are braced with both hands clutching the bench, feet hard against the floor (or in Berri's cockpit, braced against the seat opposite) shoulders rigid, spine and adjacent muscle ridges and pelvis trying hard to maintain some contact with the bench and the side of the shelter. Extraordinarily uncomfortable and your arse bones start to bore and buffet their way through your glutes - or at least that's how it feels - and you certainly get very sore patches on the bum. Much worse if you add salt water blasting into your eyes and soaking the sore patches.

So who but an Ass would cart his arse-bone all the way out here just to have it treated with such cavalier disrespect and abandon, to coin a cliche? Actually needs careful treatment or it can get really nasty - I use betadine and savlon applied about as often as we apply other medicinal compounds to fix the disorders of the psyche and the innards.

Which reminds me of another theme of that first blog - the one based on the Great American Myth in which NASA never really got to the Moon, it was all created in a Hollywood studio - so Berrimilla was never in the Southern Ocean talking to Spacemen, it was really just a couple of Sydney deros in a bus shelter outside Fox Studios prodding a battered laptop and creating monkey-jumble text on the internet translated by the Babelfish into Universal Language as the dead leaves blew around the shelter and the pile of beer cans and empty bottles grew and grew. So here we are again, I suppose. And now that I think about it, it was only a couple of BUs from here that we had our last conversation with Leroy Chiao in the ISS before he and Salizhan Sharipov departed the ISS for Kazakhstan in their Soyuz module and our eventual meeting with Leroy in Falmouth.

Which led to our meeting with Pascal Lee in Louisiana and his invitation to sail the North West Passage which became www, and here we are.

We have a bird as a passenger - too dark to try to identify it but will have a go in daylight if it stays with us - perhaps small Petrel or Shearwater. I have photos. Pete actually slowed the boat to allow it to get a foothold - see above re cherry-picker...