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

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Blues - in perspective

1800/7th position 1006 02540, trip 4330 by GPS

This laptop has now crashed twice, inexplicably, in the last 2 days, both times destroying the iridium settings, losing com ports and who knows what else. It has recovered itself each time but not to its previous status. Restoring it to Nov 4th has so far done the trick but I now write these wondering whether I will be able to send them. Profoundly frustrating - If I were Marvin I'd even be depressed. And the HF radio died again a couple of hours ago too. Massive glooom. It would be wondrous to have a stable system or at least to know what the problem might be.

The ocean is that deep azure so intense that it is almost purple. Turns steel grey when the sun goes behind a cloud. Continuous series of little squalls - 25 knots max - some with splash of rain. Big swell, whitecaps 20 feet long. Grinding it out, metre by metre. About 15 k in the marathon to Cape Town. Drink stop with Dr Ingyrd at 1700, Macca if he gets around to us at 2030. I reckon about another 28 days to CT so around Dec 5th.

First day we could do any washing for at least a week - put 1 litre of freshly squeezed Atlantic into bucket with a bit of green liquid soap. Drop T shirt into liquid, wring the soapy water through it, repeat with next shirt and lastly shorts. Water becomes instantly salty and a dirty yellow colour - all the little scrofules having a party - discard water and by now breeding scrofules. Refill bucket with 1 litre freshly squeezed ocean but no soap and repeat. Hang clothes on lifelines or wherever they are out of the salt spray. Basic process, minimal use of water, gets the sweat and most of the salt out but doesn't clean - my Ts are not pretty! But you get used to it.

We have just passed 10 deg south and will overtake the sun probably tomorrow. This means that Berri's cockpit will become uninhabitable without some sort of shade. A beach umbrella would work - but we've got various bits of canvas and we'll rig something as we go.

Not a cloud in the sky is usually a rather loose statement - but here, apart from some tiny flecks low on the horizon, it's true. Amazing how open it looks - not used to the feeling of space - light silvery blue on the eastern horizon, deepening to hazy smokey lapis above and then down to blazing gold in the west as the sun drops out of the sky.