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

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Numbers

We are still creeping infinitesimally eastwards. The numbers are going down, more or less steadily and we are now about 10 miles east of my alteration this morning - a mininanopooptillionth of a pinprick in universal and even terrestrial distances. Way too early yet to know but just possible we have turned the corner for home. The flea trekking amongst the crevasses and gunk on the elephant's rump now gets the occasional glimpse of the ground.

And now into the bleak middle watch and it's the most glorious of nights - no cloud, stars right down to the horizon to the south and tonight we even have little prickles of phosphorescence to mirror the sky. Magic. Achernar to starboard and Canopus to port ahead, Jupiter low in the west. Orion and Sirius magnificent to port. Jupiter so bright it has its own light trail on the water. There is a whitish cloud to the west of Canopus - gas or dust? - same altitude. We're heading about 175M and it's dead ahead.

The numbers are still good, still creeping east. Plenty of swell and wind waves - enough to send the occasional blast of spray across the boat and I've just copped a faceful - eyes stinging from the salt.

Norm, you mentioned the boy on the burning deck - did you know he is supposed to be based on the son of one of the senior officers of the French flagship L'Orient in Aboukir Bay at the battle of the Nile? Apparently he'd been told to stand by the mast by his father who was subsequently killed and the boy kept standing there, unable to disobey an order. L'Orient vanished in a huge explosion taking the boy with it. The wreckage has been identified recently - probably googlable.

Groupama 3 is away - thanks Sue - they should overtake us in about a week, but probably a bit to the east and then south - more wind - but would be awesome to see them storm past - 35 knots to our 5. If anyone is following them, please let us know where they are as they get closer. Steve has our satphone number if necessary. I have their email address and can send them our position if it looks as if they will pass close.

Val and Jill - g'day from the vast Atlantic - or the old bus shelter - take your pick!

Fenwick - forgot to ask how you hoisted the survivor on board. Useful to pass on.

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: