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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bit of follow up.

Daylight and what a difference - towering monsters black as the gate to Hell silhouetted against the tiny glimmer of starlight through the overcast become just big and grey and fluffy - still threatening because you know what's in there but without the looming menace they have at night. Still going just south of east though - but ok in the overall scheme. Should give us a better SW angle if the wind really does do as predicted. The equator is still 294 miles south and - like Alison Chadwick's graphic metaphor, this flea on the elephants rump can't see over its horizon from down amongst the crevasses.

Waves - we have a SE swell, about a metre, but lumpy with wind waves, then every hundred or so there's a train of three or four much bigger ones - amplified, perhaps from some other pattern? - but we think it happens with much bigger southern ocean swells as well

Gerry & Donna - g'day - if you promise to use a 'clean' email system (Donna's perhaps?) - without all the logos and caveats and other attached c--p I'll talk to you direct on sailmail - try it out first on berrimilla2@gmail.

Ron - you and your friend should do more cryptic crosswords! Grindy and all its versions are anagrams - the clue would look something like 'Clear liquid tautology from Dr. Grindy?' 3,3. Or perhaps 'Dr Ringyd's medical compound from Cork?' 3,3

Carol - glad our wind appeared somewhere! Izz n'G yo and pleased you survived the Uprisings.

1900/28th -0700/29th

1900 position 0520 02142

The GRIB wind is about 45 degrees out - has been for days and prediction the same. No matter, simple change of plan - We can barely hold 125M at the mo but although the other tack would be marginally better, the drum from the old salts is get as far east as you can. So we'll plod on - metre by metre etc. I wonder who else has been just here doing just the same. We have been somewhere here twice now. Imagine how frustrating in a square rigger, like the old Java, but in those days the wind was king and it dictated the rhythm of sailors' lives - rather than catching the morning press. About 4/10 cloud, various levels, with embedded rain squalls. Great for a shower every now and again.

The Airbreeze whizzeth and is so far keeping the battery at around 13v. Needs another pooptillionth of a tweak to get it up to 14v but will wait till it's a bit less lumpy out here.

Either Steve - if you notice that I've forgotten the no-footer footer, could you please edit out the address on the blog? Rather too easy to forget to stick it on the end sometimes. Tks.

Brain like hard boiled egg in the heat - these are boring and uninspired. Sorry.

0700 position 0456 02111 trip 3329 = 107/24

Another dramatic midnight watch - huge shapeless black monster cloudbank descending on tiny B from the north - Old fart in the cockpit starts closing down the ship - hatches, stormboard in, roll in the headsail to large postage stamp, wet weather gear and lifejacket on and wait for it. It's the waiting that gets you! Closer, darker, more than ever sombre - slowly into the surprisingly soft leading squall line and whammo! Nothing really! A little burst of 12 knots or so and drizzle with lots of lightning to the north in the guts of the thing. Wind dies - wallow me wallow me farties and time to burn some diesel. We are now trickling SE holding about 140M waiting to see whether the wind does as the GRIB predicts and comes around to the SE. You know you're alive out here in the boonies in the periodic table of the meteorological elements.

And we have an imaginary ship out here with us - held in spacetime by the combined realities of the Polly Ranch mob and the hard boiled egg of this OF. More later.

Pete's little fridge - and other matters

'Tis just past the witching hour out here in the steamy humids of the mid Atlantic boonies. We have consulted with the very gifted and dry doctor from Cork - hey Alan, do you think he and his mate Murf might sponsor us for all this coverage? - and little Berrimilla headbutts onward. Pete has a specialised tonic bottle fridge rigged in the leeward life rails - wet towel, string, shade, breeze, what more could you want? - so we have cool G & T from Cork. In every sense. The limes ran out a week or so age and we're into squeezy lemon juice but it drinks, as they say in France or wherever.

And I'm sweltering behind the Cone of Silence - big plastic curtain across the nav and electronics area for the uninitiated- as I put this together. Brain congealed and torpid - have I missed something? I've never known the GRIB to be so wrong for so long. The wind is from about 200M - has been for two days or so with minor fluctuations - so we can just make about 150M. The GRIB predicts about 150M and for the next three days as well as those past. Anyway, this points us directly at Cape Town but we'll probably have to get way west behind the high sometime. Can't afford a big file to look at th whole S Atlantic wx pattern - we'll just go along with what we've got on the racecourse. It's a headbang, but relatively gentle so far - about 15 knots, short lumpy sea, a reef and three rolls in the heady.

Another solitary Storm Petrel gliding almost for ever inches over the roiling mass and then dropping, fluttering, scooping running a bit, more flutter and back into glide - and so gracefully done. I love watching them. They are the smallest bird in the albatross family, some species weighing as little as a sparrow, while the snowy albatross weighs in at up to 13kg and wingspan of about 4 metres.

Sue - Z sends vibes and hugs.
Ron - the go lever and the stop lever are in dynamic balance here - both need frequent lubrication
Steve - tks re Marc. Iridium supplier is Cable & wireless Falklands - Telstra one didn't work on first voyage so we jumped ship! C&W has been brilliant - keep 'em crossed

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: