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

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Hard grey sea, gently spiky, Berri tramping along - uniform, slightly ribbed overcast, cloudbase about 1000ft, emptiness all the way to the horizon - no birds, no sea monsters, no swimming polar bears or silly old farts with tridents. Unusual and starkly lonely - a reminder of just how isolated we really are. ISS crew definitely closest humans out here at about 340km.

Half way through Steinbeck's 'Grapes of Wrath' which we picked up in the flea market in Cape Town. What a book! I was given 'Cannery Row' as a kid and found it heavy going and never came back to Steinbeck. Wonderful to find something so vivid, so densely packed with immediate images, lyrically beautiful descriptions and passages that are mesmerisingly similar to things I have tried to write about here with presumptuous ineptitude. Al 'feeling' the old car, the way he describes Ma, the Preacher's uncertainty - searing clarity, impossible to avoid being there with them. I'm hooked and cross eyed with the power of it.

He uses a word - at least twice - that I don't think I have ever seen before: anlage. The context might give it a meaning such as equipment, infrastructure, the toolkit? Or possibly more like competence or ability.

Bill W - thanks! - address in original request.
MJC - is Adventure Bay the same place as Recherche Bay? I have a feeling Baudin might have named it.

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