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Monday, January 18, 2010

Just words

SEND + MORE etc: I meant to ask in the last one whether there are any more solutions. Seems there are - Pete reckons there are at least 8 - any advance?

As the most diaphanously tentative perhaps, it seems the Examiner has slipped, at least as far as the little stink bomb to the north is concerned. The latest grib shows us south of the nasties and with a reasonably clear run to Bligh's Cap in about 2 days. Keep em firmly crossed please. The seas are breaking around us with the most vivid powdery blue translucent crests. Worth all the bother just to watch them. I'll try to get photos but never quite the same. Big, gold collared Albatross back briefly this morning, now lots of prions and the usual white chins.

Huge sign of progress - I was able to connect to the NSW sailmail station to try to send this - very long range and rather slow, so I'll revert to Iridium but - Hi Derek! Yay! We are at 4729 6333, range 3968 miles.

getting there...

Click on map to enlarge.

The green tendrils of envy

Position 0630 18th 4720 06301 trip 136, DMG 105. For the next report I will use as the DMG waypoint a lump of rock named Ilot de la Reunion by Kerguelen (Rendezvous Islet, where he arranged to meet Rosnevet in L'Oiseau after they had landed) and which Cook named Bligh's Cap without knowing of the original name. It's about 20 miles north of Baie de L'Oiseau.
Quick as a flash from Steve Jackson:
9567 + 1085 = 10652
no computer needed!
I'm envious - wish I could do those things and I bet it only took him a few minutes. Pooo! So a bottle of Pete's home brew if the kids haven't found it all or whatever works shall be despatched in due course. Onya Steve! Steve has an advantage in the timing as he can email us direct so if there's a correct answer in the next Berrimilla2 download from the other Steve, there will be a second despatch. Pete is checking his workings! I wonder what Father McCormack would be thinking if he knew that more than half a century after he chalked it on the board at least one of his pupils actually remembered and inveigled a solution. Cunning succeeds in the end!
When I send this, I will also pull in a grib which should give us a feel for how the Examiner will test us. Violent rolling, 20 knots, but not too bad at the mo. Breakfast Consultation appropriately conducted - Liffey Water - and thinking about lunch.

The Examiner lurks

For the first time in ages, we are albatrossless. Lots of petrels and a prion or two and the occasional storm petrel. It's grey, soft overcast, grey green sea with glassy tips to the waves and crystal filigree frills. The wind has been more or less constant N for 24 hours or so and we are making good progress in a rising sea. The rather nasty tight little low is, I think, forming to the north of us though it's possible that it is the little depression the grib shows to our south and it will deepen very fast and roll over us. Anyway, a bit of stink looms and the Examiner will be abroad in the Boonies tomorrow.

It is eerie to be once again so close to Cook and some of his predecessors. We passed Cooks northernmost point, near Point Wainwright north of the Bering Strait in the Chukchi Sea in 2008 and he was down here in 1776. I hope we can actually visit his Christmas Harbour - now properly named Baie de L'Oiseau - on the northern tip of Kerguelen island. The engravings and logs of his stay are very detailed and it should be possible to stand where he stood and where the artist stood - but with Berrimilla in the bay where Resolution and Discovery and later Erebus and Terror once anchored. And there's another shiver for the spine - in 2008 we also passed the last known positions of Erebus and Terror and the final resting places of their crews near King William Island in the North West Passage. It is thought that Francis Crozier, Captain of the Terror, was one of the few straggling survivors that reached Starvation Cove where they died. I have seen his last note, left on King William Island and discovered later by (I think) M'Lintock and now in the museum at Greenwich with some other sad relics. There is so much history, pain, courage and fortitude in such a small scrap of paper and it's a privilege to have been able to follow them all.

Pete thinks he has proved that there is no solution to the SEND MORE MONEY problem. Anyone got a better idea?

We've been talking on the radio to the skipper of MV Kaharoa, laying argos buoys out here for the New Zealand Institute of
Water and Atmos Res. They are going to try making Berrimilla bread - fame at last! They expect to be in Hobart around Feb 7th - if any of y'all are reading this over there under Mt Welly, go along and say G'day.