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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More money

Before you all descend on us with rulers at the ready - Pete has seen the error of his ways and there really does seem to be only one solution. Thanks David, as the first of the horde! Prizes as stated except that Steve J has declined as he is part of the Berri ground crew, so David Rule gets the reallocated bottle of home brewed Coopers. Remind me, David - I'll get it to you somehow.

From Pete
David thanks for sorting that out, mea maxima culpa (as it was a Latin lesson we were involved in yesterday). Sloppy work from me but I'll blame the late night and the crashing conveyance for part of the mistake. For some reason I missed Y values of 0 and 1, it was the last one to be checked; still at least one of them was the right answer. As the old rooster said never crow till you see the dawn. It's late arvo so I think we'll have a G&T that'll make everything right again. Cheers Pete.

Alex again
Sue - my Dad was Wings in the previous Illustrious in 1953 - I was on board for the Coronation Review.
Steve W, 1942.
Gordy and the Chain Locker mob - Onya and thanks! Did Oz get away?
Doug - we'll do our best. Might just crack Christmas Hbr but timing is everything. Berri is not Resolution! We'll try to point directly at Hobart afterwards but the Examiner lurks everywhere.
Norm - no probs - have the cube sorted!
Malcom, Gotcha, thanks!

Money problems

"Now listen lads, its come to my notice that one of those louts in the upper forms has been selling the answer to the money problem for a rather large proportion of your lunch money, this wont work, we have ways of knowing if your answers are the result of your own independent thought or perhaps there has been a little help along the way. (thinks...I also heard in the staff room that this enterprising chap has been using the money to buy fags and is selling them at a huge profit round the back of the toilet block. I must find out who he is... he could be useful.)
That said lets get back to the Latin... The verb scrotata....scrota ..scrotas ..scrotum..socrotamus ..scrotatus...socrant."
I've had a fair go at this problem over the last couple of night watches. When Alex first mentioned it and later said he didn't know if it had an answer I thought the easiest way to solve the problem would be to show through simple maths that at some point there would be some thing which would be illegal and would be wrong for all cases.
I thought I had that and told Alex that there was no solution and went to bed. The next morning he told me that the emails had come in and there was a solution. I went through what I had done and found I hadn't carried one of the 10's across.
Bugger, I thought, I had better see if I sort this one out. I think I have but would like to know if there are more solutions. Here are the results. I have 8 solutions, the first 4 columns are the same for each group with the last column changing for each new solution of that group.

9675 4 9567 5 6 9456 7 9347
1086 6 1085 5 5 1084 4 1083
10761 0 10652 0 1 10540 1 10430 Good luck with it Cheers Pete

More Pallid,s with attitude

Position 0630 19th 4751 06510 trip 94 DMG 93 and Kerguelen 150. A day and a bit AGW.

Much earlier:
Fogg! Thick, wet and dank. This isn't just convergence zone mist, it has clammy coils and glutinous texture. It's dark, woolly dark and out in the cockpit, in the red beam of my head torch, I can see the droplets streaming past like paint going on brick. We are directly south of the centre of the tight little low I thought the Examiner had put here to bash us and 189 miles from the nearest rock. I hope! If it persists, we will have to stay a safe distance out to sea. Different tactics, perhaps, from the desk of the Examiner. There's just enough wind to fill the sails, except for the lumpy sea, as per my last, so we have the engine idling to give us steerage way and we are trickling forwards, still rolling horribly.

This post will sit here and expand as the night goes on. Time now for a dig into the can of lychees followed by toothpaste - yuk! - and the sack for 3 hours and then the middle watch. Oh joy! Maybe more then.

On the subject of head torches and toothpaste - I use specially fluoridated bright blue goo for my straggly gnashers but in the red light of the torch, it looks inky black. I'll know I'm back in civilisation, or just as different time zone when it turns blue again. Perhaps there's a measure of longitude in there somewhere - the chromatic variation of toothpaste, CVT, maybe? Would go nicely with the VoA.

Dozy old git. That WAS the middle watch. Head seriously out of phase. Now daylight and still in thick fog, vis about 500 metres. If it hangs around as it did for Cook, we've got a problem as we get in really close. The warning on the chart says don't assume that GPS positions and the chart agree. As for the weather, on our current grib, I think we just might crack it lucky - the fog should have gone and we should be in a 20+ NWerly which would be perfect for a look at Baie de L'Oiseau and its collapsed arch. In three days, though, things can change radically down here!

Half an hour after I wrote that, the fog lifted - one minute it was thick around us, next it was 100 ft above and I had a horizon. Then the wind came back and we're away again. The next grib will be interesting.

On that money puzzle, if there really are the 8 solutions that Pete thinks he's found but got bored checking, we have an interesting statistic. Everyone except Malcom came in with the same solution, which must be somewhere out on the extreme end of the probabilities. Malcom gets away with his because I was a bit sloppy with my original statement of the problem.

The Swirl of the Pallids

Pallid silvery sky, delicately textured in darker fluffs. Occasional loom of the sun in halo of luminous cloud - Turner would have exaggerated it to get the effect. Sea deep almost milky blue - odd when it seems it ought to be grey too. Prions, slightly darker but their shaded greys in between the blue of the sea and the angels' wings in the cloud. Lumpy, vicious sea - big swells from the north with spiky dragon skin surface from the local wind. Brilliant breaking crests with flying cascades of pearls and diamonds. Violent rolling passage, moving around inside a continual blind trapeze act. Easier on deck because there's a horizon and so a frame of reference.

Excitement and some apprehension at the approach of an unfamiliar, alien coastline with beartraps everywhere for the unwary. The same shiver as we approached Amchitka in the Aleutians and Cape Horn and the Falklands and the Greenland fiords - and especially Point Barrow and our first ice and then at the other end, the M'Clintock Channel. Trying to think of all the possibilities - lee shore, rocks, kelp, surge, how to anchor with Berri's various bits of gear, bolt holes, magnetic anomalies, instant all churns around and won't rest till we get there and can have a look. I remember a conversation in Falmouth with a venerable and hugely respected sailor about age, experience and the increments in apprehension each time you prepare do something out of the ordinary - extending even to things that are normally easy. Maybe it's a characteristic of the cautious. Or the geriatric! Helps me to wonder how Cook would have dealt with it - with extreme caution and minimal risk, I think. He stood off rather than risk going between the islands in poor visibility.

About 200 miles till we can expect to see the islands to the NW of Cap d'Estaing. I see from the Admiralty chart that Bligh's Cap is actually called Ilot du Rendez-Vous not Reunion as I wrote yesterday. All of you will be able to see more - and almost certainly more detail - on google earth than we will on the spot. You may be able to see the huge kelp patches all along the north and east coasts.

Malcom, can you see a jetty at P o F? I seem to remember something like a concrete quay. And a big SW swell running into the little bay by the church.


Did I ever start something with that puzzle. Prizes go to Steve Jackson foe the very first, Bill Watkins for the first on Berrimilla2, Malcom for bending the rules creatively and Norm for the longest explanation. Remind me when we get home! Huge thanks to everyone else. Now who can come up with the most solutions?

Andrew, got La Reponse, in both senses. Love it! Sent you direct mail via Deb.

Norm, lovely having you out there but please go a bit easy on the bandwidth! Working on the cube - not too difficult, I think. We used a different technique for iceland - double the number of letters and add 4 seems to work and gives same answer as germany, hence my cryptic reply.

Kimbra, if you still have the charts, there is a potential buyer. Am arranging to put him in touch - have sent him your mobile and your parent's numbers

Back to reality. AGW, we will be off Bligh's Cap in a couple of days. Cross em again please and squeeze a lot.

Love yez all.

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