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

Monday, January 25, 2010

Last chance

Amazing day today. Now blowing elephant seals off the rocks - poor Berri straining at her mooring, everything slatting.

Will do full blog later but if you want a commemorative envelope, this is your last chance. I think I can guarantee one for everyone who has replied so far - just a bit overwhelmed by the response - but from early AM tuesday UTC (so 1100 ish in Sydney, no guarantee but I'll do my best. Many of you have asked how you might contribute - a small donation to the iridium fund via my sister Isabella would be appreciated - if you email her at isabella.msw at (remove the spaces and substitute the @ where necessary...)she will tell you how to send it and she has access to my iridium account. If no can do, no problem!

H,K & E, have you on the list, also Fiona (massive thanks!)

SW, thanks also for forwarding.

Apologies Izz - hope it's ok! Tks for addresses yesterday.

Super quickie

Have we ever been lucky - so far - we got in at just the right time - glorious weather for three days including Baie de L'Oiseau and tomorrow it blows - 60 knots forecast. Poor Berri tied by long, heavy plaited lint to mooring buoy with the line looped round both foredeck cleats and on to itself, bridle strops back to main winches, eerything tied down, 2 lashings on the furled headsail and we cross the fingere it will be ok. Not a lot we can do if not, so we're going off around the Baie for the trip of a lifetime from 0600, returning about 11 hours later when the wind is forecast to come in.

A seal wobbled past my window today - 300 metres up the hill from the water. I have video to prove it. Smashing day all round.

Amazing place - I wish I could spend a year here with a laptop and a couple of cameras.

Doug, I've given all your papers and the Dagelet article to Renaud Huez - long story - who will understand them and make them available here. He will contact you but please send me your email address asap if you read this.

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Glimpse part 2

There's an easy discipline to this place which I recognise and love - I grew up with it in a different world. It's based on acceptance of a set of basic and common assumptions, a shared and universal trust in the competence and professionalism of others and an (always somewhat tentative) confidence in one's own ability to take part. It is easy to see these people as the same people who sailed with Diaz, with Kerguelen, DuFresne, de Rosnevet, Cook, Ross, Crozier and all the others. Kings Regulations and Admiralty Instructions or the Inquisition were always menacingly in the background - surfacing occasionally to create fear and consternation (Voltaire's acid remark that the English found it necessary on occasion to shoot an Admiral 'pour encourager les autres')- but mostly intrepid and courageous men, usually but not always volunteers, who were out here because it gave them a living. No more than that. There were, of course, the others, the leaders like Kerguelen perhaps, whose ambition drove them to excess. And the obsessives - Amundsen perhaps.

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