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

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

can almost smell the roses

South of Wollongong

Position 0630 24th 4311 13502, trip 129, DMG 124 and SE Cape 516 miles. Well inside the last 628 miles, the last Berrimilla Unit. If we were actually sailing the S2H course, we'd be down approaching Bateman's Bay. From here, it's just a matter of time. Metre by metre, and climb over the white lines in the road.

The sun's out and we had the last 2 Cape Town eggs and 4 of the last 8 slices of bacon with our breakfast dose from the good Doctor from Dublin. Wooohooo. Pete's out in the cockpit in his shorts scraping off the scales.


I would love to have a copy of Joan Baez singing a ballad that I think had the word 'Juniper' in the title, with the chorus 'There but for fortune go you or go I' - it's about the results of too much gin, actually and I think appropriate for the flag hoist.

I tried to find one last time I was in New York, in an amazing record shop and no go. The shop had just about everything else although not the last live gig she did with Dylan (yes please if you've got that too!). Does anyone know what album it's on? Better still, does anyone have a copy? Song or album? And are you willing to send it to me?

If so, could you please tell me via berrimilla2 at gmail. If you have a copy, I'll finger you to send it to my personal gmail.


One for breakfast and a special greeting for Corey

I have just received a deputation purporting to represent all the colonies of ferals now prolificating around the place - the original booties and the baggies, pit, crutchies, mouldies, foodies, dry suit sweaties, boggies, bilgebotties and the rest. They wished to make clear that they take a very dim view of the fact that Tasmania is just Over There and they indicated their intention to emigrate en masse at the first opportunity in Hobart. I told them I'd find them a noice Kiwi boat (just their style) or maybe even a CSIRO research vessel so some real science can be done - and point them in the right direction. Mollification seems to have occurred and they departed to their grots apparently happy. I hear the sounds of trunks and suitcases being dragged from the depths.

They asked me to say farewell to all y'all and thank you for all those bits of flaky skin and bogeys and scrofules and stuff that they know you've been teleporting out here for them to feast on - so all y'all Merci et au revoir from les Feraux. I have a feeling they won't all go and we may have company in the future but I haven't let on that I think it would be a better boat if some of them did stay. We'll see.

Corey D - if you're out there - Very Special G'day! We're almost at the opposite end of the earth down here but thinking of you. You were one of those people without whom the NW passage transit would have been so much more difficult. Thanks! I'll try to stay in better touch.

Other ferals: I have just seen what I think was a sunfish, about as big as a small car, one high aspect ratio triangular fin and a blob. Masses of smaller birds - lots of Black Bellied Storm Petrels, a small flock of prions and possibly some Gould's Petrels. The albatross yesterday was a black brow after all - it came close enough to get a better look.

Paul D - the big albatrosses are almost indistinguishable from eachother as you know - the transition from fledgling to mature has so many variations across the species that a guess is as good as it gets. I've got perhaps 500 raw file photos (very high definition)if you or anyone wants to play with them. Each pic's metadata will allow me to locate the pic within a few miles if that's important but I will have to do it by comparison with the boat's nav data - the Nik predates the GPS versions.

Just been sorting a flag hoist for the Derwent - top to bottom: UK, Ireland (with Royal Cork YC and RNLI burgees) Portugal, South Africa and TAAF Kerguelen (Terres Australes et Antarctiques Francaises). Plus Berri's well travelled Q flag.

The big hoist will be for Sydney, covering both voyages. All the flags should be in Hobart ready for us and top to bottom should be NZ, Chile, Argentina, Falklands, UK, RANSA burgee (representing Australia), USA, Alaska, Canada, Inuvut, Greenland, Cornwall (representing UK the second time) and as above from Ireland, minus the Q. 18 all together unless I've forgotten any - and unique. If I can find the 2009 Fastnet battle flag, we'll hoist that one too.

Fan mail

From a friend in the UK - I thought it ought to be shared:

3 Record Breakers potentially......just thought I'd let you know that in
> this current 24 hours I reckon you've been part of a record breaking
> trio...all in exactly the same place on earth within 24 hours...albeit
> differing speeds and altitudes.
> 1. Berri....just about to be only boat on earth to circumnavigate twice,
> the normal way and the "abnormal" way.....
> 2. Groupama that should be just about passing you as I write......hopefully
> to become circumnavigating record breaker
> 3. Space Shuttle.....I watched Endeavour landing live on the web last night
> and shortly after her de-orbit burn on her last orbit to land she passed
> directly overhead you (12.30 midday your time) coming in to land....long
> finals so to speak. It was the last ever night landing and therefore the
> last ever circumavigation of a shuttle to land at night.
> O.k. I know I'm being adventurous but seems to me that's a nice record
> breaking trio to be a part of !!!

Yep! Thanks Sue - noice indeed! But the Examiner still lurks, even on long finals.