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0330hrs 13 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 214
Greetings from Tradewind
I've spent the last couple of days trying to avoid sitting on
my pelvic bones. The gunwale bum is back again. I can sit sort of sidesaddle
with all the weight on the bottom of the thigh on the cockpit seats or even
better sit on top of the bottom washboard in the companionway. This last one is
the most comfortable and gives the best relief to the constant jerky twisting
motion that you get while sailing to windward in these lumpy short steep
Tradewind seas. Many years ago I crossed the Atlantic and Pacific sailing
downwind with the trades behind us beautiful,no sore bums in these conditions.
Many times I would have looked back at the seas and thought....bloody hell I'd
hate to be going into that....here we are doing just that.
Were about level with the Cape Verde Islands at the moment and
a big slide to the left would send us downwind straight towards Antigua, I can
seethe boat now parked stern to the quay in English Harbour, I can hear a steel
band playing under the trees outside the Admiral's Inn .....Ahhhhhh ...downwind
no sore bottom. But enough of this these are mutinous
thoughts.....onwards..north ...Falmouth for orders and all that nonsense.
Sitting on the washboard with the rear end inside the cabin and
the rest of you in the cockpit facing aft it reminds me of the old westerns. At
the end of a thirty day cattle drive there they are at the railhead stockyards
sitting on the top rail of the cattle crush rolling a cigarette hanging their
rear ends over the rail, saddlesore. It's getting better now a little bit of
harsh treatment to let it know who's boss, a liberal application of metho to
the raw bits seems to have sorted things out. It must be at least 30 days we
have been going to windward.
Allan just read your latest soliloquy I'll go out and
contemplate the the night sky, consider us in silent companionship.
That's enough of my misery you know I'm better I'm sitting down
to write again....cheers Pete.
0935hrs 13 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 215
A bit over an hour ago, (now much more at send time...) we
crossed 1640N. Why is this worth mentioning? - just another number except that
it is exactly 1000 miles north of the equator. I think there may be something
special with breakfast tomorrow. It has taken us a bit over 9 days and there
are 2500 miles to go, so approximately 23 days?? I think my ETA was June 4 -
still a bit optimistic, I think, but the numbers stack.
Berrimilla's Mighty Media Machine has swung into action in the
UK - actually a couple of friends have got on to assorted newspapers and TV
stations and we are Being Contacted and Stories will be Written.
Bill, as a sponsorship musing follow up, the big media
opportunity actually happens when we get back to Sydney, especially if we make
the Sydney-Hobart start line. We could carry all sorts of logos entering
harbour and racing. If we actually do make it, we will probably enter Oz in
Eden on the way past going north, so there would be an opportunity to decorate.
Like the S2H, the Fastnet can be divided into distinct stages.
I don't know enough about the course to do it for you, but from here, it looks
as if getting out of the Solent, then around Portland Bill, Lands End, the
Rock, Lands End, Plymouth would go close. Big tidal gate at Portland and at
other headlands to the west. Because we will be one of the slowest boats out
there, there may well be smaller subdivisions for us, especially west of Portland
in the Channel tides. Will have to do some serious reading when we get to
Falmouth, and talking to the experts. And I haven't seen the sailing
instructions so don't know what restrictions on automatic steering gear there
may be for the 2 handed division, but there wont be much time for sleeping.
Three hours is a long time. Sitting in the cockpit surrounded
by twinkling phosphorescence below and the glowing depths of the Bowl of Night,
there is opportunity for lots of idle musing. Like what to write in the next of
these - how, when it is almost impossible to distinguish one day from another
at the moment, do I find something interesting to waffle on about? I was
looking at the Pole Star a few minutes ago and thinking that humans must have
been using stars to establish direction for longer that we have developed and
used our other basic skills. And then - on an earlier theme - thinking about
the Ghosts I sail with out here - the hundreds of early Portugese, Spanish and
then English sailors and perhaps the Danes and even the Phoenicians long before
them, who began to sail the North Atlantic and to use the Pole Star to find
their way home. Some famous - Magellan, Drake, da Gama, but most lost to
history yet still very much out here. It's easy to imagine them on the same
open ocean in their primitive and tiny ships - probably apprehensive, often
terrified, excited by discovery, united by their circumstances yet often
divided by their difference in perspective about a particular voyage. Hence
mutiny, and all sorts of cruelty and some brilliant achievements.
1500hrs 13 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 216
Breakfast - Friday 13 May - the usual cardboard muesli
activated by our composted dried fruit but this time washed down - no, washed
has too much attitude - stroked down
perhaps? by a snort of The Glenfiddich. Too dreadful for words and, indeed,
they fail me. So it seemed appropriate to break into my tiny stash of squashed
Mars bars and nibble on the flat toffee-sticky end of one saved from some
trauma a few weeks ago. We only have about 10 mars bars altogether - far too
expensive in the Falklands, and they all got squashed around the time the
liferaft departed. Pete is off chocolate - good lad, so the remains belong me.
I wonder if anyone found and reported the liferaft. Probably
somewhere in or off southern Brazil. It is identifiable, so AMSA might know.
It's been an alcoholic day - today is also the 50th day out of
Stanley, so we allowed ourselves an extra Consultation and we may just need
another to appease whoever is in charge of Fridays with a 13.
Malcom - what would be the notation for infinite improbability?
infinity to the power infinity to the minus one? Thanks for Milky Way stuff
(Mal - could you post pse? Ta)- I was a bit off with my diameter. Hope my ETA
is a bit closer.
Kevin F - could you please get the spares on the road to my
sister if they aren't already. We'll be needing them in less than a month.
Back to the Pole Star and Ghosts - it's surprising how, in an
otherwise empty - vastly stretchily empty - space, all our forerunners have a
real presence, yet who, standing at the corner of Times Square would even think
of Columbus or Vespucci or Eric the Red, Cortez or even Cook and Vancouver. Or
the Mayflower. And I wonder if there is any tiny space in the Atlantic that
Berrimilla could claim to be the first and only boat to cross? Probably less
likely than on the other side of the Wall in the Pacific. The whalers in
particular would have been everywhere, both sides.
Malcoms info on the Milky
0900hrs 14 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 217
This one's a catch up on correspondence - I'm losing the plot a
bit what with no sustained time on night watches to write these and all the
Consultations required as we keep passing milestones - or should that be
watermarks?. Yesterday we had 50 days, 1000 miles, Friday 13 and the normal
morning and evening sessions with one GP or another, and today, if we get
lucky, there will be another at 20N - now only 18 miles away. As I write, some
of our families and long time Berri mates are having dinner together and we are
hoping to hear the satphone beep at us so that we can talk to them all.
Rowley - thanks for all that Global Challenge stuff- we've been
watching our stern, but I think we were just about on their track at the
equator and we are now way to the north. They will slow down a bit when they
get to the equator! The NE trades have been more NNE for us but they may get
lucky. That will be Pindar's best chance of catching up a bit.
We are using an Autohelm ST 4000 autopilot when Kevvo is having
a rest, mostly following the windvane rather than the compass, so working just
like Kevvo (the Fleming). As for Isobars, sorry, can't help - can't see the
map. GRIB stands for Graphics in Binary and it is a very sexy way of
downloading weather information from NOAA computer models, I think in the USA.
If you want to see it in action, you need sailmail or similar package or get
onto pentacomstat website and find reference to Marc and sailmail and follow.
Go and see Marc, if he'll let you, and he'll show you the setup we have on
Berri. Grib takes some getting used to especially the scale versus your speed
and has no localised predictions, hence our surprise down the S. American coast
a few weeks ago.
Fiona, thanks for the Galaxy song - it's been in the back of my
mind for ages sort of subconsciously.
Kevin Fleming, you're an absolute bloody gem! Thanks so much
for organising spares and especially $ - I don't know anyone else who would
have done that! Kevvo, the unit, is still working fine - when it gets really
rolly, like now, we give it a rest and use the autohelm as long as the sun is
out warming the solar panel because it is just a bit easier to fine tune as we
go. But it has saved our bacon so many times now we will have to frame it or
something when it eventually gets us home. Did you use the photo for your
advert? You have my permission to quote from the website too if you want to,
just acknowledge copyright and permission.
1600hrs 14 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 218
Would you believe that two experienced old farts can't tell the
difference between The Glenfiddich and Lambs Navy Rum?? We have two brown
plastic bottles with decanted libations of each but the labels have
disintegrated. So the smell test - I actually got it right that time, but when
we then looked at and tasted our 20N Consultative Offering, we both thought we
had got it wrong. It was only after serious investigation that we concluded we
had the correct bottle. I bet very few people in a properly conducted blind
test can really tell the difference between Dr Plonk and Mr Screech the Barber
Surgeon anyway, so why should we worry. Just Consult to make sure.
So, yes, we crossed 20N and are now 70% of the way from Port
Stanley - or 31 degrees to go. About 25k in the Falklands marathon - just
downhill but with almost all the rest uphill till the last 5 k. Grind it out -
we have lots of work to do.
The Chart puts us over the Cape Verde Basin - haven't got depth
contours on the laptop digital but probably just east of the Mid Atlantic
Ridge. We are sailing through clumps of seaweed - small, about half a metre in
diameter, like tangled spiky string, yellowish brown with perhaps a tinge of
green. Lots of it, and there seems to be a different smell in the air, but that
may just be the boot ferals having a clandestine outing. I remember reading
about boats marooned in the Sargasso Sea surrounded by weed and windless but
this is in the middle of the trades. Anyone know about it?
Wildlife - the hawklike bird finally deserted us close to St
Peter & Paul rocks after perhaps three weeks of sporadic visits - perhaps
it just goes up and down the coast following boats. Yesterday we saw a lovely
white bird about half a metre span - very finely boned, almost transparent, sun
shining through its wing feathers, the whole bird sharply carved and beautifully
curved with two very long white tail feathers trailing behind but even those
streamlined. It dived on a flying fish which it caught, swallowed, did a
curiosity pass over us and was gone.
Today two similar birds but black and without the long tail feathers,
flying around in the wave troughs. Also did not stay long.
We seem to be approaching the northern edge of the Trades -
some higher clouds over the last two days and the wind lifting us occasionally
to point directly at the Azores. Noice! And two days of 6+ knots. Noicer!
Have you had a look at the Falmouth webcam? Will it be worth
ringing home when we get close - doubt if we will manage the purple kite but
you never know. That would be really cool and classy.
1030hrs 15 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 219
Propagation dreadful this morning (15/1030Z) - you may not get
this till tomorrow Z - started yesterday evening local.
The Great big Bear is up in the top spreaders and - all going
well - should be up over the masthead in a couple of nights. So the flea has
humped its bluey all the way round the curve of the pachydermatous rump and is
approaching the nice sunny bit half way up the topside. Pole Star at about our
latitude (now 21N) above the horizon to the north. 25 knots, ENE, #2 and 2 reefs
snugged down a bit for the night as the clouds looked rather dark and windy
earlier. Now receding. I think the Cross has all but disappeared below the
southern horizon - a bit cloudy down there so don't know for certain.
Hardly dare write about this in case the Examiner notices, but
we've been hooning it a bit over the last couple of days probably averaging a
least 6kts. Unheard of. We expect it to go soft in a day or so and then back
around to the south east to give us a bit of a lift. All the parts are crossed.
Later - now early this morning local and breakfast time - sort
of - hard if you're on 3X3:
And these two grizzled old farts from central casting at Fox
still don't really know whether they are drinking rum or single malt. They
think the colour is the real give-away and it's Lambs Navy but not absolutely
sure. Never make real sailors out of these two. Lash 'em to the bus shelter and
have pigeons poo on them - and dogs sniff a lot and lift their legs. The
Ancestors are probably Aghast. Apoplectic. Agonised. Anguished. Abject.
Ashamed. Astounded. Try it some time - get someone to wake you in the middle of
the night in very dim light with a nip of something and see how good you are.
Might be a bit easier if you have had lots of recent practice - which we
haven't but might need to commence.
15/1200Z - first time ever - can't connect to any sailmail
station anywhere, so this update will just get expanded and the two messages I know
are waiting for us will have to wait for at least another 6 hours. Poo.
Pete saw a ship last night, heading north west - perhaps Cape
Verdes to NY - too far north now to see the Global Challenge boats which will
have come up the east side of the S. Atlantic just west of the Benguela
current, to cross the equator a long way further east than we did and will now
be heading south of us towards Boston. I think.
And yet more later:
We are now in what looks like the beginning of the Azores high,
although we are still 1000+ miles south of the archipelago. Overcast, cloud
base getting lower, looking very frontal but quite soft. Pity we aren't 300
miles further north, where the wind should be turning southerly and later SW
going towards Falmouth. But can't sneeze at tracking north at 6.5 knots.
Anne G - if you are still out there - I've lost the reference
to the St Malo Cap Horniers mob - buried in the past logs, sorry - would you be
kind enough to contact them and ask them if they'd like to hear from us (and,
perhaps, if you think they don't take themselves too seriously, ask how we get
our free DIY earring and p.i.t.w. kits)?. Seems like something worth
investigating at least. Perhaps, on second thoughts, ear piercing out here is a
pleasure we may not need.
This will be too big to send if I go wittering on so here
endeth this idle nonsense.
1530hrs 15 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 220
Here's a project for someone with time to spare. In the days of
square riggers trying to minimise their costs, the shipping companies,
especially the Germans, compiled statistical charts showing the data from the
logs of thousands of voyages out from Europe via the Horn and the Cape of Good
Hope to Australia, San Francisco, Hong Kong and just about everywhere else (and
back as well). The charts had lines on them called isochrones - joining points
that were the same number of days out from, say, London en route to Cape Horn
using different tracks. These lines bulged outwards along the tracks that gave
the fastest passages at different times of the year, so the Germans, in
particular the Laeisz Line (also known as the Flying P line because all their
ships' names began with a P - Preussen, Potosi, Parma, Pamir...), were able to
direct all their ships to cross the equator going south at between 27 and 28 degrees west. As a result, their
ships were able to make three voyages to Australia each year against everyone
I want the isochrone charts from August to December for our
return trip leaving Falmouth for Sydney in late August via the Cape of Good
Hope. A signed 'Berrimilla Around' shirt for the first person who gives me a
viable reference that I can use when we get to Falmouth. This almost certainly
means that they must be accessible via the internet in some way. I tried to
find them before we left Sydney but ran out of time. Might help if you speak
German. The word has another more modern usage, for things occurring at the
same time, and Google finds all these but none of the others.
These days similar information almost certainly lives in lots
of computer databases - Whitbread races, Volvo and Vendee races, Dame E. ad all
the others - but is now proprietary and anyway I think there's something a bit
special about using the older charts to plan the route.
0630hrs 16 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 221
Sitrep: 1030hrs 16 May 2005
1045hrs 16 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 222
catastrophe. will try to give all y'all short updates daily but
must nurse system. also v. expensive to use satcom. examiner back with a
vengeance - nasty low to nw and central casting heroes in the poo again.
1515hrs 16 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 223
desperately frustrating day trying 2 find prob. with hf - huge
un/repack of both sides of back of boat - clearly lots of moisture has got
under q'berths - 30 amp fuse ok, has power. no luck. cant find spare fuses -
thought they were taped to fuseholders but not, nor with elec. spares.
physically v tiring. laptop crashing every time i managed to get sob and satcom
to work together ) reboot each time. seems to be intermittent incompat'y - have
sorted timeclock difference - may be when satcom receives or transmits.
depressing - marvin without emotion - not this old fart.
advised to stay high because nasty low forming to west.
wind/sea just 2 much for #2 + 2 reefs ) down to #3 tracking about 010t @ 5+
knots - down from 6+ with 3 but safer and easier on boat and rig. and crew.
crossed trop of cancer too - consltd. it's lambs navy, but by colour alone.
jeremy b in falmth - appreciate if u cd finger best avail.
marine electrician for us asap after arrival - probably minimum 2 day job.
2230hrs 16 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 224
full o'cast - high, hazy thin cloud, some lower cu and pale
half moon glowing thro directly o'head. #3 and full main - really needs #2 -
and mkng - 5 kts )) azores. getting met area 2 egc wx from satcomc so not
completely blind. tomoz, will unpack nav qberth again and try to get to 5 amp fuse
in radio. cant think what else could be.
satcom seems to be working after frust'ing times earlier. if i
had any hair... mal sending ferociously summarised mailcalls to keep cost down.
boot ferals laughing again as weather cools - water temp now 23.
almost abeam canaries -
uk, spain, gib, nw africa + newfndld all on nav screen. exciting.
0400hrs 17 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 225
wind up to 30 - 2 reefs, trkg - 015t - falmouth 035. vmg - 5.
still applying metho to tender nethers. oz metho is clear like
gin (would that it were...) but stuff bought in f.i. @ gbsmkg price of - 3
pnds/ltr has purple dye added which also smells foul. when applied to tender
parts, paints them purple. lucky, perhaps, no resident baboon population else
in hi demand.
0003hrs 18 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 226
[ed: Alexs description of current problems] all systems off for 2 hrs this am investigating hf big
double un/repack again. followed marty's instructions except ?no circuit
breaker?if so where - 802 direct connect 2 battery?? no joy but found negative
bus badly corroded and fixed. even
dismounted m802 box f'm bulkhd (try it sometime with boat corkscrewing 10
ft.) removed cover and inner cover 2
check 5 amp fuse (and no spare fuse attached as instructions say there is). 20
tiny screws fiendishly diff 2 access and esp replace but managed sans dropping
amzg. all reassembled and still no power. spbf very difficult
enterprise and no real result ) had double consultation with the doctor to
recognise heroic failure. cd be combo of equipt. failure and dud power switch else stumped. failure seemed
catastrophic - no warning, total instant loss of power while transmitting.. wil
have 2 wait til fmth.
decided hang expense and will continu (shorter) udates via satcom - this one
about s15+ to send - pse buy lots of shirts, everyone - fenwick and isabella
organising and should be arvailable soon - we'll need some support by the time
we get to the start line in sydney. malcolm will send your emails to us as
system allows and may have to sumarise to reduce cost. don't stop sending - we
need youse and only a few days to go and all y'all can have a drink with us.
middle of azores - 30 kts from e and lifting us a bit. 766 to az so 6 days approx
then 10 to fmth agw. egc says nasty low
forming to west - bloody promethea again - will really enjoy consulting with
her when we eventually get there. hard examiners are best. now at 25k in
marathon. headbang just beginning. baboon bott glowing. nearly time to meet
boot ferals again - noticeably cooler at night and dry feet a good idea.
0430hrs 18 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 227
v mt ocean. no birds, fish, people - 1st ship for days just past astern lisbn braz?.
still lots seaweed. + ghosts. doing 130 nm days ) w end of az's. xpct collect
front to n with w change to carry us home - swiiing looow...no fun being out of
contact - hugely enjoy interact'n w. y'all. anticp'n growing + dstnce seems
growing parallel - long way 2 go, v chancy wx sit'n.. last few days for eta's
rnvp @ 35n say 3 days. bferals thriving - other wldlfe in grotty clothes bags -
all salt encrstd.
3-6 nightwtch longest -
moon down, shwrs, drk. gbear o'head polestar ahead - all hpng xcpt hf radio.
cool 2 b here not s ocean.
tks ak 4 contacts. tks f'wick for lots. old glowbum here v
not confdnt in satcom some msgs not delvrd so kpng short.
luv youse all
1050hrs 18 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 228
gale force winds (34 - 47kts) forecast for our area next week -
surprising how little concern that evokes - already in 30 - only real worry is
for rig, nowt to report - just grinding it out - patience etc and titan
ur(purple)anus. photo of tu ship might go well on back of t shirt - is? fenwick? all y'all? will try to do
chatty one later.
1330hrs 18 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 229
daily watch rutine 4 blubums midnt-3,pete:3-6alex these two are
long and lonely unless moon is up,
phosph, dolphins etc.6-9 p -sets up solar panl, checks for damage, chafe etc
9-12 a -no hf so little to do - checks nav, satcom etc. try to read, write
emails, not easy when on watch.
1200 hi point - consultation - half can of conslttve lubricnt
each - only the dr and 2 smoothies left. 12-3 p, 3-6 a diff 2 sleep in these - hot, windy,
humid big motion. general maintenance jobs when poss.
6-9 p - cooks dinner, evening consltn - if an 'on'day, g+t
woohoo looked fwd to all day - else on 'off days' (on,off,off). glass of dr
plonk. dr plonk with meal, wash up, a sleeps for last hour then 9-12a puts away
panel, tidy up, watch stars and gbear climb. will prob run out of gin + dr p.
saw gb right way up yest 4 1st time pointing up to n star.
woohoo. cross now below horizon - mixed feelings. achievement, work still to do
(panic but still have towel) absent friend etc.
54nm to 30n + next watermark.hi fm pete
p,p,p,+ tu bigtime.
1700hrs 18 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 230
an hr ago got wind shift to se now pointing directly at falmth.
with no lumps in between @ 6 kts. first time since boxing day. all y'all have
to be here to know how good it feels - don't tell
promethea cos she'll move the pieces but temporary as it must
be, its exhilarating. pete asleep - dont want to wake him but today is an 'on'
day so g+t's later. wooohooo..
gives eta fmth 30 may. not possible but nice to comtemplate.
enjoy your cornflakes.
2200hrs 18 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 231
stll in se wind ) fmth.e of azores. g+t cons. exlnt. - best ever. suspect drama
of entprse now gone 4 most of ay'a - we like it that way. but nail btng 4 us.
sad re comms cos i do best with immediacy - not up to journal entries for latr.
so will try to do these really short ones for duratn. now at approx latit of
fenwickery but getting colder. sydney lat 240nm up the rd.
isab ta re sj + recce. david - button pressed - now in
gt w'shp on magtha. cool - slarty moving fmth closer. gm h, tks, good 2
1030hrs 19 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 232
anor turner night blk clds rushng across haze veiled moon.
gbear + polaris now nearly on p. beam as we head towards the barn. where they
shld b. still in se wnd. cooool.
just had crosng 30n constn 4 brkfst. noiice. and anor big
unpack 2 trace anor elec prob - all due moisture we think no joy.
jeremyb in fmth tks. lk fwd 2 mtg u. yc swing mrng wd b good if
can access pontoon daytime. tks
2200hrs 19 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 233
really misng ay'a. seems dream run endng - in se crnr of hi mvg
ne wind now dropng + easng so hi perhaps mvg away. sw front xpctd perhps w'lies
o'cst high haze ctn wooly moon high above. grind. grind.grind.
constve lubricnt praps just adeqte. all 3 p shrouds now suspct despite shock
crd to prvnt flop. shkles clamped 2 each + can attach braces. have 2 clmb mst
tomoz chck top swages. what is it wth stnls stl? new rig shld not fail like
this. cnsdring gal + thimbles for return trip - cant afford this nonsense.
serious tlk with rigger in fmth.
0900hrs 20 May 2005 UTC
eta comp ends @ 35n. sugst ay'a amend pred'ns to exact time we
pass br'wtr fmth. june 4@ 1200 still my bet, may b pesmstc. just recd safet msg
re derelct 8-10tmtr s/v 60 nm to n. not enough wind to go look. all v soft - hi
just to n weakng hope for sw front soon - xpctd 23rd may b 2 far away 2 help..
jeanne pse send dym.
address in fmth
ben tks 4 fedbak.
1300hrs 20 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 234
stll hdg ) the barn 6kts. huge tnkr (?tu?.) just past ahead
3nm. no sign drfitng s/v (kahinka f. any
1 kno story?). fixd chrge problm - bypast
regltr for turbne. xpct pass clse san mig is azores 3 days time. v big port m o
'wr all around. some flotsm - fshng gear? able get euro + n.af radio stns - 1st
sign approachng lndfl. no birds, bootferals feastng on new sox + cheesy bits.
baboons baying frm gib. hope poor swimmrs else brits may hve 2 leave rock.
awaitng promethea's nxt move. mast climb pstpnd as wind up a bit - not rlly
nec. precaut. only. today 'on' day. hoooley doooley woohoo.
2130hrs 20 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 235
v soft - headed - slwng dwn.
2 birds - smll, blck, surfce flapprs. anor huge tnkr past astn 1nm, mt,
hdg ne. serious lkout time. evening -lovely sft grey cld fmtns 2 e hi, med, lo,
all diffnt dirctns. moon hi, no strs yet. approx syd lat. - qute cold @ nite -
back 2 fleeces. so mch to say, not poss this frmat. dlghtfl sailing - but slow
+ rlly want to fnsh now. hope front has wlies when arrives so no need to stress
rig hrd on p tack. will get out chnnel pilot (book) after azres for
approach/entry. big mlstne. constn.
praps 3 days 2 azres.
dm - no way stop azrs - bggr oh+s.
1015hrs 20 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 236
almst prked - v soft. clmbd mst - now have all p shrds dbled up
w 6mm spectra braced @ foot back to wnch.v clever iff wrks..wll film + foto 4
recrd. all shrds have rust streaks from
top to bott. - is this signifcnt??
roger, praps cd ask don? port m
o' wr mst hve bn named here - all arnd us + we off port. cst + islands. big ones.
lots of garbage in sea - praps jst 1 shp dump. 0 mre shps. past lat wollngng so
opend a can aftr mst clmb. didnt tch sdes but sdly abstmg. rll on fmth. frnt
due mon/tue slw till thn, mayb boost after. hve ampair gen directly on batry -
no regltr - trcky but chrgng.
fm us bth - commisns to trum. at least she cn open a beer..
2130hrs 21 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 237
prkd then hded now llng @ centre of azres. xpct s chnge 24 hrs
then front wed 35-40 ssw 2 nw. .big pod dlphns snrtng + cvrtng 4 cple hrs good
fun. white bird long tail fthrs back briefly. port m o'w by thsnds some wrappd
rnd turbine. p shtds now braced - hope it wrks + esp hope stbd ok. v rusty at
tops. expct p tack post frnt. gtng cldr - blnkst @ nite + cup o t now strt thro
fltrd 2 pale straw clr - in trpcs, oftn did not reappr and was same clr as
original twhn did.. 30k grind.ppptu srry boring stuff - 'sall there is.
2300hrs 21 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 238
rndm stats - t bags 600ish:
rlls duct tpe, 50m, 12: sail chnges av. 2/day: cans food 200: max wnd spd seen 86kt gust w of horn: sleeps
3/day each: dunkin bikkies 1200: emails 3000ish, bog rolls lots: winch hndles
lost 0: max boat speed seen 12.5kt: bootferal mutations 13.5 x 10 5th, now have
photsynth + melatonin. dlphns 100s: stars gigazllns, iss sightings 2: more as i
think of them
Journal: 1035hrs 22 May 2005
Just spoke to Mal re IRC cert - nice to hear him. Hard to
believe he and Steve have been working away there all this time to keep the
site going. Really appreciate it.
Still very apprehensive re state of rig up mast yesterday and
top swages very rusty and rust streaks all the way down. Think bracing on port side will work - hope stbd ok. Dont really see why cant use
spectra prestretched for rig xcpt forestay. Will discuss in Fmth.
Dolphins yest great fun first heard snort & looked around
& saw them, big grayish, rounded dorsal fins, grayer patch aft of dorsal.
Cavorted around for an hour or so.
Hoping for wind to veer to S later so getting us E of Azores or
between Sao Mig & the rest. Front on the other side, 30 40 cd be tricky
for rig & hope not too severe.
Poor Berri looking rather scruffy slime, barnacles, salt plus
stuff lashed on deck to make room below. Jerry cans empty, must transfer rest
of fuel from cockpit to tank today while still on stbd tack.
Journal: 1305hrs 22 May 2005
Port. Men oWar actually sail float is curved and tapered
it has camber and chord, just like aircraft wing, sail also curves same way on
top. Tendrils under cause drag. Float lines up with prev. wind (sail acts as windvane?)
and the camber and chord causes lift on outer curve so drifts sideways and
perhaps slightly forwards. Looking upwind, drift to the right and perhaps away,
so in prev. E wind, PMOW drift south. Fascinating. Got some tendril on hand
from turbine stings even tho tendrils must have been on turbine for at least
Having major electrical investign & fix Pete reconnecting
ampair to its regulator, bypassing some unnecessary wiring to see if we can get
it to work thro regltr. Connected and working, dont know if measuring battery
but seems to be. Xantrex U/s
Wind has lifted us towards gap <> Terceira & Sao M.
Abeam Gibraltar last time I was down here was in Centaur Xmas
1963 when we went to aid Laconia on fire just found derelict burning hulk and
bodies in party clothes delivered the dead to Gib on Xmas Day. Sad Xmas.
Journal: 1820hrs 22 May 2005
Today is a G&T day. Astonishing how simple anticipation
improves the outlook. There is about enough gin for another 5 G & T days if
we are careful and tonic to match. And a Dr. a Day too. Will be a sad day when
its all gone but I hope well be able to smell The Lizard by then. Short sharp
lesson in preserving aluminium cans!
Been a day if fixing we have the portable drill out to
replace part of the cockpit footrest that has come adrift. Very slowly it
seems, although 5.5 kts we are moving towards the Azores. We could pass
between Terceira and Sao Mig. without seeing either if we bisect the gap - they are about 100 miles apart.
Hilary, a few days ago I opened a plastic bag sealed with
Sellotape which we packed in such a hurry in 1981 for the Rio race a pair of
knitted Norwegian ski sox perfectly dry and with their little packet of Cremorne air who would have thought, almost
exactly 25 years ago?? I think there may still be some sealed woolly vests
amongst my other stuff.
2230hrs 22 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 239
randm stats - consltns: 2/day + emrgncies + celbratns cans of
the dr: 240 dr cpr: 60: othrs: 50. gin
8ltrs, ors 2 ltrs inc chrn rum fm ransa ta jnet.
strtd jrnal - gng crzy no hf. probly borng. but will post fm
fmth.. mlcom tks 4 both offrs - wves + bbns. hdg cntr gap () terceira + sao m
in azrs. thndrstrms 4cst. big fix day 2day. flop congrts u bth. constn w dr
avlbl if u fly. g'day keelin.
Journal: 0330hrs 23 May 2005
Almost level with Santa Maria, SE Island of Azores caution
area ahead between islands subject to seismic change. Wind has started to
veer wx system is changing & we
are moving towards low forming to NW. Still doing 6 kts > Azrs. Night sky layers of cloud, dark, dangerous
& threatening looking up-moon, softer patterns elsewhere. When whole sky
visible patterns and layers take shape we have upper layer cirro-strat, mid
& lower Cu, defined edges, mid layer like blown sand in little ridges,
lower fluffy, more or less in lines moving towards us. Wind @ 120 deg stbd qtr,
20 kt, Berri rolling not too uncomfortable, Electric autopilot driving need
to keep small load on battery so can monitor regulator & vltage.
Getting quite cool at night Pete beginning to feel it, Im
still quite comfy and like it as is. Will get much colder yet. Due
thunderstorms later today. Getting weather forecasts Met Area 2 from SatcomC
and French Met bureau dont know forecast areas just been thro Irving, into
Acores, but Josephine? Pazenn? Iroise? Rochebonne?
Journal: 0930hrs 23 May 2005
I think were away wind has veered, low to NW, front in a
couple of days with 40++ from S then round to NW, N and shld get us very close.
Today is day 59 ex Stanley, day 116 sailing ex Hobart.
Expect pass Sao Miguel around midnight at about 15 nm so might
see lights or island if the moon is not behind cloud.
Just made 7.5 ltrs water in 90 minutes. V good voltage to
desalinator perhaps some pressure from fwd motion tube in aft cockpit drain.
0940hrs 23 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 240
2day day 59 ex fi, 116
(slng ) ex hbrt - don't kno nm cvred but cd get vmg - mal do u kno nm?
approx 13k? use gt o. i thnk we're on the slide - wnd s 25, lo to nw more bhnd,
frnt 26th 40++ then nw, n + shld get us 2 smllng dstnce the lzrd. 31my, 1jn
poss. but no predn's yet. trkg 060t @ 6+. pass azrs 2nite. a bit wld + wooly but
ok. sme apphnsn about frnt but shld b ok. xpct water to trn grn sn.
is - gd noos. ta. - pse fone eth.
1200hrs 23 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 241
hi dinah - wlcme to ths slly ntrprse - sorry no xtndd
nnsnse. jenny - ntrstng but dn't thnk
lghtng - wd ov fried electrncs as well nlss our crde earth systm wrks. sj ta
ndrstnd re gsm - but if fstml wks 4 bth, btr vlue, only 4 b/up in cse hf fails
again + need satphone - ithnk data d'ld mch chpr than xtrtnate satcmc.
Journal: 1400hrs 23 May 2005
I have a tiny stash of squashed mars bars squashed by moving
bodies in storms and melted in the tropics and congealed again but still mars
bars. As we pass the line between Terceira and Sao Miguel, we will be at 36k in
the Falmouth marathon half way and time to attack a blob of toffee and
chocolate. Small, intimate celebration.
Journal: 1915hrs 23 May 2005
36 nm from land clouds perhaps over, but no sighting. Perhaps
2225hrs 23 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 242
sry u cnt rd my eglsh. wll post jrnal on arrval. passng sao mig
azrs this time - lghthse 1/7 stbd beam. 36 k + half way - #4 + 5 pled out,
5.5kts slow, cnsrvtv, nxt lnd the lizrd wooohooo.
Journal: 2259hrs 23 May 2005
Lighthouse stbd beam fl 4? NW corner Sao
Miguel approx 15 miles away. That makes it about half way in the
Falmouth Marathon 36k. Small bite of blobular mars bar. Iff all goes well,
next land will be The Lizard, now 1160 miles away. Expecting front day after
tomorrow with S 40++ then NW, N not easy ride but workable. Now have #4 &
5 poled out being conservative in about 18 kt down from 25 safe but a bit
slow. Just spoke to Smead on satphone.
Journal: 0320hrs 24 May 2005
Past the Azores big ship
passed us going south fast.
More on Port M oW young, small ones crystal clear membranes,
firmly contoured, small air sacs,
brilliant pinkish colouring, older bigger ones opaque and rather milky,
becoming flaccid. We rolled several over on sides as we passed they flip back
upright decisively, and apparently after almost exactly the same time perhaps
depends on their speed and the wind strength.
Journal: 0550hrs 24 May 2005
Sailing vessel crossed our bows about an hour ago, heading east
perhaps from Terceira to Lisbon?
Quite close, going much faster than us.
0950hrs 24 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 243
we passed the azores around midnight - saw a sailing boat
during the night, heading ) lisbon
perhaps. dolphins, birds around. big following sea, 25-30 kts uncomfortable but progress. some much dirtier
weather forecast for later today but should not last too long. azores = mental
half way to fmth - small consultation with breakfast and we get under 1000 nm to go tonight if all goes well, so another
cons. tomoz. whoopee. will soon get out the channel pilot to get us into fmth
and yet another watermark. time to go and look around. may see the new planet
1115hrs 24 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 244
this is beaufort fce 7 - 8 near gale/gale. 28 - 40 kts sea
heaps up foam blown off, wind streaks,
long breaking crests 5+ metre waves. not to be sneezed at but definitlely not
yet rough rough. sea is grey, sky partly overcast, low to nw bringing perhaps
force 9 strong gale tomorrow. after c hn + montevideo, not really threatening. yet. 2
storm jibs poled out - vivid slash of orange + white over breaking crests.
we have been asked many times why we are doing this. it's what
there is to do today, basically - there's a huge sense of exhilaration,
achievement, joy even, in being a living part of the elements where there is no
infinite improbability drive, no 'beam me up scotty' but just the 2 of us moving on. so far, the planning has held
out. it has been made infinitely more
personal, interesting, absorbing and fascinating because all y'all seem to be
coming along for the ride and getting some of the joy and exhilaration as well.
we're grateful to have you along - it certainly didn't start out that way and
it's been a big surprise. all in all, a wild, heart catching , sometimes terrifying
ride and soon we get to see our families and all y'all again. very special
sense of anticipation. thanks for sharing it.
have decided hang the expense + will do these in english. but
keep them shortish.
1829hrs 24 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 245
boadicea rides again -
surfing down 5 mtr waves in 35 - 40 kts 2 st jibs poled out wiith tether end
attatched to strongpoint at fwd end cockpit seat, holding tether, leaning back
a bit, flexing ze knees and riding the chariot. no woad, but metho might do -
wooohooo - what a ride. foam, froth, bubble and a bit of sideways. towards fmth
on the nose. gusty, wet, pretty dismal n hemi weather but getting closer every
second, every minute...
at this rate the gin and the plonk and the dr will last us till
we can smell the lizard's foetid breath. hang in there with us. all y'all -
2310hrs 24 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 246
variable cyclonic 4 to 6, increasing 5 to 7 soon. severe gusts.
becoming rough locally very rough. rain and squalls.
that's us for the next 24 hours. we're in 5-7 now - surging off
waves at hull speed pushing out great swathes of frothy phosphorescence which
sometimes overtakes as we slide back off some waves - and the dolphins are
around and i could see their trails too - often you can't - so there were these
smoky lines flowing around the bows. lervly. but going in the right direction
at 6kts - sorry malcom, even your generous offer (bribe?) will need a bit of a
top up. some serious watermarks coming up - we will cross 40n in a few hours,
and there will be less that 1000 miles to go at about the same time plus the
channel pilot. consultations almost hourly.
changrd to 2 hr watch system o'night because of need to keep
very good lookout - murky, biggish waves, fast approach speeds - need to be
1124hrs 25 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 247
dank, dismal drizzly n atlantic day. happy reminder of times
past. everything sodden, pary gear, hands, boat, us. great fun, wish you were
here. really too wet to be at computer but can't leave all y'a in lurch. we
crossed 40n ad we have less than 1000 to go (977) so that's the good news.
rummy breakfast. there's still a nasty front lurking behind us and we're due to
be headed right after it passes. bloody examiner again. but can almost smell
the lizard's foetid breath.
1445hrs 25 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 248
it's still foul and drizszly and dismal and claggy and we're
not going very fast. seems achievement is always to be leavened with adversity
- have just tried to revert to main + poled out 4 + found big tear in poor old
main - pete now heroically out in the
rain trying to sew it up - it's his watch - and i've just sent him a cup of tea
with a bit of attitude to cheer him up. we have the race main if needed. the
old one has been amazing - bought in 1993, it's done 8 x s2h, 5 x lhi races and
half way round the world - almost without hassle and it will get us home too.
brian shilland builds a good product.
i think i hinted earlier that i had a plan to involve leroy
chiao a bit more in this venture - i
suggested to cyc some time ago that they or rolex might like to invite him out
to fire the starting gun for this year's s2h -
a good story even if we don't make it back and even better if we do.
just heard that cyc have rejected the idea - no budget for star guests,
unfortunately. would have been nice to do. if there's a philanthropist out
there who would like to buy a plane ticket for an astronaut and his wife, talk
to cyc. leroy says he would love to visit oz. we hope to meet him in a pub in
scotland where he will be on holiday. rather a special occasion if we can.
watch this space - there will surely be a photo for the website.
0030hrs 26 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 249
today looks like the day - we're almost under te front
according to french metarea f'cast and due force 8, 34-40 kts with lots of
nastries. probably means 45-55 kts. pissing with rain now, cold, very black
o'cast no glimmer moon or stars. wind s, 20, going with it ti n so as to be right
side when n wind after front. hope we're right.
'orrible 'orrible weather and just why oz is the place to be.
0800hrs 26 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 250
here we go again - bleak
grey green n atlantic, short steep sea, whitecaps breaking off every wave,
spume flying low scudding overcast 300 ft horizon obscured 45 knots nne - came
up v fast, hope won't last - on port tack so apprehensive about the rig -
crashing into the seas storm jib vivid orange wreathed in spray. good fun.
enjoy your cornflakes. gotta go.
0945hrs 26 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 251
still hanging in there - examiner really twisting the knife,
down to storm jib, 45 -55, fore reaching beam on or just abaft, boat not
threatened but boody uncomfortable - experimenting with best way to handle -
longer dssertation fot bog people in journal too expensive for here.
eveerything wet except - so far - laptop. libate your gods for us - we are.
1230hrs 26 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 252
poo - everything absolutely sodden - party gear as wet inside
as out. no sign of abating yet - ocean spectacular long breaking crests,
rushing foaming backs - boat enveloped in spray, occasional biggie fills
cockpit. green grey ocean, bluish green
grey where light through wave - lovely. for the bog people - storm jib
set on 1 mtr strop, main tied tightly to boom, boom in normal position.
wind on or just aft the beam boat heels 10 - 15 dcegrees only in 55 kt gust -
no threat to rig as long as not going too fast and stopping in wave back.
handling really well, balanced, kevvo steering, small vane.
can't go higher with just storm jib. add trisail, too much(too fast) but ndould
point - just trisail ok and cd poss go signif higher perhaps to wind 60 deg off
bow as we did in '98.
Journal: 1900hrs 26 May 2005
Storm just abating sunlight on the angry water the
colours -sea grey lumpy glass, but where
light shines thro brilliant greenish blue
- like/Roman glass and smoky trails behind breaking waves as light
catches the bubbles. Spray off the boat curves thrown out, caught by the wind
and blown back as curling mist with plenty of sting.
Main with 3 just up after storm jib all day hoping wind
will back and abate some more now 25 35 and steep.
Some interesting floating organisms lots of what look like
fat, tight white calamari rings but not complete circles, more spiralled and
different sizes from 5c piece to bigger than 50c thousands of them in
places several to the sq. mtr
And what look like button mushrooms with three or four
different shaped leafy fronds hanging below the float one seems tubular with
anemone-like spikes around the outer lip the others more leafy and brownish
grey with a touch of pink - have tried to capture one but they get pushed away
by the boats wash. The bigger ones are perhaps 150mm across.
Looks like a burst beanbag all over the surface
2222hrs 26 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 253
i've lost the plot - big, unannounced storm we were smack in
the centre of now abating at last. examiner retired tail between legs to
reconsider position. stunning colours after storm - sea grey rocky glass,
brilliant white breaking crests, 20+ metres long huge streaky swathes of foam
behind and where sun shining thro,
amazing bluey green amethyst glowing from within. worth the storm just
for that. and smoky blue opacity where
foam rolling into wave. back on track - port tack, still very violent, nursing
a bit. real storm in a teacup at some time during storm - made cuppa, leaned from
companionway to put in cupholder, wormed self in full party gear out of hole
into cockpit to see real waves on tea surface and tops whipped off as brown
travails with a turbine, leeway, storm sailing with combos of
st. jib and trisail wind angles etc. in journal to be posted on arrival -
observations only - your boat may behave differently.
1015hrs 27 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 254
sparkling morning - 35 kts still but due to abate. trying to
dry out - leak over my bunk has been good fun + everything else sodden too. big
beam sea very hard to move around inside or outside. desalinator going for next
2 days' supply - we seem to use about 5-6 litres/day depending on what has been
cooking - pasta uses a lot, frinstance. lots of ships around - extra
vigilance.. soon be under 800 - i remember the feling 800 from the horn - serious apprehension, watching the weather,
knuckles grey. different here - real sense of anticipation, achievement etc,
but wish it would speed up a bit. channel pilot still in bag - too wet to get
it out so that consultation with dr lamb delayed. hoping pete's mainsail mend
holds out - under some stress now with 3 reefs. will use trisail to get us home
if fails catastrophically. travelling with trisail dissert in jjournal if i get
time to wirte it.
love yaz all - cross the fingers that it all holds togetrher
for a few more days and put some bottles on ice.
1025hrs 28 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 255
gone very very soft. back in a high @1026hp and trickling along
at 3.5 slatting and banging. still 680 to go. sparkling day and the ocean has
gone green - just as i remember it. lots of interesting marine floaties for the
biologists - see journal after arrival. celebrated the emergence of the channel
pilot and under 700 concurrently this morning. small watermarks - almost in the
bay of biscay.getting uk weather forecasts now on satcom. all the familiar
names - rockall, malin, sole, - sadly,
finisterre has been replaced by fitzroy (who was the captain of the beagle and
took darwin round the world) but doesn't have the romance of the name.
we have local mobile numbers for after we arrive - don't try
immediately - have to get them activated - and my oz mobile should work as well
for messages only
alex: (0)781 600 4379 and pete (0)781 600 4093
looking good for june 2 or 3 - makes my falklands estimate of
june 4 look rather serendipitous.
1200hrs 28 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 256
wildlife: some interesting floating organisms - lots of what
look like fat, tight white calamari rings - but not complete circles, more
spiralled and different sizes from 5c piece to bigger than 50c - thousands of
them - in places several to the sq. mtr.
and what look like button mushrooms with about three different shaped
leafy fronds hanging below the float - one seems tubular with anemone-like
spikes around the outer lip - the others more leafy and brownish grey with a
touch of pink - have tried to capture one but they get pushed away by the boats
hi gordo - at bloody last. mal sent summary - look fwd to
reading the full version in fmth. and julie - wonderful surprise - i think i
met ben before we left -. are jenny and skye out there somewhere too? g tks for
sims gerry, tks for msg - look fwd to talking.
colin g - good to hear from you - kevin's gadget is brilliant. happy to expand
on preps etc any time. kevin, the bearings arrived - thanks.
working on fmth to-do list - huge - wiill post when we get
0615hrs 29 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 257
572 to go - easily imaginable distance again - about wollongong
in a hobart race and 39k in a marathon, where the stern questions get asked,
like am i strongt enough to climb over that line painted on the road? been
hooning along during the night 7.5 - 8.5 knots, full main and poled out #2 in
rain squalls but too hairy and put in two reefs. wind has now veered and eased
but still pointing us at the barn door. will need to adjust kevvo's linkages
when we arrive - he's a bit recacitrant when asked to go to starboard.
dolphins again most of the night, sometimes black silhouettes
against the moons refelction, sometimes rocket trails through the
phosphorescence. great when 3 or 4 of them dive and weave in formation.
snorting as they breech - often that's the first sign they are there if you are
not looking. i wonder if they are having fun or trying to tell us to get the
hell off their patch.
june 2 still looking good - probably lateish. will stop sending
these about a day out and get on the mobile when we get in range so anyone who
wants can get on the webcam. if we get there at night, tough - not hanging
around waiting. saw an aircraft this morning, about 5, redeye west indies to
london pehaps. will have landed by now.
know we're getting close - dawn around 0330 and daylight by 5.
we're now at a higher latitude than hobart. greatbear south of us.
1015hrs 29 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 258
just had a satphone call from brian and jen in dunedin - great to talk to you both and thanks for
buying shirts and stuff. we'll be in touch as soon as we get back to cheap
wildlife: water now covered in little button mushroom floaties,
as if a burst beanbag with polystryens. a few more birds around don't seem
interested in floaties. we're banging along in quartering sea with dropping
wind but should hang in for a bit yet.
to do list grows and grows. berri looking very scruffy - desperately
needs to be emptied, demoulded, de-feraled and scrubbed.
h + k thanks for message
- look fwd to talking maybe around thursday. let me knw xantic satcom
bill when it comes pse. will be ugly.
2100hrs 29 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 259
491 to go and the gps has an eta. sort of woohoo. the number is
not relevant, the significance is that it is there and so must be less than 100
hours. it's 40k, where the finish line is still out of sight, the pain is
enhanced by the knowledge that it's just round the corner and there's still
work to do. in fact, the sense of disbelief and anticlimax is growing - so much
work in planning + execution, so much time looking at the ocean, so many climbs
into dank wet party gear for night sail changes, the tension and anxiety, the
sheer joy of the night sky and dolphins, the enormous fun we had with leroy and
the iss - all about to stop for a bit. perhaps the sense of achievement will
come with the first shoreside consultation. then we must start on the to do
list - almost as big as the 6 months pre start version.
we have saved a small supply of the doctor to placate the
lizard and to libate the manacles on the way in. chances are, we will first
smell the lizard at night and see its flashing eye.
i'm doing a burst on storm sailing in the journal for the
boggers and anyone else in small displacement boats that go much slower than
the waves. not comprehensive by any means but might be useful as it's based on
our experience. the usual caveat will apply.
get those bottles on ice and get your party shirts and hats on
- thursday is still looking good but you might have to get up in the night if you
want to watch us on webcam.
0615hrs 30 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 260
i think i may have been in this bit of ocean before - i
recognised a bit of it this morning - and i'm sure my father, who spent most of
his life at sea, would have crossed this stretch many times. so, another ghost
but a more personal one. i think he would have approved of rhis little venture.
lovely fiery cherry pink sunrise this morning and the half moon was clearly
visible at the same time so that the angle of the moon's reflected light was
apparent - doesn't often happen.
might be a difficult summer on the english beaches - the water
surface here is carpeted with tiny portugese m o' war - hundreds to the square metre
- and the wind is blowing them ne. we're still pointing at the barn door -
rather slowly just at the moment but thursday is still possible. had our -500
consultation with dr lamb at breakfast - goes very wellwith muesli and
arlette - down to last six dunkers - jammy ones. and the eggs
lasted till last week - we've been rationing them and only lost a couple - one
broke and one suss. vaseline works.
bid hope we can
m + e - thanks for msg - plymouth is a distinct possibility
once we have fixed the boat up a bit - i'll ring you when we get in. may stay
with my sister in n devon too, so could be within pub range.
0930hrs 30 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 261
i've just had a message from fenwick, who's been very quiet
recently. the shirts are up and running after a huge effort by allan, tori,
fiona and isabella, with allan's son and julie actually doing the production -
thanks heaps everyone - it's all being done at cost and allan wants any left over profit to go to
canteen. thanks everyone - we will wear the gear with pride. just remains for
all y'all to be generous and buy lots of it and get your friends and staff and
footy teams into it too. i'm not yet sure how much it will cost to replace the
liferaft and fix the radio and the rig and pay the bill for the satcom updates,
but it's going to need a lot of shirts. thanks to all y'all in advance and
we'll keep you posted on progress.
bill, thanks, and colin - the mind boggles.
and allan - thanks for doing something useful for a change.
1200hrs 30 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 262
a couple of things to ponder as you work your way through your
.. we just passed a big balk of timber - half the length of the
boat, square section about 30 cm each side. say 100 -150 kilos waterlogged. if
berri hit that at hull speed of about 7 knots, she'd probably ride over it and
turn it aside - perhaps into the prop or rudder and the turbine towline, but
essentially, without making a hole in the hull. if one of these record breaking
sleds that are hooning around the world at the moment, dame ellen being the
latest, were to hit it at 20+ knots, the hull would ride over it and it would
probably spring the keel and certainly wipe out one or both rudders. a
2. we are well into the mouth of the huge funnel that becomes
the english channel and we have just been overtaken by a very big ship. we will
soon be seeing lots more and will have several in sight at once as we close
fmth. during pete's last watch, we passed some fibreglass debris that could
have been parts of a small yacht. still clean, not barnacled, so not long in
the water. something to pucker the brow a bit and make one reach for one's
now have the whole british isles on the gps screen. hard to
come to terms with - but it's there.
2215hrs 30 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 263
the gap is closing. astonishing to see the number of wrecks
marked on the large scale digital chart between here and fmth - so many
tragedies, so many people waiting and
watching - we grew up with kathleen ferrier singing 'blow the wind southerly'
- have the same record with me in the
boat - hauntingly beautiful and the chart gives it a poignancy that i had never
felt so strongly. so many ghosts.
david mck - you can't be serious?
carol, thanks - we'll wait to hear
jeremy, thanks and thst's basically what we intended to do -
any beartraps with tide as we are coming in? we may be doing it at night. not
fussed, but useful to know.
fiona - no way kiddo - we're almost out of guinness.
gordo - woohoo and no, we don't think so..
nailbiting....and the visibility is shortish in drizzle -
bloody typical - so i've got to go and look.
0615hrs 31 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 264
whales.. at least three of them although i only saw one - the
other two sounded from just below the surface and left two huge flat swirls on
the surface so big that they flattened the waves. the one i saw breeched just
ahead of the boat - perhaps a couple of boatlengths - going at right angles
towards the nw. sort of olive grey, great long smooth back, with an
incongruously small dorsal fin, definitely not a humpback like we see in oz,
seemed to be flowing across our bows for ever, didn't see its head or its tail
and it seemed to be at least as long as the boat. beats muesli for breakfast.
can anyone identify it? not much to go on.
we've slowed down a lot - rain, very low overcast, long rolling
swell - vis about half a mile - 3rd still possible but need some more wind.
wonder what the delightfull and inventive examiner still has in store for us -
plenty of opportunity for her yet . i've been doing some rudimentary tidal
vectors - something unfamiliar to many oz sailors but essential here, where the
channel tides run at up to 4 kts in the middle and 7 around some of the
1215hrs 31 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 265
one of those special days - just been thro' v. big pod/school
of what looked like small humpbacks -
about 15 ft long, maybe more, dark olive brown, big triangular dorsal just
ahead of hmp , horiz. tails, curved like whales' and round heads - travelling mostly in pairs.
porpoises? big dolphins? small whales?
looking like late thurs gmt or early fri - probably in the dark
- don't want to hang around outside for daylight - so may miss webcam but will
phone mal when have better estimate + he can alert all y'a.
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