FROM 2-10. Falmouth-Crosshaven-Fastnet

A little bit of everything

The photos – Berri's evolving new persona – grey blue and white decks with some of the old multi layered gunge still visible on the side decks, yet to be stripped and wire brushed off. Woodwork all sanded and oiled. New gearbox installed after a couple of days of pain and contortion. The old one has gone to Southampton to be rebuilt and we'll carry it as a spare. And Pete brought a shiny new Oz red ensign to replace the one that sailed to Melbourne with Pete Goss in Spirit of Mystery so Berri is now appropriately – if not exactly properly – dressed with ensign and courtesy Red Duster given to us in the Falklands by John M-B so it too has just completed a circumnavigation via the NW Passage.

Sea trials at 0530 this morning on a sparkling calm Falmouth morning – cast off the mooring lines shaped to the bollards after about 6 weeks of attachment and shunted her around inside the marina pontoons so we would not lose our ace spot. She goes backwards and forwards and her extra 6 horses certainly seem to make a difference. And back alongside. Sarah T has driven down from London for a couple of days and is in charge of painting the white bits of deck. Two coats by tonight except the cockpit which we'll do tomorrow just before we all depart for Hatherleigh and then the Katadyn man in Weston Super Mare.

Nothing yet from the Russians. We have decided that if we have not heard by the end of this month, we will pull the plug on the NE Passage and look at other options for getting home. The latest that I think we could safely leave for Murmansk is July 20th and that is cutting things very fine indeed. If we get permit with acceptable conditions by June 30 it gives us 3 weeks to get organised and we still do not have visas – no point until the permit arrives – and I don't want to set off unless we are sure that all the boxes are ticked.

So watch this space…

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