1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)


Logs ( 40 )

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 7, 2005 - 0700hrs │Bellerive Yacht Club

Greetings from a still wintry Hobart. A couple of the jobs we have had to do have taken a lot longer than we expected and we have now decided not to leave until Monday. We will clear Customs at 10.00 and plod down the Derwent later that day.

Huge heap of sails, spares, food, clothing – and the bicycle, now attached to its stand and generator – all to be squeezed and coaxed into Berrimilla’s very uncavernous interior. A bit like getting an entire shipping container into a Tarago. We hope to get most of it in today. The windvane is back on – thanks for the Christmas present, Kevin – and we will test it tomorrow. We have also insulated the inside with closed cell foam to help prevent condensation when it gets cold further south.

We will head for a waypoint south of New Zealand at 47.50S 167.50E near the Snares Islands and then see what the weather brings. The southern ocean shelves from about 6000m to about 100 down there and it is generally one of the nastier bits of the passage according to the stories. The plan after that is to stay close to or north of 45S for most of the way across the South Pacific and then head south at about 100.00W to round the Horn at 56.04S 67.15W and up to the Falklands.

We’ll keep you posted. Thanks for all your messages in the last few days. Sorry we can’t reply to everyone individually.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 9, 2005 – 0700hrs │Bellerive Yacht Club

We squeezed the shipping container into the tarago yesterday and there isn’t much airspace. Berrimilla’s waterline is down to the red boot-topping so she’s heavier that we have ever sailed her by at least a ton. Will be interesting to see how she handles big seas on the quarter. The forecast is for WNW 25 -30kts for a week or so after a front goes through on Tuesday so it should be downhill.

We have a final rig check today and, subject to that, we clear customs at 10.00 tomorrow and we can go, so it looks as if it may be on. I will try and provide an update as we go down the Derwent.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 10, 2005 │ Pete's Diary

Monday 10th of January 05

We cleared customs at about 10 a.m then packed more fresh stores.  Every nook and cranny is now full  and both Alex and I have to find somewhere to put our clothes etc. Jeanne and Alex Sutherland had been a tremendous help in getting fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, salmon and meat.  They also cooked and froze many curries and pasta sauces, which should see us through the first week.  They cooked then dried some other meals, to supplement our dried foods.  It should be interesting to try the result of this experiment.

At midday, we went to Bellerive Yacht Club, where many friends had gathered to see us off, had a few Guinnesses then back to the boat and  we were off. Our friends had  streamers to throw over the boat as we left, very colourful, a lot of fun, the young kids loved it.

Headed down the Derwent with the wind behind us, later we got a beam breeze of about 10 to 15 kn.  so we put up the main and the cut down cruising number one.  This gave us a good run to the Iron Pot.  We then had to come up wind about 20° and the wind had also increased to 25 to 30 kn . Dropped the headsail and put two reefs in the main and the number four up.  We are now heading for Cape Raoul doing about 6 to 6 1/2 knots and towing  the propeller generator, this is giving about four amps output.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 10, 2005 - 0600hrs │Bellerive Yacht Club – but only just….

Thanks y’all.

I’ve just printed the four day forecast – don’t really know why, cos we’re going anyway. Odd feeling – months of planning and fiddly fixes and paperwork and lists and helpful advice and last minute disasters will end in a few hours and we will find out if we have got it right. And then nothing to do except look after Berrimilla, count the albatrosses and write to you lot.

So thanks to everyone who has helped to get us this far – there are lots of you out there, but especially Hilary and Jeanne and John and Alex and Steve whose tolerance and equanimity and planning and fixing genius and general understanding have made it possible.

And thanks for all your messages. Nice to know that there are so many people who can’t wait to wave us goodbye and want to make sure we’ve really gone. To coin the old cliche once again, we love youse all and we’ll consult the dublin doctor on your behalf when we pass Tasman Island.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 10, 2005 – 1400hrs │The Derwent River.

Sailing down the Derwent at 6kts with cut down headie and full main and Stainless Kevvo driving. Lovely send off with streamers and photos and a drop of the doctor to fortify the assembled company. Boat pretty heavy and not much room to move inside but we will get used to it. Forecast looks favourable for a quick trip across the Tasman, although a bit blowy. We’ll be in touch.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 10, 2005 - 1600hrs │The Iron Pot

A phone call from Alex – just rounding the Iron Pot, first sail change, 30knts of breeze, but settling in well. Off and running.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 10, 2005- 1800hrs |43’11”S 147’37”E

I’ll send a position once a day if I can. So far so good. We’re towing the generator at 6kts in 25kts and getting superfluous wiggly amps so i will also keep the pc running.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 10, 2005 – 2030hrs |43’23”S 148’02”E

Out past T I and the doctor has been consulted on all your behalfs or is that behalves. Wind around 30 gusting 40 and v lumpy sea. All seems to be working so far. The cliffs along the port arthur shore in the evening light and cape pillar a silhouette to the north. Seabirds and jelly blobbers all around and there was a fishing boat on the southern horizon for a time.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 11, 2005 – 0830hrs |43’47”S 149’50”E

Dank and dismold down here. Grey and lumpy sea. low cloud and as per forecast – thanks Roger, if you’re watching, 20 -30 from the north. I think i saw a gust of 53 during the night but me eyes aint that good. Berri seems to be handling it well but it’s pretty uncomfortable inside and no let up for at least another day. Because everything is so tightly stacked in the boat, we cant get at most of the stuff till we get a bit of an ease. Just a little hump to test the fortitude.

Last night, cloudless, moonless and gerzillions and gigazillions of stars – not dark at all and almost a horizon. Pete is just getting into the gear to go on watch – we’re going about 3 hours on, 3 off for the time being, but Stainless Kevvo is doing his job so well and Berri is so well balanced that there’s nowt to do except enjoy the scenery, bleak as it is. Minor problem with chafe on the steering lines but sortable. This morning’s coffee was almost as good as a catapult launch.

See yez

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 11, 2005 – 1900hrs |44’13”S 151’12”E

Not getting any easier but Berri handling it well. Now a big beam sea with breakers and we get caught occasionally. pretty violent motion so everything is a strain to do. like getting into wwg wot i’m about to do. We were visited by a couple of big long line fishing boats at lunchtime, just as we finished our first day’s run – about 164 miles and we’re still averaging 7ts or so. In really big albatross country now -short stubby bodies with about 4 metre wingspan and brownish on top with yellow beaks.

Just plugging on…

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 11, 2005 – 2200hrs

Hi all y’all – ive just been chastised for my grammar but english evolves doesn’t it?

thanks for today’s crop of wit and wisdom. particularly liked the one about deodorant…

We’ve been reducing sail all day and now down to #5 and no main in about 50 kts and bigger waves than when we hove to off eden a couple of weeks ago. Slowed right down for the night but no stars this time. Poo bum. listening to radio oz on the HF cos too wet to read or fiddle with discman.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 12, 2005 – 0700hrs | 44’55”S 152’51”E. 289nm 6.6knts

Bleah. What was it Malcolm Fraser said when he lost his trousers – something about life not being easy? Out here it’s a breeze man – constant 60 – 75 knots with little lulls to 40 according to the instruments and it certainly sounds and feels like it. I’m in my party gear, but unzipped and unfastened wherever possible cos it gets so hot and steamy with the door closed as it mostly is. still carrying the #5 although rather have the storm jib -too late, alas. this was not supposed to happen. Berri handling it reasonably well with NW wind on port qtr hdg about 115 and occasionally getting dumpers across the deck. heeling about 20deg. Halyards flogging and jib likewise when the gusts hit. Nowt to do about it except sit here wedged into the edge of the nav table and write to all y’all. OK Kim? Shit – that was a biggie. Think I’ll make a nice cup of tea and a cucumber sando. basic problem with that as a strategy is having to remove most of the party gear to accomplish the resultant pee. A horny dilemma. oh for a pusser’s immersion suit with an appropriate tube all tied up with a bit of string. See yer kiddos.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 12, 2005 – 1044hrs | 44’54”S 153’18”E.

log back in operation just passed 300m = 1%. wallowing along in big but abating seas at 3kt after the change at 0900. none too soon – this particular geriatric was getting a bit cheesed with poseidon et al. sort them out for us please, all y’all out there. Will try and bore you with more trivia later but may have to be careful with tx time. in case you’re wondering why this little elegy is mostly me, pete is keeping a paper journal which i hope will be less trashy than this one. i had intended to do both but at the moment it’s all i can manage to keep this one going. Have to go and put some more sail up. yo.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 12, 2005 - 1800hrs | 45’11”S 154’06”E. 343nm 5.2knts

sunshine and tschnicolour. just a position report. pottering along at 5 knots with the orange storm jib and #5 goosewinged. safe and easy and should be ok for the forecast winds but slower than we could go. Steve, could you please tell brian shilland that the cut down #1 he made for us works really well as a running sail. we had it up this arv with the 5 on the twin poles and were getting up to 10kts in conditions where any sort of kite would be impossible. took it off when spreader height waves started to break over the stern. fun though. what sort of trivia would all y’all like us to report? else i’ll just keep drivelling on. pete says hi and thanks for all his messages. he’s beginning to look a bit scruffy.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 13, 2005 - 0617hrs| 45’25”S 155’08”E.

Having launched myself into a new day with yet another sail change and some coffee, here goes with some reality. its been a slow old night – sorry Roger – we’ve spent the first few days discovering what happens out here and – for me at least – it needs a bit of a rethink. slow night becos we got the EGC forecast yest. evening offering 30-40 and (now upgraded to 50) but still some distance away, and didn’t want to be caught out in the dark with twin poles set and 40 – 60+kts and 10 metre waves up our collective chuff like the previous night so we took them off and set the storm jib. easy in the harbour, but about 20 minutes of hard yakka on a pitching and rolling foredeck for two people and very tiring.

lesson one – we won’t be able to cope with sail changes every few hours to keep the boat at close to max speed. problem is to work out the best compromise. thinking of various combos to give more variation with less effort.

lesson 2 – the wind patterns at least at this latitude have been less consistent than i expected. may change as we go south. We don’t seem to need to eat – have done almost no cooking and cant find a lot of the gear anyway, but that will improve as we get time to poke around in the stacks.

lesson 3 – no really a lesson but more an axiom – wet sails stuffed into bags take up a lot more room than when they are neatly flaked by willing or even recalcitrant foredeck unionists so the front end of the boat is stuffed tightly with fat sails, the barber-surgeon’s two chests, spuds, oranges plywood, the sushi board (an in joke for those who have sailed in the boat) and all the misc junk we couldn’t find space for down the back. will improve, but not easy to manage for the moment.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 13, 2005 – 1105hrs

1105hrs 13 Jan 2005. 45’25”S 155’42”E.

competition from 4525 15542 Seaboots are interesting, gregarious and exotic entities that are in the personal protection business with a busy sideline in organic products.   These products are designed to attract similar entities and knock the living daylights out of anything else that moves.   Anyone who visited the titan arum [ed: big plant that flowers once a decade and smells like rotting flesh] in sydney during its brief spell will get the idea.   My pair hold animated conversations with each other, my socks and even pete when he’s in a specially generous mood.   they have been floated on the stock exchange and are currently trading at an all time high of three cents and a dash of asa foetida.   they really really love to be appreciated for being what they are, so i thought you might enjoy a competition to create the best description of the inside of my left boot when it’s at its most talkative.   an ode, perhaps, or a limerick, even a haiku for the erudite.   could lend itself to those with an elegiac bent.  or just an adjective.   anyone game enough to try?   if we eventually get back to sydney with sense of humour intact, there will be massively wonderful prizes.  editor or judges decision final and irrevocable and to be announced at the bash this year in march (we hope)and in this space.   Remember that this is a family website and, while my boot will certainly appreciate he more scatological entries, they won’t be published…

ps seems its about to blow like stink again in the next 24 hours so may be a bit busy

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 13, 2005 – 1643hrs |45’41”S 156’19”E. 443nm 5.8knts

Today’s trivia – we’re just past half way to the Snares waypoint south of stewart island in NZ. And I’ve heard the joke about increasing the total IQ on both sides. Lovely sailing all day after a shaky start with what looked like a front overtaking us. Forecast for way to the south west is for 50+ from the west so some apprehension but with a bit of luck the worst of that will pass to the south of us. We had an anti-scorbutic g&t (the slice of lemon…)and the iodine and quinine for other agues. The Mary Rose’s barber surgeon woulod have administered it in unmentionable places by large syringe but we managed it rather more pleasantly.

Slowly sorting out the tip inside the boat and we think we have a sail change routine that is a bit less wearing. we’ll see.

Even did some washing.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 14, 2005 – 0934hrs | 46’19”S 158’40”E.

Various things – im going to try and do 2 tx per day may be hard to match your time zone. [Ed:Sydney time] can then waffle on in spare time and send all at once. seems youre doing much the same.[ed: I collect the various emails during the day and edit them into a text file to transmit each evening, and the do the same first thing each morning for the international followers. Transmissions are usually at about 0800 and 2100 each day] have checked and am well inside tx limit for the mo. [ed:we are limited by both time and cost as to how much text can transmitted to and from Berri. So far so good, so keep on emailing] if we get out of range, will try 1 satphone call per day with position and summary to you [ed: that means me I suspect!].

have been asked by several to describe the wildlife. assume that means outside the boat and not the ferals in my boots and elsewhere. i dead cockroach in bilge so far – seems it’s too hard even for them. Otherwise all seabirds – far more than i had expected – always several around, poss attracted by the whizzer we are towing to drive the aux alternator. first four:

– brown all over, yellowish beak, looks just like a crow side on but when it banks the gliders wings are obvious but not as extensive relatively as the albatrosses. about half to one metre span, mostly glides sedately. mutton bird?

– smaller, bright white underside greyish flecks on top except for trailing edge of squareish short tail over and under which are black, and upper leading edge of wing also black. black feet i think, creamy short beak, about 50cm span, shorter wider wings (lower aspect ratio) and it flaps them. wonderfully aerobatic in the hollows of the waves. occasionally parks on the water like the albatrosses.

– similar to above, a bit bigger, with black underside to wings, not as agile, wings a bit longer. havent had opportunity to observe more.

– theres a tiny black and white bird with short rounded wings that almost flaps with its wingtips in the water – havent seen one for a bit but will try better description if i do

– and for Tom, there was a sleek green spotted double decker bus with pinkish wings perched on the lower spreader last night in the hazy starlight. slightly larger mate hovering over masthead light trying to chat it up. no purple ephelaunts yet but watching closely for you. i want a piece of the winnings…

still working on the gadget, Siobhan – pete says hi. he’s taken off his dinner suit and is giving all signs of being totally somewhere else.

for the sailors – foredeck routine in these heavy running conditions – storm jib is permanently hanked on at bottom of main forestay and mostly tied into pulpit. #4 on a short strop hanked on above it and can also be tied to other side rail. #5 hanked on outer forestay, and can be tied in as well. saves continuous packing and unpacking, v flexible and works for twin poling or pole & main or two sail work. works as long as foredeck is not burying and easy to download parked sails if forecast looking pearshaped because already mostly flaked and can be bagged while still hanked on. Current combo is poled #4 with 3 reefed main – may change to twin pole with #5 and dump main as wind gets up and pete wakes. [ed: the higher the number the smaller the sail, with storm jib being the smallest]

we are talking to Derek @ penta comstat [ed: volunteer long range radio centre for sailing information and advice on weather] on long range skeds and to Taupo Maritime [ed: ditto] every morning.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 14, 2005 - 1600hrs | 46’28”S 159’32”E. 585nm 5.8knts

More wildlife – birds again, although i did see a bit of barnacle covered kelp. The little bird is back: grey/brown on top, fairly even closely flecked, white under but with dark edges to wings. about 30cm span, darts along the surface flopping from side to side very fast, wingtips in and out of the water. too hard to see more detail but really lovely to watch. and another much bigger one, probably an albatross – yellow beak, brown/grey wings top and under, short stubby body, feet tucked into rear feathers so invisible, short spear of brown from base of wing across base of tail on top. hard to judge span but perhaps 2.5 metres. lower aspect ratio than earlier Yellow nosed.

I have no idea who is reading this stuff, so is there anything anyone would like me to write about? It’s going to be a very long journey. Things that seem vastly important to us like the next cup of soup are clearly trivial and boring to anyone else although some sailors have filled whole books with bland detail of daily life and even sold a lot.

Quick summary so far: Stainless Kevvo, our Fleming windvane self steering gear, is working splendidly and steered us through the storm a couple of nights ago without hassle. We both saw 80 knot gusts that night. the desalinator is temperamental but produces drinkable water and will continue to do so. Slowly getting into the stacks of stuff inside the boat and rearranging things. Averaging 5.9 knots and have covered 600 miles in a bit over 4 days. Temperature ok, water 11 degrees. With a bit of luck, we’ll be at the Snares on Monday. After that, there’s an iceberg at 48s 117w which is more or less on our way. reasonable start, can do better. We’re ok, boat’s ok, so far so good. end of trivia.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 14, 2005 – 1600hrs │Strange Sunrise Phenomena

1600hrs 14 Jan 2005. 46’28”S 159’32”E. 585nm 5.8knts

A ‘why is it so’ question: back in my sensible days when we used to sail back to sydney after an S2H, we used to spend the first night in Port Arthur. I first noticed this effect the first time we left PA, very early in the morning to catch the predicted southerly – I was steering, clutching a bacon sando and a mug of the doctor and as we turned left at the south end of the estuary I saw that the sun, magnificently pink and orange, was rising behind Tasman Island with radiating fiery streaks from gaps in a line of cloud low on the horizon. One of the more memorable moments and we managed to repeat the experience on later visits. So – the boat is at about latitude 44S – draw the lines and you should see that the sun appears to be rising on a bearing of about 120 – not 090 as one might expect or, given that the sun at this time of year is more or less above the tropic of capricorn at 23S, even 060ish. What is going on? As I write, at about 47S, and tracking almost exactly east (magnetic), the sun is rising way out off our starboard bow, an even more apparently bizarre example. Not that I ever needed an explanation because just watching it is enough.

We’re still hooning along, slightly below max for cruise mode, with the cut down #1 poled out and 3 reefs [ed: the main sail has rows of holes across it parallel to the boom which allow it to be shortened in height. That shortening is called “reefing”. Hence “3 reefs” means the main is 3 lowered (or shortened) by 3 rows of reefing holes]. a bit faster without the reefs, but very hard to get them back in again if we need to because we would have to get the pole off first to bring the boat up into wind to feather the main and get the sail off the shrouds and spreaders. Impossible to drag it down otherwise against the friction. Major hassle for a couple of decrepit geriatrics. About two days to Stewart Island if the wind holds.

I’ve been thinking about how to fill this space and perhaps future updates will offer you I hope non-trivial things like ‘windvane steering’, ‘balance and getting on the step’, ‘more wildlife’, ‘cooking bread at sea’, ‘on-board ritual’ ‘a day in the life of’, ‘getting into full party gear’ and similar guff. Any other suggestions welcome and i’ll do my best.

First wildlife ID – the little darting bird is probably a Stormy Petrel. And, for Georgina, I’ve been asked by an eminent research person to present my seaboots for microbiological examination and classification of flora at the end of this saga, so no go as a late wedding present – sorry.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 14, 2005 – 2000hrs | 46’37”S 160’00”E. 606nm 5.8knts

ta. Today we are into small milestones. 600 miles is a minipooptillionth of the journey but it is about 2% and so a measurable fraction and worth a consultation with the Doctor. The first big one will be the Snares. Berrimilla slipping along well – just the gentle whisper of bubbles passing the hull and of course, all the little sounds that make up her unique vocabulary. that might be a subject for future updates. as for bubbles whispering by, perhaps a stethoscope against a mug of the Doctor might be a reasonable analogy – must try it.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 16, 2005 - 0014hrs | (Sydney Time) 47’03”S 163’36”E. 758nm 5.8knts

[ed: this log is operating on Sydney time which is 11 hrs ahead of UTC (GMT)]

Another slightly hazy starlit night with little wind, but there is a gale warning for NZ area Puysegur which we are sailing into. Very impressed with NZ satcom weather service – simple forecasts, easy to interpret and perhaps even accurate.

Have been listening on CD to 1000 years in a Day – ABC production b’cast 31/12/99 while we were sheltering in Skeleton Bay. readings from C11 japanese court lady’s Pillow book – one of her lists was ‘things near but distant’ and included ‘the course of a boat’. Interesting. And i thought of all y’all out there reading this and how distant are you really, and, for me, the size of what we are trying to do and the concepts of nearness and distance and what would Magellan or Drake or Cook or Baudin have been able to achieve with the technology that i have here to play with – GPS, weather forecasts by satellite, email by HF, even a boat that goes to windward – and how tenuous is that link anyway – one USB cable to a multiport box with seriously unstable software that I have to fight every time i turn off the laptop…and no backup…so for the time being, as long as our aux alternator keeps churning out wiggly amps, it stays on. You’ll love the track data, Simon.

Thanks for the sunrise explanation, Don – can we post it for everyone else? [ed: appended to the end of this post] Don’t think much of your experimental verification for ratshit compass – what if the kiwis have decided they don’t particularly like the car park they’re in and have started their engine (powered, no doubt by natural gas from all those sheep) and moved themselves and their island further north?

Have reached stalemate with bootferals. They dont seem to mind bleach – probably consult it like we do the doctor – they are however very iffy about sunshine but think they have me cornered cos there ain’t going to be any more of that for weeks…

Now using UTC (GMT for us ancients) and having trouble juggling three time zones in my head.

[ed: The Sunrise Phenomenon from Don Price, CSIRO]:

Dear Professor Sumner Whitworth,

I hope you haven’t been inundated by explanations to your question about the apparent direction of the sun at sunrise in your neck of the woods.

I can offer two possibilities, which, in keeping with 2005 being the International Year of Physics, you can test experimentally.

1. Your compass is ratshit, and if you continue on your present course you will run ashore somewhere up the west coast of New Zealand.

2. It is due to the unfathomable complexities of 3-dimensional solid geometry. Since you are clearly a man of letters (and very elegant ones

lately) rather than numbers, I will give a simple example rather than try to explain what can best be explained with a pencil and paper or a ball. If you were to sail a little further south, to ~67.5 deg. S in mid-summer, then, as you know, the sun would just touch the horizon at ~ midnight, i.e. sunset and sunrise would occur at the same time. At what bearing would the sun appear at this time? I think the answer is due south – the S pole would be directly between you and the sun. With little imagination, you can guess that as you travel north from this latitude, sunrise will gradually move eastwards.

The tests you should conduct are: 1 – maintain your present course and see if you hit NZ, or 2 – take a hard right turn and head for the antarctic circle and see if the sunrise moves round to 180 deg.

Of course it will be a little more complicated than this. There will undoubtedly be refraction effects in the damp atmosphere, so an exact calculation will be difficult, but try one of the simple tests first.

I await the results of your experiments with interest. Keep up the good work – we’re following your progress with interest.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 15, 2005 – 1438hrs | 46’48”S 162’37”E.

great to hear from conor. propagation ratshit and rx extremely slow [ed: radio connections for these log updates] have exceeded limit so short u/d only – sunshine, running towards nz, making drinkink water as i write. all ok. a. may try later if improves.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 15, 2005 – 1610hrs | 46’50”S 162’49”E. 723nm 5.8knts

In case propagn improves – today was a good day – we reefed out everything from the quarterberths and repacked it so we can find a bit more stuff. and berri is dry again after the storm. lolloping along in fading breeze but due to blow a bit more closer in to nz. so many different seabirds, often hard to pick subtle differences but saw a black version of the little darting bird with shorter wings. bootferals in retreat- threatened them with bleach or even worse, sunlight and they are considering their positions. no doubt a treaty will be negotiated. Hi Phil and RooCroo, hi Kris- keep em coming, pliz.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 16, 2005 – 1751hrs (SYD) | 47’32”S 165’46”E.

Hi to everyone out there – Pete here. its grey with rain and fog not much wind but at least were heading in the right direction @ about 5kt. not much to do on deck – it’s my watch so i thought some writing would help time pass. Yesterday was a glorious day sun shining clear blue skies, good, not too cold breeze.

we rearranged the boat below to give more room and while doing tis a few treasures were discovered eg my new personal cd player with belt attachment. It was sundown my watch had just started & i thought a G&T with fresh lemon would finish the day off nicely so went below. Whitworth had the ‘do not disturb’ sign out (lying in bunk with olga’s red beanie on rolled well down no eyes visible). Not being one to drink alone except when I am alone, ‘bugger’ i thought. looking for distraction, i remembered the cd player.

i slipped a disc (bee gees the early decades v 4)that looked interesting into the sandwich and attached my two mini subwoofers to my ears covered by my red and then blue beanies and exited the boat looking for a bit of geriatric disco dancing on the afterdeck. The first half of the disc was great with the early trafalgar album and others but later the ‘saturday night fever’ stuff when the boys decided rubber bands to the parts would be the answer to their new distinctive castrato style the beat moved the feet. After some time i’d had enough – ‘i need more floor space’ i shouted and dragged the phones from my ears…silence, the lap of wave against hull, the squeak of rope through block the only noise. bliss.

@^****! awgh! **&#! awgh!

Startled, i knew exactly what this distinctive noise was. I had heard it so many times in my youth – the mating call of the splay footed moorhen. I looked everywhere but nothing sighted. what would a flightless bird be doing here i thought. i reembered reading in an old text that british whalers had taken these birds to south georgia as ‘comforters’ (what the hell is a comforter) over 200 years could they have cross bred and attained flight or perhaps it was a couple on their s. pacific honeymoon cruise. perplexed, and it being the end of my watch, i went below to find a dishevelled and wide eyed alex muttering about bloody USB gadgets. Cheers Pete

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 16, 2005 – 1830hrs (SYD) | 47’32”S 165’51”E

A little burst on milestones and where we hope to go. The Admiralty publication Ocean Passages for the World NP 136 5th ed @ pp 219-221 shows the southern route waypoints for the south pacific. We have 82 miles to go to the Snares, the first of these and our first big milestone because it ticks off the Tasman sea and NZ. Then we head for waypoint A at 4830S 16500W, way out in the open ocean and past the dateline @ 180 (a smallish milestone on the way). The weather patterns will dictate whether we follow the S route exactly – the trick is to stay at the top of low pressure systems and the bottom of highs to keep getting westerly winds. And there’s an iceberg reported at 47s 117w so likely to be more on the route.

So we’ll muddle along.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 16, 2005 - 1546hrs Sydney Time

1546hrs 16 Jan 2005. (Sydney Time)

We are in fog and heavy rain with distant thunder.  Sux knots. Nav lights on and someone poking a head up every few minutes to check for fishos and errant sheep in wetsuits. 140 miles to Stewart I.   P has just made breakfast – for the foodies, last night’s pasta salad stir fried with egg, bacon and tabasco and a draught from the home brew cellar to help it settle.   Cordon Berri 5 star.

Todays bird came slicing out of the gloom low over the water rocking through the waves – at first just a white disc with eye dots and beak and a half circle pencil line for its wings.   Massive dihedral, body about one tenth of the arc.  Wings absolutely motionless, tips just off the surface and an image full of purpose.   Then it banked away and its underside was white but with black lines along both edges of the wings.   Brownish black on top with white stripe from base of wings across the tail so front half of tail white.  Couldnt judge beak. span about  2.5 metres.   Also black Petrels (?) ta H & K, with diamond shaped tails rather than the usual squareish with slightly rounded trailing edges.

later. Now 117 miles to S I.   Dank and clammy but no fog, no rain.  Right above the NZ continental shelf where the depth goes from around 6000 metres in places to about 100 at SI.  About to cross the Solander Trough – some interesting people have been here before us. Pete snoring happily and I’ve just spent a couple of hours on deck planning how on earth I’m going to be able to keep these updates interesting for the next six weeks or so till the Horn. That’s about 84 episodes of soap – The Bill or Blue Hills. How do people do it?

Some Hi’s: to Olivia – great to hear from you and keep em coming, Kev Pavlich g’day, likewise Ron C. Conor, where the hell have you been and how did you find us? Hi Helen.   John, Alex and Jane – we’re on to the last curry and the smoked trout was from heaven with pepper, lemon, tomato and a guinness.  Bill R – i assume your email address means you’re still gainfully employed – who’s mad?. Hilary, thanks re xantic, Hi Katherine, hang in there.   Malcolm and Sarau good luck and we’ll have a beer at the Horn….

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 17, 2005 - 0455hrs SYD

about 30 nm SW of Stewart a black black night except for phosphorescence – more on this later perhaps – in cold driving rain creeping past nz and probably wont sight any part of it – did they move it after all?

Just had a big wind change that left us pointing directly at S. I. so had to gybe back to miss everything, cold and wet and on this tack we need the cone of silence down to protect the nav table and the electrics. a nuisance but essential. C.o.S is heavy plastic curtain that rolls down between nav station and companionway to prevent rain, spray and dumpers from destroying all these goodies. We must be absolutely meticulous about this else pearshapedness in buckets ensues. Having just come hooning into this relatively narrow passage between islands and rocks, i’m even more in awe of the early navigators in ships that were clumsy and difficult to tack and doing it all on dead reckoning. must have closed everything down at night and waited until daylight whenever they were this close or unsure of where they were. Te depth sounder says 599 feet which means that e are crossing the 200 mtr contour, as the gps confirms.

Landfall – sighted the Snares 15m to stbd @ 1730UTC 16/1. Looks as if your preliminary check of our compass has worked, Don. About 8 hours under a week, from memory. Suffering from the warm creamy glow induced by a celebratory Consultation. Still 35 miles to the official waypoint which is beyond the line from S. Si. to the Snares.

Hi Teena, thanks Brian – interesting.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 17, 2005 - 1032hrs SYD

Jan 17, 2005 – 1032hrs SYD │47’57”S 167’31”E

We’ve now changed target to waypoint Alpha, 1104 nm to the east. Should take about 8 days in our current fairly conservative mode. Latest report puts us already south of the northernmost sighting of ice, but it’s a long way ahead. Todays wildlife: near the Snares, two tiny penguin-like birds – square back ends apparently with a foot at each rear corner, little narrow wings flapping away but only just airborne. also a bigger bird grey/black on top with two white patches on each wing. Curved leading edges without the obvious elbow of most of our locals. span about 1 mtr.

Now well past S.I without seeing it, although south end of long white cloud clearly visible. Rain has stopped at last – not conducive to merry frolics and we can start drying out again. Another reorganisation for a bit more space and accessibility. Found the charger for my cd player so can occupy long watches again. Maggie, the cd player was what i bought with Kyc DJ’s goodbye present. Please thank them all and tell them how much it is appreciated. Eleanor of Aquitaine’s story in 1000 yeas in a day as background as i write.

A watch change: think warm sleeping bag, deep deep sleep. Voice gradually comes in over the top -Alex! Aleeex! – open eyes to see own red beanie next to eyeballs and ghastly leering face covered in white stubble topped by several concatenated beanies and dayglo yellow hood. Nightmare? Just pete in drag. Slide – no, decontort out of bag and bivvy bag. Diversion for a mo – those who know the boat know about the navigator’s quarterberth, but some of you might not. A PhD in contortional physiology is the minimum criterion for entry, with the first movement a sort of barrel roll of the lower body with the upper part hanging from the grabrail above the nav table. Then various versions of wriggle also hanging on with at least one hand while pulling up or pushing back rug, bag or whatever as one gets organised. The cheeks of the bum become almost prehensile with practice. add vertical movement of around 3 metres plus severe roll and pitch and you get something of an idea. I’ve had 10 years of practice but it’s still difficult. having decontorted, it’s cold and damp and you desperately dont want to get your feet in contact with the wet floor so its some sort of wedge arrangement while find socks then boots. boots usually have wet weather pants still around them so can slip feet in and pull up pants in one sinuous, lithe lissom action. Not. Then there’s the rest of the party gear (perhaps for a later update). A three hour watch usually consists of 20 minutes getting into the gear, a few minutes at the nav table assessing the situation and then a cup of something hot and up to a old wet cockpit. This generally makes up for everything else: the magnificent indifference of the sea is humbling and inspiring. Perhaps in a future update, if not too dull,i’ll waffle on about the cockpit routine as well. Enough for this tx.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 17, 2005 – 1705hrs SYD

1705hrs 17 Jan 2005.(SYD) 47’47”S 168’48”E. 978nm 5.6knts (Map ref 25)

forgot latest position. wind taking us north foe the mo but will change tomoz.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 18, 2005 – 0629hrs (SYD Time) | 47’31”S 170’36”E.

G’gay after a long cold night with vicious line squalls and rain coming through @ 50+ knots. Sun’s out, movements have severally occurred and liquids imbibed and all ok, Stainless Kevvo faaaantastic. Nest u/d [ed: next update] may be on windvane steering if nowt else to report. we’re about to go back to what we hope will be a more or less permanent twin pole set up with #5 and storm jib after I’ve done our skeds with Derek at Penta and Taupo Maritime @2100utc. All times from here will be in UTC – brain too mushy to do the sums so youse all can if youse wants. ILYA. [ed: the Sitrep times will remain Sydney time – for now. The update comes from Berri with a time stamp that I use, and I suspect Alex hasn’t thought to chang the laptop’s date / time to UTC just yet. If he changes it then I will switch to UTC]

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 18, 2005 - 1335hrs SYD Time

1335hrs 18 Jan 2005 (SYD Time) 47’20”S 171’31”E.

WE saw a seal this morning – just a glimpse, no time for ID in one of the many squalls. Albatrosses back – hanging over the stern looking at us – mostly medium sized, about 3m span. Special moment in squall – think greyout, vis about 100m, big big breaking swells with wind waves on top, spray and spume flying horizontally in cold driving rain. Sea surface appears smokey. Little bird – black wings, white patches on top, just hovering directly into wind, wings quivering with the blast of moving air and water, eyes probably squeezed tight shut and its little feet running as fast as they could go on the surface to help keep it airborne or give it some orientation. The pointy bits on the tails of some birds are the ends of their feet poking out from the tailfeathers.

We’re working things out as we go. Got some things right in the planning, others not so good. pulled in the impeller we are towing to drive the aux alternator to check it for chafe (big job in itself cos the line has gerzillions of twists in it…)to find the line in a big twisted knot at the end and the beginnings of chafe on both the line and the steel impeller. It’s the fine pitch impeller, for speeds of 7 kt or less and we are mostly going too fast for it, but when we slow in the troughs, it winds up on itself. Added regular check to routine

And one for Kevin Fleming – Kev, the holes for attaching the ends of the steering lines to the crossbar next to turning blocks are chafing the lines. have already gone thro one line and nearly second. Need to be rounded better on insides or better still,different arrangement (? shackle) Otherwise, the thing is working brilliantly. Must just go and adjust it – we’re playing with twin poles in 30-50kt and big waves and its set too far down and rounding up in troughs of the bigger waves so flogging windward sail.
959 to Alpha, 3952 to Horn. Full on since the snares gusts of 60 in the squalls now have storm jib only, poled out and kevvo handling it ok. going a bit north still, waiting to see whether westerlies come back tomorrow.
Are you out there somewhere Clouds? Grib working but hard to get big picture.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 18, 2005 – 1726hrs (SYD Time) |47’10”S 171’53”E.

Today has been a day of deteriorating fortune. We spent an hour getting set up this morning with twin poles and all fine for a bit – wind then too strong for #5 so dropped it. lost a steering line and repaired it. wind increasing and storm jib halyard came off just as we lost another steering line. Poo. fixed steering line but we gave up on sails and we’re bare poling on about 075 at 5 kts. damp and unpleasant, so we’ve had a Consultation – two in fact – and will try and take advantage of the reduced motion to take turns to catch up on the sleep we missed during the day. Just snacking for food Colin’s cake, a bit of cheese, muesli bars.

Faint signs that the gale is abating – supposed to do so around midday. Sun low on horizon astern with brilliant reflections from the backs of the breaking waves ahead – and,if you’re looking – ice blue through them as they come up astern. Seabirds everywhere and albatrosses parking on the water occasionally close to us – really graceful low speed approach, feet out in front and just settle. To get airborne, they just unfold those huge wings and they’re off – no doubt they know the exact moment when all the forces are working for them.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 18, 2005 – 2022hrs SYD Time │ Knockdown

knockdown – huge wave – both ok, no damage to boat.  Fair bit of bruising.  hdg dunedin precaution. no fuss please.   if ok, we’ll keep going.

[ed: an update to the “knockdown” report]

Wednesday, 19 January 2005 5:03 PM

Severe knockdown, huge hollow wave that caught us both on deck.   Berri must have rolled through about 140 deg and pitched bow down about 60.   Mast in the water and only visible damage is mangled windex.  Most other boats would have kept rolling.  but we flipped immediately upright.   i was sitting by the shrouds tied to the boat and pete shouted and i looked up into the wave – translucent bright blue and just starting to break – more or less through the lower spreaders. I grabbed the shrouds with both arms and was overboard in white water and lines and other bits of string hanging on to the shrouds still tethered, and came down with a bang on a stanchion as the boat came upright.

Pete was in the partially inverted cockpit hanging on under the tiller – we’d just set the storm jib again after three days of nasties 40 -60 in squalls, steady 40 in between, with waves building all the time.   we must have caught the last of the really big ones.   Boat a it of a mess inside but all cleaned up now and we’re only going toDunedincos it’s the sensible thing to do given my rather sore ribcage.   if it’s only  a big bruise, as i now suspect, we’ll spend a couple of days modifying a few things and restocking to let it heal then we’ll set off again.   Knockdowns are relatively common  and this one would probably not have given us any trouble except for that stanchion.   cant win em all.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 19, 2005 – 1700hrs SYD Time

Boat was a bit of a mess inside but all cleaned up now and we’re only going to Dunedin cos it’s the sensible thing to do given my rather sore ribcage.   It’s only a bruise, so we’ll spend a couple of days modifying a few things and restocking and then we’ll set off again.   Knockdowns are relatively common. Can’t win em all.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 20, 2005 – 1520hrs (SYD)

[ed: just spoke with Alex via mobile as he sits in Berri in Dunedin, NZ. He has had his rib checked out and all is well – a little sore, but ok. They are doing some repair work on the impeller and a few other odds and sods. Allowing for weather, they plan to resume their odyssey in the next 4 or 5 days. Alex has some pictures he will attempt to email from the yacht club, and he has promised as update soon]

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 23, 2005 - 1700hrs SYD │Dunedin, NZ │Knockdown Damage Report

1700hrs 23 Jan 2005. (SYD) Dunedin, NZ

Greetings from Dunedin – late, with apologies. Lost an hour’s email yesterday when the slot machine gizmo on this pc crashed and reset my screen so I’m having another go, but in instalments.

We’ve been assessing damage – rather more than first impressions but still relatively superficial and some of it quite surprising, and then arranging fixes, delivery of spares and just churning the inside of the boat to make it more manageable. I think one of our first mistakes was to assume that we could get a year’s worth of stuff into the space available. Yes, it fits, but it’s completely unmanageable, with all the problems that brings.

Damage, starting at the top

– masthead wind transducer, stout aluminium tube with anemometer and vane on the end bent through about 30 degrees, and not as the boat was rolling down into the water but as it was coming up, Surprising at first, but not if you think about it.

Also masthead windicator bent at 90 deg. Much flimsier, and bent the same way. Photos to follow and I will send the bits back for Gerry’s sea survival course.

pulpit bent about 30 cm to port by the force of the wave on the sail tied to it and along the rail -First port stanchion bent horizontal the same way

– second stanchion bent in almost to the shrouds by my ribs – I think – as I came back in – photos to follow.

– this one’s gobsmacking – liferaft cover distorted so that the top half flexed into the bottom half – hard to describe, but astonishing

– hole in mainsail caused by water pressure forcing in between lashings on the boom – lashings not close enough together to prevent pockets forming = lifering in bag on pushpit almost washed away – held in place by extra lashing I had put on – better to have removed it below.

– absolute disaster below. Icebox lids had lifted off and ended up in forepeak, this trajectory is how i assessed the extent of the roll as i sat on the floor nursing my ribs and pete steered for about 10 hours. Home brew plastic bottles from outer box – maybe 20 – all around base of mast. Not so much out of inner box. Salami, margerine etc. Bags of onions burst, egg boxes smashed, food cans everywhere. On the plus side, we had actually stowed for potential inversion and most of the stuff didn’t move. Yay!

We did, however, forget to screw down the bunk boards, hence cans, bunkboards etc all over the place from the stb side. Silly mistake and could have been much more serious.

– computer hanging from charging cord, usb cable off…panic…Panasonic Toughbook laptop worth every cent it cost, still running.

On the other side of this little list, things that really worked and saved our bacon big time

– full height, sealed stormboards. cockpit full to coaming, only a few buckets below. Good one pete.

– Fuel tank with 80 ltrs properly chocked, doesn’t seem to have moved

cone of silence – heavy plastic curtain protecting nav table – saved radios, laptop, charts

– jacklines and tethers – used and worn and probably saved us both. Hard to judge – pete reckoned he had a smile on his face cos it seemed so slow and pleasant.

– everything secured on deck – silly in retrospect to leave sails lashed on foredeck and won’t do it again, but otherwise, all stayed with us.

– stowage, as above

– a point of vanishing stability of 145+ degrees is really nice to have. I suspect many other boats would have rolled completely.

As it was, we did much better than everyone else we heard from who were out there. Some didn’t even have their stormboards in, with predictable results.


End of first instalment – the gizmo wants to time me out.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 23, 2005 – 1800hrs (SYD)

[ed: an update to the “knockdown” report]

Wednesday, 19 January 2005 5:03 PM

Severe knockdown, huge hollow wave that caught us both on deck. Berri must have rolled through about 140 deg and pitched bow down about 60. Mast in the water and only visible damage is mangled windex. Most other boats would have kept rolling. but we flipped immediately upright. i was sitting by the shrouds tied to the boat and pete shouted and i looked up into the wave – translucent bright blue and just starting to break – more or less through the lower spreaders. I grabbed the shrouds with both arms and was overboard in white water and lines and other bits of string hanging on to the shrouds still tethered, and came down with a bang on a stanchion as the boat came upright.

Pete was in the partially inverted cockpit hanging on under the tiller – we’d just set the storm jib again after three days of nasties 40 -60 in squalls, steady 40 in between, with waves building all the time. we must have caught the last of the really big ones. Boat a it of a mess inside but all cleaned up now and we’re only going to Dunedin cos it’s the sensible thing to do given my rather sore ribcage. if it’s only a big bruise, as i now suspect, we’ll spend a couple of days modifying a few things and restocking to let it heal then we’ll set off again. Knockdowns are relatively common and this one would probably not have given us any trouble except for that stanchion. cant win em all.

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 24, 2005 – 1700hrs | Dunedin, NZ.

Home of the House of Pain…

We are still on track for high tide departure on Wed 26 (approx 0300UTC) Fixes so far = new ST60 wind and boat speed speed transducers ( supplied by Quay [?Key?] Marine Boat chandlers, Auckland +64 9 415 8303

– new tiller autopilot: old one was almost karked and seemed sensible to buy – the things do run off wind angle so potentially v useful in big waves

– New windicator

– masthead all round light fitting drained of water (came in thro the drainhole…) and working again

– complete new set of stanchions thanks to BobWatt, genius S/S welder and fixer (if you need him, ask at Otago YC)

– refurbished gooseneck fitting

– some major fixes inside – new sink taps and pumps which died…BIG cleanup

– complete repack – still going on

– hold downs for anything moveable – nav table lid, icebox tops, sextant…

– bunkboards screwed down (tomorrow’s job)

– food packed in weekly ready use bags rather than by category, so can extract a week bag from its hole and stow it in ready use bin – this was on the cards in Hobart but fell of the table cos I was too busy/ silly to organise

– mainsail hole mended

– spare turbine for ampair towed generator

– minor re=adjustments to Stainless Kevvo to help eliminate chafe

Boring lists.

The people of Dunedin have been friendly, amazingly helpful, interested, competent and all round nice to know. Officials from Customs and Min. of Agriculture and Forests have been professional, co-operative, helpful and have gone out of their way to assist whenever possible. Thanks everyone.


Kevin Martin. Manager of the Otago YC – +64 3 477 1255 – has been available, friendly and helpful and made it all possible

Bert Youngman and Sandra Francis who run Ramsay Lodge Backpackers where we are staying – both sailors and Bert drives us to and from the boat every day and does heaps more too. www.ramsaylodge.co.nz

Bob Watt – see above – s/s welder

www.atoz-nz.com everything else you need to know except that Speight’s Distinction Ale has real merit – if only they sold it in cans, we’d have to consider making some space for it somewhere.

Enough of this nonsense – Thanks for your messages – got to go and eat

1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

1742hrs 25 Jan 2005. Dunedin, NZ.

Huge week but we seem to be more or less ready to leave. Shopping to do tomorrow and a few finishing tasks – trivial things like shortening lifelines because the pulpit was distorted and too hard to bend back so port lines now too long…

If all goes well, we will leave on the tide tomorrow afternoon at about 1600 local time [ed: 1300hrs SYD time, 0300UTC – I think…]. The weather looks a bit better than it did from Hobart, so perhaps we’ll get a soft start.

Will call again from the Og [ed: short for oggin = ocean, ie “when we are back at sea”! – with thanks to Hilary] and confirm we actually left.