1-23. Next landfall Tasmania


Logs ( 20 )

Oct 04, 2005 - 0715hrs UTC │Paper boat sent towards Henry Knight

0715hrs 04 Oct 2005 UTC 27’34”S 023’40”W Ref 413

And now it’s tomorrow – At 2734 S 2340 W 04/0715, with the sun just breaking the horizon, we sent a little boat full of goodies towards Henry. It had two jelly snakes, a red one and a yellow one, from Australia and half a bar of chocolate from England, tied up with the green and red ribbons Isabella gave us for the shroud telltales. They probably come from China.

Photo of the telltales, from Isabella’s website.

We made a little boat from a cardboard Arnotts biscuit box and floated it off towards him.

The wind will be taking it down to him as I write. We took photos and a bit of film [link] for you and fortified ourselves with a Special Consultation from the Doctor’s sample chest. And we thought about all the others as well.

Watch the video
Youtube – 1:04

Oct 04, 2005 – 0900hrs UTC

0900hrs 04 Oct 2005 UTC 27’41”S 023’34”W Ref 414

And today’s fix: DB: 111, 8333, GPS 117, 45/65. We are heading south east to try to stay with the northerly airflow for as long as possible and – with a bit of luck – ride it round as it backs to the west. Wood is being touched and fingers are crossed. And Pete is making bacon and eggs. Life could be worse – I’m glad we missed the front. If we get lucky, those that follow will have moved below us by the time they get across to us. We intend to stay at about 34 S until we get almost across, and then we will assess the best latitude to run.

Oct 04, 2005 - 2315hrs UTC

02315rs 04 Oct 2005 UTC 28’27”S 022’19”W Ref 415

Where do I start? How do I keep this going for another 65 days? First – today had that element of magic that blasts away the awfulness of the last couple of weeks with radiance and warmth – bright, dampish sunshine, the old barge a clothes horse for every mouldy sock and festering shirt, for wet weather gear and the boot ferals, for, indeed, those delicate parts of the anatomy that tend themselves to fester when unable to hang out – as it were. I’m wearing dry party gear pants as I write – we need to wear them because the cockpit at night drips with Poseidon’s version of dew – similar to an English country version but in spades. The unimaginable bliss of dry party gear!

And the wind today – started from the east and backed all the way round to the north east and lifted us so that we are now pointing at our waypoint south of Cape Town. Perhaps jumping the gun – my ability to predict this stuff has been abysmal, so you’d be wise to bet against me – but the latest grib file that I have pulled in says it will continue to back to the NW and will blow for at least the next 3 or 4 days – that’s 500 miles down the track. Noice if I’m right. We will pass about 300 nm North of Tristan da Cunha. On which, I’ve been reminded that the entire population was evacuated to Calshot/Fawley in 1961 when the volcano blew and my family helped to get them all to church on Sundays. I was at Dartmouth, I think, so missed them, but many of those people must be back there now.

And we’ve been astonished, amazed, confounded, gobsmacked even, and in my own case a bit scared by the response to the YM and YW articles. So many of you have written to us and said nice things, told us about yourselves – thank you all. It seems that we have blown a few sparkles across some dusty dreams and perhaps ruffled some memories. I don’t think I can respond to you all – I’m sorry, but there just isn’t the capacity on this link, but I’ll do my best to do so generally.

Some specifics -

Marcus H, England:

I have a restaurant and would be grateful to know what you guys eat, normal conditions prevailing. I may put something on the menu Berrimilla style.

A standard Berrimilla breakfast, when we have the goodies, is a bacon sandwich, preferably on lightly fried bread, with lots of tabasco assisted on its way by a liberal Consultation. It works for lunch, dinner, night time snack or any old time really. Daily food this far out tends to be anything from a can or packet that goes with rice, pasta, cous cous and TVP (textured vegetable protein to you) and boosted by curry paste and more tabasco. I think your customers would depart in droves. But my all time favourite is lightly fried bread spread with Frank Coopers Oxord Thick Cut Marmelade. Beyond belief wonderful. Breadmaking is tricky when the Vogons are around – armpit flavoured and flat is the usual outcome – if they have really departed for a day or two, I might give it a go. Pete does the daily cooking for our one hot meal and I love him dearly for doing so. I’d generally settle for a can of beans with a spoon.

Paul R in Brunei:

So many thoughts occur to me as I read your logs. Lots to say but not sure how to condense it. Firstly, establishing comms with the outside world is a bit of a challenge here too! My connection has been very sick for a few days and painfully slow, sometimes refusing to download a single page, must be a fallen coconut tree somewhere. You’re having trouble sighting the southern cross & the Brunei authorities are having trouble sighting the moon for the start of rammadhan. They couldn’t find it last night, so we all had to go to work today!

No favourite parts of the log yet.it’s all good! I was wondering though how early entries compare with recent ones. Did you expect to be so popular when you started off? Did you start off writing for friends and relatives? Has your style changed now that you’re sailing superstars!! I’m also intrigued by the NASA references and I’ll have to look that up too!

You have picked up the vocab and idiom remarkably fast. We really did start this just to stay in touch with family and friends – seems the family has grown and grown and poor Stephen, who volunteered to run the website for us has copped a huge bucketful – Onya Steve, please can I have a roar of applause for the lad from all y’all? – and I don’t know about style changing – I think it has evolved into this mangled shorthand, but you are the better judge of all that. To pick up your ‘celestial bodies’ theme, tonight is one of those gigazillion starry nights – the Southern Cross is out there at last, Venus is magnificent with its huge reflected trail, Mars is a red beacon and the Milky Way is just as I described it once before, like a dolphin’s phosphorescent trail across the universe. I think Douglas Adams said it better, though.

And on themes, Baldy (Simon? I hope not Helene) you might be interested to delve way back into the logs – I think before New Zealand to where I asked the then very small group of punters why the sun seemed to set to the south of us. I got several

interesting replies, including one from a friend, also a B747 driver, but with Qantas, who took one from – I think – Buenos Aires or Rio across the Antarctic to Auckland. Not your normal Qantas route – I expect he just got lost, but his observations about the

sun were fascinating. Up there over the Canadian wastes must be similar – I’ve done Seattle – London by BA but it’s not the same when you can’t see out of the front.

Bring on the goat – this is getting to be too long.

Oct 05, 2005 - 0415hrs UTC

0415hrs 05 Oct 2005 UTC 28’42”S 021’52”W Ref 416

Jeremy, Falmouth, UK:

Have been enjoying (is that the right word?) your comments of the South Atlantic,it has refreshed my memory of how nasty it can be. My escape was to get as far into my sleeping bag as possible and with earphones clamped on immerse myself in Mozart. I know the early piano concertos quite well now. As a thought might you take a roller jib if you were to do it again?

Jeremy – a roller jib would have been really nice – I just couldn’t afford one, nor justify it. Fitting one would have required at least one new sail plus putting a luff tape on all the others or taking the furler and its foil off for the race. As for passing the time with Mozart, I seem to be completely incapable of listening to music or, often, even sleeping when the boat is talking to me. My mind will not allow anything to come in over the top, so I tend to get weary and stress with the boat when the weather deteriorates. It’s an incapacity that has saved our bacon bigtime on a couple of occasions, but the time goes very slowly when it gets nasty outside.

Bill W.:

My favourite bit of the log thus far has to do with the Falklands (Log 9) because so much seemed happen at once. Landfall (crashlanding?), Leroy and NASA and a marathon to boot! I can relate to that – it never rains but it pours…

 You’ve used the marathon metaphor a lot in the logs and a number of your reflections ponder how the ISS crews, and Leroy in particular, see the world from an orbital frame of reference, whilst you do the same from sea level. Do you think isolation focusses your appreciation and understanding?

Better keep this short: Your current log says weather not real terrific – I’ll try a tribal Consultation tonight in an effort to despatch fair seas and winds.

Bill W, your Tribal Consultation seems to have worked – fair seas are here, at least for the time being. And thanks for your favourite bit of log. If we get enough of them, we might do a separate section of the log for them. You asked about whether isolation sharpens the focus – I really don’t know. I have almost forgotten my own home address, for instance, and as for PIN numbers, I hope I’ve got them all written down somewhere. On the other hand, looking at the night sky at this level of isolation tends to fix one in the universe as an infinitesimally small, insignificant,impermanent and instantly transient flea upon the heffalumpian rump. And sharing it with Leroy was an experience that both awed and inspired. I suppose that having to face the consequences of ones decisions and planning is also somewhat confronting and perhaps requires a reassessment of ones self confidence. The interest that this log has generated is also confronting. Why me and why is this twaddle important to so many people? Answer, I think, is that it is immediate and available but not really important – the trick is not to believe in or get swamped by ones own brand of hype! And, I guess, to keep churning it out in the hope that it will continue to be interesting. That’s the hard bit. The Man Who Ruled the Universe had nothing to say and said it with no particular panache and self doubt is my natural preference too.

I’ve been dredging my slushpot of a brain for the origin of the flea metaphor which I have felt the need to acknowledge. I think it came from a book called ‘A woman’s place is on top’ about a women’s team climbing Annapurna. I don’t remember the author’s name, but she was the expedition leader. The flea came from one of her team, perhaps called Alison, who died on the mountain and is probably still there. So it is a reminder of her as well. She used it to describe what they looked like up there on the immense curving slope that is one side of Annapurna and I was hooked. Its a good book too – well worth a read -and I seem to remember a documentary.

The wonderful people at sailmail (or at least their computer) will get cross with me if I keep sending these long ones, so can it, Alex.

[Ed: there was some earlier discussion on the Franklin Expedition. This link is to a paper written about it – thanks Isabella]

Oct 05, 2005 - 0900hrs UTC

0900hrs 05 Oct 2005 UTC 28’54”S 021’30”W Ref 417

DB: 131, 8092, GPS 133 46/64

05/1230 I’ve been hand steering the assy for the last 3 hours or so – wind still backing but unsettled and fluky around 15 knots. Heading for our waypoint at 3730 S 2000 E south of Cape Town, the gateway to the Indian Ocean, about 2 weeks away at this speed. And roughly half way. The schedule has slipped – half way in days is Oct 14 so we will be several days late at Cape Town.

Until today, I have seen nothing floating in the water – today there’s been a stream of flotsam, starting with a 20 ltr oil drum followed by indeterminate bits and pieces – perhaps a ship dumping garbage or the result of a storm further south.

Henry’s little boat should be getting close to him by now if it managed to stay afloat. We were more or less upwind of him when we sent it off yesterday.

And we have a big black Petrel for occasional company. It zig zags along our wake, mostly in a graceful glide along the troughs but flapping itself around the zigs and zags and then going off into wide circles around us, mostly out of sight. Nice to have it there. Need some sleep. This wont go until this evening so might add to it later.

05/1530 Pete is frying garlic – MMMMM!- the assy is up and the wind has stabilised, so the autohelm is in charge. We are making water and I’ve learned that there is almost a certain chance of a USB crash if I try to transmit with the desalinator running (HF getting into the circuits somewhere – can hear it on the radio) and the autohelm will trip as well so no chance of this going out for a few hours.

05/1800 The wind has dropped almost out. Very long, flat rolling swell from the east, perhaps 3 metres, 300 metre wavelength. I think that perhaps we should have headed further south – got the compromise a bit wrong and we’ll have to motor down there.

Oct 05, 2005 - 2100hrs │Two Old Farts and a Spaceman...

2100hrs 05 Oct 2005 UTC 29’34”S 020’40”W Ref 418

Two Old Farts and a Spaceman…

The Berrimilla shirt signed by Dr Leroy Chiao, the Commander of the NASA ISS 10 Mission, and Pete and me will be auctioned on Lord Howe Island after the Lord Howe Race at the end of this month. The proceeds will be treated as a tax deductible donation to Canteen, an Australian organisation that looks after teenagers who have cancer. Berrimilla crews and the Lord Howe Race organisers have traditionally supported CanTeen. Here is the story of the shirt, for those who might have just found the website:

This shirt commemorates an unusual meeting of people, ideas and technology. Peter Crozier and I set off around the world from Hobart via Cape Horn in January 2005 after finishing the 2004 Sydney – Hobart race in Berrimilla. The plan was to sail to England, do the Fastnet race and sail back to Sydney in time to start in the 2005 Sydney – Hobart. In an idle moment about half way across the Southern Ocean, I speculated that we were probably the most isolated humans on the planet and that the crew of the International Space Station were our nearest neighbours for a few minutes each day as they passed somewhere overhead at about 350 km.

Ably assisted by my ground control crew, emails were sent and one thing led to another – NASA contacted the Commander of the ISS 10 Mission, Dr Leroy Chiao, PhD, one of NASA’s most experienced astronauts, who had been flying in the ISS with his Russian colleague, Cosmonaut Salizhan Sharapov, since October 2004. Dr Chiao said he would like to speak to us and our first conversation was by telephone from Port Stanley in the Falklands. We agreed that it would be fun to try to spot each other as Berrimilla sailed on up the Atlantic, communicating via the ISS IP phone and our satellite phone. We had a number of conversations and tries at signalling the ISS with white parachute rocket flares and a big signalling lamp but, sadly, we were unable to crack exactly the right set of circumstances so Leroy never saw us. We saw the ISS twice, first north east of Montevideo and again further north. The ISS 10 crew landed in Kazakhstan on April 25 and we reached Falmouth on June 3rd.

During our conversations, we had agreed to try to meet. Leroy and his wife Karen were in Scotland in June talking to schoolkids and on June 18th, they flew down to Newquay and we collected them in our tiny and decrepit French car and had a splendid day checking out the local Cornish brewers in Falmouth. The most surprising twist and a real pleasure was that Leroy had also spoken to the author, John le Carre, from the ISS and the next day us two old geezers drove NASA’s favourite Astronaut and his wife to lunch at the le Carre’s house in the ancient banger. An extraordinary meeting.

The logo on the shirt was designed in England by my sister Isabella and mass produced in Australia by Team Fenwick. It shows the intersection of Berrimilla’s track up the Atlantic with an ISS orbit at the point where we first saw it off Montevideo as we sailed into a huge storm. The shirt is signed by Leroy Chiao, Peter Crozier and myself and it was signed at the le Carre’s house on June 19th 2005.

End of story.

Quote from Allan Fenwick:

On another note the Shirt is being framed as we speak with a short version of your note and I think a photo of the two old farts and a spaceman. With all your new fans in the UK. they may like to bid for the shirt…

If anyone out there would like to bid for the shirt, please send an email to Allan Fenwick – alfen@aapt.net.au – and he will make sure it reaches the auction.

A splinter of new moon has just dropped from behind a cloud and is setting almost directly below Venus – two melded reflected trails on the water, both about the same brightness. Awesome…

Oct 06, 2005 - 0915hrs UTC

0915hrs 06 Oct 2005 UTC 30’09”S 019’48”W Ref 419

DB: 116, 7970 gps 118 47/63 and just holding the breeze.

Now 06/1215 and I’ve been out there hand steering the assy for 3 hours – gorgeous sailing, averaging about 5.5 kts, sunshine, water 18 degrees. We’re down out of the Trades and back in the swirls where the two airmasses, warm in the north, cooler to the south, skirmish for dominance and send their successions of local changes rushing past us. We are trying to stay with a band of breeze that I think is maintained by two little highs, one in the north and one to the south west and we’re trying to get as far east and south as possible before the high to the SW develops, so that we can use the front of it to continue to move us, on the other tack, towards the barn door at Cape Town.

I’ve been developing this update as I sat up there daydreaming. First, another mind picture. Most of you will remember the Sydney Olympic logo – a brilliant conceptual design based, I think, on the swirling patterns created by the female gymnasts during their ribbon routines on the mat. The logo used a rainbow swirl that traced the outline of the Sydney Opera House and it is still around everywhere. I saw that pattern in the sky this morning – imagine two sets of radiating spokes, like two gigantic bicycle wheels suspended just over the horizon so that they overlap by more that their radius. Airbrush out the rims – we don’t need them. The top layer is the radiating pattern in the gossamer wispy dusting of ice crystals right out at the edge of the atmosphere and the lower layer, at an angle to the upper, is the pattern in the lower, thicker layer of striated cloud, probably again ice, but 10,000 feet at least lower. The two patterns interacted and for a blissful moment, there was that logo, right across the sky, but in grey and blue. Wooohooo! Now there’s fluffy cumulus blotting out most of the sky.

Secondly, hand steering – I’m a sailing dinosaur with no right to pontificate or prescribe, so take this at face value. I’ve never driven one of the big, modern, exotic planing hulls that today’s kids grow up with, but I did cut my teeth in planing dinghies. Berrimilla has a heavy, slow, displacement hull that only planes when the boat is tumbling down a wave front out of control – sort of, eh, Gordo?, and the rules may be quite different although the principle doesn’t change. Moving the rudder causes drag and costs speed in both types of hull. I’ve watched lots of people steering lots of different boats – some saw the helm from side to side and keep the sails filled and the boat on course, others seem to have that uncanny knack of anticipation and of ‘influencing’ the helm so that the sails stay filled and the boat maintains course with minimal movement of the rudder. I would be prepared to bet that the average speeds maintained by the ‘influencers’ are better than the lumberjacks. Anyway, that’s what I was playing at up there for three hours – anticipation and just thinking the boat through the water. It’s great fun and good practice. Obviously, different sets of conditions require modifications to the technique, but they don’t shift the principle.

Thirdly, Hilary checked out the flea for me. Seems I got the context right but not the detail. The book was ‘Annapurna, a woman’s place‘ by Arlene Blum and the author of the metaphor was Alison Chadwick, who died with Vera Watson out on the mountain. She spoke the words on the documentary, which we must have seen on TV because I can now remember the image of her face as she spoke, with the huge slope of the mountain in the background. I remember it particularly because, as a marathon runner, I try to fit distances into known spaces, if that makes sense – for instance, a kilometre is Farm Cove or Hickson Rd, 6k is the Corporate Cup course, 14k is the City to Surf and so on. It helps me to grind out the distance in increments when I’m running. I thought about that huge curve of Annapurna, perhaps 2 miles of it, and elevated to about 45 degrees and I fitted it mentally across Sydney Harbour from the Opera House to beyond Bradleys Head almost to Sow and Pigs, and I could see instantly what they had to achieve and why they looked like fleas on the elephant’s backside. Anyway, hats off to Alison and Vera and thanks for an enduring image. May they rest in peace up there.

Oct 07, 2005 - 0900hrs UTC

0900hrs 07 Oct 2005 UTC 31’16”S 017’34”W Ref 420

DB: 135, 7843 gps 138 48/62. A hard day’s work, mostly hand steered, with a difficult sail change during the night. We’re back in 30+ kts from the north and look like keeping it for another day. Hardly dare hope at this stage, but it’s just possible we may have snuck across far enough to make use of the front of the high when it arrives around Sunday. It’s a bit wild and woolly but we are pointing at the barn door at Cape Town for the time being.

For those who can read between the lines, it will be apparent that we are pushing the boat and ourselves as fast and as far as the limit of our collective stamina will allow. If we miss that start line on Boxing Day, it won’t be because we have shirked on the job. Last night’s sail change was from the #1 to the #4 plus two reefs in the main. Really hard work, in driving ran. But we were lucky – the real wind hit us mid-change so we got the numbers right – we were fumbling around for the #2 when the first gust hit us. Would have been most frustrating to have just got it up and peeled off the party gear… 

From Jerry H., in UK:

Having just seen your remarkable article in Yachting World, there can only be ONE Al Whitworth who would do such an amazing voyage ! Well done the both of you and somewhat disappointed not to have known you were in Blighty and to have missed you on your recent ( August Fastnet) visit. Good luck with the rest of your trip and hope to have some sort of correspondence when you get back.

I sailed my J130 via a few regattas in the Med to the West Indies in 1996 with Kevin Crumplin in his 43 foot Oyster (home-built by him) but en-route to Antigua from St Lucia was dismasted and the mast came back through the hull five minutes later and we were all four of us in the two liferafts ! Fortunately picked up a couple of hours later. The boat is still down in 750 fathoms in the Dominican Channel. Now, rather sadly, I am sitting in the middle of Oxfordshire with no boat, retired, somewhat pissed of with life and envious of your latest adventure !

Good on yer! Remember the 1961 Fastnet with Horace Law sitting on the after deck peeling potatoes while the sky raced up behind us all black and menacing and the spinnaker still flying.What a first storm that was, I thought the night would never end, but that was just the beginning.

Jerry H! Well scupper me dingbats! I was wondering who might emerge after those articles. Is there anyone else out there who sailed in the 1961 Fastnet apart from PeterB? I was on Leopard with John Stocker, Bill Anderson and sadly, my degenerate memory has lost the others. We pulled out after the storm, (I too thought that night would never end) from the wrong side of the Scillies, and left the boat at Helford so that John, who was the Commander at Dartmouth, could get back to work. That unfinished race was one of the reasons for this little jolly. Jerry. I’ll write to you separately but good to hear from you. We haven’t seen the YW article, although we did get a sneak preview of the one in Yachting Monthly and the unedited originals of both are, as far as I know, on the website [ed: sorry, no they are not.  We only have PDF versions and those are 10mb in size, so just not feasible to put them up!] .

Chris P.:

Still following your exploits daily – after checking the ‘Age’ on line and before (well before) ‘The Mercury’. My favourite part of the log undoubtedly has to be Pete’s paean to Brolgas (14th March).  It was a passage truly spoken from the heart – and with good reason.

Had ‘Poitrel’ on the slip all last week getting far too much marine life off her.  There were a few good lunches of oysters and mussels hanging off her hull, assuming your digestive system could handle the heavy metals leached from the anti-foul.  Am now trying to remedy a frustrating engine/transmission problem that has so far defied diagnosis.  Bit of a problem taking it out to test when there is a strong possibility of the donk dying in the middle of hundred or so moored boats.  But I’m sure we’ll get there. Am also making a change to mainsheet arrangement.  I have a large spray hood, and the mainsheet is forward of it.  Any adjustment involves clambering around the outside of the hood.  Not good.  So I am getting the sheet led forward to the gooseneck and back along the cabin top to a hole in the hood so I can adjust it from the cockpit.  Also hope to be able to achieve the same with the traveler.

You have mentioned Hobart a few times in recent logs.  Are you planning to stop here at all, or just pass by on the way to Sydney?  Hope it may be the former.  If you need any errands run here for your arrival, let me know.

Chris P. thanks for favourite bit – one for the Mad Boggers! And good luck with the mods to Poitrel. The plan for us is time dependent. We want to finish a proper five Cape circumnavigation if possible, which means rounding SE Cape and going up to the Iron Pot to finish the job. If we then have time, we will clear customs and stay for a couple or so days. However, if we are short of time, we’ll go via Bass Strait and complete the circ. at Gabo and sail direct to Sydney to make the start. But all that is still two months away. Seems an age from out here, believe me!

If anyone would like a photo of Berri and the Old Farts in the Solent after the start of the Fastnet, by the world renowned photographers Beken & Sons of Cowes, Jeanne will have the sample sheet in due course and we might put it on the website so that anyone who wants one can order direct. We haven’t seen it, but the photos will show us with the assy up and quite a few boats behind us in the later starts. If you are in the UK, Beken will have it filed under Berrimilla, sail no 371. I don’t know whether they use a website for proofs and orders [ed: website link above, however I couldn’t find any Berri shots online].

Oct 07, 2005 – 1730hrs UTC

1730hrs 07 Oct 2005 UTC 31’32”S 016’43”W Ref 421

Abeam Port Macquarie and Lord Howe Island. I think, on my earlier guess that the round trip would be around 31k miles, we are three quarters of the way around. A Celebratory Consultation is occurring – this note is being pecked out one fingered as the other hand clutches G&T and tries to keep the rest of the body in equilibrium as the world gyrates around itself. But wooohooo in lower case – progress of a sort. We have 1850 miles to go to the barn door and then about 6000 to Tasmania.

Pete has been reading out some of his journal entries from some of the hairier times on the way out. Great stuff! Wait till you read the bit about the Montevideo storm when we lost the liferaft. I think that The Book that everyone is banging on about may  become an edited version of these logs interspersed with Pete’s journal and some of your emails. Possibly even in three columns. Seems to me that would work and would be radically different from the usual cruise narrative. We could add photos, plus a cd of movies etc and the GPS log of the track, which would show every sailchange as a blip and some of the hairy stuff in all its snaky detail. Could even print the track as column 4? Would you buy it? Would you give it to your kids to read? Better still, would you set it as an HSC text?? I think the difficulty for us is to decide what we want it to be and who we want it to speak to. We could, for instance, easily extract the technical stuff for the sailors but what’s then the point? I think the whole thing together has an integrity of its own.

Brian and Jen – racking the congealed remains of the brain to remember what bits you might have – some bent stanchions, perhaps? The congealed remains boggle.

now 07/2130 and another brilliant night. We still have last night’s rig – #4 and 2 reefs but but the 4 is now poled out, the moon and Venus glorious on our starboard quarter and the Cross on our starboard beam. Both where they ought to be, at last – we are pointing almost for home. Yeeehaaa. Just for variety – we’ve had a little wooohooo already. And we are starting to tick off the longitudes faster than the latitudes – another good sign. This getting down the Atlantic bit is like qualifying to run the Boston marathon – huge amount of work around the traps, then once qualified, the real work starts. But heartbreak hill is a doddle compared to this one.

Oct 07, 2005 - 2355hrs UTC

2355hrs 07 Oct 2005 UTC 31’51”S 016’16”W Ref 422

On stuff-ups and rolling hitches.

If you are the sort of sailor who never makes mistakes, checks everything twice, always hooks on the kite the right way round – a golden haired favourite of every skipper – read no further. If, like me, you get things wrong bigtime every now and again, there may be something in this for you. Stuff-ups usually start with simple mistakes that compound to the point, sometimes, when they can become dangerous.

I have just been there. We were poled out on the port tack. It’s a black night now with cloud covering the moon. An hour ago, I pulled in a new grib file and decided that we need to keep our options open and head further south. Pete snoring happily, as he mostly is when I’m writing to you. I assessed the situation and decide that I could just take the pole off and gybe the main and we’d sail in the right direction. I was wrong and, having got the pole off, done the gybe and discovered how wrong I was, I had a bit of a handful to sort out. Basically, we needed the pole set up on the other side and I had no easy way of doing it by that time. I set up the boat to sail off the wind on the starboard tack with the preventer on and went forward to rig the pole on the other side. No problem so far. Think – check sheets etc – so rerun the starboard jib sheet through the outer block and hoist the pole. Set the boat up downwind and gybe the jib. It came across ok but the jockey pole had been stowed over the top of the downhaul. Not a showstopper but a nuisance needing to be fixed. Set up the new sheet and grind it on and discover that I have made basic error in rerunning the sheet, so that it is through two cars and around the lifelines. Sheet by this time like a metal bar pulling the boat along at six knots in heavy rolling sea and bending the lifelines. Way beyond any simple fix by hand. What to do – undoing the gybe seemed the obvious fix, but another 20 minutes work redoing all that I’d just undone.

Enter the rolling hitch – a wonderful knot that most sailors never use and can’t tie. It is a very simple three turn knot that you tie with a second line around a rope under tension, (or a pole or a bar), and the second line locks onto the first when you tighten it and can then can be used to substitute for the first from the point of attachment.

So there I was – jib sheet under tension and I had to get the tension off the end of it so that I could sort the mess and keep the sail working. I tied a rolling hitch around the sheet forward of my little bit of spaghetti using a short length of 6mm spectra and led the spectra back to a halyard winch and tightened it. It took up the strain and started to pull the boat along and I was able to unravel the now free tail of the sheet, put it back through the correct block and grind it onto its own winch before releasing the spectra strop. Cosy, but you gotta know how to tie a rolling hitch. In the dark. First time. Go practise, if you are planning to come this way – it could get you out of serious trouble. The standard stuff up when it comes in useful is when you get a jammed riding turn around a winch. Teach it to your kids.

Oct 08, 2005 - 0900hrs UTC

0900hrs 08 Oct 2005 UTC 32’36”S 015’53”W Ref 423

DB: 114, 7739 gps 132 (all over the ocean yesterday!) 49/61

A PS to my last about rolling hitches. If you haven’t got a convenient halyard winch and your two lee winches are loaded and tensioned, do not despair.  Leave the knife in its sheath and take the secondary line around behind the winch that doesn’t need unjamming and up to one of the weather winches. The loaded leeward winch acts as a temporary turning block and it works fine. Alternatively, if you have one, a snatch block off an aft mooring cleat works well. And a rolling hitch works best if the secondary line (the one you make the hitch with) is thinner than the primary, so that it bites into the primary and holds better.

Spowie, g’day. Was wondering if you were still out there following us. It was your lesson on rolling hitches – remember? – that gave me the clue and I’ve never forgotten and I’ve used one several times since instead of a knife.

One for Marcus – Berrimilla coffee – make a thick paste in a mug with drinking chocolate or cocoa (my preference), caster sugar and milk, vigorously stirred so that it is a bit aerated and pour a strong black coffee into it. Stir gently. Not for every day but noice for a sticky treat – good English boarding school recipe, just like fried bread and marmalade.

It’s gone all soft, damp and drizzly out there – typical convergence zone conditions. My breath now has condensation in it so we’re getting there! I think we are just hanging into the dying edge of the breeze in front of the high. If we can hold on to it – unlikely – we’ll keep going south towards the steady westerlies at the top of the roaring forties. We need to get down below 35S. Might see Tristan da Cunha on the way, although I hope we manage to stay out of sight to the north east.

Our black Petrel is still with us and today it has been joined by three others and a little black and white Storm Petrel – after the albatross, I think my favourite bird. I wonder if they are the same group that were with us a week or so ago. If so, how do they do it? I’m sure we haven’t seen them for days and here they are again. They are flying an extending quad helix pattern along our wake – always clockwise, and sometimes almost around the front of the boat but they always seem to turn away just before going around the bow. The little Storm Petrel does its own thing – flolloping along, sometimes gliding, twisting and turning and seeming sometimes to float motionless inches above the water.


Making bread – warm sunshine again, slimline breeze but it’s still there. Bread almost made and the cloud and rain squalls are moving in again. Have just cut swathes of barnacles away from the starboard quarter, which has been underwater almost all the way from Falmouth.

Oct 09, 2005 – 1045hrs UTC

1045hrs 09 Oct 2005 UTC 34’08”S 014’17”W Ref 424

DB: 114, 7625 GPS 122, 50/60 and south of Sydney. Very soon to be passing Wollongong and any Berri crewmember will know that that is a signal for riotous behaviour. And after that we will almost immediately be south of Africa and of the vast majority of all y’all. There are a few of you in Melbourne, some in Tasmania and at the bottom end of South America and the Falklands and a sprinkling in Dunedin. But that’s it. Big week. I will stick my neck out and guess that we may just have managed to keep our fingernails hooked into the weather pattern that will get us down into the westerlies – tomorrow will tell. If we’ve cracked it, it will have been quite an achievement. We have been pushing ourselves and Berri all the way almost from Trinidad to hold on to it and by watching the grib and a bit of intuition, we just might be there.

BIG transition is happening. Overnight, the ocean has turned from blue to grey. The seabirds have been joined by some much bigger southern ocean type birds – long thin wings, two metre span at least, lots of anhedral and they glide – and do they glide! The swells are now approaching the small warehouse variety – not yet steep and breaking but half mast height from trough to crest and wavelength about 100 metres. Some nasty potential there. The temperature has dropped – water now 13 degrees and it feels cold – and there is the clammy grip of cold damp air on exposed skin. We’ve been digging out thermals and gloves and sleeping bags. And the mungies don’t want to germinate – too cold or them perhaps. I will start the next lot with warm water.

At the moment it looks as if we will pass about 100 miles north of Tristan da Cunha. Who was T d C? An opportunity wasted perhaps, but then so was the Beagle Channel, the Antarctic Peninsula, Madeira and all the rest. Next time! And then there will be the Crozets and the Kerguelen Islands in mid Indian Ocean but I hope we will be well north of them.

Will try to send this before propagation window closes.

Oct 09, 2005 – 1750hrs UTC

1750hrs 09 Oct 2005 UTC 34’33”S 013’36”W Ref 425

Time for a stocktake. Two old farts at the bottom end of the South Atlantic in their battered old boat with 60 days yet to go or, if my memory and mental arithmetic can cope, with 60 days out of a likely 236 odd sailing days and the end far from in sight and how are we doing? This is starting to look like a list and I doubt you want lists with the coffee and croissants – we’re not going to run out of food or water – we make about 4 ltrs/day – and we seem to be healthy, altho I’m wasting away – muscles like larded string – and given the capacity of my decrepit metabolism to regenerate them, it’s going to be as interesting as watching stalactites grow when I get home and start running again. Tedious.

If we eventually finish the job, it will have been an unusually long circumnavigation because of the leg from St Paul Rocks to the Fastnet and back to the equator – say an extra 7000 miles. Had we turned for home at St Paul, we would have been there by now.

So here we are, abeam Wollongong and as riotous as our medicine chest would allow, with Cape Agulhas only 24 miles to the south but still nearly 1700 miles away. I have always believed that the Cape of Good Hope was the southern tip of Africa. It isn’t – have a look if you thought so too. And this is where the real work starts – a quarter of the journey to go and the need to gather the resources and dole them out to cover the rest of the enterprise. I’m certainly feeling the strain – it’s been a long bash and I can’t wait, at one level, for it to be over. At another, it will be a bit devastating. This is 30k in a marathon, which isn’t really even close to half way in effort and stain.

Wendy P, we opened the tin of chocolates today – wow! And thanks. We got the timing right – there’s one each per day to Tasmania. And your supply of The Doctor is sustaining us too.

To the Starlings and all the Boggers – We should have a Boggers Bash in the new year, perhaps at my house in Sydney, and you can bring along copies of all the records you have of your boats and we will see whether we can get a book together. Jenny, perhaps you could circulate the idea? I don’t have the list any more, or most of the addresses.

And, on the subject of Books – if Pete and I ever get around to the book of this enterprise, it won’t be the same without some quotations from your emails. It might save us a lot of hassle if those of you who have written to us would be kind enough to write to Stephen at berri@berrimilla.com saying whether you would be happy to allow us to use your emails and Gust book entries (or preventing us from doing so)in a book, together with any instructions about acknowledging your copyright or maintaining your anonymity. We will chase anyone who we want to quote if we don’t hear from you.

Oct 09, 2005 - 2300hrs UTC

2300hrs 09 Oct 2005 UTC 34’47”S 013’06”W Ref 426

Birds. Lots of them – mostly black with white beaks and a white ring around their eyes and faces. There were a lot of them around the Falklands and perhaps Tristan da Cunha has them too. But best of all, two albatrosses – medium sized, about 3 metre span and different varieties. These guys fly – fast – with their bodies almost brushing the surface – they seem to be locked there, about 3-4 cm above, with their wings extending slightly downwards towards the water with a bit of curve so that they reach the surface about two thirds of the way towards the tips and then flatten out like a big squashed omega so that they just don’t touch. Breathtaking to watch them especially when they blast in towards the boat and then twitch a section of leading edge and bank upwards and away with almost no visible movement. All you see as they come in is a tiny circle of face exactly like a smiley and a razor thin wing line extending away from it and curving down to the water. I think the clockwise pattern from yesterday is because they fly their circuits into wind at the boat end – will check on the other tack. And they don’t bother to go round the bows because real fishing boats don’t throw stuff off the front.

We are abeam Cape Agulhas, so about to go south of Africa. Dark night, cloudy, but the moon has just broken into a gap, amidst towering black and white silhouetted clouds. Venus was there fro a few minutes but now covered. Wind variable around 20 kts from the WSW, big swells. We are heading as far south as we can get before the 13th, when the grib predicts the next front, also from the SW but with 25+ knots, meaning 40 – 50 if our experience means anything. We’ll just ride it out – it wont be around for long – and hope that what is behind it still allows us to head east.

The satphone will be on from here. If anyone does want to speak to us, we will only answer the third ring –  so call, let it ring, hang up, call, hang up and call again and we will answer as long as we are not on deck doing a sail change. Don’t leave messages – we will not get them and it costs both of us money.

As I hit that last full stop, the wind came in at 35+kts and I had to leap out and ease everything and run the boat downwind at 8 to 9 knots with the stern wave rolling up over the quarter and phosphorescence firing off everywhere. Spectacular. And poor Pete had to get up from his nice warm bunk and we did a wet and bouncy change from the 2 to the 4 and a second reef. Ans, as usual, we’re back to 20 knots. I’ll try to send this before I jump into bed.

Oct 10,2005 – 0900hrs UTC

0900hrs 10 Oct 2005 UTC 35’19”S 012’18”W Ref 427

DB:130, 7495 GPS 138 51/59. The numbers are just beginning to stack. Scene two of Act 5 of the Drama has begun.

South of Africa, girt by sea, beset by natural forces, steeped in compromise and apparently bedevilled by cliche -what do we do now? Strategy for scene two of this leg requires us to get down into the top of the Roaring Forties, the permanent westerly airstream that blows around the world between about 40 and 60 South. This band of westerlies carries a series of quite to very intense low pressure systems – rotating clockwise – each with an associated front. North of it are the high pressure systems, rotating anti-clockwise, one of which we have been dodging for the last week.

Tactically from here, we must judge where lies the best latitude to ride the next front in a couple of days and at the same time put us far enough south to stay below the following high and in the top of the westerlies. We are looking for the best compromise between getting bashed by the nasties in the front and getting far enough south to keep doing the business. We need to be under the high and just in the top of the lows. Looking at the last grib, I think we will level off at about 3630 south and ride the front then reassess whether we go further down when it has passed. I think we will probably have to.

Oct 10, 2005 - 1130hrs UTC

1130hrs 10 Oct 2005 UTC 35’30”S 012’07”W Ref 428

Glorious, once in a lifetime sailing – bright sunshine, fluffy low level Cu., flat blue sky, grey luminescent sea between the blacker patches of cloud shadow, huge SW swells with little sparkling whitecaps all over them but no big rolly ones – yet! – and 30 kts just fwd of the beam truckin’ 6’s and 7’s. Berri with #4 and 2 reefs, almost vertical, but rolling a bit off the tops of the swells. Same pack of seabirds all around. Wooohooo. We are due to get the front this arve or eve with quite a bit more wind. Present plan is to drop the main when we see the first signs behind us, pole out the 5 and the storm jib and set the trisail sheeted on hard amidships. Will be interesting – watch this space.

G’day to all the new Gusts – Ian from Chatham, best of luck and do look us up when you get to Oz.

Jerry H – tried to email you but it bounced – will have another go.

Thanks to those of you who have given us permission to use your emails for The Book. And to those who have sent in shirt bids.


Thanks for the recipe for the Berrimiila bacon sandwich and more recently the coffee recipe. I have an espresso machine in the restaurant and will be putting the berrimilla coffee on the menu next week. I will let you know how I get on.

 It has occured to me that you guys are giving me ideas for my menu but I am the one that should be giving you ideas, being a chef of many years. It must be tough for you to think up new ideas to make life interesting, (Culinary wise,) well Pete at least. And so I thought if Pete gives me a list of your basic stores I would try to think up something for you to break the bordom, I am sure you don’t have much to think about otherwise (especially rounding the horn!) If you give me a list of your basic supplies I will do my best to add a little variety to your diet. Pete, who we don’t hear of too much, must be looking for new ways to cook things ALL the time!.

I am still reading your logs whenever I can, given working constraints and serving berrimilla sandwiches

ps could you try fishing in the quiet times I have some great recipes.
Sorry Just read yuor rations list, Just let me know me what you have left.

Marcus – thanks for thinking of us – I hope you offer your customers a Consultative Draught with their Berrimilla sandos! Perhaps you could organise them to put in a collective bid for the shirt – we will get it to you if they win it.

Isabella: Portuguese nav Tristao da Cunha discovered TdC on his way to Cape of GH in 1506. It was impossible to land. The first settler to arrive on the island was Captain Jonathan Lambert – who landed in 1811. I expect lots of people have told you that.

Tristao was a bit out of his way down there! And we’re almost exactly 500 years behind him. Malcom, you were right, of course. I debated the point myself but decided that as the head muscle is the only one getting any exercise, it might be better to work down metaphorically from there, so went for ‘tites rather than ‘mites.

Is – sadly, the Cake of Good Hope is no longer available for naming. Final processing took place about a week ago and very nice it was. For your dental tape dye ties, a reef knot tied with long tails and use the tails to tie a rolling hitch at each end of the reef knot to lock it and prevent slip – usually works. Gives nice tight small knot. Fisherman’s bend needs a solid loop, as in fishook, so no go. Else a standard granny loop with double or treble sheet bend through it? Have fun kiddo!

Allan Fenwick: Your email logs are of such a high standard I have nothing to complain about, It makes my life so boring, no one to put shit on, Off to Lord Howe in 3 weeks on the big beachball, will keep you informed on bids as they come in.

Fenwick – what do you want? Why are you being so nice to us? Have you forgotten the art of invective? Or just getting sillier?

Oct 10, 2005 – 1600hrs UTC

1600hrs 10 Oct 2005 UTC 35’46”S 011’50”W Ref 429

It started to pack in, so on the principle of reef deep, reef early, we set the storm jib and trisail and now we’re in full orange dayglo party splendour in a glowing grey green ocean with wind lines, froth, sparkling sunlight from the spray and those big warehouses just beginning to roll white from their tops. Storm jib and tri is such an easy rig – centre of pressure well down, tiny area of sail but fully balanced so Berri sails more or less where we point her rather than sideways to leeward. We’ve got 35 – 45 at the moment, W wind just aft of the beam to get us as far south as possible and making 5+ knots with minimal effort. Just a mini howl from the rig. We will pass within 50 miles or so of TdC so may even see it. Probably go closest at night.

Oct 10,2005 - 2130hrs UTC

2130hrs 10 Oct 2005 UTC 36’00”S 011’16”W Ref 430

We’ve just passed Tristan da Cunha 80 miles to the SE. The wind has dropped from 40+ to 20+ and we’re just rolling around in the residual swell. I mean rolling with attitude – have you ever tried putting on a sock one handed whilst the vehicle is in motion? Hornswogglingly difficult. Still storm jib and tri – will probably leave till morning when there should be a lot less wind and we will be just ahead of the following high – I hope far enough down to get the benefit of the westerly flow off its base. We’ll see. Then the wind will back to the north and, with a bit of luck, we’ll be on the slide to the barn door south of Cape Agulhas. The barn door is about 4 degrees wide – about 240 miles – between 38 and 42 south and we must pick the spot to pass through – same principle, we must be under the high and just in the top of the lows. There may be a particularly rough bit to the SE of Africa where the Agulhas current flowing down the east coast meets the westerly flow across the bottom of the world.

Now that we can ‘see’ Tasmania, I will change the contents of the Daily Bull. I will continue to give you the previous day’s run and instead of my estimated distance to SE Cape (7495 this morning),I will give you the rhumb line distance taken from the SoB software – as I write, 7295, so my daily estimates were reasonable. As a matter of interest, the rhumb line distance to the Fastnet from here is 5248 miles but we have sailed about 6200 miles to get here, snaking down the Atlantic.  All you ace predictors can get out your calculators and try and beat my estimate (made as we left Falmouth) of Dec 11th at the Iron Pot (at the mouth of the Derwent River 11 miles south of Hobart for the geographically challenged) or Gabo (SE corner of OZ mainland)if we go via Bass Strait. Half way on the Dec 11th schedule is on Friday 14th, and we will be pretty close on distance to go as well. It’s still do-able. We’d better have another prize for the closest predicted ETA – perhaps Berrimilla’s round the world kettle or some other artefact? Not very exciting. Another signed shirt? Suggestions please.

Trudi or Martin, if you’re still out there – how is your single hander getting on? We haven’t been able to pick up your network or the Patagonian Cruise net (on 8164, not a ham net) based in Ushuaia so propagation is still bad. Sailmail works for us here through Africa and Chile but nowhere else.

[ed: more fame!….]

Alex & Pete,

As you passed the volcanic island of Tristao da Cunha yesterday, news of your voyage hit the headlines of the Tristan Times, the local online newspaper. The Island’s volcano last blew its top in the early 1960’s.

Barry Duncan.


Alex, Pete, Stephen, and Mal,

Link to the double page TIMES article if you haven’t seen it: Times Online [note: this link is only for subscribers]

Oct 11, 2005 – 1030hrs UTC

1030hrs 11 Oct 2005 UTC 36’25”S 010’15”W Ref 431

It has been a long slow night. At these longitudes, I get two fully dark three hour watches, from 2100-midnight and 0300-0600. It is now 0500 and I’ve got another hour to go. We don’t have enough batteries for me to read with my headlight for 6 hours every night, nor anything like enough books. I can do crosswords with intermittent light and darkness for thinking. On the better nights, I can sit in the cockpit and enjoy the stars and the phosphorescence and the moon and sometimes dolphins and the clamourous boot ferals – and even commune with the Examiner if she’s around. On nights like tonight, though, the time passes very slowly. It is still blowing 20+, the warehouses have subsided to about half their early size but the boat is still rolling heavily and it’s cold and damp in the cockpit. We’re tooling along through the moguls at between 2 and 5 knots under storm jib and tri – we could carry more but better now to wait until daylight and the next watch change. So the day’s run will be unimpressive. I don’t think we have managed to get quite far enough south to put us under the high cell due here tomorrow/late today so we might be a bit short of wind tonight and through tomorrow. The barn door is 1500 miles ahead still, so there will be a lot of changes on the way. I think we will need to be at or below 40 S by the time we get there. The pace should start to improve once we get down to 40.

DB 114, 7225 GPS 122 52/58

Back to the 2 and a reef. Fingers crossed that we will be able to stay below the high today and pick up the northerlies behind it tomoz. New birds – I remember these from the Falklands too – black tops, with white dalmatian splodges in a line from wingtip to wingtip – spectacular!

Oct 11, 2005 - 1715hrs UTC │VoA : Sophisticated System of Temperature Assessment

1715hrs 11 Oct 2005 UTC 36’40”S 009’36”W Ref 432

A dissertation on the VoA:

I have been observing an interesting indicator of our local ambient temperature. I have a tube of ointment – a Very Special Unguent for fingertip application to certain delicate sphinctorially located and unmentionable portions of the nethers. It is necessary to Confer – never Consult! – with this VSU quite frequently and I have observed that its consistency changes noticeably with temperature. In the tropics, it frolics from its tube like warm honey, but down here it takes a massive squeeze to shift it at all and it only appears with great reluctance. Perhaps, therefore, there is an opportunity for a broad thermometric table based on the changes in the VoA – not (definitely not!) the Voice of America, but the Viscosity of Anusol.

For the kids in 5/6, that’s a fancy name for special bum ointment that I hope you won’t need – ever! We do a lot of sitting out here. Perhaps I should include a VoA reading in the daily bull. (Runny, squeezy, extra squeezy, uber squeezy, go away?)

More birds – a flock of about a thousand wheeling and swirling all around us and dolphins playing underneath. The birds are pigeon sized and not unlike rather fine winged pigeons. And – wonderful to behold – a solitary albatross gliding and curving amongst them and making them all seem so busy and officious and even graceless. Malcom, it’s definitely Albatross ground effect and yes, the Russians did build a series of aircraft that used it.

And we had a recalcitrant winch – usual problem- salt in the works and gummed up pawls- but however careful I was before we left I must have swapped my double (metric/imperial) allen key kit for the single metric one and the winches of course are imperial. So I found a non standard, therefore softer allen key amongst all the backup junk, dug out the instrument files – Thanks Les, if you are reading this! – and we filed down the key and it worked. Filled the pawl case with wd40 as I’m not prepared to take the whole thing apart out here unless absolutely necessary – and it works. Wooohooo,

And we’re having an early consultation with Dr Gordon to celebrate.

From Maggie, Ian & Emma Browne and all those you remember at Keycorp

We haven’t gone away, but never fail to log in every day.
Terrific achievement, terrific read.
Now that you are turning left we thought that it was time to say hello and wish you luck.
Another couple of days and we will have a watch set up on the roof of the Keycorp building to see if we can see you coming over the hill.
With all these visits to the doctor you should consider registering Berri as a medical facility and claim back the consultation fee.
Good Luck and no more scares please Pete

Hi Maggie – a bit early for the crows nest, but the right idea. I’ll come and do a lunchtime gig if you like when we get back.

From Austin C.

As a daylight coast hugging Mediterranean sailor whose personal feats go no further than sailing around the Maltese Islands in a Feeling 286 Special, I am but awestruck by the courage, stamina and confidence you portray in such a gruesome voyage. Ever since I saw your article in YM a week or so ago I have been signing in to peep at your log on a daily basis.  It has become my daily dosage of armchair sailing adventure in which I feel I am fully participating!  My compliments for the wonderful website too.  

Keep it up chaps and please Alex, next time you come to see your mother in Malta please let me know.  I would love to join you in a consultation with the Dublin doctor at one of the Drinking Holes on the Island. And, of course, shake the hands of a formidable sailor.

Austin C – will do – maybe around Feb next year.

From Joan and Bill R., in Australia

I’ve been following faithfully and your updates are compulsory reading each time one comes in – the ANZ might start charging me for the time spent!  Thought of you particularly last weekend when the Melbourne Marathon was run – weather was cool to mild and a few showers so conditions pretty good for running I think [ed: absolutely crap with 20knt headwinds!].  Course was basically the same, along the Beach road but then into St. Kilda Road and finish outside the Arts Centre.  I confess that I forgot to look and see who actually won but I can be reasonably sure that it wasnt you – maybe next year?

Bill and Joan – you’re obviously golfers – my spies tell me there was a 20 kt headwind for the marathon – just like I remember most of my 13 or so of them! You’d better gear up for the coming home party.

From David Whitworth

Thought you might like to know that today divers are lifting the 10metre bow stem timber and iron anchor from the Mary Rose site 23? years after the first lift.They are then sealing the site for posterity.

Peter C thanks for permission, David, yes, I’d heard that they had found the bow section of the Mary Rose – must go and see it next time.

Barry – thanks for tristan link – tell them if you can that my mum drove a lot of them to church on Sundays when they were evacuated to Calshot in 1961. There was a Willie Repetto?

Wow! that G&T had some attitude.