2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon


Logs ( 51 )

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Past The Manacles

We left as intended at 0630 UTC with lovely send off. Out into lumpy wind against tide English channel with the new sail up for the first bit. Pics from Isabella in due course. Good NE breeze and we're heading west of the Ushant separation zone. Berri very heavy and sluggish but we're still making 7+ knots. Boat a bit of a mess while we get things sorted – I'll try to send this then big sort out.

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

4903N 00546W

About 70 miles down the track, just north of the separation zone. 2 reefs and poled out headsail and lumpy.

I got to Falmouth in early May and Gordy and other mates and I did huminomungous work on the old barge, startring with clearing the grass and dead leaves out of the cockpit and we launched her a week or so later to find all the other fixes that were needed – including the gearbox and the generator and the nav lights – all very expensive but essential. And Crosshaven and the Fastnet interspersed with weeks in Falmouth's rather grimy harbour gathering slime and grot.
which leads me to the surge of joy Berri and I and probably Pete feel now that we're actually off and the slime and grot is washing off and the old barge is alive again. About 2 tons heavier than for the Fastnet and every nook packed with stuff. My joy tempered with a bit of quease and some well polished apprehension – the more I do, the more polish it gets. Interesting. More on this later – seems it's quite common. But I need a GRIB

And I wish, oh I wish that I understood what regulators regulate and how they do it.

PS Already USB gadget is misbehaving. Just tried to send and Airmailk crashed. I shall have to resurrect all those Ps – patience, perseverance…

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Falmouth Farewell: A Sister Inspects

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Falmouth Farewell : Crew and Well Wishers Assemble

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Wide Blue Yonder

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

A pretty red prawn net

An interesting 36 hours, in the Chinese sense. As some of you will know, Pete is taking things a bit easy for a few days – resting, one might say, on his rather colourful laurel and Muggins is the bod in charge of Doing Stuff. Three reefs and the pole more or less routine, though knackering but I've just spent the last couple of hours trying to get the new sail set up to twin pole. There are 6 bits of string coming out the front of Berri's mast and 4 from the back. Then there are sheets and downhauls to control the pole and each sail. All of these must be sorted so that when it goes up, the sail is not fouled around any of them and it flies free with its sheet, halyard, downhaul and topping lift correctly led. There is so much power in even a small sail like this that the consequences of one foul lead can be very messy. I started from scratch on a heaving deck with water washing across and trying to manage a harness and tether at the same time (for you lot at Crosshaven, as per promise!) Anyone who has tried it will know just how complicated, frustrating and difficult this can be.

Long story – so I got it all sorted which took about an hour of very intense endeavour and brought up the sail (modified, David C, as you suggested – how good is that!). Got it all connected to its bits of string and its pole, set up the boat to run downwind on the other poled out sail to cut down the apparent wind and – gulp – hoisted it. Foolishly, I hoisted from the mast because when, inevitably, it got away from me and unrolled itself, I had no control over it cos no turn on a winch. Boat doing 5 knots, sail pretending to be a thrashing prawn net in the water, Muggins cursing and pulling it in bit by bit and re-bagging it, but no longer neatly rolled so no chance of an immediate second go.

At this point, after clearing away pole and attendant clobber, engaged in Long Consultation with Wendy's Friend from the Liffey and reconsidered. First, the sail must be woolled just like a kite but second – why ever did I try to put it up with the pole and all the clobber already rigged? Upped the complication by a power of 10. Should have just thrown it up and got it properly tensioned and then set up the clobber and unfurled it.

A rest and another go and I'll get it right. Immensely useful but frustrating – you really learn when you have to do it yourself and get it right first time.

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Pearshaped again

Our wind generator has died. Again. It did not seem to be working properly from the start as it was not switching off when the battery was charged but instead winding up to 16+ volts. Battery frying stuff. Now it is in both Charge and Brake mode and doing neither. We've dismantled the 3 way switch and bypassed it but no go so it's internal somewhere. We are thinking of going into Gibraltar. G or I, could you possibly ring Keith or Nigel at Greenham Regis at Shamrock Quay Southampton and ask if they would be able to send us a new one to Gib plus a new 3 way switch and the wiring? Don't need blades. If they can, it seems to be the best option. We probably have enough diesel to charge, make water etc to Cape Town but not really sensible. Shades of the Falklands last time.

Or we could turn around and slog back into wind. 'orrible idea.

I'll try to get the satphone cranked up and call you in a couple of days but please also email to the sailmail address.

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

The plan – such as it is

We're at 4602N 00944W with 325 miles behind us. 30 knots forecast for tomorrow and the next 2 days to the south of us. We will try to run south along a line just west of 10 W to about 36 N and then turn East for Gibraltar. In the meantime, I hope we will find out whether we can get the generator fixed in Gib – or, as an extreme option, one of us could fly to the UK with it. If all goes well we should be in Gib in about a week to ten days. Anne H in Falmouth – if you'd be so kind as to email the OCC Port Officer in Gib, we'd be very grateful.

Not having it working is not s true showstopper but it does make things much more difficult and this early in the trip and so close to potential help, I think it is sensible to try for the fix.

There seem to be echoes of that first voyage all through this – the unplanned stop in NZ and generator problems later.

Anyway – POO!

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

For info: position just given from Alex

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

The Black Dog

And what to do about him. It's not unusual to experience massive mood changes out here, especially if, like Muggins, you worry about stuff. Yesterday was an awful day – first the wind generator and then the little red sail proved more or less conclusively that it won't do what I wanted it to do, which was to act as a furlable downwind sail for twin poling in heavy weather. It acts just as I feared it would – when trying to roll it in with any wind at all in it, the lower part of the luff winds up bar tight and the top third is a flogging mess and almost uncontrollable. Sad – I had hopes for that baby and I'm thinking of a workaround. A sniffer wont do it but perhaps if I lay it out in Gib, put the hanked storm jib over the clew and more or less line it up with the after third of the red sail, draw a line on the red one up the luff of the storm jib, roll in the red one to that line as tightly as possible and then bind the rolled ends every few inches down to the top and bottom of the marked line, so – I hope – stopping it from unrollimg more that storm jib size and – again, I hope – make rolling in a very much smaller sail just possible. Us'll see.

Today, running south down 01013W, so clear of all the shipping inshore, but smack dabbety in line for tomorrow's 30 knots all down the coast. Poo. We're at 4428N, 428 miles clocked.

But 5 hours of good sleep (3 + 2) and a proper Berri breakfast of a guinness and a bacon sanod with lashings of tabasco and all's well – Black Dog banished into the outer darkness for the mo.

And Pete's colourful nethers are on the improve – still very sore but he's smiling a bit more. The Doctor for breakfast always helps.

For those of you who need to know, the satphone is up running and tested. If you want to talk to us, remember to hang up before it goes into voicemail (5 rings) and keep ringing back till someone answers.

Steve, got your message, thanks and Mon/Fri is fine. Bleep the satphone at other times.

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Video Link

Just received from Paul and Pauline of Falmouth Photos: a link to
video of Berrimilla leaving on Friday.



2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Disturbances in The Link

Paul and Pauline kindly made an alteration in their brilliant video
for reasons that need not trouble you all – and so the link I sent
earlier now won't work.
Hopefully, this one will.



2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

0900UTC 15th

Position 4226N 01014W with 550 miles on the clock. 25 – 30 kts, lumpy 3-5 metre quarter to beam sea with waves breaking across the boat. Uncomfortable but getting us south reasonably fast averaging about 5 kts. Faster possible but not sensible.

Another proper breakfast just past – we have changed medical practices since I last wrote. The Dublin Doctor and his assistant Dr Gordon have achieved such international publicity since they started looking after us that their Consultation schedule leaves very little time for us. Accordingly, we have transferred our business – at the recommendation of the RNLI in Crosshaven – to a smaller practice in Cork where Dr Murphy and his senior consultant Mr Grindy have regular surgery hours. Dr Murphy looks after breakfast and other odd times, while Mr Grindy provides embalming fluid for those moments when nothing else will do.

Once again – knees wedged under nav table, fingers more or less steadied to type this by wrists braced on the fiddle – we thing about 5 days at least from here to Gib. Appendages crossed please that the Levanter is not blowing out of the Strait.

Some administrative stuff – Steve W in Sydney will check the gustbook on the old site and berrimilla2@gmail.com for any messages and forward them to us every Monday and Friday. For anything more urgent, he has the satphone number as do Hilary, Isabella and a few others. Please keep sending us stuff – makes life much more interesting.

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Latest positions image

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

The Examiner getting back into practice

4133N 01009W

Hoofing it down the coast, ships everywhere and the waves are so big you often don't see the ships until they are only a mile or so away, by which time we fervently hope they have seen us on radar – I bought the best reflector I could afford…

Steady 25+ knots. Waves building for 36 hours – mostly ok but every 100th or so wave we get a train of four or five massive steepies very closely together. Heady rolled in to half storm jib size and still surfing at 6+ with several of the biggies breaking into the cockpit and half filling it. Trying to keep everything dry below.

Due for at least another 18 hours of this. Prob 5 or 6 days to Gib all going well.

Pete on watch in the cockpit – has to be someone there all the time for the ships – I've just done double egg and bacon and tomato sandos with a pre prandial Discussion with Mr Gydrin. Noice.

Time for a couple of hours ensac.

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

4025N 01002W 674 miles

What a night! gusty 30 – 35 kts and big following sea. About 15 ships overtook us, some very close indeed. Big waves seem to come in groups of about 5 or 6 very closely spaced very steep faced 5ish metre waves with the first one breaking and the next about to break. Because we are going much more slowly than the waves, Berri rides up them, in effect, backwards and they tower above her stern and then she slides over the top, more or less straight and meets the second. If the second one breaks, it's the one that usually makes things difficult and slews the stern around and confuses poor old Kevvo with a false apparent wind. There's a long express train roar and the cockpit is obliterated by rushing crashing water – and so it goes for the rest of the wave train. But at night, with phosphorescence it's magnificent – and scary – it's like surfing down the face of a giant living boiling neon tube. Sometimes with an incandescent rooster tail from the bow to the cockpit. All under a lovely clear sky with the waning crescent moon and Venus at about 15 deg on the E horizon, Orion high above Sirius to the S and the Great Bear and the Pole to the N. For the first time I can remember, I watched the Great Bear turn its half circle and end up upside down…

We're averaging nearly 170 miles a day – huge for Berri but when you consider that the 24 hr record is now about 900 miles, rather ordinary by world standards! Wind due to ease a bit today so perhaps 2 days to C. St Vincent and 2 more to Gib

Impossible to keep the inside dry in these conditions – we have the storm boards in, but at every watch change we bring in litres of water on our gear and B is so small there's nowhere to isolate this from the rest of the boat. So everything is clammy. Erk!

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Finger trouble

Or clammy mushy brain – averaging nearly 140 miles/day…

Huge container ship passing us at half a mile.

First attempt at video of waves a disaster – need more practice. Matt, all cameras and this laptop on UTC

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Latest position image

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon


Looks as if Lisbon might be a better option than Gib as there is an AirX generator agent there but not in Gib. We are now about 14 hours away from Lisbon if we can make contact via I & G and iridium. We'll keep you posted. Will hang around until daylight if we decide to go in.

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Lisbon it is

We're 39 miles north west of the entrance and we'll enter the Tagus at about 0800 UTC tomorrow. More when we know more – but I've always wanted to go to Lisbon so there's serendipity out here somewhere. If they will let us in, of course. We're pretty scruffy.

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon


Just passing Ponta da Lage at the mouth of the Tejo – lovely day – berth arranged at the Doca d'Alcantera. More when we know.

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2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

A Techie at the Doca

Alex phoned yesterday afternoon, and again this morning from Lisbon.
They are safely docked at the Doca de Alcantara which is just above
the suspension bridge in the centre of Lisbon. The internet caff is
some distance away and at the moment Alex hasn't located anywhere to
plug in the laptop. So the news is via Devon and as follows:
Before they decided to go in to Lisbon we managed, from the UK end, to
identify an agent for the generator located in Lisbon. The alternative
was Tenerife and there was no agent in Gibraltar. We phoned up the
Lisbon people to check that they could assist and they said they would
do all they could. We relayed this information to Berri and they
turned left.
I had talked to an extremely helpful woman in Lisbon who spoke
excellent English and she and a techie will be going down to the
Doca, at midday ish today, to take the unit away and check it over.
This means that Alex and Pete have had to dismantle the generator.
It also means that little is likely to happen over the weekend and
they will probably be in Lisbon until Monday or Tuesday. Alex will
update here as soon as he has time, locates an internet caff or a
Yacht Club with facilities, and remembers to take the right bits of
string with him.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Old farts don’t weep – they just Consult…

Apologies for the long gap. Everything seemed to be going according to plan – wind gen removed, diagnosed, fix potentially under way (Thanks to Sonia at Telextronica) and big blog in my head about the joys and tribulations of Lisbon andthen –  the Examiner clobbered us with a dooozy. You may recall the saga as we replaced the shaft damper plate in England but it seems that the alignment problem is too big for the new plate to cope and it is hurling itself to pieces like the last one.  (thanks Golden Arrow – lovely job, even though it hasn't fixed the problem). So now we must pull the engine out again, and try to get it realigned properly. John W is sending a spigot re-aligning tool and a new plate from australia and I think I will try to fly the engineer down from Golden Arrow to actually do it so we know it will work.

The photo is a bit how I feel right now – and it is the second of what could be a fascinating series of the great, the gormless, the egotistical, the ungodly and the merely corporate brought down to their proper status by the doings of a seagull. Feel free to send your contributions to berrimilla2@gmail.com and perhaps Steve could put them in the blog as we go.  The only rule is that it must be a seagull (pigeons don't count) and it must be on the job. This one is Alfonso de Albuquerque and he joins the august original, Francis Drake. Keep 'em coming.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

There’s this big jellyfish

Oh the joy of being a highly developed blob of protoplasm with  a purpose. There's a metre long by half a metre wide jellyfish here in the Doca de Alcantara that has been gently pulsating its head (at least, its blunt end…) against the north wall of the Doca for the last three days or so. It wants to push Portugal into northern Europe and I'm sure it's really happy to be doing a great job. Photo later and maybe youtube.

Wish I could be quite so phlegmatic about life, the universe and everything at this moment! But at least one thing has gone right – just at the crucial moment last night, in the middle of crisis calls to Oz etc, this laptop expired. It loses its BIOS periodically, which is hugely frustrating because it then won't boot. But – bless his little heart, Paul Harry gave me a fix for the problem on a USB stick before we left Falmouth and I ran it and it worked. You Little Beauty Paul – may all your jellyfish come true!

And I'm going to abandon the other spammed blog with its priapic nonsense unless one of you geniuses out there can crack the password and remove all that grot.

Love youse all and I'm off ot join that jellyfish for an hour or two and encourage it to greater things.Peraps I can learn something about equanimity too.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Link to the purpose of life


And the first contribution for the sreies – this one is Amundsen. So far all explorers, though Drake was really a pirate – and he’s being reduced by a pigeon – but hey, I guess pigeon poo works just as well.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Images on the run

This is the Torre de Belem about 5 k down river from the Doca de Alcantara. In the last one you can see the giant statue of Christ on the far side of the river. Taken with my phone, so quality dreadful. But a lovely morning for a run along the river front. Theres a sewer outfall along the way that has about a million mullet tightly packed around the outfall and there are thousands more in the doca too, along with our mate the jellyblobber who continues to push us all northwards.

Was a year ago almost at this exact time that we accepted a tow from Gordy and Dave C on the Madeline May off St Anthony's Head outside Falmouth after that rather nasty Atlantic crossing and the start of all these problems with the engine. But the real problem started when somehow I did not follow John's instructions when replacing the bell housing – not sure why or how we got it wrong but wrong  it is. John has despatched an aligning tool and a new damper plate from Sydney and we will lift the engine yet again to grt it sorted. Probably another week for all that if all goes well.

Wind generator part is also on its way and I think that will be sorted before the engine. Appendages firmly crossed on both. Meantime. we're in semi survival mode, living out of the supermarket, which we've finally found. It's only 300 metres away but really well hidden –  I found it eventually by following a trail of people with plastic shopping bags. And doing things a bit at a time and trying to get a look at Lisbon too. We have a doca temperature fridge for our small supply of beer, in a bucket 10 feet under water with the mullet and the blobbers. Definitely drinkable.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Google Earth Placemark: Doca de Alcantara.kmz

Just for fun. It's an old photomap – there's lots more building north
of the railway, including the well hidden supermarket. The container
terminal and huge cruise ship terminal are along the outside of mole
forming the south side of the Doca and there's a replica caravel east
of us on the dock wall. Photos later – but what the early sailors
achieved in those vessels is, to anyone who understands the sea,
absolutely astonishing..

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

More good work by seagulls

Matthew Flinders and James Cook with thanks to Nigel – and thanks to Caroline for Amundsen, who, on further inspection, really is under a seagull. And SteveJ suggested we harness the jellyblobber and get a tow back to Sydney. Neat idea – stand by for the sleigh ride!

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Another socially conscious seagull

This is Robert Falcon Scott with thanks to someone whose email address I don't recognise – but thanks anyway! All explorers so far – perhaps it's the seagulls?

And some eyes for Isabella http://www.isabellawhitworth.co.uk/.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

The Archangel Raphael


This statue sailed with Vasco da Gama to India and on all his later voyages. It is beautifully carved, serene and lovely and I wish it could talk to me. See the photo for a description. It is in the Maritime Museum in Lisbon and will be for me a special visit if ever I come here again – like Harrison‘s clocks in the Greenwich Museum.

The boat is a replica caravel that is on the jetty close to us here in the Doca de A and similar to da Gama’s ships that the statue sailed on. Da Gama’s ship on the voyage to India was the San Raphael. She was a ‘nau’ or ship of the line and a bit bigger and square rigged.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon


I have found a kind man in an engineering shop on the waterfront who will lend us his (huge!) chainhoist so now we wait for the parts to arrive, then unpack Berri's interior to make room for the engine, disconnect the engine from fuel, water, shaft, battery and controls (job for jockey sized contortionist…), attach chainhoist to the boom and lift – not easy as the hoist must negotiate the back of the coachroof so not a direct lift – then turn the engine around in the cabin, remove the gearbox and bellhousing and follow John's instructions. A relatively simple job in ideal conditions but a touch on the tricky side here.

And I think I need a dentist – one of those times when local knowledge is useful. We have been offered local help by a generous relative of one of our long time followers and I think this might be the time to invoke it.

Our friend the jellyblobber has even greater ambitions – he's now trying to reach the moon but, I fear, his stage 1 lacks the thrust of a Saturn rocket and he's just able to get his blunt end to break the surface. A different version, perhaps, of the more athletic Cowi in the nursery rhyme.

Meantime, I'm going on a seagull hunt – the place is full of statues of the great and the gormless…


2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Eeyore again

The spares have arrived at Lisbon airport but – isn't there alway a but? – Customs are on strike till Monday and then they start on the backlog.

That's just what WOULD happen, said Eeyore.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon


One for the collection but a bit tricky. A mere blogger should never presume to comment on what appears to be a national monument so I will leave it to the seagull – who is, after all a local and therefore up with the cultural nuances – seems to me to be a comment on ostentatious sentimentality but, unfortunately, the seagull was too far away to ask.

So how to stay interesting while marooned in lovely Lisbon? Dunno really – I'll just witter on and see how the list of followers fluctuates.

The pedestrian bits of Lisbon are cobbled with gerzillions and gerzillions of squareish 100mm ish stones, all worn smooth by possibly hundreds of years of feet (htat sounds like one of those exam howlers) I think they are marble but Pete thinks they are too hard to be marble. Dunno but a dollar for each stone might just solve the world crisis.

Toothwright being organised for next week – time, I think to say farewell to an old friend, And the wind generator parts have arrived so there is some progress

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Trivia and other stuff.

A stay of execution.

What I had confidently expected to be a routine extraction by the Gnasher Trasher turned out to be anything but.The amazingly competent Dr Bruno decided a rearguard action to save the tooth was worth a try and she blasted her way down into the murky and massively infected depths of my jaw with a variety of tools that would look good in a mining camp and allowed me to smell the resultant goo. Not nice. But she reckons that it should be ok – another visit on Wednesday to huck out some more grot and put in another dressing and then a new root canal job on Saturday. All going well by that stage, I'll get to keep the tooth. As I think we would have been stuck here at least until Wednesday anyway, it's not too big a delay and worth the chance.

But no sixpence under the pillow. And it hurts! She gave me some rhinocerous sized painkiller pills that I'm reluctant to try this early in the piece in case it gets really really bad – and anyway, they mght interfere with other medicinal compounds. I think that this evening we might consider broaching Pete Goss' very generously donated bottle of the mighty Talisker for a small celebratory and anaesthetic tot.

So we'll be here for another week. Not the worst place in the world to be marooned.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

The hard stuff made easy

Once upon a time in what seems like another life altogether, I was delivering a Safety and Sea Survival course with Gerry Fitz. One of the students was a medical Doctor who was working in the casualty department of one of Sydney's busiest inner city hospitals. I asked her if she would review the standard list of contents for a first aid kit in the light of new drugs and develping techniques. She agreed – bravely, I thought, given the liability issues involved and the increasingly litigious bent of the yachting mob. She gave us a table of suggested contents based on the absolute requirements of the IRC regulations for Category 0 and 1 yacht races plus her own suggested additions and a table of the sorts of problem your average yacht crew might meet while doing what they do. She and Donna then worked it so that the table is set out with a column for the problem – say Severe Pain – another for the appropriate treatment, then the brand names of a list of drugs to administer – Oxycodone, Endone etc , followed by likely side effects and any other useful information. It's all set out so that it can be laminated and put in the first aid kit or kept in the boat's information file. All very sensible and really easy to use under pressure.

My little burst of prescience about the pain getting really really bad in yesterday's blog came true with knobs on – I won't bore you with descriptions but the rhinocerous pills (paracetamol, 1g) coupled with Pete's special Aubergine painkillers (ditto but with codeine dihydrate, I think) didn't even begin to dent it. So in the depths of the night, I dug out the boat's box of goodies looking for a magic bullet. Oxycodone seemed the thing but I was also full of paracetamol and codeine and was not sure whether I could drop oxycodone on top of all that. So to the table and there it says, loud and clear for oxycodone – administer with paracetamol and/or ibrupofen – yay! exactly what I needed to know.

My profound thanks, Dr. G (the human version) and Donna for an elegant and effective reference kit. The recipe is working and now I will start cutting back on the dose…

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

A few pics from Pete

 In order from the top

The mighty Victory – Intergalactic workboat champion.
One of many ships that passed very close
Jellyblobber for the moon
A Lymington Scow exactly like the one I learned to sail in, probably built in Christchurch – this one was in the Institutiao Navale at Belem and had been used by the Portugese Navy for sail training. I'd love to take her sailing…
Farewell deputation – l-r – Pauline & Paul Harry, Gordon Howells, David Carne, Isabella W, Huw Fernie and Graham Barrett.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Missing ship

On matters gnasherous, the oxycodone ibuprofen recipe sorted the pain in one dose – remarkable – so I now have a very swollen face and a dull ache but am  reasonably confident that it will all work – Wednesday will be the cruncher, so to speak.

We hope to get the wind generator re-installed to day and the first box ticked. But not looking frward to the engine job – I know just what a pita it is.

Sue – got all your stuff – erk! – will reply shortly. Z ok.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Yamba says it all and another Seagull

A message from someone who understands how it feels over here sometimes!


Just been for a drive from Brisbane down to Coffs over a few days.
You may be interested to know that the local paper in Yamba is called "The Daily Examiner"
Tough task master on a regular basis?

Thanks Nev.

The engine parts should be delivered today so now to the painful bit – getting it all disconnected and lifted out. Appendages everywhere in the crossed position please, and Consultations at the ready, vibes teleported and all that jazz. We'll keep ya posted.

The Seagull in the photo gets an honourable mention – I spotted it from the battlements of the Castelo San Jorge about half a mile away and the full length of the Nik's telephoto just brought it in. I went looking for the statue afterwards but the Seagull had done its work and moved elsewhere so no close up. The statue is of Dom Joao 1, King of Portugal, fully armour plated and heroically poised to do battle.

Roight – to the business of the day…

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Now for the Daily Examiner

Biggish couple of days. Re-installed the wind generator yesterday evening with Mr Fernando from Telextronica – still not enugh wind to turn the thing but he's confident.

And the parts eventually emerged from customs midday today and we took the whole thing apart, lifted the engine, re-aligned the bellhousing, changed gearboxes and reassembled it all. I'm covered in bruises around the chest and ribs and cuts all over my hands from the pointy bits of hose clips but – Daily Examiner permitting – it's done except for a bit of minor connection tomorrow. I'll try to write the story in a bit more detail in case anyone else ever wants to do it and put it on the blog somewhere. We worked out a different way of lifting the engine this time and it worked much better. Still not easy.

Massive bearhug for John Witchard (Witchard Marine Diesel in Sydney) for putting together the realignment tool and all the allen keys and bolts and instructions. It all worked , John – about  a 6 hour job and full of beartraps but it's now the third time I've done it (I think…)and all the beartraps are new ones. How can this be? Anyway, great job mate!

Photos – top down

Engine lifted, rotated and swinging in the breeze and the wash of the go fast plastic mob
Shredded neoprene damping material
New lift technology – explanation follows if I can get it together
Christ on the other side of the river – he's about 2 miles away – too far to monitor the comments of the local seagulls. But anyway, he's probably got a tefln haircut…

Been trying to remember all evening the name of the mob at the Resturant at the end of the Universe who were waiting for their prophet and he arrived too late for the his own sermon. The followers of Zarkon perhaps

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon


Thanks Charles! Engine now all re-connected, I hope, and sounds good. Everything seems to work as originally intended and I've just put in the last 4 tiny screws that secure the hinges of the engine box. Thanks to all of you with acheing appendages – time to relax them a bit until Sunday, when we will leave, AGW.

Second round with Dra. Bruno this afternoon and with luck the final stoush at 10.00 aturday. Meantime, putting the boat back together and a bit of exploring – I'm off to the National Archives tomorrow if I can work the subway system. That's where the remaining records of the C15 voyages are kept – all that's left after the 1755 fire and earthquake.

Thanks for all your messages on B2 gmail – I cant get to them at the mo because my link is misbehaving so I'll send this and hope it goes.
2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Is there a tooth fairy out there – or a generous seagull?

The second round with Dra. Bruno will be, I hope, the last. We decided that the tooth had to go and now I have my old friend in a little blue plastic box just in case there's an errant tooth fairy near the Doca. She's a brilliant extractor – I got none of the crunching I expected from previous eperience – but some reassuring scraping around the bony edges of the hole to clear the infection – reassuring but spine creepy. I'm dosed to the eyebrows with amoxycillin – it was a really big infection – and I have a stitch that has to be removed in 8 days. So, being a prudent old fart, I bought tweezers and sharp scissors on the walk back to the boat so that Pete can act as barber surgeon. Swiss army knife and pliers might be a bit cumbersome. I have a cd of all the xrays – isn't technology wonderful?

Which means that we could leave on the next tide, but we won't. We are having dinner at what looks like a cool establishment tomorrow evening with local friend who organised the dentist for me and we might then leave on the midday tide on Friday. Carol, yep – B2 @ gmail from then on. But I think more likely midday Saturday.

Have been passing prescribed cold ale over wound and watching extraordinary fog roll up the Tagus. Wind blowing directly up the river, fog rolling in with it, completely obscured bridge and Christ statue in minutes but seems only over river. Significant drop in temperature. Instant foghoonery from the river traffic.  Assume a temperature inversion but not sure. Will google later. Condensation dripping off rig and other elevated bits of Berri.

Story of engine lift if I can gt it together before we leave, else perhaps by instalment via sailmail. Must eat, dose some more and sleep – the decrepitude creeps on…

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Off again?

So much to write and so little time. Lisbon has been at one level fascinating – an amazing city with such a history. And at another level just one little – or huge frustration after another and the only way forward is to hang on the the threads of equanimity and patience and just keep on pushing. We think we are ready to go – with an untested repair to the wind generator – but Telextronica is confident so we'll go.

And we will sail down the Tagus in the wake of a line of truly legendary sailors who departed from here not knowing where they were going, fully aware that their chances of returning were minimal, in boats that today look primitive, with all the superstition and fear of their religious age. We will pass the monument to Prince Henry the Navigator and salute them all.

Thence we will head towards Madeira. We will be back on sailmail from about 1400 UTC today so messages via Berrimilla2@gmail.com please.

Carol, thanks for good wishes and yep – we'll dip our lids.

Love yose all.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon


or Infante Dom Anrique and the monument to the sailors who made the voyages.

And the world map in the Maritime Museum with the C15 voyages

Unfortunately, I stuffed up the technology and the photo of Pete doing his laundry, Lisbon style – treading it in a bin full of fresh water and Fairy liquid on the pontoon – wont download as a video or a photo.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Final shore based coldie

The weather not brill for the next week – light to moderate headwinds – but we're going to go. This may be the last from gmail for a while. Odd feeling having a last coldie at the caff on the wharf with perhaps two months minimum at sea to come…

We'll have a somewhat warmer drop of Sagres as we pass Henry and his mates. Sagres is local beer and also the place where he lived and watched for his ships to come home.

Cross 'em please – I think we're off.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

What was all that guff about threads of equanimity?

Off we went, out through the swing bridge at the end of the dock and 180 starboard into the Tagus. 15 knots of wind right on the nose but no movimento from the wind generator's whizzer. It ought to turn at that windspeed, even with the engine running but it should stop itself charging the battery. So 180 port, back to the end of the mole, another 180 port and back in the queue for the swing bridge. Here we are, back in berth 825 and the techie will be here in the morning.

Probably only a small adjustment needed but best done by the expert.

So Henry's Sagres is in consultative mode and we ain't weeping. Yet!

We'll keep you posted…

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

The state of play

So – where we are at. A hot humid Saturday morning in Lisbon and we will be here at least until Monday but more likely Tuesday. Fernando arrived in the throes of a seemingly terminal attack of the flu + bronchitis + you name it and we set up a ladder against the backstay and ran the Air X with a drill to simulate wind. No charge indicated by the Xantrex although the AirX LED said it was charging. No obvious reason except perhaps the new PCB incompatible somehow with something in the boat – the unit worked under test in the lab.


So – dismantle it all over again – tools resurrected from the bowels where they are screwed down under bunkboards for the ocean voyage that wasn’t. Unit back to lab. Monday Public Holiday but Sonia and Fernando will work anyway to get us going. Service! That is, if poor Fernando survives that long – I told him to go home to bed.


The good news – yep, there is some! I wrote a polite note, quite a long one for me, to the Sales Manager Europe for Southwest Windpower (the manufacturers of the Air series) who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona (always wanted to go there!) and she came back almost immediately with the offer of a new one. The complication is that Telextronica only have the slightly less rugged newer model in stock – meant for these latitudes and not really the Southern Ocean. Anyway, I’m even more impressed with Southwest Windpower. Not only do they make superb gear, seems they also look after you if you can get in contact.


I think our best outcome from all this would be to get the old unit fixed and re-installed and to leave with a new one, even if a bit less grunty, in a box somewhere in Berri’s nethers, just in case. The new model, called Air Breeze is rated to survive at 110 mph or about 70 kts. Marginal for the Southern Ocean but we can always tie it off.


But full marks to Telextronica and Southwest.

A burst of trivia to follow if I have enough left on this link

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

Sisyphus’ shadow in the Doca

I’m told that Sisyphus achieved peace of mind by closing all thoughts of anything but the task at hand. And then got on with the job. I think we are a small jump ahead of him in that we stagger up the hill with our load of trivia but each time we get up there and roll back we have some small achievement ticked off that means that we don’t roll back quite as far.


Dunno really. It’s the hanging around that gets me. So I’m trying to learn Portugese, mostly by reading the newspapers which gives the words a bit of context. I need a dictionary and the place is closed for the long weekend…Reading it and getting the rough meaning is easy enough but understanding the rules of pronunciation and the way the locals slur the words is another ballgame altogether – it sounds like a sort of bastardised Russian. Little things…Dues cervejas …obrigado is a useful combination and I can pronounce it too.


The wind has changed – bliss! We were directly downwind of a fishing boat alongside the south wall with a pile of nets and dead fish on deck. It hasn’t moved since we got here the first time and the fish are not just dead dead but gut curdling meltingly pustulating dead – the smell is probably stirring the great Prince Henry in his grave.


There he is in the top photo, at the head of his heroes, looking outwards to the world on a foggy Sunday. With the help of a Seagull. The next photo (with a large chunk of grot on the photoplate that must have been inside the Nik since I bought it) is one of the old schooners that sailed to the Grand Banks for cod – bacalhau in Portugese . The schooners carried up to 50 dories on deck, all stacked inside eachother – the third pic is  our smelly friend with his modern dory.


My internet access is now limited so doing these as word docs and pasting them into gmail when I have a connection. So they may lack a bit of structural integrity. Right now. waiting for Fernando to arrive with a new generator to see whether we can decide whether the problem is in the boat or the old generator.


Happy 50th Gordie – all y’all please Consult on Oct 8th. I think there will be a huge party in Falmouth. The final pic is a Gargoyle for Gordie – hasn’t looked a day over 50 for 500 years – Go Gordie!


Apart from which, trivia reigns. Love youse all.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

The engine lift, summarised

The first couple of times we lifted the donk, in Dutch Harbour and Falmouth, we had a chain hoist hanging from the boom above the aft end of the coachroof. There are photos on the /tng website if they haven’t been corrupted by the bloody Viagra mob. The problem with this is that the hoist is angled forwards (towards the bow) as it passes around the coachroof coaming and down to the engine, so the lift is not vertical but pulling aft and hard against the coaming of the coachroof.


This means that to move the engine towards the bow to get it off its mounts and into the saloon, you must pull it against the backward pull of the hoist – tricky and a pain to do, with tackles everywhere and massive tension on them and having to ease the hoist at the same time.


So this time I pondered a bit and decided that a better way might be to use a couple of small tackles to suspend a bar, post, spinnaker pole or – in Berri’s case – the jockey pole under the boom but inside the boat. To do this you do need a hatch somewhere in the coachroof, with one small tackle going up through it. The other end of the pole is suspended by the other tackle just aft of the coachroof. You need to be sure that the pole you use can support the weight of the donk from its centre while it is suspended from each end (I hope that makes sense). Berri's jockey pole is a hefty bit of tubing.


Then a 4 or better still 6 part tackle from the point of the pole directly above the suspension points on the donk gives you a vertical lift. Ever so much easier and you can get fine adjustments by playing with the two smaller tackles. It also allows you to tilt the pole slightly to assist the movement of the engine fore or aft once lifted. Worked like a dream. You can see most of the arrangement in the photos posted on the blog earlier. But here they are again

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

You makes your own luck – or not?

Stop yer whingeing, SisyFart. Looked at in any way but as a Conspiracy of Examiners,   we have been lucky.


The AirX died out there in the Bay of Biscay. Not off Tristan da Cunha. We were within easy sail of Lisbon and there’s a Southwest Windpower agent here. Score 1.


My tooth went berserk after we got here – not out there in an Atlantic gale – and we were introduced to a local friend who kindly and competently pointed me at his own dentist and organised an appointment. And took us out to dinner. Twice. Thanks John! Score 2.


And the damper plate self destructed here in the Doca. Not out there in the ITCZ. Score 3.


And I can say Dues Cervejas in Portugese. Score 4 and onward.


And who knows what a 3 week delay might mean when we get down to 40 S. Score to be determined.


Been amusing myself with the tools of self justification – proverbs like ‘Fools rush in…’ or its opposite ‘Fortune favours the brave’ or even ‘Carpe diem’. There’s one for every circumstance. Anyone got any good suggestions for this pongy Doca? ‘There but for the grace of God…’ perhaps for you lot but what about us? Actually, I like the one in the Baez song about the juniper – ‘there but for fortune go you or go I’ meaning into gin soaked oblivion but it works in more devious ways.


Post them on Berrimilla2@gmail.com if you’ve nowt better to do. And thanks to everyone who have sent us messages and support. Fantastic and I’m trying to reply to you all as we go.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

A bit of wisdom and a mini update

From Con and the Munster Rugby team over there in Crosshaven:

To the brave and faithful, nothing is impossible

And from my sister:

Maybe the Doca is thinking this about YOU..


"As we say in Athens, fishe and gestes in three dayes are stale".


1580 John Lyly from Euphues & his England II. 81 


If you are mystified, gestes has a hard g

Thanks to both of you!

We now have a new Airbreeze wind generator installed and it seems to be behaving, Thanks to Ketter at Southwest Windpower in Flagstaff and Sonia and Fernando at Telextronica here. We're going to watch it for a day and then, weather permitting get out of town. Been here way more than three dayes.

2-11. Falmouth-Lisbon

OMDF – with deference to Kurtsy

The Portugese seem to favour the rather florid and pretentiously heroic in their statuary.

This guy is anything but – he’s under a giant Moreton Bay fig in the Jardim de Estrela and I couldn’t find anyone with enough English to tell me who he is. There’s no inscription anywhere – perhaps google later. But to me he’s the universal and humble mover of mountains, unsung and mostly forgotten by the florid and pretentious. He is dressed like an Australian but could be any worker anywhere. No seagulls for him.

 I took his photo on the 15 k walk to the dentist at Saldanha and back. Pete had a go at barber surgery on my stitch this morning and we decided that the tools at hand are not fine enough so up to the dentist again, where Dra Bruno removed it in a nanosecond.

 And the new wind generator has at last revved up enough to demonstrate its efficacy so, subject to major change in the forecast, we will wait for this little SW blow to soften and leave tomorrow afternoon on the tide. Cross em again please.

 For me, the usual inertia based partly on apprehension – but there will be yet another farewell coldie at the wharf Caff tomorrow and then into it. I won’t really feel we’re on our way until we are clear of Brazil and heading east.

Meantime, off to Pingos Doce to stock up on rather expensive snickers and mars bars. We’ve been a bit profligate here in the Doca. The dead fish seem to have evolved beyond the smelly stage so life is a bit easier.