Latest Logs


Logs ( 19 )

B4B2

Pupation

A caterpillar she wasn’t but she has new innards and is now Bobblewrapped for the winter. She will emerge from her chrysalis as a Red Admiral and migrate north.


B4B2

Finger trouble

Live from the field it wasn’t – I posted the previous photo in a fit of finger trouble trying to move it somewhere else. It’s a nice photo taken last year from Homer looking across Cook Inlet to Mt Illiamna. Cook inlet has some interesting tidal effects

B4B2

Live From The Field

B4B2

Progress

Bobbles has some new holes for access to otherwise unusable spaces – 7 of them – and a new rib to replace the rotten original. The centreboard purchase is bolted back on to it. There are signs that the beam supporting the mast was flexing in a past life and Megan has added a laminated strengthener which will eventually have pillars transferring the load down to the new rib. Handholds for the foredeckie. Battery boxes either side of the centreboard to come and a new floor for the cabin. And I’m watching all this from Sydney…



B4B2

Bobble for short and Bobbles for even shorter

Carla, one of B2’s fans came down to Portland from Seattle where she’s designing and building huge rocket engines for Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin. She cast her engineer’s eye over the little boat and approved but dubbed her Berribob instead of the rather clumsy B4B2. We modified this to Bobble for short and she’s now mostly Bobbles for even shorter. We have some cool rocket engine and Space stickers for her when she’s ready to launch. And a box of dried meals. Thanks Carla!

B4B2

Engine room!

We have a removable sliding seat – elegant, simple and it folds away, thanks to Pat. Half the necessary bits for rowing. The sculls and pins and oarlocks, the other half, are here too, to be fitted in the next couple of days, as Megan gets a wodge of fibreglassing done. And a new bulkead to replace the rotted out mess that we started with. We are also cutting holes for circular access hatches to all the otherwise unusable spaces. Yay! B4B2 rocks. Still digging out foam in inaccessible places, which is the lot of the unskilled smelly old geezer who hangs around the place…We’re aiming for a preliminary test launch before aforesaid USOG leave next Wednesday. <#m_5762953916973542236_DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

B4B2

Building a new boat around the tiller?

Thanks Malcom! And the tiller is one of the few bits that we won’t be touching till we launch her. We’ve discovered that the boat was made in 2 halves (quite obvious) and that all the deck fittings were installed before the deck moulding was attached to the hull. Extra kool because all the fittings are through bolted even in the most inaccessible places The problem, though, is that the builder sprayed about a foot of foam into all the spaces that we want to use under the deck and we have to chop it all out Tedious, bruising and bad for the knuckles. Here’s a pic of Megan in disguise. And the new space. <#m_8874467181148939233_m_7209944372373705991_DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

B4B2

Wow!

Queen Elizabeth the First is supposed to have said as she died “All my possessions for one more moment in time” I think that if I had another life, I’d like to spend it making beautiful things out of wood. After every Hobart race, I’d go and drool a lot in my friend John Sutherland’s sheds in Tasmania where he made lovely furniture and had all the gear to do it. And now, half a world away preparing for another sailing race. my drool is becoming indecent. Elgin’s Dad has been a woodworker all his life. He makes musical instruments, mostly mirimbas and xylophones, and he has the best workshop in all the world. His basement is packed floor to ceiling with tools – old hand tools, ancient, massive cast iron presses and bandsaws, modern electric cutters and sanders and shapers, lathes, saws and little tuning machines. And clamps. Clamps in battalions, in rows and ranks and tiers – hanging from wherever there is space. Timber! – stacks of wood from everywhere, some of it many years old. And it smells like a woodworking shop would smell in your dreams. We went to visit him to borrow some clamps and to make a wooden pad for the masthead tricolor. Not just any wooden pad but one made from padauk, a lovely deep orangey red timber that is hard and durable and perfect for the job.More on clamps later. The photos show Elgin cutting the pad with a band saw and the masthead with the pad and the light fitted. Cooool. <#m_-8102130588265121752_m_-302413698171978082_DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

B4B2

The buzz that grows with a project

Imagination is a wonderful driver. The Podunker sent us an idea, there was the right boat in a photo and here we are with a tent over a rather nice piece of shaped fibreglass in a muddy driveway in the rain with a lot of work to do and my head a little universe of whizzing catherine wheel ideas that whirl away and spark off each other and into the to-do list. A big messy inanimate object in serious undress but with the Inside Passage and the Gulf of Alaska – in summer sunshine – out there as the reason for it all. We’ve ordered the sculls and fittings to row it and they should arrive at about the same time as Pat comes down from Nome to help put it all together. I think she’ll row just fine and she’d better because there could be a lot of rowing. I’m making some temporary rigging out of 4mm dyneema and adding reefing hardware and a topping lift and the mast will be usable…B4B2 is really just a big dinghy and everything is manageable. The photos – more centreboard and new backstay with autumn leaves <#m_3790988700484270538_DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

B4B2

Progress in Blobs

or in Stits and Farts, as the Rev. Spooner probably never said. Lots happening but it’s never instantaneous. For instance, we took the rainbow mainsail to the sailmakers yesterday to have a second set of reef points and full batten pockets fitted and ended up ordering a new one – the difference in price was relatively small and it seemed sensible The new one will be made in Sri Lanka and won’t be ready till January. The sailmaker is also making the standing rigging but that’s in sporadic mode too and a week or two away because he has to order the parts…we hope to raise the mast with the old stuff in the next few days. We erected a tent over the boat to keep the rain out – tied down to old car wheels and sandbags to stop it doing a Mary Poppins but the Portland dank and dismould is now at least at tent’s length and we can work under it on a dry boat. There’s a small but vital bulkhead inside that has rotted and Megan will crank up the angle grinder and cut it out and make a new one and glass it in. There’s some benefit in months of work in Hobart doing just that. Next big job is to roll the hull over to one side and extend the centreboard to check its structural integrity. The photo shows the purchase for raising the board – buried deep in the most inaccessible part of the hull. And so it goes…. . Virus-free. www.avg.com <#DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

Latest Logs

Bob

For the record, here’s Bob on his way into hibernation in that cold shed out at Cape Nome. He’s a John Welsford Houdini design from NZ . http://jwboatdesigns.co.nz/plans/houdini/ One day he will emerge from his shed and he might even sail south to do his own R2ak. Meantime, he’s iced in till the summer. Virus-free. www.avg.com <#DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

B4B2

B4B2

And you know most of this story. B4 for Berrimilla 4, B2 for Bob 2 Silly really but a sort of tangled continuation that joins the two boats. Bob is Megan’s almost finished 16 ft. sailing boat now waiting for her in a cold shed at Cape Nome. I was asked today by a very distinguished ex B2 sailor that as my boats seem to be getting smaller as I get more wrinkly, what did I think I’d cross in to whatever there may be on the other side, Images of burning Viking ships come to mind, but nothing so heroic. I’m going to hang around till the boats shrink to soapdish size and cross the Styx in a soapdish lid…Charon, Cerberus and The Examiner permitting…. Virus-free. www.avg.com <#m_7836309755713587823_DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

B3

B3

At about the same time as I sold B2, I was given an M26 Folkboat – for those who know, more or less the same as a Contessa 26. A nice, seaworthy design with some serious pedigree She had been sitting on her mooring for about 7 years gradually deteriorating and getting bashed by passing hoons. Externally, she looked to be derelict, but I was rather hsppily surprised to find her mostly fixable. Her topsides paint was originally gorgeous deep blue with gold lettering but it was badly scratched and otherwise mangled and also unstable, so it all had to come off to expose the original gel coat. The photos show a progression over several months, She has a small solar panel trickle charging the battery and – astonishingly – when I tried to start her engine, it fired immediately. yay! The anchor locker had a solid block of about 50 metres of rusted chain and the anchor, all of which we had to cut out with an angle grinder. I think she’s more or less ok now to cross oceans – or at least the Tasman Sea.. Watch this space. Virus-free. www.avg.com <#m_-2460531383510620457_DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

B3

What's all this about B2/B3/B4B2...

It’s middle of the night dark and dismold here in Oregon, a bit like writing these in Berrimilla 2 except that the floor isn’t moving. And I’m warm and dry. I’m being chastised unmercifully by She Who Graces This Website With Her Magic and by The Examiner in an especially foul mood for not having written this post before all this r2ak silliness started, so here goes. This installment is for B2. I sold Berrimilla 2 last year. A very sad decision for me but a necessary one for Berri. The old barge was sitting forlorn on her mooring covered in seagull poo and not being sailed. I’d lost all motivation to sail around the Harbour and out to the Heads, even up and down the coast – very much ‘been there, why do it all again’. Old men need projects or they fade away. She’s now owned by a young couple sort of from Switzerland, but this isn’t the place to tell their story. They are quite capable of doing that themselves if they want to. I think, though, that they will take the old barge back across oceans in their own good time – maybe in a year or two. Meanwhile, they are clearing out the mould of 2 circumnavigations and all that inactivity. I wish them happiness, the caress of providence and all the wonderful times B2 gave me and the many friends who sailed with us. B3’s installment to follow in daylight tomorrow when I can find some photos. Virus-free. www.avg.com <#DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

B4B2

Blind date

Qantas seems to have got all the gubbins most of the way to Portland and Alaskan did the rest. We were introduced to B4B2 at midnight on Friday in wet and dismold Oregon autumn conditions – a proper blind date. We liked eachother and I’m sure we’ll click – she’s a nice little boat and will certainly go the distance if we look after her. Lots of stuff to do in the next 3 weeks while I’m here and more for Megan perhaps later. I’ll post some boring detail when it’s happening. Today we just cleaned her out and Megan’s making a new companionway hatch to keep the rain out. Virus-free. www.avg.com <#DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>


B4B2

When you need to know where your your towel is...

The r2ak organisers asked whether we have dry suits. We have. And socks, it seems. These suits are probably a bit OTT but they will serve the purpose. Megan is wearing Pete’s Berrimilla 2 TP&S dry suit the same as the Round the World shorthanded racers use. It’s designed to be worked in on deck in southern ocean storms in small boats and this one was last out of its bag somewhere between the Kerguelen Islands and Australia at about 50 south. Suck it and it’s salty. If things get beyond the pear shaped, the suit provides full buoyancy and survival warmth in cold water. Mine is still in its post Kerguelen bag and I hope it won’t need to come out but it’s nice to have. Virus-free. www.avg.com <#DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

B4B2

And so it begins.

Departure time This is the heap we hope Qantas will carry to SFO today. Then Alaska Air to Portland. It’s the first shipment of gear we’ll need in June for the race. Dry suits, sails, boom tent, wet weather gear, all the little gizmos like VHF, PLBs and satphone, plus arctic sleeping bags and survival gear. Even some warm clothes, but they are squeezed in last – we’re going to raid the Portland thrift shops when we get there. B2’s old faithful Panasonic Toughbook laptop will be along for the ride too but we may have a problem cobbling together a power supply for that and there are a couple of GPS handhelds just in case. Hard copy charts and tide tables when we get closer to the start party. In keeping with Berrimilla tradition, we’ll be keeping a low profile. We will try to keep these updates bland, factual and bereft of BS. No faffing about how pretty we look in our daggy wet weather gear, just boring stuff about what works and what doesn’t. If we make it to Ketchikan and onwards to Homer, then maybe we can faff just a bit. But probably not.

B4B2

An update – r2ak on a shoestring

Neither of us has seen B4B2 yet and all may change once we get to meet her. Berrimilla 2 she ain’t but I think she’s perfect for this gig. We’ll know whether she is if we actually get to Ketchikan. I’ll keep updating progress here. Meantime, The Examiner is downloading all her data on the inside passage and greasing her leathers in anticipation. A bit of detail. Megan and I will be in Portland next week to start getting B4B2 ready to operate a full time Consultancy next year. Minimalism, but we do have to get her to Ketchikan and then onwards to Homer. In summary, a stubby bowsprit and an outer forestay plus a pair of running backstays to allow a more flexible headsail arrangement. 3 reefing points in the mainsail and full battens. Solar panels, batteries, nav lights, Iridium Go, hiking straps, VHF plus life jackets, dry suits, PLB’s and the other gubbins that the race requires. A rather special wind indicator – maybe more on that later. We think perhaps a small cage to tow and cool suitable Medicinal Compounds in the cold waters of the Inside Passage to support a proper Consultative Surgery. And we’ll set her up to be rowed in the soft bits. It’s interesting up there. If you’re all bored, google Seymour Narrows…here’s a taste Photos to follow…

B4B2

Is anyone still out there?

Something completely different – or where the Woozle might be going…

A couple of years or so ago, a Berrimilla Blog fan from Podunk, (the Colorado one) suggested that the Race to Alaska (r2ak.com) might be a cool way to grow older and greyer. Seemed like a good idea. Megan Hahn was building a wooden sailing boat in her Dad’s workshop in Nome. which also seemed like the right sort of boat for the job. It’s name became Bob, almost by accident. but, for a bunch of reasons mostly to do with serious winter cold in Nome, Bob didn’t quite get finished in time to do this year’s race and he’s now awaiting further TLC in a very cold shed at Cape Nome. Somewhere, there are photos of all this and I’ll try to post them.

Meantime, Megan came out to Australia for a year on a work visa.

The R2AK idea bobbled along out in the dimmer reaches of the back burner until I was again prodded by the Podunker that there’s another race starting on June 14th next year. In the fullness of serendipity, I looked at the boats for sale in North West USA that day and found an ad for what seemed to be exactly what we needed and at a crazily affordable price. We bought it from the photo below and Megan’s sister collected it and it’s now in her back yard in Portland, Oregon about 300k from the r2ak start line in Port Townsend.

At about the same time, I applied for entry to the 2018 r2ak and we were accepted. Here’s the link https://r2ak.com/2018-teams-full-race/team-b4b2/ A bit over the top but hey – we’re in!

There are some stories amongst that lot but maybe later. The boat has become B4B2 for the duration and there is a plan to modify her by adding a sliding seat, sculling oars and some extra rigging. We’re going up to work on all that in a few days. More as it happens. There’s a facebook page here for the 2018 race https://www.facebook.com/racetoalaska/
Scroll down a bit and we’re there somewhere.

These are the specs for B4B2. http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=4858 Click on the Buccaneer link at the bottom for a deck plan.

I’ll try to keep this going as we get things organised and during the race – some of Berri’s old Iridium gear might be useful in the remoter bits of the Inside Passage. We’ll see. If we make it as far as Ketchikan, the idea is to keep going north west around the top of the Gulf of Alaska, through the Aleutians and into Homer where Megan lives. If we make it that far, B4B2 has a new home. Meantime, we’re patching our towels…