FROM 1-5. Mid Pacific to Heading South

Feb 15, 2005 - 0125hrs UTC

0125hrs 15 Feb 2005 UTC 46’12”S 135’14”W Map Ref 64 3548nm

More idle speculation: how good a mixer is the world’s climate system?   Here we plod, in one of the most remote spots on the planet, with a bit of water around us.  What, for instance, is the broad  statistical probability that there’s a water molecule in the 6 litres squeezed out of the desalinator yesterday, that I have met before in the last 60+ years, whether in a glass of beer, the ’61 Fastnet, a swimming pool, the gobby stuff the camel spat at me in 1962, a mosquito bite, Bondi, Bass Strait, any old where? And if you think there may be one, come out here and show me which one.   If it’s the gobby one, I want it out.

You would have got the crossword -too big?. We (Kris, Mal, and I) are working out the most compressed version to get it to you. Do you have PK-zip on your PC? Otherwise we are concocting a java script that will build the crossword from a small text file we would send. Would you print it or work on the screen? Do you need answers? We liken it to the Apollo 13 dilemma – we have to work with what you have, using limited bandwidth, and no chance of additional resources! Good fun.

On a similar note, does Pete have a sailmail account? Perhaps a way to beat the system? A thought.

From Hilary

Cupid’s little wings    “Dear Alex and Peter,

You have a great excuse for not getting a Valentine’s Day card today, with the

dozen red roses. Cupid’s little wings can’t fly that far and Hermes (or whoever

that Interflora guy is) says it’s not not in his contract to scour the ocean

looking for hairy men. But we didn’t want you to feel completely ignored, so

here are good wishes from us, – ( we ate the chocolates too),

 And to Kris, Steve and Malcolm, the three geniuses co-operating across the world who actually managed to get me a Guardian Weekly cryptic via sailmail, cool and froody, guys – thanks.  I’m still stunned. Steve, no, he doesn’t have an account but that might work.  I’ve had to hand copy the crossword because my printer has gone on strike.   And Croo, water is generally transubstantiated into a clue butnant I ain’t got yet.   Jeanne and Hilary, thanks for the lovely Valentine roses.   Really uplifting gesture and we do appreciate them.   You should have received some virtual watercress from our herbaceous loo garden and we ate your chocolates too.

From James J.

Hi Alex and Pete, now you are testing a Brolga in possibly the remotest and coldest part of the world for the first time, I thought the Brolga owners reading your progress may be interested in what works for you aboard and what would change given you are living aboard at sea for an extended time under difficult conditions. My questions are do you think under deck insulation such as polystyrene would help? I’ve heard of having a car heater put into the cooling water line to provide a cabin heater or drying cabinet whilst the motor is running. (cheap at a wreckers) Good idea? Any glaringly obvious druthers or is Berrimilla perfect ? : )

 For James and the BOG, as you would realise, a lot of this stuff is specific to a particular boat – Berri, for instance, doesn’t have the full teak fitout and is more open than most other Brolgas.   Anyway, before we leftHobartwe insulated the interior between the main bulkhead and the companionway including the two middle windows with 5mm closed cell foam stuck on with velcro (mistake, sika would have been better) and it works very well.  Would have been good to have covered the two big after windows as well but that would have made it altogether too pokey. No problems with condensation, warm and cosy.   And you can write the contents of adjacent lockers on it.   To get the full effect, it would need a curtain to close off the forepeak forward of the head (where we keep sails but some of you sleep) and perhaps also the quarterberths, ditto.   And insulate the head, particularly the bulkhead where you generally have to lean and which is always cold and clammy.  And toss the plastic one and make a wooden seat.  As for heating, it isn’t that cold down here.  Yet.  Making bread works up an almost unbearable fug if we can’t open any vents.   In Dunedin all the cruisers who go down to Stewart Island and beyond have little flued diesel burners as a matter of course and I think that’s what I’d go for too – simple, no extra plumbing and they all say they are very effective.  Keep it simple and elegant and it’s generally much easier to manage and above all, to fix if it breaks. Bob Watt, the gentle genius who did our stainless work makes the flues for them and uses one himself – I can give you contact details.   There is a lot of other stuff about what works and doesn’t back in the log, James, if you have time to trawl through it, else I’ll do you a list when we get back. 

 And if you plan to go anywhere remotely iffy, put in some really BIG cockpit drains.   Berri has 4, one in each corner, and they are still inadequate.   We have filled the cockpit to the coaming several times now and it’s somewhat nailbiting waiting for a couple of tonnes of water to trickle out of the back, especially if you happen to be down below and watching it trying to get past the stormboards into your bunk.  Don’t assume it will be ok with the single drain most Brolgas come with.  It won’t.  For the same reason, insulate and waterproof the engine controls, autopilot socket, ventilators and any other vital goodies in the cockpit.

Hope that helps.

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