FROM 1-5. Mid Pacific to Heading South

Feb 18, 2005 - 0200hrs UTC

0200hrs 18 Feb 2005 UTC 45’25”S 127’35”W Map Ref 68 3878nm

Small drama last night.   We have not been changing the plastic aerofoil on the self steering unit from large to small as often as perhaps we should (Kevin Fleming recommends whenever the apparent wind hits 20 kts) and we have had the big one on since we left Dunedin.  Slack and negligent, but it was working fine.   Anyway, there was a crash in the middle of my watch in the blackest part of the night and I jumped into my party gear – nimble as always and it only took about 15 minutes and it always reminds me of Mr Bean changing in his Mini as he drives to work – and took out the stormboard and uncoiled through the hole to investigate.   The boat had gybed and was heading for Sydney with everything crossed up and the jib backed.   Hand steered it back through the return gybe towards Chile and looked for the cause to find that the aerofoil was broken off along the line of the bracket that holds it.   Serves us right…So poor Pete had to climb out of a deep sleep and snuggly sack, into his party gear and bring up and fit one of the spares while I hand steered.  We are using a plywood spare with holes cut through it to reduce weight and duct tape across the holes.   Anyway, we now know that there’s a limit to what we can get away with.

It’s getting cold out there, especially in the middle of the night with a bit of spray and the wind from the south.   Looks as if the weather is about to get worse too – we’re now in the top of the lows rather than the bottom of the big high that has been with us since NZ.

Very tedious day so far.   wind all over the place @ 1 – 2 kt so generator wont turn and solar panel in cloudy light only does about 1.5 – 2 amps, half what we need, and we’re going nowhere.   My lunch has just been cheese on vita wheat with cress from the vegie garden topped off with Bev’s mango pickle from far off Rocky.  Yummy.   Haven’t been paying the boot ferals much attention recently and they’ve been thriving.   Some interesting new colonies, talkative as ever. Giving them an outing now in the dismal excuse for sunlight – most of them scream a lot and hide but there’s one set of mutants in one small area of insole that seem to be able to make chlorophyll – well, they are green and they grow towards the light – so maybe with some selective breeding we have a new vegie garden and a killer patent.

From Michael G.

Dear Alex and Peter,

The log makes a really great read. I check it every second day and always let the family know how you are faring.

Let me know if I can in any way facilitate any medical matters that hopefully won’t arise (bent ribs etc).  Interesting about the eye drops.

I would like to display the log updates and a photo of Berrimilla in my medical practice rooms, in a display on the front counter, but first would like to obtain permission from Alex and Peter.

I’m sure numerous of my customers would be very interested to know what you two are up to.

Keep up the hard work.

From Kim:

Pete may remember the book of “”useless”” Japanese inventions (Chindogu)   (I think) Sarah once had it.  A little invention consisted of two little plastic funnels attached to the eyeglass of a spectacle frame. Tilt your head back and you can never miss, even on a rocking boat!  There may be a pair hidden somewhere on Berrimilla.

From  John & Sherryl

From G’day Alex & Pete  We’ve been following with interest. Just as you look

foreward to your daily mail we look foreward to the trials & tribulations of

the boys on Berrimilla. We are living in a different world to you with 42

f%&ing degrees yesterday, clear skies and two feet on the ground! All is

normal with the sailing season tapering off, and the football season

starting. Pete, the young fella Matt has played a few scratch matches for

the Eagles. The last one he did ok but I think he will spend a bit of time

in our local WAFL competition at first, he’s with the big boys now. Keep up

the good work 

Michael G, thanks for offer of co-ordination and by all means display as long as we don’t have to clean up our act; original photos at home: if you need one, contact Hilary.  This must be the true measure of fame – in competition with National Geographic. Did you check the Adastra site?   Olivia, Hi – and yuk!  Kim – just what I need, another useless bit of gear please consign 4000 sterile once-onlies to Port Stanley.   Sherryl & JG, you’re a pair of bloody sadists.

Short of battery – gotta go.

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