FROM 1-8. Horn to Falkland Islands

Mar 10, 2005 - 0730hrs UTC │ NASA will try to talk to us

0730hrs 10 Mar 2005 UTC 55’54”S 072’56”W Map Ref 112

Would all y’all join us both in wishing Ben and Georgina all the very best for their wedding on Saturday in Oz and for the future. The have been part of the Berrimilla extended family ever since Ben jumped off the comforts of New Endeavour into a particularly nasty trip back from Hobart to Sydney about 10 years ago and then raced down with us the following year. The less said the better about other boats he’s been on since then, though – guttersnipe! This will be the first time they will miss the annual Berrimilla Bash and, but for Pete and myself setting a precedent and missing it too, I would feel it necessary to chastise them for getting their priorities wrong.

Still pretty violent down here but it does seem as if the wind has backed a little and is easing. Berrimilla is being thrown off the sides of waves and rolls quite ferociously every now and again and it’s quite hard to brace oneself. Banging in these keystrokes takes some serious concentration and exercises all sorts of odd muscles. Essential to keep the forearms locked to the edge of the nav table while everything else moves 40 – 50 feet sideways and around the barrel. Teamaking now especially hazardous. We’ll wait until daylight and then put some sail up again – it does seem that the sustained 60 -70 knot gusts have diminished and the sea is subsiding. It is the sea, not so much the strong wind, that makes it dangerous to keep the boat moving at much more than steerage way because even bare poled on top of one of these crests in a 70 knot gust, Berri takes off sometimes at more than 10 knots in streamers of bluish white foam. Add boat speed to that and there’s a potentially sticky sideways arrival in breaking water at the bottom of the heap. So we’re doing it very slowly and rounding now looks like Saturday rather than tomoz. Maybe close to wedding time – we’ll have a rum in their honour when we get to open the bottle.

In an earlier update from mid Pacific, I waffled on about our being pretty isolated and the crew of the International Space Station being the nearest humans to us several times a day. Malcolm emailed NASA and they are going to try to talk to us if they can manage it technically. And they wished us luck. Thanks NASA – something rather special for an old workhorse.

And thanks everyone for your feedback on whether we should hand over this nonsense to a commercial website. Seems you are all emphatically on my side and I’m pleased. If we’re that interesting, it seems to me, then any website that purports to inform should do just that and provide the link.

Keeping these short cos we’re down on power. Onya Ben and Georgina.

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