FROM 1-13. Across the Equator

May 03, 2005 - 1730hrs UTC │Equator Going North

1730hrs 03 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 198 00’07”N 029’38”W

We seem to have changed ends. Crossed the equator at 03/14 01 27 Z +- a few seconds. WOOOHOOO! Sorry, Mal, not good enough – you were a minute and 27 seconds off. Nice feeling, very hot – 40+ – water 30+, did some repairs and went for a swim.,

Repairs: Berri’s first major structural problem and we have a work around – the port inner shroud (one of the two heaviest bits of wire in the boat) has started to strand – come apart – at the lower swage (where it is compressed inside the sleeve that attaches it to the boat) – very much a pear shaped problem and we could lose the mast if there is no backup. So – I went up the mast to have a look at all the other swages – sfsg except the forestay has seen a bit of work, and then we rigged a strop and a big bottle screw and some 8mm spectra and doubled up on the shroud. Should get us to the UK but raises doubts about the rest of the rig. We’ll get there, but may be sensible to re-rig before leaving. Not funny, financially – and will be a difficult decision.

From the water, Berri’s hull is a mess. Below the waterline is fine, prop and anode ok. Topsides covered in green and brown slime and aquatic ferals and barnacles. Very ugly. The beautifully painted name on the bow has mostly gone on the port side and the S2H numbers are a bit frayed close to the waterline, but still easily readable as 71. None of which is remotely surprising, considering where we’ve been.

John C – we have just broached your guinness with serious purpose. As one should. Thanks. Shame you can’t be here to share it but you’d melt. And I’m glad it’s me that’s the pious one!.

Fenwick – all bloody excuses – if you need a bike, give Hilary a ring and go and select one of the various recycled (!) hybrids in our garage. Just ride it away buddy and no need to bring it back.

Omnitech – Russell – we seem to be just up the road and thanks for your message. Tell us more about what you are doing.

Sal – hi and glad +XVI is going well. Hi Emma. Why chilli? Ring of fire, perhaps?

David M, – you are right about GMDSS but it is really big ship stuff – all the safety backup that we used to rely on now costs rather a lot and is not really practical for small boats – for instance, we would have to keep a radio switched on all the time and that requires constant power. Ok for short cruises but hard out here unless the sun is shining. And generally, it’s so noisy in the boat that you can’t hear it anyway.

Julita – get back to work! I’ve got 12 toothbrushes!. And your glue kit.

More numbers: The GPS says we sailed 4193 miles to the equator from Stanley. Actual distance is 3454 approx, so we sailed 639 miles sideways. Here’s hoping the North Atlantic is a bit kinder.

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