FROM 1-24. Closing on the Barn Door

Oct 17, 2005 - 1515hrs UTC │Sleeping and dressing

1515hrs 17 Oct 2005 UTC 40’08”S 004’55”E Ref 449

Wriggle, shimmy and glide – people ask us how we live in our little bus shelter.

I sleep in the port (left) bunk – in which it is physically impossible to sleep straight or comfortable because the chain plate (big metal strip that ties the mast to the keel under the shrouds) goes down through the middle of it at about shin level. I’ve got an el cheapo sleeping bag – zipped across the foot and up one side and on top of it I have a dayglo orange sea rug – a sort of marine doona. I’ve just put the sleeping bag into its bivvy bag because everything is now wet – either soaked or damp – unless it has been protected. Quite tricky to get into all that. Getting out is harder because it’s always snug and warm and party gear is not snug and warm. I sleep in my day top of two layers of thermals, plus a pair of fleece pants which live inside the sleeping bag when not in use. I keep my norwegian knitted boot feral comforters between the bag and the searug when not in use to try to dry them out. I have got used to the chummy pond and the noisy chatter of the ferals as they breed and fester. So the wriggle – hook thumbs into elastic waist of pants behind hips, raise mid section on heels and shoulders and wriggle bott out from elastic. Shimmy fleece pants down to ankles and remove, put in bag beside now rapidly cooling rump and untangle woolly overalls and glide first one raised leg, then the other into overalls, shimmy waist bit of overalls over hips and wriggle bott into place. All this in supine position. Slide norwegian comforters over feet – easy if both are dry…and execute exquisitely timed luuurch upwards or the grab rail. Contact made, right leg over the lee cloth and pole. pull body into approx vertical stance and again, time the move from there to somewhere convenient to wedge self and pee bucket – and so the watch gets under way.

Simon asked about the boat – there’s lots of stuff on the website including photos – you have to dig a bit – and Pete composed a paean on Brolgas which is in the logs somewhere. [ed: I will dig around and put some links here… soon]

This one’s a catch up – Gerry glad you’re back – send us some short bursts.

From Doug M.

Interesting that such a coincidence has arisen but I really think that is all that it is. However as I have no details of Henry Knight the mayor of Erskineville I cannot confirm things at this time. Henry Knight (the father and diarist) was born1817 Leigh Kent and buried Rookwood Sydney 1902 – he was the landscape gardener for Sir Thomas Walker at the Yaralla Estate, Concord Sydney. He was later an orchardist nearby

    I have no problem letting you have access to any of my Henry Knight diary transcriptions if you wish to mention things, or a copy of the original slip of paper by the Capt of the JAVA with co-ords of Henry Juniors 1853 burial at sea.

Doug, thanks for offer of access to Henry K material – yes please – maybe Belmore South kids would be interested too, especially if there is a relationship.

For Belmore South – good to have you back on the job. Have you found Pulau Tiga? I think it is very small. Pulau is the Indonesian and Malaysian word for ‘Island’. When you do find it, I would like a report on how it looks on Google Earth please!

From Adrian, Belmouth South School, in Australia:

Did any part of your ship break near Cape Horn?

Adrian, we were very lucky and we didn’t break anything important near Cape Horn, but we did lose our liferaft in a big storm near Montevideo just after leaving the Falkland Islands. It was hit by a huge wave and the lashings broke. The liferaft had a gas bottle and it inflated and was pulled along behind the boat until it filled with water and the painter (the line attaching it to Berrimilla) broke under the strain. It was too heavy and there was too much wind and rough water for us to get it back again. The liferaft had a number on it like a car registration, so that the rescue authorities know which boat it belongs to. Luckily, we have a satellite phone, so I was able to call the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra to tell them that we had lost the raft so if anyone found it and reported it they would know that we were ok. I don’t know whether anyone did. Perhaps it is still drifting towards Uruguay!.

 From Fatima, Belmouth South School, in Australia:

What do you eat and drink, (apart from tea, haha!)

Fatima, there’s a long list of our ‘rations’ – our food stores – on the website. Most of it is canned – meat, vegies, fruit – or dried, like soup, dried fruit, pasta and rice and specially prepared dried meals in plastic packs – just add water and heat! Dried food is ok as long as we can carry or make enough water to cook it and we have a water maker that I told you about in another answer. We also take as much fresh fruit, eggs, vegetables and bacon as we think we can eat before it goes bad. We still have some eggs and some bacon and some garlic left. And we always have lots of chocolate.

From Allan Fenwick:

I lost the plot years ago, so I can recognize others who are so afflicted, and believe me you two have no plot to lose, it went a few decades ago. My studies show all sailors carry this gene, academics put it cruelly by the label IDIOT. As academics also carry this gene in a greater proportion to sailors, we really know who the idiots are, so the real label for sailors are, adventurers, explorers, and challengers of convention,and know when we are having fun in an environment that lets our minds expand, so the real meaning of life is expressed by those who choose to sail.
this life is no dress rehearsal, its the real thing, and those who wait for a better one will be disappointed because there is none to be had. And just incase i’m wrong at least sailors have will have lived this one to the full and enjoyed it.

Fenwick – you can be quite erudite at times! I think your last should be set in lights on the website somewhere!

Mal – thanks for ISS passes but I doubt whether we will see the sun, let alone the ISS for the next 50 days or so. Very gloomy thought. How goes Wildfire?

Huge thank you yet again to everyone who has signed on and sent us encouraging and often very personal messages. We are stuck in a long timewarp out here and it is enormously sustaining when things ain’t going so good to get your thoughts and good wishes and to share your dreams. When we get back, it would be fantastic if we could somehow keep this going and get your continuing stories – so many of you are clearly on the way to doing interesting things. Any suggestions? And we are avidly looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible.

I think we may have made some progress in contacting the African sailmail station – I’ve now just got to cope with USB crashes. The sailmail people are great. I think I told you that we are trying to contact the single hander behind us – so far no luck, but we know he’s there and wants to talk to us because he is talking on a ham radio net.

Everything is damp, cold, clammy and dismal – so we had a special Consultation with Dave G’s bottle of Bundy this morning. Thanks Dave – just what we needed, especially me after a dreadfully frustrating headbang of a morning. Not a good day so far – I’ve had 40 minutes sleep since 0300. Just grinding out the miles and the numbers and hoping that we can keep transmitting. I can’t afford to use the SatComC again – it’s heaps too expensive for this sort of volume. Just had another go at SM Africa after a reasonable send last time and once again back in oblivion. I don’t know what’s going on – we’ve been able to talk to everyone else and can still get Chile when propagation allows.

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