Some of the mementos of the voyages:

Berrimilla Shirts

  • The first shirt batch was made for us by Allan Fenwick. It was sold via the website to help pay for the radio repairs and satellite emails we sent when the radio died near the Azores (First circumnavigation). There were several versions of it – long and short sleeves, different colours and also a tracksuit top version. The income from the sales just covered the satellite bill. [See also: Sponsors, in Berrimilla’s Adventures]

    Allan sent 10 to Falmouth and we signed them while we were with Leroy Chiao.

    Berrimilla shirt logoThe logo was designed by Isabella (Alex’s sister), and was based on the International Space Station orbit and the geographical point at which Berrimilla first saw the station.
    Read more on Isabella’s web page

  • The Berrimilla Sydney Hobart (S2H) logo is the Blue Kingfisher and there are is a S2H shirt for all our S2H starts after about 1998 plus the 2 Fastnets.
  • And for the 2007 S2H which we hardly started before retiring, there was a special one on Mars Institute shirts with the Kingfisher and an (Isabella) Eclipse 2008 logo on the front and the basic Pascal map on the back – indicating intention only at that stage…
  • And then there is the 2d circumnavigation shirt, with Pascal Lee’s map on the back. I had 20 made first and they have mostly been given to people who have helped us – I sold a few at presentations as well.

All shirt sales after the first Fenwick batch have gone to charity and I take a collection at every presentation we give. Berrimilla’s charity here in Australia is CanTeen and we also sent money to the RNLI in England from the presentations there.

Peter Crozier and Alex Whitworth wearing the 1st circumnavigation shirt
Video (4:26)
NASA’s Haughton Mars Project camp on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic: Alex Whitworth signs 2d circumnavigation shirt with Pascal Lee map (19 August 2010)

North West Passage Tankards

Set of 7 tankards for the North West Passage mob (Leroy Chiao, Pascal Lee, Pat Hahn, Berri, Kimbra, Corrie and Speedy)


Berrimilla’s Ensign

Falmouth, September 2008: Alex gives Berrimilla’s rather battered Australian ensign to Pete Goss to use as Spirit of Mystery’s courtesy flag when they get to Australia.

This ensign sailed for Alaska from Sydney on April 10 2008 on board the 33 ft Brolga yacht Berrimilla 2. The vessel sailed north up the Australian east coast and through the Solomons and the Marshall Islands and passed 11 miles west of Wake Island at night on May 12 2008. First landfall was at the south eastern tip of Amchitka Island on June 2.

Berrimilla refuelled at Adak, the old US Naval Base on Adak Island and then sailed to Dutch Harbour (Unalaska), arriving on June 6th. We sailed for Nome on June 29th and arrived on July 4th, in time for the Independence Day parade. We left Nome on July 23rd, crossing the Arctic Circle just north of the Bering Strait the following day. The Arctic Circle marks the beginning of the official transit of the North West Passage. We sailed around Point Barrow on July 28th and immediately encountered ice. We negotiated the ice with some difficulty and passed Demarcation Point and into Canadian waters on Wednesday 30th July, arriving at Tuktoyaktuk two days later after having a very close encounter with a big bowhead whale that surfaced under the boat.

We left Tuk the next day and sailed through Amundsen Gulf and the other gulfs, straits and channels and into Cambridge Bay on August 11th, where we waited for the ice to break in Queen Maud Gulf and Franklin Sound to the east and north. We had a favourable ice prediction on August 7th and departed, crossing Queen Maud and sailing the Requisite Channel, Simpson Strait, Rae Strait, James Ross Strait and into Franklin Sound where we were close to several other boats all hovering waiting for a safe passage through the ice. This we achieved on August 15th and sailed north up Peel Sound into Lancaster Sound. Freezing rain and a lot of ice later, we rounded Bylot Island at the north eastern tip of Baffin Island and hove to in Pond Inlet to get some sleep.

Then into Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, crossing the Arctic Circle southbound on August 25th. From there we sailed across to Nuuk in Greenland, passing 4 polar bears swimmimg west on the way. From Nuuk to Paamiut for a day and then around Kap Farvel and into the North Atlantic. This was easily the nastiest part of the whole voyage but we eventually reached Falmouth on September 21st.

The Northwest Passage is considered to stretch from the Arctic Circle just north of the Bering Strait in the Chukchi Sea to the Arctic Circle in Davis Strait. There are several possible routes, depending on the ice conditions, and we completed the transit in 31 days, covering about 3400 miles. Berrimilla became the 77th vessel (mostly ice breakers and ice-strengthened ships) since Amundsen in 1903/6 to complete a transit. She is one of about 25 yachts, the third smallest and one of very few to have done so in one season. Our transit was the 114th ever completed – some vessels have made more than one – and Berrimilla can perhaps claim to be the first vessel to have circumnavigated via both Cape Horn and the Northwest Passage.

So this ensign completed the first half of its circumnavigation via the NW Passage. In Falmouth, Berrimilla’s owner, Alex Whitworth, visited Spirit of Mystery and gave the ensign to Pete Goss to use as Spirit of Mystery’s courtesy flag when they arrived in Australia.


Kerguelen Cover

A special enveloppe issued at Port aux Français, Kerguelen, for the “voilier australien”:


Berrimilla’s Rock on Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada

Devon Island and the Haughton Crater are part of the Inuit territory of Nunavut.

As far as it is possible to know, many of the geographical features in the Haughton Crater and on the plains around Haughton Mars Project (HMP) have never been named by the Inuit or anyone else. This has offered an opportunity for HMP personnel to commemorate and celebrate people and events that have contributed to the exploration of Space by giving unofficial names to some of these features.

At the LSU symposium in 2007, Berrimilla’s first voyage was told as an analogue for a journey into deep space. The symposium and Alex and Pete’s meeting with Pascal Lee in the pub afterwards and Pascal’s little map that inspired the second voyage in 2008 are commemorated with the unofficial naming of a piece of a 300 million year old coral reef.

The story of the reef is told here: A Coral Reef in the Arctic (

While Berrimilla will never visit ‘her’ rock, there are some nice concepts that link her to it. Both have been used as analogues for space travel and Berrimilla’s surprising voyage from one coral reef in the southern tropics almost to another in the Arctic in 2008 connects her back in time to the evolution of fish and perhaps forward to human exploration of the solar system beyond the orbit of the Moon.

Sailing back to the future, perhaps.  The old barge should be proud of herself.

Berrimilla Brick in Hobart

This group of bricks marks the 50th anniversary of the Sydney to Hobart race. The bricks in the section to the left are the winners of the race through the years, but it seems to only go up to 1996 or thereabouts.

It is beside Constitution Dock, where the Hobart finishers are parked after the race. Berrimilla has been there quite a few times.

Berrimilla Brick in Hobart

Berrimilla, the Horse

The horse, born in 2008 by Fastnet Rock out of Purrfection, was named after the boat – by someone who understands the story.

Berrimilla – Photo: Steve Hart