FROM 1-6. Below 50S

Feb 28, 2005 - 1300hrs UTC

1300hrs 28 Feb 2005 UTC 53’47”S 103’15”W Map Ref 87

28/0715 Making a cup of tea in the middle of the night on the starboard tack in a heavy beam sea in 30 knots in Berrimilla is an activity that should be encouraged with the single word Dontevereventhinkofitandifyoudoyouremad. But if you must persevere, as I have just done, prepare for disaster at every step. First, the stove is on the high side so you are leaning away from it but being thrown forwards and backwards in huge and uncontrollable lurches as the boat rolls and pitches and corkscrews. Strapping in to the galley using the tether hooked across it helps but really only damps down the lurches and prevents you arriving full toss over the nav table boundary on the other side of the boat. Then you have to get a cup of water from the desal reservoir sort of above your head to your left and into the kettle on the stove. You will spill half of it somewhere on the way so go back to last step. And so on down to the endpoint where you have a nice cup of tea sitting in the gimballed safety of the pot on the stove and the pot slides across the stove and tips half of it down into your crutch. Whereupon you burst into tears and go looking for the digestive biscuits.

We took down the main a couple of hours ago – Berri was crashing through and across the seas and making 7 -8kts but overpressed and uncomfortable. Just the #4 is still giving us 5 -6 in the right direction and it’s possible to sleep without the stomach tightening before every crash. The latex glove idea works. I put them on when I get out of my bunk and my hands are still warm and dry and before touching dripping wet party gear with sailing gloves over the top or just on their own – hands get very cold but stay dry. Trivial, I know, given the toughness of the pioneers out here who did it all in primitive gear and had to climb to the top of the mast to do it as well (the mind boggles – as Nelson said, you have to be familiar with the sea to appreciate what Cook and his people did), but worth while as far as I’m concerned. I’m a decrepit old wooss. How do you spell that?

Lots more seabirds around. Closer to land perhaps.

There’s water dripping on to me from somewhere. In these temperatures and humidity, condensation is a huge problem. Our makeshift closed cell foam insulation is working really well but every surface not covered is dripping wet and it gets everywhere. I hope the radio and the various black boxes generate enough internal heat to keep themselves dry but who knows. We seem to have lost the depth sounder recently – clearly not a problem out here but potentially a big one later.

28/1215 and the mail’s in, grey and dripping daylight also just creeping into the boat. Rain. Still 30kts but manageable.

From Jop

jop is still watching   “Berrimilla the progress is great…the rambling is also great.. and

nothing comes to mind to improve what you are doing

Thanks Jop – that’s what I need to hear.

From Jim S.

We read you updates assiduously – thanks.

Re your comment about chart tables and the naigators ‘seat’.  On Virgo we found that arrangement untenable and re-organised it by:

 – turning the table around so that it is hinged along its outboard edge (not its forward edge) so it now opens towards the centreline; and

- using the table standing up along the centreline of the boat while being held in place by the galley strap.  This requires two new strong points on the port hand side to attach the strap.

Much more comfortable but until you get back to land this info is of absolutely no use to you.

My understanding of distance along 60 degrees lat is that you are absolutely right – cos 60 = 0.5.  Don’t let them talk you out of it.

We have touched base with Chris Palmer, Colin Bell and James Judd and have collected some basic info on brolgas so we may be getting a BOG of some description underway.  We know of one brolga on the west coast of Canada, one in Holland and one reputed to be in the USA.

We have also put one of our Coast Cruising Club fellow members in contact with the Tasmanian push since they are (or were) in Hobart.  A little bit of serendipity followed because that evening Colin and Karen Bell caught up with them in any case.

And Jim – have to be able to sit at the nav table to do this stuff otherwise I’d already have turned it around. The secret’s in big chunks of foam rubber and bracing ze knees between the bottle store below and the underside of the table. We know of the Canada Brolga and the one inHollandtoo although I dont know how to find the latter. Have a friend over there working on it.

From Flop

 hope that you didn’t miss calculate the beer rations, though i believe that it is unlikely. I was actually eating beetroot soup as you guys where chowing down the pink stuff, very nourishing. They say if you eat enough your pee goes red? Keep sailing, I’m green with envy.

Flop, your job for the week – after you’ve peed pink. Find the Dutch brolga, sailed over I think in the other direction by a young bloke a few years ago.

From Cam & Pam & Woc.

Pete, The comparison of warehouse swells and a little wind chop on Penrith rowing course hardly bares thinking about, but competition against stiff odds is goood for the soul. Cam is following Berri and is starting to understand the odds…like Kings beating Joeys at rugby. The odds favoured Kings on sat when we beat the  “”cattleticks”” at NSW ROWING Champs. Cam was comparing the length of the  ‘Eight boat’ to Berri ( about equal ) and reckons the odds are too stiff !! We hope the window to the Horn stays open for a safe passage to FKLDS, and the ‘warehouses’ are kind to you.

Woc -from Alex – isCamon the river or the olympic course? I’ve single sculled the river in inter varsity in the ’70s and warehouse swells were definitely the go then. In a wooden boat, with wooden sculls. They opened the floods at Warragamba as the last boat finished. Well doneCam.

Tom K, for the first time it’s cold enough to convert my Finisterre fleece from my pillow (where it’s brilliant, malleable into just the right shape to brace my head) into my insulation, where it is just fantastic. Got out of bed freezing this morning and decided the time had come. Now warm and toasty.

Is – got the tele address also Cap’n B’s phone – Ta.

Benjy, if you are reading this, send us an email via the website with your email address and we’ll buy you a virtual beer, which, sadly, we’ll have to drink for you. Insofar as it’s possible to make any sort of guess in these conditions, I’d say we’re about 14 days out. Look forward to meeting you, but you’d better stand upwind.

Must be getting closer – Chilean coast has just come onto the littls GPS screen at max scale. Good. 1240 to go.

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