FROM 2-14. Cape Town-Kerguelens

Idle patter from the middle watch

Position 0630 17th 4542 06053, trip 127, DMG 122. A good day! About 350 to Kerguelen. Nasty low forming to the north.

Back on Iridium full time until we get closer to Oz so these will be fewer and more frugal. This one will develop until it's time to send the 0630 report.

I made Berrimilla bread yesterday – bread with attitude. Chop an onion and a big clove of garlic very fine. Mix the dough from a pack of breadmix with warm water and when it is fully mixed, work the onion and garlic through it. Heat some olive oil – really hot but not smoking – make lots of small very thin pancakes out of the dough and fry them for half a minute or so each side till brown and crusty. If you prefer, as I do, cook them a bit less so they are still slightly doughy in the middle. Remove, replace with another, eat the first one – and that's the problem, of course. The whole process takes about half an hour – far less than conventional breadmaking and uses much less metho. The pancakes keep for a couple of days if they don't get eaten first.

10200 miles out, about 3800 to go in cold, unstretchy numbers but most marathon runners will understand the stats, where every mile is longer than the last. I reckon we're at about 6 miles into the Falmouth to Hobart marathon – just settled into a nice rhythm, contemplating with apprehension and the usual touch of dread the next 20 miles and hoping it all holds together.

Norm, looks further than Germany but there ya go! One for you and anyone else who cares to try. When I was about 10, if such a time ever existed, my maths teacher was a learned gent in a cassock who believed in the 'I told you and wrote it on the blackboard so why don't you understand?' teaching method. He tried to introduce me to algebra. If a=3 and b= -3 then a+b=0 – obvious isn't it? Well, not actually, for this kid. I kept asking why. If he'd taught it as if it was a language I might now be better at it. Anyway, I remember his writing a puzzle on the board – he wrote SEND and then wrote MORE under it so that the M was under the S and said 'Assume that each letter has a numerical value and is the same whenever it appears, if you substitute the correct values the answer will be MONEY' and he wrote that under MORE so the Y was under the E which was under the D. Isn't it odd what sticks in the memory? For all I know, there might not be a solution. I've never got beyond first base and Pete is having a go now but isn't much further. Would be relatively easy to write a computer program to solve it today but by elimination with a pencil it's tricky. A small Berrimilla artefact for the first solution that arrives.

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