FROM 1-21. Equator to Left Turn

Sep 21, 2005 - 1015hrs UTC │RORC Award

1015hrs 21 Sep 2005 UTC 02’380”S 026’24”W Ref 380

DB 125, 9,907 (GPS 135). Truckin’ along reasonably well, touch wood, hold me breff till me eyes pop and waltzing matilda. I think we have hooked into the Brazil current too, which is nice.

A bit short of sailmail connection time because of all the Belmore South answers, so this will be short. K’s birthday has been appropriately marked and we will have a proper Consultative Engagement when she gets away from assignments and gets to celebrate with her friends. Might even crank up the satphone again.

As we go further south, I think we might leave the satphone switched on – just in case any of y’all want to waste your money. I’ll let you know.

RORC Award for Berri & crew:

The Royal Ocean Racing Club is pleased to announce that ‘Yacht of the Year 2005’ has been awarded to the Ker 55 ‘Aera’ owned by Nick Lykiardopulo.
This award, known as the Somerset Memorial Trophy, is awarded for outstanding racing achievement by a yacht owned or sailed by an RORC member and voted by the RORC Main Committee. It comes as a result of Aera’s success in the most recent Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race, where she took the overall handicap trophy.
Aera’s success in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart is all the more remarkable as it is only the third time a British yacht has been the overall winner in the 60 years since the race was started. The first was Captain John Illingworth who won the inaugural race in 1945 sailing ‘Mani’ and the second was the late Sir Edward Heath who won with the first ‘Morning Cloud’ in 1969.

A special award has also been made by the RORC to Dame Ellen MacArthur, skipper of the trimaran ‘B&Q’, for her outstanding performance in setting the solo non-stop round the world record at 71days 14 hours 18 minutes and 33 seconds, reducing the previous record set by Francis Joyon by nearly 1½ days. Dame Ellen is an Honorary Life Member of the RORC and first joined in 1996.

The Seamanship Trophy, awarded each year by the RORC for an outstanding act of seamanship, goes to Alex Whitworth and Peter Crozier and their Brolga 33 ft yacht ‘Berrimilla.’

Having sailed the 2004 Rolex Sydney-Hobart, the two set off to sail to the UK via the Falkland Islands, taking 159 days. They encountered severe storms with squalls of over 50 knots and were knocked down during a south-westerly gale south of New Zealand, subsequently having to put into Dunedin as Alex Whitworth had severely bruised ribs.

Having completed the voyage to the UK they then took part in the Rolex Fastnet Race, coming 8th in IRC Class 3, and shortly afterwards set sail again for Australia, in order to arrive in time to take part in the 2005 Rolex Sydney- Hobart race.

The prizes, together with all the other RORC Annual awards, will be presented at the AGM and Annual Prize Giving Dinner at the Drapers’ Hall on 22nd November.

ENDS 20th September 2005

Hi everyone in 5/6S from Alex and Pete and thanks for your questions. We will have to give you rather shorter answers this time because we are only allowed about 10 minutes connection time each day to send emails and I think we are already over our limit. So here goes:

Ahmed-Do you think in the future there will be cloaking devices to hide boats from pirates???

I don’t think there will ever be cloaking devices, although it’s a very interesting idea, because it would be impossible to make a ship invisible. Force fields and gravity curtains are interesting and provocative in SF stories but not that easy to arrange in real life. The Americans have Stealth technology which makes aircaft hard to see by radar but that’s about as far as it seems possible to go, at least with the knowledge that we have now. And anyway, clever people and pirates would would soon work out how to get around the device.

Allison – What would you do if pirates came?

As for what we’d do if they came – we would do exactly as they told us, give them everything they asked for, keep very still and hope that they go away. Real life is sometimes difficult to accept, but we would certainly get hurt if we tried to do anything else.

Maria.k- Have you had troubles with sharks?

No, we haven’t seen a shark anywhere. Lots of dolphins, some whales, turtles, flying fish and bluebottles (Portugese Men O’War) but no sharks. Even if there were any, we are not planning to get into the water with them, so no problem!

Charniece- how do the stars look at night on the ocean?

There aren’t words to describe the night sky properly – there’s no visible pollution out here and on a clear night the stars over the ocean are absolutely breathtaking – there are so many and they go so deeeep into the back of the sky and it’s awesomely mesmerising to be out here under them. The Milky Way – the side view of our galaxy – is a brilliant glittering slash from one side to the other. Did you know that looking out into the universe is like looking back into time? The light from our nearest star (does anyone know what it is called?) takes about 7 minutes to reach the earth so if you look at it (DON’T – without special goggles!) you are looking at something that happened 7 minutes ago. Light from the next nearest, which I think is Alpha Centauri, takes nearly 5 years to get here, so if AC explodes as you read this, you won’t know for 5 years. This happens right out as far as the most distant object we can see, whose light takes several million years. Not enough time to talk about this but it’s interesting to find out about it. Sitting in the boat at night, I can see how small the Earth is and how big the universe and it gives me goosebumps. You’d get them too!

Dyllan- How many times do you eat in a day?

We have one serious meal in the evening and we snack for the rest of the day. We don’t need to eat very much because we are not using much energy.

Gunter- If your food gets old, what do you eat?

We have used all the fresh food that could get old and spoil except for a few onions, some eggs and some bacon and cheese. We will try to eat this before it goes bad, but once it is bad, we have to throw it away. The rest of our food is dried or in cans, so it should last for the time we are out here. We can make bread and grow beanshoots.

Rend- How do you find your way at night?

We have a satellite Global Positioning System (GPS) for navigation and that shows us the way even at night. It needs electricity or batteries to run, but if it breaks down, we can navigate using the sun and the stars and a paper chart, a pencil (yeah, really!) and an instrument called a sextant which measures the angle of the sun and the stars in the sky and, with the help of a good watch, allows us to calculate where we are. We have a magnetic compass as well and at night, we point the boat in the direction we think we need to go. If we know where we started from and our speed and direction (our velocity), we can work out where we have got to by morning. This is called Dead Reckoning and it is not as accurate as GPS but it works.

Feras- How come you don’t have air conditioning in the cabin?

We don’t have air conditioning because it needs far too much electricity to run and we can’t completely close off the cabin. We would have to keep the engine going all the time and we can’t carry enough fuel to do this. And anyway, it’s horribly noisy and we can live without it! A little 12 volt fan would be nice but I forgot to bring it, so I’m an idiot.

Karanbir- Do you ever get sick, and if you do does the other person take care of the boat for the whole time?
Melisa- Do you use medicine when you are sick?????

We don’t seem to get sick out here – we are not in contact with sick people and as long as we started out healthy, I think we are fairly safe. We try to be as hygienic as possible and to keep everything really clean as well. We have some serious medicines – antibiotics and the like – as well as a big first aid kit in case we ever do get sick, or perhaps more importantly, one of us gets injured. If it happens, it would depend a bit on how bad the illness or injury was – it’s not too hard to manage the boat by yourself, but it’s nice to have help!

All the best A & P

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