Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 17 April 2008

Status Report From: Berrimilla Down-under Mars
Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2008



Alex - April 18th Land birds around - not many - and we're still hooning, though the wind has died a bit for the mo. Huge fun, but I'm knackered. Months of planning and a full on week has been a bit wearying. But I'm in the routine again and actually getting some sleep.

Berri still talks to me all the time but there's new vocab - Lizzie out the back has her own distinctive voice and grammar and the furler is a quite different dialect as well. Still have the normal creaks and groans and tiny sighs that all have meaning and importance and taken together, keep the running score ticking along in my head.

Kevvo having real trouble with these big waves that throw him off and the sideways motion gives him false apparents as well. Constantly up and down sorting him, but he does a great job. Easily the most important bit of kit if this thing is going to work.

Love yez.


2124.32 15742.39 - Alex

Well and truly on the way - we were visited today by one of these long tailed terns - brilliant white, long pointy tail, razor wings and they dive spectacularly for fish. But also a sure sign we're close to land. About 100 miles from Chesterfield island in fact, sailing along the south western edge of the reef and about 50 miles out. We should get around the corner in a couple of days.

A day of sweat and effort for the old geezer spent in the bowels of the vee-hicle unpacking and repacking the insides and then putting sponge rubber under the diesel containers in the cabin as they were moving around a lot and we don't want them to wear through. 'Er outside spent the time getting used to Kevvo's idiosyncrasies - he takes a bit of practice and getting used to. And, as she told you, getting her knickers wet.

Repacking because we decided we needed a second bunk to sleep in rather than as a storage bin. We'd been hot bunking one bunk but because Berri is so tiny inside and everywhere is knobby or sharp or generally uncomfortable in some way, there is nowhere for the person on watch to sit or rest the aching back except - in our case - a bunk full of boxes, bags and stuff. So it's all repacked and we got two bunks just like Pete and I had all them years ago. So it seems anyway.

Definition: hot bunking is two or more people taking turns to use the same bunk - you come off watch, peel off the wetties and party gear and hop into a nice warm bunk your oppo has just hopped out of. Except it's often wet and soggy and you curse said oppo just as s/he curses you at the other end of the watch.

Ann, you asked about phosphorescence - isnt any here, though a couple of nights ago I looked over the stern at our wake and there was a glowing trail with lots of bigger sparkles - more or less instantaneous. Very like looking at the milky way on a clear moonless night except its stars are static.

We've been up and down the reefing system all day - from 3 and postage stamp jib to full everything and now 1 and about half the furklwe - how did ha happen? - meant to be furler. Always exhilaration in these conditions, with the constant grey knuckle twinge in the hairier bits. The sail works well, Brian - thanks. Different though, and needs different techniques.

Time to scrape ze teef. Another blog soonish on Consultation and our complement of medicinal compounds. Very different from last time.


From Alex:

dtd 5006, dmg 134, distance made good from Sydney in first week 795nm and that's after ploughing through the east coast current - distance through the water is 907nm all give or take a mile or two. So knickers to the schedule - so far so good!


McQ: New Knickers Noon Pos: 2203.17s 157 45. 12 E

I can't believe we have been at sea for almost exactly one week!!! A whole week ago since everyone waved us off, a whole week since Carolyn came down to the CYC with last minute supplies of snakes and she had even located a bottle of diet Irn Bru in central Sydney. Its been a while since I drank any In Bru- you can tell cause my hair is less orange these days but I am sure saving that bottle ofor an emergency.

Thats also a whole week with no cigarettes, none on board so no choice!!! No nicotine patches used and no grumps I don't think!!! We'll make a non-smoker out of me yet!!!!

I put new knickers on this morning to celebrate all this and minutes after going on deck a huge wave come crashing over the top of me and I now have wet hair, wet top, wet back, wet shorts, wet NEW KNICKERS and boots filled with water. You can almost guarantee that had I not entertained the idea of clean knickers I would still be dry now. So I spent the rest of the watch trying to dry my boots out, accepting that dry knickers were a thing of the past. Just towards the end of the watch I felt I had succeeded on the boot front, using a cunning combination of sunshine, paper towel and rags as I watched them visibly dessicate before my eyes... Even the sea in my shorts, if not the knickers, had begun to evaporate and I began the clamber down below feeling a wee bit pleased with myself... but no, damn you Murphy and your Laws, just as I was about to through the companionway hatch, another wave came over the top again, soaking me through once more and re-filling my boots with sea!!!!! Oh how Alex laughed!!!!

We had better keep the pace on as I certainly don't have enough underwear supplies to change my knickers twice daily...

Lots of love to all


Ps thanks for all the messages: Geri & Luke, as soon as the weather eases enough to make reading a feasible possibility once again, and I have finished the HH's, Papillion is next on my list and I am v v looking forward to it. x


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