Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 19 July 2008

Wild iris from the almost frozen north

For Steve - Nik pik by Megan.


Worser and worser...and then?

Really nasty wind and sea between here and Barrow for at least a couple more days according to NOAA. Patience and perseverence...the ice is definitely breaking up at Barrow.

Yesterday, Pat and Anna went swimming in 4 degree water. Megan and I bought our way out by agreeing to go for an early run today, hence post run coffee and warm fire. The fireplace is the only one I will ever see that has a vertebra from a bowhead whale that was probably killed a century ago built into it.

Chris P - the Brolga is likely to be Django, belong Becketts.


Berri alone at the wharf

Sunshine in Nome! South wall of the inner harbour. Amodino gone, dredges out in the Bering sea dredging for gold, big barge being loaded in the middle distance under the crane on the far side of the harbour, Snake River coming in from the NW on the right, inner harbour exit just behind the small motor boat, trusty bike on the wharf. Salmon jumping in the harbour...


Frogstar cruisers measured by the bucket

Pat Hahn worked his way through college on big dredges (almost calls for a burst of Marvinspeak - btsoap and here I am dredging gravel. Who needs gold?) - he says that they are classified by their bucket size. Yesterday's pic of the burned out pile of metal was actually quite a small one, with 5 ft buckets, all driven by a belt from the engine to the gearbox - you can see part of the drive train in the pic. There are to others out in the boonies a bit further with 9 ft buckets. Real monsters - I'll go and try and find one if we are here for long enough. Pat, as a volunteer fireman, attended the dredge fire - nothing they could do except stop it spreading.

Our Spanish friends on Amodino left yesterday. Ambitious, in my humble opinion, but a 75 ft, 60 ton steel boat with huge engines, so a very different equation. I will call them in the morning to see how they are going. We are here for at at least a couple more days, I think. Weather up north not encouraging, but signs the ice is beginning to break up in Queen Maud. If you have google earth, you cal zoom in on Cambridge bay, look NE of the houses, across the bay, and you will find the remains of Amundsen's boat Maud. Sad end.

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