Status Report

Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 16 May 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
May 16, 2008
Filed under , ,
Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 16 May 2008

FRIDAY, 16 MAY 2008

Bloog Fri 16/05/2008 09:19

Back on the donk – now looks like a long slog – maybe 300 miles – till we get something useful. The Examiner has just been stalking us quietly, slicing strips off our SOG and COG – we still have a 15 degree difference between hdg & track and 1.5 kts off our speed thro the water. Pooo! Headbang, as I said earlier.

Golden orange striated ice crystal sky as the sun set. Open, clear horizon to the north – the empty sea and the sky – save for my ghosts. Tommy, young Henry and all the others who never made it home. Coleridge said it better. Somwhere down near the Marshalls, we must have crossed the tracks of Magellan’s ship full of starving, scurvy ridden sailors – and a Filipino who, it is thought, must have been the very first circumnavigator, having been taken to Portugal from the Phillipines by an earlier expedition and then sailed with Magellan away to the west and home again.

P McQ – tks re bear spray. Good to have in back pocket but I rather think I’d like to hear from the other 8%. Have they phoned in yet? A.

Caroline – thanks – we’ll look for Cass – hope we don’t need next eclipses!

Kimbra – thanks to Dave pse. We’ll try to pull in some of those wx broadcasts – a bit far out still for 4 megs, I think. I’ll call him on the satphone when we get through Amukta. What freqs do the fisho’s work?


biloge:2746.54 16842.19 @ 0900

Noon 2758.30 16844.56

Lord Howe on the left with Mt Gower to the left, Mt Lidgbird on the right, Wheatsheaf Rock in the centre and Ball’s Pyramid on the right.

Still motoring (0900). Tiny breeze from the SW – I think we have about 90 miles to go to get into a reasonable gradient, along with its attendant depressions. Last night, we motored through a patch of thickish cloud, rain falling out of it, but astern. The moon was behind one of the bigger ones and silhouetted it – stark, black, ominous, full of Vlads with impaling stakes and a solid wall hanging below it – impenetrable and opaque. Very Turner. This morning, there’s a line of just such clouds behind us – soft white fluffy lambskin totally unthreatening and even quite inviting for the shade they bring. Night and darkness hide vampires, ghastly predators, fearsome ghoulies – daylight restores faith in the best of all possible worlds. Boat jobs today – I’ve just completely repacked the forepeak, extracted the emergency kedging line and lashed it on deck in case we need to anchor in a hurry near Amukta and so that I can splice a thimble into it as we potter on. Still plenty of diesel in reserve, but if the grib is wrong, we’ll have to start conserving in a day or so. Found some other stuff, and put a snatch block on the vang bracket for the trisail strop.

End of first watch. Time to wake McQ.

now 1230 AEST dtd 1923, so dmg was 108.

Now sailing – just…This is the headbang stage. There is the feeling – the suspicion only – that somewhere out there is a finishing line but tempered by the knowledge that it’s a very long way away. Grind out the metres one by one. I had a list of ‘P’s in the last website – planning, patience, persistence, perseverence, providence, pig headedness, pain – can’t remember them all but here’s where it is at. Looks like a good list for Sei Shonagon ‘Things that contain The Other’ And you can add ‘courage and fear’.

Out there to the NW there is the faintest suspicion of a line of cloud that just might be the bottom of the next system. If so, then, pace the Examiner, it’s westerlies followed by northerlies and then SW and the barn door beckons. Amukta is 35 miles wide, foggy in the middle with a volcano on either side. Berri does volcanoes – Lord Howe and Balls Pyramid are the remains of a giganormous crater – pics perhaps, via Speedy.

Duncan C – tks for good wishes. Peggsy – stand by for a phone call one of these days…


SpaceRef staff editor.