Status Report

Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 18 April 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
April 18, 2008
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Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 18 April 2008


Further to my last – My weatherfax alarm rather caught me mid stride – I had intended to say that all of you out there are our motive and our inspiration. We don’t have an army of therapists and motivators to keep us in the groove and creatively visualising – you are that army. You, and a lot of people who have contributed directly or indirectly to getting us here – thank you all.

And special thanks to David Speed who is our link with you and without whom a lot of the interest would be lost. We discovered last time that the impact of what we were doing derived largely from the fact that people could read about it in real time and the vicarious experience was a whole lot more powerful for them as a result.

So thanks, all y’all and hang in there and ride the razor with us. I hope it’s worth the effort. In the Tao the best leader is described as the one to whom, at the end of the enterprise, his followers can say ‘We did it ourselves’. Would be great if you all feel some real involvement in this silliness however it turns out.


Listen up – Alex

Right you lot – listen up and you can shout at me later. Some rather crudely potted philosophy – don’t know whether I can get this into words that I like but it seems worth a go. I think I’m speaking for McQ here too, but she’s asleep so can’t ask her.

Lots of people have asked me why we do this. Are we mad, foolhardy, plain self indulgent or what are we trying to prove?? Lots and lots more people – more than I could count, if I ever cared – have said to me and Pete that they found the last one truly inspirational, fascinating, life changing – all that really good stuff, and they meant it. And there have been lots of people utterly gobsmacked by this one – totally uncomprehending yet fully with it and with us. So yes – at one level, it is completely hedonistically self indulgent but at all the other levels, it does things for other people too. Hardened crusty old achievers from all over the place along with them. The idea seemed like fun in the bar in Baton Rouge and Pascal and Pete and I could see immediately its power to involve and inspire, particularly kids. We are being followed by several schools, especially our old mates at Belmore South – onya guys! – and if just one of those kids grabs an idea from this and follows it and becomes a scientist or an astronaut of just finishes school we’ve achieved. If we can demonstrate that by starting small and without massive resources you can do things that are way out in left field (could one of you Americans please tell me what exactly that means?) then maybe there’s a chance that other messages will stick as well.

As for something to prove – yesss! Absolutely we want to prove it can be done – small, unsponsored, individually powered and with our due amount of luck, we can make this happen. People have said that we are brave – perhaps, a bit, but by being brave you sometimes make your own luck. And if it goes pearshaped, some of those people will say we are just foolhardy. Perhaps that too. But it’s all about preparation – the more prepared you are, the luckier you get!

Some of you will have heard about Francis (I think – might be Francois) Joyon. If you haven’t, Belmore South, google him. A remarkable man who also did something much more spectacular than this but in the same spirit. Our hero for the day.

Must go and pull in the weatherfax for today. Hope that isnt all too pompous and presumptuous.


McQ: Sweet Dreams indeed…

What a phenomenal day!!! Its still blowing a hooley out here and looks as though it might for a bit yet- imagine that, hooning along on a broad reach with 25-30+ knots from behind for days on end. Thats got to be unheard of!!!! We’re quite near a reef and we have a very confused sea- properly all over the place, a big undulating blue scape of hills and valleys and the odd Munro and Cheddar Gorge thrown in for effect, so have been driving for a bit (kevvo frustrates me so when his mind wanders and we end up pointing at Geneva, or somewhere equally inconsequential on a voyage such as this) and listening to my new ipod, can’t really beat a bit of Eurythmics, as loud as MY ear drums can handle, Sweet Dreams indeed, and the lyrics are pretty apt all round- AMAZING!!! Ginney, if you are reading any of this, thank you for all my ipod music. Its ace!!!

This is just such a great trip and some fantastic sailing, we really are charging along at the moment on wee Berri.

Oh Crikey, I have just experienced the Cone of Silence, working, and it works, fortunately!! A huge wavd has just come crashing in!!! It’s nice to be off watch for a change!!!!! I have stopped asking ‘Teflon Al’ as he is now known, for a dress code before coming up on deck as he invariably says its dry and shorts and T-shirts are fine and invariably I end up drenched… I might stick my head up just now and ask if he would like his wet weather gear passed up… but knowing Teflon Al that last big wave may well just have missed him completely!!!!

Lots of love




SpaceRef staff editor.