Status Report

Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 18 June 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
June 18, 2008
Filed under , ,
Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 18 June 2008

WEDNESDAY, 18 JUNE 2008 5441 16642 The bastards are at it aqain.

Well, I told you this little banana was a finely balanced act. Seems that Murphy and Herself the Examiner are in collusion again. 60 miles north, we started the donk as the wind died and things didn’t seem right. McQ heard a noise, and I knew that the prop was not delivering power. We tried all the usual stuff – no vibration, so hasn’t shed a blade, reverse to unwind the Examiner’s errant stocking, ahead again and it seemed to be ok. Then not ok. Stern gland leaking a lot of water. Still nothing obvious, but there did seem to be some extra vibration. Anyway, no choice really – we’re heading back to Dutch, dead into wind in cold misty rain at a bout 3 knots so 16 hours or so to go.

You’re all the first to know. Could be a big one, could be just a bit of kelp round the prop – just don’t know, but not a little dispiriting. Happiness not in great abound. As the Great Man said, it’s all gone tits up and I need a G & T. More as we discover…

radio email processed by SailMail

for information see:


Berrimilla departs DH – from Dave Boisseau

McQ – Alex – Kimbra

The Berrimilla departed Dutch this morning approx. 8:00 am. Course 340 deg, 6.6 knots, headed for the western tip of Nunivak Is., approx. 390 miles, then on to Nome. Weather this week looks good for sailing, W and SW 15’s. Attached is a photo of Alex and crew, with Berri in the background, taken night before departure. Very fine and enjoyable folks. Kiwi boat the “Berserker” (much larger) also headed to Nome, so the Berri may have some company along the way.


5437 16641 The fridge door…

D- pse blip the satphone if you send us anything – just like old times. Off again – 0745 departure – rolling fog just lifting and sunlight in patches on the island and around the harbour. Stunning. Bering sea not being too unreasonable – started snarly but has abated. Discovered that you can’t buy silicone spray in the supermarkets – or if you can, it’s disguised – and we’re having real difficulty getting the main up and down and reefed because the slides are sticking in the track. We have a tiny splash of good old Oz H4000 spray and I’ll go up the mast with it perhaps tomorrow when we’re a bit more settled in. Berri packet to the eyeballs – food for 3 for 90 days plus 3 sets of (reduced ) gear + 400 odd litres of fuel. Russian fuel, we discovered, mostly bought in Adak.

Th Plan – heading for the western end of Nunivak island then to Nome where we will wait for the ice to do whatever it wants to do around Barrow and make the next decision there. I listened to a bit of a doomsayer yesterday who confirmed my own feeling that the really critical bit of all this will be getting out safely if we get as far as Devon Island. And some Norwegians who wintered their boat in Nome arrived in town and were really helpful. Spanish boat Amodina following us in about a week. Different approach – big boat, massive water and diesel tanks, no watermaker…

Huge thanks to everyone in Dutch – especially Dave B – and his fishing boat skippers who are all somewhere ahead of us near the Pribilofs. We do a couple of skeds with Dave and the boats each day.

We have crossed the busy shipping lane west of Akutan pass – new AIS box working well but the tendency is to rely on it instead of keeping a lookout.. Comms – will try to stay with sailmail – this laptop won’t log in to the sailmail telnet system using iridium – dont know why – gets all the way to the server – so have two laptops going at the mo. Will try sailmail for this one. Boring blog – sorry – but at least you get one.

radio email processed by SailMail

for information see:


SpaceRef staff editor.