Status Report

Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 18 May 2008

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

SUNDAY, 18 MAY 2008

3241 17116 Sun 18/05/2008 19:15

What a night – words fail me – atrocious conditions, tho not severe. memories of very low clouds rushing past tiny glimpses of the moon, berri with postage stamp heady rearing and falling as big, closely spaced waves overtook, Katherine, your playlist briefly – liked allelulia – tried to apply all that stuff you taught me – now in northerly drizzle, lumpy, awful, cog about 080. looks as if the next 1000 miles will be like this so we’d better get used to it.

love yez – sorry, Carla, all to hard at the mo…


McQ: Mouldy me and the Cats Meeoow

Well the wind is doing exactly what it said on the tin folks!! Fully filled in 30knots from the SW by ten this morning. Big, huge rolling seas, but we’re hooning on through, munching away at those miles- am just so impressed once again as to how the fabulous wee Berri just storms on through, thoroughly enjoying herself!! Dropped the main and barrelling along with just headsail… I tried to take some pics but you never quite get it in photos, then I went for a bit of video, definitely not going to be a career move there, and I felt a bit sick watching my movie of us surging through these seas, while surging through these seas, but you do get a better sense of the scale of the waves!!! Never again will I complain about all those waves coming crashing over us earlier in this voyage either- the sea is now 25 degrees and that down your neck feels positively icy compared to a balmy, salty 36C!!!

Had to break out the Cats Meeoow (The Sleeping Bag!!) last night and I am a touch fearful that I am getting into the cold weather kit all a bit early… I also discovered everything has gone mouldy… mid layers, jacket, vest, shorts, purple hoody, etc, and not just inoffensive black pin mould either, I’m talking about full on fluffy, white, foosty blobs, all over everything!!! Nice!!! Lots of love to everyone.

Mouldy McQueen


ps Can someone please give me a short report as to how Hannah J is getting on?? TY.


3055.08 17000.56

I think I can see the loom of the Dragon’s eyes just over the NW horizon – murky. baleful jade, this one. When he emerges, I think he’ll swish his tail and change the wind from SE to SW and breathe brimstone and stink at us. A gybe and perhaps 35 kts.

For the very first time since Sydney, we seem to have a freebie – some current behind us. Perhaps half a knot, and not to be sneezed at. We’re clocking 6+ over the ground – noice!

Doug M – fascinating – I’d forgotten that Napoleon might have drowned on a Pacific reef. And yet it has its own skein – because he didn’t, he married Josephine, who encouraged Baudin (interesting man, interesting story – imagine having to run a ship as a revolutionary committee!) – and established her botanical garden with the specimens he brought back.

Carla – thanks – separate email follows, once the dragon has farted. I will transcribe the ISS possibilities into the diary I use as our minimalist log (just a series of noon positions and dmg). This bit of silly bloggery is really the loggery.

So far travelled, so far yet to go. About 12 more days at this speed, but that’s hugely unlikely.


3116.33 17021.17 About 0630 AEST In praise of flatulent dragons…

Noon pos 3143.07 17028.41 DTD1679 dmg 133

This one may develop as the day goes by… the dragon’s tail is a quivering – 25 kts, still from the SE, sea building, 3 reefs and the small heady. Berri, and Kevvo handling it fine. The dragon will fart sometime – there will be a front and about a 90 deg wind change to the SW and up to 35 kts. We’ll assess the stench, probably drop the main till it all dissipates a bit and keep on hooning. Still got a bit of current under us and cracking 7’s. Small wooohooo – exhilarating after all that headbanging but wont get us back much of the distance lost. And we still have to keep it all together for at least another 10 – 15 days.

Done some precautionary things around the boat – rigged a backstay tackle in case the ram goes – unlikely, but it’s been doing odd things. Filled the tank with diesel, sponged the bilge, did stocktake on the Medicinal Compound remaining. Would not do to arrive in a foreign port without my three Consultant Physicians in attendance. There will be enough if we keep hooning and I maintain my self discipline. Made lots of water, but we have a full tank of Sydney water as well (with a bit of squeezed ocean added occasionally to keep it full).

More later.

An hour or so – smells a bit farty. Pulled in some heady, had a bit of a feel and decided to gybe – from about 040 to – as it turned out, about 355. Very careful gybe, put the checkstay back on, eased it all, sorted the heady. 28 kts, seas still building and the wind now definitely SW. Have just taken photos of farty looking blast roiling up astern – white, fluffy, tightly rolled series of cloud lines, catching us fast.

More later. Will be several hours before I can send this, according to propagation application. A coffee, I think.

And post caffeination – McQ came up for her watch just after we got our first cockpit full of water. Good practical lesson in why I’m so obsessed with keeping the drains clear of peanuts and other jetsam. We rolled the heady, dropped the main in 30 kts while Kevvo bare poled, unrolled the heady again and back to 6’s and 7’s but with big breaking waves and dragon pong all around. And now it seems to be abating. Nice dragon – go somewhere else please! I wonder whether dragon spray would deter 92% of these guys.

But – heading North instead of about 030 and we’ve got current against us again. My befuddled brain just cant sort that one. Water temp 27 deg. Still at least 2 hours before I can send this, so watch this space, smell this pong.


SpaceRef staff editor.