Status Report

Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 24 April 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
April 24, 2008
Filed under , ,
Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 24 April 2008

McQ: Grrrr

Grrrr, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, grrr. We pop out of a squall, the wind dies, we bob and bob a bit more, it is very dark, nothing to distinguish sea from sky. in the murky gloom, though, is the definite shadow of the next squall line, so we bob a bit more, waiting, nothing happens, get tired of bobbing, dare we unfurl some headsail???? Unfurl some headsail, stop bobbing so much, squall hits, 30knots, over on our ear, get rid of headsail. grrrr, get very wet- this is huge big blobs of wet rain that gathers at your neck and creeps down your back to make your almost dry knickers wet again, grrr. more rain- a torrent from the skies, feels and sounds like god has dropped all his marbles and pebbles on top of us. yellow lightning that was in the distance now strobe lights up the near surroundings and thunder sounds ominously close. grrr. this is so painful as the whole process keeps repeating itself continously. to top it all off we are going in completely the wrong directoion- for those who aren’t sailors it is impossible to sail directly towards where the wind is coming from (in this instance, and often, where you want to go!!!) So we have to zig zag our way there- so whilst we are making progress, slowly but surely, it looks and feels like we are not. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Some good news: Alex meticulously set the fan up from the 12v charger and now we have air circulating inside… awesome!!!

hopefully we’ll have stopped lurching around and I’ll be less grrrrrrrr next time, till then,

lots of love McQ x



Grey – thick grey, like rabbits’ fur that you feel, that you can touch, that its wrapped around you. No form, no structure, just dark grey and the boat is flying and the rush of water you can feel but not see and then it goes dark. Really dark. And the boat leans further and the noise of the wind starts to howl and the rain crashes against the tiny Berri dodger you are trying to shelter under and the generator goes into overdrive and the headsail leech starts to flutter then roar and you’re in a tunnel of dim light and reflected sheets of rain – all around is noise and confusion but you can only feel it and the windspeed goes up – only 25 knots but the effect is magnified by the blackness and the noise. Your knuckles go a bit grey too.

And then the lightning starts and the cold green clammy fingers squeeze your heart and your guts churn….

Just been there and there will be more of them before tomorrow. But the phosphorescence is back – subdued but intense to leeward and barely visible astern. Wonderful.

Trouble is, the wind it now taking us way way left of where we want to go – local effect of the last squall or a change in the gradient? Don’t know and to tack would be premature. We’re only sailing at about 55 – 60 degrees off the wind because we don’t want to pound into the seas and potentially break something so a tack would not help much anyway. Early days but might be a need to think about staying west until we get above the ITCZ. Kimbra is checking for us.


McQ: Carrick Bends

Hey folks, I am so frustrated!!! Earlier I tried to tie a Carrick Bend but, no, I had forgotten!!! Can you believe it??? It would have been the perfect knot for what we were trying to do but we ended up using a double sheet bend instead- anyhooo, you know how I like to acquire knowledge and learn new stuff (and relearn old stuff that I ought to know!!, well I was wondering if anyone coud explain how to tie one for me- I have a red bit of string in my left hand, with which I make a bight and then use the tail to make a loop, with the tail towards me- should the tail be over or under the loop?? then I have yellow string in my right hand which I think goes fover under over under, anticlockwise, but it doesn’t seem to work!!! can someone explain properly please???

I saw a tree today,about half the size of the boat…berrimilla ii not mirabella v (that would be a giant sequoia!) and it properly had a branch hanging out that was about as thiick as a winch (on berrimilla not mirabella, again that would be a giant sequoia!!) and its mangled dangling branch made it look like azombie sea monster!!! Fortunately we didn’t hit it.

Anyway not much else to report just now and its far too sweltering hot and sauna like here behind the Cone of Silince to think really, must go find inspiration for some carrots for dinner and check on deck for stray sequoias…

lots of love McQ x


Blerg-Noon 1050.51 16300.01

DTD 4246 so dmg 113 and total distance made good 1573 in 14 days (I think…)

Lots to tell – 1st BVS 10 was the bucket or so of water that came through the open hatch above my bunk as I was deeply asleep last night. Followed by several more soakings in rain showers and just plain sweat in the Cone – a really evil place in the tropics – no breeze and HOT. Can’t stay here for too long this time either.

Small drama with the furler – it came off a much bigger boat and the furling line is all wrong for Berri – both diameter and length, because our sail is much bigger than Simon’s so more line needs to be on the drum. So we devised evil plan – roll it all up, add some extra turns to ensure all the sail can be furled and still leave turns on the drum, then cut the old line and tie in another, thinner one. All went fine except that I forgot to make sure that the new one was long enough for the job and – thank you mr murphy, – it’s about 2 metres too short, so McQ has sewn and whipped a tail on to it for the time being, then we’ll replace the whole thing on a calmer day.

A series of warm blasting rain showers with their own little wind systems one after the other all morning but we seem to be away again in a clear patch heading for the equator near Nauru.


SpaceRef staff editor.