Status Report

Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 24 June 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
June 24, 2008
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Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 24 June 2008

TUESDAY, 24 JUNE 2008 Thanks!

Speeds tells me that people are sending us contributions – thanks – hard to say properly in a public blog but I’ve asked him to be seriously effusive in private. This little banana act isn’t sponsored and my funeral fund is carrying the production, so I’m hugely grateful.

I have spent a fascinating morning out in Dave’s office in the fishery sitting in on his daily decisions – I spent a lot of my office time over the years dealing with uncertainty and he has lots of the same issues. But the numbers are mind boggling – I get into anguish about whether we can squeeze another 20 litres of diesel somewhere into Berri’s tiny insides, but the fishing boats deal in thousands of gallons (USG, so about 3.8 ltrs/gall) and the plant deals in millions of gallons – and the price goes up every day. Now over $US 4.00/gall, which is still cheap by Oz standards but big money. And thousands of tons of fish…and the constant equation – distance, fuel, freshness of the catch when it gets to the line, dock space under the pumps, plus the regular need to stop the process to clean the machinery – all must be factored into just about every decision.

And then there are the really difficult issues related to a multicultural workforce working around the clock.

Still raining – and muddy. This fine, cold, misty cloudbase rain is heavy rain here, I’m told. It seems to penetrate everything and it’s not pleasant.

No gearbox yet…


Making New Friends in Unalaska

I have absolutely no idea if this will work. But if it does, you should see a pic of me and Kevin the Snowman on Ballyhoo. Just to show that we did manage to climb the hill today. If it doesn’t work, hello anyway…


McQ: A Successful Ballyhoo Summit Attempt!!!

The intrepid climbers (Kimbra and myself) set off this morning towards Ballyhoo. No rain, a little cloud at the top and lots of mud on the road out to the foot of the hill. And up we went, higher and higher, slower and slower in my case and using various excuses, such as Dubarry’s not being suitable for such climbs, for the fact that my legs haven’t climbed mountains in some time- 55 days on wee Berri, where you don’t really make your legs go for more than a few metres is not the best training for the Ballyhoo Summit attempt!!! But we made it to the top just in time for the sun to come out and the views across the island and North out into the Bering sea, were awesome!! The sea was the most fabulous turquoise in places from up there and looked so calm and inviting from such a height!!! It was incredible to have eagles soaring beneath us, and what’s more, we saw lots of other wildlife and flora too… curious little black bird with a red head, a ptarmigan we think and some little white birds that inevitable scattered when the eagles appeared!! Lots little yellow and purple arctic flowers everywhere!!

After a little pause at the top for cookies we carried on along the ridge and began our descent at the other end. After getting stumped by some pretty steep bits- sprained ankles not wise at this stage in the big scheme of things, we backtracked and worked our way round and down in the side- definitely a mountainside suited to haggis, which I had to explain had two legs shorter than the others so they can walk round mountain sides level. In exchange she tried to find me some trees that might have had drop bears living in them. I didn’t actually think she was going mad until she kept seeing what we have come to believe are lemmings, out of the corner of her eye!!!

Further down, a big patch of snow was covered with little worms that had frozen- bizarre, how nature works and the grass around these snow patches looked slick and slimy but were in fact bone dry and crackly.

I took charge of being official photographer while Kimbra built a snowman, complete with dead worm dreads!!!!

We then headed right out to the very edge of the next hill that was once the scene of a big military operation in WW2, lots of rusty bits of metal and dilapidated buildings and ruins of bomb shelters and lookouts and gun positions and such. Fascinating to consider what each individual pile of wood might have housed and been a building for at some stage. Hopefully we will get to the WW2 museum in a couple of days to get some more information about it all….

And now, tonight, I fully think we deserve to be assisting the Cape Cheerful bar and Amelias with their profits!!!

Lots of love



Ps no gearbox arrived yet!!


SpaceRef staff editor.