Status Report

Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 25 April 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
April 25, 2008
Filed under , ,
Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 25 April 2008

Berri to Mission Control

Hi Pascal – laconic as ever! Will we need an insertion Consultation before we turn right? Tks for talking to El.

And Keith too – bet you thought we were kidding as well. If you still have those shirts, could you please keep one for Pete?

Some silly questions – just because: 1. Was Xanthippe a) a Brazilian footballers girlfriend b)a horse c) a universally hated Vogon poet or d) none of these? 2. Why did Xerxes’ men shout ‘Thalassa thalassa!’ or wasn’t it Xerxes’ mob at all? 3. What, under almost identical circumstances, did Hernan Cortes’ men shout and where? 4. Why am I asking these silly questions?

Plan B – here we are, stuck, sort of, in the first hundred metres of the course not having fun. Original proposal was to go east of Nauru through the Marshall Islands and then north to Dutch. The quickest way out of here is straight north so perhaps now, west of the Marshalls, around the back of the N Pacific high and thence to Dutch. Just to keep you all in the loop. We are trying to get every metre we can under sail but not much joy. Using the motor when there just isnt enough wind to give the autopilot steerage way. Was hoping to use Midway for emerg refuelling stop but it’s now part of a National Monument and visitors are not allowed without a permit from Honolulu. Pity. Osaka? Sakhalin? or just conserve the stuff.


noon 0935.20 16305.45

dtd 4172 so dmg 74. Poo

Pretty much what she said, basically. We’re stuck here in the bottom of the ITCZ with 870 miles or so to go to get back into the trades at about 5 deg N. Almost no wind between squalls and whar there is is too soft to push us through very lumpy short sea. Hot, humid generally not cool and froody. All you followers of Zarquon out there, if Mr Quordlepleen will permit, a wind dance on the tables please.

870 miles is just about exactly all our diesel so can’t motor all the way. We are trickling north, the shortest distance to get out of it, at about 4 knots with main sheeted to windward and the engine at about half revs.

Was going to bang on a bit about the Polynesian settlement of the South Pacific – from the 8th to the 11th centuries they moved from Samoa right across to Easter Island and possibly Chile, as far north as Hawaii and south to Rapahiti only 1400 miles or so from the Antarctic. They used big double canoes 60 – 70 ft with probably several families plus crop plants, livestock and water and it is thought they could sustain voyages of several months. But – fascinating, this – they used the prevailing winds to get out to each new chain of islands but there was an oral tradition with specific route information based on stars and swell patterns so some of them must have been able to go back the other way. How did they do this, and be able to remember and pass on the information? And they settled an empty New Zealand last of all, probably by following the SE trades back from somewhere to the NE. Imagine putting yourselves, your uncles and your cousins and your aunts, plus your pig, your pet chihuahua, aunty’s parrot, breadfruit and other plants perhaps and just setting off more or less downhill. And discovering NZ?


SpaceRef staff editor.