Status Report

Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 27 April 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
April 27, 2008
Filed under , ,
Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 27 April 2008

noon and potential disaster 0708.15 16314.54

Please note this post is from yesterday – DS

dtd 4029 so dmg 62

And the engine appears to be leaking oil. For a day that started rather well, things have deteriorated. Can’t find the source, so maybe old oil but unlikely. We only have 5 litres spare, so we have a problem if it is a real leak. Will call John W on monday.

Cross yer fingers, eyelashes, testicles, the lot…


Some catastrophising 0642.00 16310.04

Pace the examiner and Vlad the Impaler, who I can hear in the distance sharpening his stake.

We have a smidge over 4000 miles to Dutch. The next 700 or so of that is potentially windless. We may or may not have an engine. We have about 300 litres of diesel and 5 litres of oil. We need about 3.5 amps to run the computer and instruments. The airgen can carry that – mostly – when we have wind.

So – lets say 40 days to Dutch. We desperately need wind – to motor 700 miles would use all our diesel but we can work the little breeze there is and squeak along. Yesterday we did 60 miles – so perhaps 11 – 12 days to the trades.

Seems to me that the best bet is to monitor the engine very carefully and use it as necessary to get through the holes and up to 5 deg N and – I hope – some real wind. We need to keep about 80 – 100 litres of diesel for the N pacific, so we have perhaps 200 litres or 100+ hours of motoring @ about 4 knots = about 400 miles of the 700.

Really skinny but manageable as long as the engine lasts. If the engine really has the dickies, then it’s a long sail with very limited comms and whatever the airgen will give us to run the systems. Water will definitely be a problem.

David, your polarity lecture worked. Silly really in the light of the rest of this note, but we now have the fan in the system with the lights, so I can use the cig lighter socket for other things like charging the mp3 player. Yay!


McQ: The foredeck witch dances no more…

Today has been brilliant, so far, except for a wee blip which I shall mention in due course. We are currently storming along at 6knots in the right direction too!!

I think the two hour night watches might have something to do with my general level of chirpiness this afternoon!!! Three hours in not much wind in the squalls and pitch black is a loong time on deck on your own and its definitely the third hour that does it- thats the hour when you hallucinate (more than normal) and go loopy (loopier than normal) and the foredeck witch comes out for a dance, and if you are really really tired she might start cackling too… (she is harmless so long as you can distinguish that she only exists in the mind)

Now, these squalls that I complain about so often, well actually when there is zilch wind in general a squall that picks us up and shunts us along (in the right direction) for a few miles at 7knots is quite useful, despite the misery of rain and lightning that comes too!!! but this morning was different, whilst chugging along at 4/5 knots with the gradient wind, we don’t really need or want any squall assistance/ setbacks and this morning all the squalls around us just kept missing us and we just stonked on through at a goood steady pace, perfect!!!… our navigation at the moment is ‘head north’ pretty simple really!!

Then we had our wee blip at lunchtime when Berri sailed into her own personal wind hole at the same time A discovered oil leaking from somewhere in Katie the engine. hmmm, not good. Can’t find the prob but tomorrow is a school day so we will try and summon the engine-oil-leak-expert-man to shed some light. I guess we just monitor in the meantime and if we really can’t use her in the long term, it will negate the diesel woes but we won’t be able to use the watermaker, if we can’t charge the batts and might be a wee bit thirsty at t’other end, after a looooong trip!!!!

fingers crossed…

lots of love



SpaceRef staff editor.