Status Report

Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 5 June 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
June 5, 2008
Filed under , ,
Berrimilla Down Under Mars Status Report 5 June 2008


5345.58 16851.59 Thu 05/06/2008 17:46

Will write this in the hope that I can send it. McQ still has big headache – other signs ok, but I think she should be ashore as soon as possible.

Conditions still awful – 25 kts, dreadful sea but manageable as long as I keep going downwind. Going absolutely as fast as I dare – full small furler and trisail, just able to maintain general course towards DH. No way we could make Nikolski. May have to hand steer around Bogoslof. Will be doing sked with Dave in DH @ 0900. Earliest ETA Cape Cheerful around 2200 and will ask Dave to organise someone to meet us if possible as I’ll be alone on deck and not easy to get to chart. No time for more – we’ll get there. No forecast yet – hope Dave will have it and that this is easing a bit – not too much as that would slow us down.


5338.15 16927.58 Thu 05/06/2008 04:32 berritime

Amazingly, I seem to have the old computer back. Following this one are the 2 blogs that were ‘lost’.

Bloody uncomfortable out here. Still blowing 20 – 25, very big seas, breaking, Berry gyrating violently. Huge fun juggling laptops, dongles, iridium stuff in the dark. Actually, because we’re not on deck as we should be, I’ve left the spreader lights on so that anyone close can at least see us as a sailing vessel. 35 still forecast, so we’re keeping our heads down.

Sked with Contact in Dutch at 0900. Unlikely we’ll get in today.


5330.50 17050.38 Examiner 1, McQ 1

The story continues – after our morning sked with our friend in Dutch, we went out to put in the second reef – wind then about 15, right up the clacker, sea building so boat snaking a bit, poled out headsail, all cool but precautionary in view of forecast. We roll in the heady and bring the boat up a bit – Whitters to the mast, preventer off and the boat gybes. McQ sees it coming, ducks but still collects solid glancing blow on side of head. Conscious, in pain, cross (angry!) with herself. W secures boat, checks for bleeding, lucidity, no vomiting, pupils ok. Prognosis good, but rather her than me. Kept her up talking for an hour – she knows it’s wednesday (it is here!), can focus on cryptic clues and do the simple maths that my cheesebrain can cope with. Then sent her to bed with hottie, woke her 2 hours later, signs still good so allowed her a nurofen. She wants to get up, is embarrassed, doesn’t want her friends to know but I’ve put foot down. Alerted friends in Dutch, just in case, and checked Nikolski as potential safe haven if needed. Don’t worry, Pam, she’s sore but ok. Will have blue ribbon bruise tomoz.

Meantime, wind now 20+ dead astern, 6-7ft short breaking seas – dropped main, just sailing with poled out heady, still doing 5.5 – 6 kts. Berri will go like this for ever – loves it, kevvo driving, so snug, estimating dutch around 1800 tomoz. Times like this, a bloke needs a G&T. And a second forestay to twin pole. Those were the days. Will be light till midnight, then again around 0630. I’ll get some short naps and keep her as flat out as seems safe. Forecast wind due to abate tomoz.

Leif – top fitting angled T piece to wire, all dimensions to follow by separate mail from David. If you can match the threaded pin at the bottom, we can use the old turnbuckles. Will need 2 copies please – no point in taking chances with the second one. Anyway, I’ll call you and send you the complete shroud with all fittings as far as chainplate as soon as I can. Please send details for courier. We should be in dutch for at least 10 days, but would have to wait for you.

Carla – yay, another tin can to add to the concatenation. Sadly, we haven’t seen the sky or anything much above 500 ft since Gareloi so no chance of seeing the thing – thanks Matt, anyway. Carla, tks for webcam, Where is it so we can wave? It probably updates only once every few minutes, so you might not see us…

Great to hear from everyone else – will do my best to keep y’all posted as we approach.


5336.27 17023.49 More from the Examiner

McQ still has nasty headache. 1 nurofen every 4 hours is all that I think is sensible. She’s been up, had soup, but now back in bed.

We now have 30 kts dead astern, postage stamp heady, poled out, big building sea and gale warning for tomoz. Oh Whooopeee! We’re doing around 5kts, some big waves, will shorten heady even further as things develop. Very cold, raining right against the back door. Poo! Both stor boards in.

Looks like a long and interesting 24 hours to come. Glad I’ve done a few Melbournes and I know about the last few kilometres, but not a pleasant prospect. Don’t like your chances with the webcam unless the vis improves.

And there’s Bogoslof Island dead ahead, which I will try to miss. Should be there in daylight tomorrow.

Love yez all. Have fun out there!

Later – fortified with soup and a rather revolting mix of baked beans, tinned slushy mushies and steak and onion, plus my last 2 snickers bars, carefully preserved for such an occasion. No weather event lasts for ever, but the examiner has placed this one very carefully. Helping us along, but at the same time the building seas are potentially a bit iffy. They’re about 10 feet now and steep – I have kevvo set up so that he takes us slightly diagonally up the face and down the back of each one that he can manage – remember, they are overtaking us, probably twice the boat speed. Also hoping that same course will get us inside Bogoslof in 80 miles or so.

Will try to keep sending these but don’t stress if none or v. few. Is difficult – and sometimes busy. Might set the trisail later if seems appropriate.


Summary of 2 lost blogs 5336.29 16951.12 115 to cape cheerful

First, McQ got a really nasty bang on the head this morning when we were putting in a reef – glancing blow through hood and beanie and non trivial. I checked all the signs – pupils ok, no bleeding from anywhere, lucid, but very sore and angry and badly shocked. We both think she will be ok. I kept her up and talking for an hour – cryptic clues, simple maths – all seemed to be there so sent her to bed to get warm. Woke her 2 hours later to check the signs, all seemed ok so allowed her 1 Nurofen – her painkiller of choice tho wouldn’t be mine – and one every 4 hours since. Wants to get up and help but I’m insisting. Rather her than me.

Second, weather as bad as it has been – 20 kts up the clacker earlier, then 25+, big big building seas, v. uncomfortable, v difficult to manage. Down to poled out heady for a bit, then bare pole, now back to tiny heady as wind has abated to 20 again. At least 30 hours to DH at this rate but gale warning for tomoz, 35+ so may have to park for a bit. Bloody Examiner – two to her for the day.

And third – I could weep with rage, anger, frustration and plain disappointment. My second computer crashed a couple of hours ago as I was sending original blogs. Just like last time – lost everything – digital charts, all emails, downloaded photos, track data – the whole shebang. This set up is so complicated for a non geek that if it goes wrong, I’m stuffed, completely. and, once again, it has and I don’t know why. I hope there’s someone in DH who can sort it. Sorry folks. Examiner 3, Berri 0

Current situation – McQ resting, Whitters trying to ensure that everything possible happening to get us through the barn door as fast and safely as possible. Tiny sail area just getting us high enough to stay more or less on track. Changed one of kevvo’s steering lines, both checkstays on, everything possible tied down. Have alerted contact in DH re McQ just in case she needs xray or other inspection on arrival, checked Nikolski as possible safe haven. No weather event lasts for ever, but this one is a doozy – exquisitely placed by the Examiner and we’re going to have to negotiate it to get home. Cold, wet, miserable.

And, please everyone, appendages crossed for this computer – my home laptop, not at all suitable for these conditions.

There were lots of messages and thank yous etc, but can’t at this stage remember and don’t have original incoming emails to check.

Can’t believe it – first sun since Gareloi – tiny hole in gloop lighting my keyboard.

Love yez – hope the webcam works, but prob updated every few minutes only.

Wind back up again. Will try to send this – Don’t know from minute to minute whether it will work or not.


SpaceRef staff editor.