Wednesday, 30 April 2008

0013.18 16337.11

Instant return - just received an sms from Carla suggesting that my flashing light yesterday evening was an Iridium satellite. The timing fits - but the satellites I know I have seen don't usually flash. So still a bit odd. This one's even odder - the Rat finally loses it - was looking forwards past the forestay at the bank of murk that is always down there on the horizon and wondering whether it was solid or just fluff. I saw a flash - strobe like - just above the murk - say about 5 degrees elev - more or less dead ahead. It was so fast I'm still not absolutely certain I saw it. Bright white light, seemed to have area like, say, a parachute flare, not a pinpoint. Not lightning - just possible a freak reflection off some part of the boat - or what?

14 miles to go. Examiner has removed our wind, so motoring at 4.5 kts. About here, we can start to gauge the standard of planning. We are approaching half way and by looking at the various heaps and containers I can see how we are going. Medicinal Compound will be marginal but that was deliberate. We will have lots of food to spare, enough diesel as long as we don't for instance, lost the mast, ordinary bog paper ok, elephant's b.p. ok, McVitie's digestives marginal, toothpaste, sailmakers' twine and so on. This, of course, ignores the contingency factor - like loss of mast - and assumes progress more or less as we've been making.

Talking of elephant's, must resurrect Alison Chadwick's lovely descriptive metaphor for our sort of progress. Next blog perhaps.

Hi Matt - yep, McGyvery would be good to have around. I'm not bad at it, but there are some things that defeat me. All sailors need that capacity for intelligent improvisation based on planning and experience and lateral thinking and we generally do ok on Berri. Unlikely we'll get to Devon before the eclipse - more like mid august - but, AGW, it will be quite a reunion!

Chris - definitely harder, but in subtle ways.