Thursday, 2 July 2009
Workboat intergalactic photos here. Pete was on Moon - grey hull, sail no 58, purplish topsail with half moon and star. The boat was launched the night before the start and they came 5th - a remarkable performance. Victory is yellow with blue and yellow chevrons on the topsail and sail no 7
A burst on topsail terminology to follow.
As for the North East Passage - sadly, not this year. The Russians have been more or less positive - the FSB have sent us a message saying that Dikson and Pevek are closed to visitors but if we are prepared to go non stop from Murmansk to Providenie (east of the Bering Strait and not a problem if it's ice free) and alter our application to reflect this change, they will consider it favourably and get back to us as soon as they can. But we must carry a Pilot (and, I think, pay the pilotage charges) which would mean that we have no room for Pat Hahn and we really need to be on the way now to be sure of being at 105E (Cape Chelyuskin) by the end of August. The minimum time in which I can see us getting the papers translated and together and, permit in hand, approaching the Russian Embassy to get visas and all the other necessary papers is about three weeks if everything goes smoothly and we actually get a permit at the end of the process. So it's really a month too late to do it this year with a reasonable expectation of a safe passage around Cape Chelyuskin. Sad though, but now at least I know more about how the process works. Huge thanks to Vladimir in St Petersburg for being our guide through the maze and for relaying messages.
So, fallback option #1: Berri is transformed and we think we will sail to south west Ireland - Baltimore perhaps - for a beer next week to give her a bit of a thrash to make sure everything works and then back to Falmouth to take everything off the boat except sails and work our way up to the Solent for the Fastnet start on August 9th. And back here again after that and perhaps South Georgia and Capetown. Plus ca change...
Another possible option might be to leave Berri here until next year, apply once again for NE passage permit but earlier and leave in June if we get one. To hard a decision at the mo.but probably too expensive for both of us.
Thanks to everyone who has sent us messages via the gust book. Nice to know you're out there.