Alex Whitworth and Peter Crozier, the two Australian sailors circumnavigating their way home to Sydney, have lost method of communication
Alex Whitworth and Peter Crozier, the two Australian sailors circumnavigating their way home to Sydney after completing the Rolex Sydney-Hobart 2004 and Rolex Fastnet Race 2005 in their 33ft sloop, Berrimilla, are facing power generation problems.
Whitworth and Crozier have created quite a fan base on www.berrimilla.com and their logs provide amusement and insight into how these sailing veterans are fairing on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean as they get set to round the Cape of Good Hope. But power generation problems have led them to resort to satellite communications to send their messages, an expensive ‘charge per character’ method.
Alex writes: “The laptop and HF transmission gear consume much wattage. The Satcom is a handheld unit and hence quite low power consumption. The generator kept input comfortably in front of output, but with lousy sunshine for the solar panels and limited diesel for the motor, the output required to run laptop and HF will kill the batteries pretty quickly. Priority has to be given to the nav and running gear, so Satcom it is. The Satcom cost is about 1c per character! It adds up awfully quickly.”
Earlier this week, Berrimilla was barepoling in 45 kts of wind and wet stormy conditions but yesterday sunshine allowed the boat to dry out a little before the next onslaught of bad weather. Alex wrote yesterday: “It looks as if there is some really nasty weather behind us, so there’s that flutter of trepidation clutching my inners. It’s moving very fast – perhaps at 40kts, so will go through fast and the next one will arrive. The grib says 40 and that generally means a lot more.”
In these fickle conditions the importance of communication is foremost, and there’s no doubt Alex and Peter are fired up to communicate, whether it be about their windvane ‘Kevvo’, supply of ‘The Doctor'(Guinness) or the best way to drink a cup of tea in a rocking boat!
Berrimilla’s supporters have set up an account that will go towards paying for the satellite communications. If you would like to help Berri stay in touch go to www.berrimilla.com