Update #18 - 7th August 2000
Only 69 days before we sail!

Some breakthroughs .....

Newcastle Port Corporation have committed to sponsoring me for the last 7 days of my trip. The sponsorship funds that they are providing are being directed to the purchase of a new high frequency radio (HFR). So when you hear these vocal chords waxing lyrically from the boat, it will be because of the kind support of Dr. Glen Oakley (CEO) and the team at the Newcastle Port Corporation.

It is now time for the final work phase to start on the boat. A week or so ago I transferred all the tools back onto the boat. In the company of my great unpaid assistant, Barry Rae, the work has begun.

We have removed a hinged hatch from the deck above the main cabin and replaced it with a 10mm thick piece of Polycarbonate that is through bolted and completely waterproof. It is now a skylight only and provides a good viewing window to keep an eye on the mast and sail settings from down below.

We have also removed and resealed two small skylights in the toilet area as they were leaking slightly on the trip back from NZ. In the same area there were two small air vents that have now been dispensed with and are now skylights as well.

Over the last 18 months I have progressively removed all openings from the deck to below. The only openings now, are the front and back hatches. All those other openings let water in when you are upside down!!!

I am currently investigating the acquisition of suitable camera equipment to allow filming of the trip to allow the making of a documentary. All this technology will be very interesting, as you must remember I am the guy who can only just make coffee in the microwave and hasn't got a hope of tuning in the TV or video recorder.

Last Friday I met with John Winning, the Managing Director of Winning Appliances in Sydney. John is another man who understands and relates to the passion that I have and his support of me via a 7 day sponsorship package is very timely indeed.

Citizen Watches have stepped aboard as a product sponsor with some watches. I lost my waterproof sailing watch over the side of the boat some time ago and so they are providing me with a replacement that will display local time and Australian Eastern Standard Time simultaneously. They are also contributing a matching ladies and gents watch that can be raffled or auctioned.

There is no doubt that this is a tough game of inches but one must remember the eating of the elephant ..... one bite at a time!

Tony Mowbray