Update #21 - 15th September 2000
Only 30 days to go! Very scary stuff !!

I wake up in the morning with a sick feeling in my stomach, it stays there all day and is still there when I go to bed at night. Interspersed with the sick feeling are feelings of excitement, apprehension, concern and so on. My left eye, from time to time, twitches uncontrollably through all of the stress. Two beers knocks me out as if they were anaesthetic. It is not uncommon to go to sleep at 10.00pm after a hard day on the project, wake up at 1.30am and get out of bed and start again and go through until 9.00pm or 10.00pm that night. I think about all the things I still have to achieve and worry about the things that I may have not thought of. You are only as good as your weakest link!

Over 3 years ago I thought I had an idea as to how tough this journey was going to be but I was wrong. It is a very tough business and I haven't crossed the start line yet. Maybe the sailing will be the easy bit? No matter how broke I am and no matter how tough it is when I jump onto my boat and head out onto the water it is such a wonderful feeling to be at one with the wind and water. Fan-bloody-tastic!!!

I would go through it all again to get to this point. Never ever, ever, give in.

Yesterday saw a trip to Sydney for a big round of meetings, etc. I took the plunge a few weeks ago and ordered a new mainsail and yesterday I picked it up. Nothing fancy here. Dacron 9.2oz, cross cut, triple stitched, not much roach, flat in shape, deep reefs and hopefully "bullet proof".

Coursemaster Autopilots at Chatswood were the "scene of the next crime" where I picked up my spares for my Coursemaster Autopilot. They have a world class product with world class service and I don't think I will need many spares but better to be safe than sorry.

On the subject of spares. I like to think that I've got most bases covered but ponder this as an example .....

I have a LPG gas stove so how much gas do I take for the trip? What if the stove breaks down out there and I can't fix it? Solution is to have a 2-burner metho stove as a back up (cold noodles at Cape Horn ..... no thanks). How much metho should I take? What day do you think the LPG stove might pack it in? If it packs it in on the 2nd day out then I need enough metho to get me all the way around. What spares should I take for the metho stove?

Get the picture.

Crows Nest is the home of a branch of Boat Books. My one hour visit saw me part with another $1,300 for the acquisition of more navigation charts and a software program to load into my laptop computer to enable me to download weather faxes via the HF radio.

Someone said, "Go west young man", so I did. Out to Auburn, passing the Olympic Stadium on the way to a meeting with John Ferris at RFD Liferafts where we discussed the various merits of his product and jointly lamented the fact that I had no money to buy one.

Almost next door to RFD is the office of Station 12 (The old Telstra Global Satellite). My meeting with Kathy Mildred ironed out the wrinkles in the sponsorship package that they have come aboard with to assist me to communicate from the boat with their wonderful Satcom C product. Satcom C was provided by STATION 12 when I went to New Zealand and back in May/June. The safety features of the product combined with weather forecast info and the satellite e-mail facility make it an almost must for yachts at sea. It will be via the SATCOM C terminal that all of my e-mails will be sent and received by me on the boat.

Look for details elsewhere on the project web site www.sailsolo.com as to how you can register with Station 12 to allow you to communicate with me.

Best regards.

Tony Mowbray