Update #40 - 18th November 2000 (1.30pm AEDST)
Position - 51°16' S, 113°05' W

Wind - 20 knot westerly

Since this morning's update, I have carried out further running repairs in an effort to keep the mast in the boat. I have drilled (with the cordless drill) 2 x 10 mm holes through the deck just behind the chainplates, filed them out so I could fit through a piece of cored 12 mm spectra rope and then tied the spectra to the base of the chainplate where it is still okay.

The result is that I now have a piece of spectra out of and back through the deck to form a loop, to which I have attached a double Ronstan mainsheet block with a becket. I have thrown a piece of 12 mm spectra up over the bottom port spreader and back down to another Ronstan double block. I have then fed 10 mm spectra through the two blocks giving a 4:1 purchase, lead the tail back to a cockpit winch and cranked it on. That is as good as I think I can get it and now it's simply a matter of fingers crossed and try to keep it upright in the boat.

There is still flexing and movement down below with each swell. It is wanting to peel the deck up around it.

I'm pretty sure the "non-stop, unassisted" bit is over because I cannot see how I can go another 17,000 nm like this. At this stage, I will have to go into the Falkland Islands to effect repairs (if I can get there in one piece). They are 2,100 nm away. I think it will be touch and go. At least if nothing else I've had a go.

Take care,

Tony Mowbray