Update #51 - 7th December 2000 (10.45pm AEDST, 8.45am local time)
Position - 52°44' S, 55°49' W

Barometer - 993 mb and steady
Air temperature - 6 degrees
Water temperature - 5.7 degrees
95 miles SE of the Falkland Islands

It's not quite been four days since I went round Cape Horn. I feel very lucky to have been able to achieve such a major milestone in one's life, I feel as if I have achieved something tangible. Not money, nor bricks and mortar, but to me I can touch it, feel it, have it with me until the day I die. It is very special. Thank you once again to all those who helped get me there. Snow capped peaks of Chile and Argentina, the deep blue of the South Atlantic Ocean, albatross, calmer seas ..... amazing.

But still it's cold and there is more to be done. I have re-focussed on my next goal, Tristan da Cunha Island group, which now lay 2000 nautical miles to my ENE. I am keen to get north and start to warm up, however, my course will not see that happen for another week or so. This is the 54th day of my trip and the 40th day of being above 50 degrees south, with another 3 or 4 days to go before I'm in the 40's again.

The body (not exactly that of an elite athlete) is cracking up a bit. About four years ago, I had a very bad back problem. Occasionally it comes back to haunt me, and right now it is back (no pun intended) and making life a bit difficult. The pain has built up over a couple of weeks and now I'm in continual discomfort, stooped over regularly. Also, my inside left elbow is very painful, as well as a knee injury from my marathon running days now giving me some curry (just get the gun out!!!). It makes for some fun when trying to put a reef in.

Have a go at some of the wording for weather forecasts down here ..... "Golfo De Erebus, Terror Zone, Strong breeze increasing, very, very strong breeze with gusty gale from south west, cloudy, probably snowfalls, fog, mist, very poor visibility". You'd have to stay at home wouldn't you? Also, I get the ice report ..... 1/12 Berg #A-22B at 51°24' S, 39°18' W, about 140 miles off my intended track. IT MEASURES 20 MILES x 20 MILES!

I've been able to pick up BBC World service through the Falklands Radio on my AM/FM jobby and have thoroughly enjoyed catching up on what is happening in the rest of the world, as well as getting the "goss" on the goings on in the Falklands.

Some facts and useless (?) information for you -

  1. My average speed has dropped off to 5 knots from around 5.4 knots
  2. I have TWO pair of very thick socks on that have been on for over 40 days straight. You must realise that the governing criteria for clothing use is whether or not it is dry
  3. I have only run the motor for a total of 11 hours. Because my SOLAREX solar panels and my AIR MARINE 403 wind generator and doing a great job of keeping the batteries charged
  4. I have read 22 books totalling 7019 pages averaging 130 pages per day
  5. I left with 640 litres of fresh water. I calculate that I have used about 220 litres averaging 4.07 litres per day. I will have to collect rain water to get me through to the end
  6. I've had two shaves
  7. I left with 4 x 9 kg bottles of LP Gas and 1 x 4.5 kg bottle. I am still on my 1st bottle so I should have plenty to get the job done

So there you go,

Tony Mowbray