Update #58 - 21st December 2000 (4.30am AEDST, 4.30pm local time)
Position - 41°05' S, 21°18' W

Air temperature - 16 degrees
Water temperature - 13.9 degrees
480 miles to Tristan da Cunha Island Group
1900 miles WSW of Capetown, South Africa

I reckon that childbirth and long distance ocean sailing have got a lot in common. You push the bad memories to the back recesses of the mind (never to be completely forgotten), while fondly and regularly remembering the good times, which is why you go back for more.

Today is one of the good times. Blue sky, amazingly deep blue ocean, gentle 10 knot NW breeze, no swell, loping along at about 4 knots, sunglasses on for the first time in the trip,16 degrees (heatwave), listening to mate Biggle's tape Mariner ..... QUOTE: Haunting Pan Flute and warm orchestral strings, gently awash with ocean waves - stirring and soulful. This beautiful recording takes you on a relaxing journey over the ocean :UNQUOTE. Yes sir, it doesn't get much better then this.

By now the order of the festivities ahead for most of you will be mapped out. It looks like I'm going to be right at Tristan da Cunha late on Christmas Eve or early Christmas Day. I think there is some civilisation on the island. I will give a call on the radio ..... who knows, might even see a human being!!

A few days ago, because of my contaminated water problem, I carried out a very detailed stocktake of what drinkable fluids are on board. Water, UHT milk, Powerade, cans of soft drink, and fruit juice poppers. I have had to scale back my dilution of contaminated water with fresh to a mix of 1 litre of good : ½ litre of contaminated which allows me a max of 1½ litres of water per day plus other liquids. In summary, if I restrict myself to no more then 2½ litres of combined liquids per day and complete the journey in 180 days total, then I will be okay. But of course I have about 7 weeks sailing to do in the tropics and liquid demand will rise. Lets hope it rains.

Last Monday morning I crossed the longitude position that puts me directly on the opposite side of the world to our fair City of Lake Macquarie. In my mind, I now think of home as being ahead of me and not behind.

I wish you all a wonderful time over the next week or two of the festive season. I would not be here if it were not for the support of my wife Lorraine, my family, my friends, supporters and sponsors, and I wish you all a great time. I miss my children Holly and Jordan a terrible lot. If you have children please make sure you give them plenty of hugs and kisses ALL THE TIME.

Take care,

Tony Mowbray