Update #59 - 27th December 2000 (11.00pm AEDST)
Position - 32°12' S, 10°25' W

Air temperature - 26 degrees (yahoo!!!!)
Water temperature - 22.6 degrees
1000 miles to St Helena Island
1400 miles due west of Capetown, South Africa

NOEL DAVIES INDEPENDENT CARPETS at Bennetts Green sponsored me for days #63 and #79. Sometimes peoples motivation for sponsoring me are not entirely apparent, however, Noel told me clearly why he chose to be a part of my team and I hope, Noel, that I'm doing the job for you. Readers, DON'T buy your carpet anywhere but from NOEL DAVIES INDEPENDENT CARPETS. Today is #74 and we have now sailed about 8,900 miles with about 13,000 to go, so we are about 40% complete.

We finally rounded Tristan da Cunha Island group early on Christmas Day. It was a stop/start affair to get there and I was keen to get in close to see land and maybe a human being, however, Santa's 1st present to me was a 40 knot nor-easter, forcing me away from the island in a very uncomfortable sea with the breeze absolutely full of grunt. His 2nd present was 30 knot nor-wester (he's just an old trickster). Anyhow, all I saw was a brief outline of land and having to come back here in 6 weeks or so, hopefully we'll get a look then. Since rounding, we have been heading NNE to St Helena Island and getting north quickly with some great sailing in moderate SE breezes, and a resultant rise in temperature (note - 26 degrees today). 9 hours ago we were on exactly the same latitude as the City of Lake Macquarie (my home). Another 500 miles and we will be in the tropics ..... scary.

On Christmas Eve I had my first wash (salt water) since setting out and my first change of clothes (the ONLY criteria here is if it's dry, then you can wear it). I managed to have a good chat to Lorraine, Holly, Jordan and other family members on Christmas Day and opened presents that they had wrapped and given to me prior to leaving. Let's just say that there were some interesting gift's with the one from my sister-in-law, Von, scoring close to a ten.

My HF Radio from Newcastle Port Corporation continues to give me enjoyment as I now also tune into Voice of America. As I write this update it is EXACTLY 2 years ago to the hour that the 8 of us and "Sal" were in Bass Strait fighting our battle. I am finding it a bit surreal to be here now. 12 months ago I did not cope very well on the day and was hard to be around, but out here I've only got myself to annoy.

One of the steering cables is showing signs of wear and I will be surprised if it lasts till the end. You may recall in one of my very early updates I told you that I forgot to bring my spare set (goose!!!). If it goes I do have a number of back up plans and whilst it may slow us down it won't stop us.

I am managing to restrict fluids intake to 1 litre or water per day, 500 mls of BI-LO longlife milk plus other bit's 'n pieces. It still has not rained but I am confident it will. Kevin Fletcher sent me some great info on Tristan da Cunha Island group. Does anyone have any info on St Helena Island and Ascension Island?

Hope you all have a great New Years Eve.

Take care,

Tony Mowbray