Update #62 - 6th January 2001 (2.00am AEDST)
Position - 15°00' S, 06°26' W

Air temperature - 30 degrees
Water temperature - 22.8 degrees
1000 miles West of Angola, 1200 miles South of Ivory Coast and a bloody long way from home

St Helena Island was rounded at 8.30am 5th January AEDST and I am now heading to Ascension Island 625 miles away (just a Sydney-Hobart race). As you would expect of Mowbray's (or was that Gilligan's) 180 day tour, I managed to round in the dark therefore only saw lights on the shore, no humans.

I am well and truly in the tropics now with new territory for me coming up. Currently I am on the same latitude as Cooktown. The furthest north I have ever been is Port Moresby, which is at 10°S, so only another 300 miles north and new horizons again.

Today is my daughter Holly's Birthday. She is 9. It just seems like yesterday that I carried her out of Belmont Hospital as a tiny baby in her capsule, strapped her into the backseat and drove home no faster then 25 km/hr as nervous as I have ever been in my life. I would obviously like to be with her today but that is not meant to be. I hope that as she grows older she understands that her old Dad just had to do this.

The rig repairs look okay at this stage. The real test will come on the final 7,000 mile leg, in the Indian and Southern Oceans. It's been real trade wind stuff of late with SE to E to ENE breezes, 10-15 knots with generally blue sky and a brilliant blue ocean.

The trip is about 44% complete at this point and I have to work at keeping my mind occupied and not look too far ahead. The mid ? component can lead to a lack of focus and can be a bit like the kid's in the back seat saying every 5 seconds ..... "How much longer Dad?". It is indeed a test of the mind as much a test of one's organisational and sailing skills, etc.

The Newcastle Media have been very supportive of the trip and I thank them for their keen interest. Whilst the schedule changes from time to time, following is the current APPROXIMATE times that you may tune in for a voice update from the boat

1) Mon 2NURFM with Bob and Judy 3.30pm
2) Tues 2NC with Paul Bevan 9.00am-10.00am
3) Wed KOFM with David and Tanya 5.45am
4) Fri 2HD with Luke Grant 7.30am-8.00am
5) Sat 2NC with Craig Hamilton from 9.00am

NBN television also carries reports regularly, skilfully and professionally prepared by Paul Lobb. Does anyone have some e-mail addresses of the appropriate people at The Newcastle Herald so that we can send them our updates?

Take care all, gotta go check the fishing line.

Tony Mowbray