Update #65 - 15th January 2001 (1.00am AEDST)
Position - 02°59' S, 22°13' W

488 nm to St Peter and St Paul Rocks
131 nm to our half way point!

The Equator is now only 179 nm north and it's bloody hot! During the day I rig my rain catcher (drop sheet about 1.8m x 1.8m) over the cockpit to provide some shade. It is always in the mid to high 30's. It's impossible to sleep during the day but is okay at night. We made good progress this week, racking up 988 nm, which is "Sal's" 2nd best week so far. The best one was week 4 at 1006 nm. Our worst was week 6, the week we had our major chainplate problem, logging only 727 nm.

ONE CROWDED HOUR OF GLORIOUS LIFE, IS WORTH AN AGE WITHOUT A NAME. This was the creed that Neil Davis (1934-1985), Aussie combat cameraman and journalist, lived and died by. I have just finished his Biography that was leant to me Mark Schroder. A great book ..... I highly recommend it. Now I'm into Joshua Slocum's book (also from Mark).

Shipping is now a major concern. About three nights ago, all of a sudden I had 5 boats in my area. I've deduced that 3 of them were fishing vessels hovering on the 180 nm exclusion zone perimeter around Ascension Island. I now have shipping constantly in my area, requiring a far more vigilant approach on my behalf. I can only sleep for a maximum of 1 hour at a time now.

Playing the card game "Patience" is a good way to pass a bit of time if conditions are benign, and so it has been of late that I've whiled away an hour or two. In '94 when Morrie and I went around Australia non-stop, there was a period that I played patience for about a week and just couldn't "get it out". Then I found the 6 of diamonds in the bilge!!!!

Does anyone have any info on St Peter and St Paul Rocks?

A big thank you to DAVID BRAY YACHTS - YACHT CONSULTANT for coming on board as the sponsor of day #77. David started his brokerage business in 1977 and was the broker who handled the sale of "Polaris of Belmont" to my now friend, John Quinn. Other daily sponsors at this time are KENNARDS HIRE (days #82 to #91 inclusive). Hi to Peter, Rose and staff. Mitchell and Mandy Sovechles operate MOBIL SERVICE STATIONS at various locations throughout Newcastle and have sponsored me with diesel fuel, engine oil, metho, etc. and are the owners of day's #92, #94 and #95.

Every day seems to present a new challenge out here. The current one is that the motor will not start (definitely not an oil or fuel problem!). With 3 months to go we are in reasonable shape but with a lot of hard yards still to be covered. It will be good to get to St Peter and St Paul Rocks and turn "Sal" around for home.

Take care,

Tony Mowbray