Update #67 - 18th January 2001 (4.34am AEDST, 5.34pm local time)
Position - 00°00' S, 27°43' W

THE EQUATOR IS CROSSED! New territory for me! I've not been to the Northern Hemisphere before.

It's been slow going since we hit the "wall" of the doldrums wind ..... no wind, SW, SE, NE, rain, hot. To those of you who know beautiful Lake Macquarie, you may understand when I say that it is like trying to sail through the lee of Pulbah Island, except this lee appears to be about 300 miles or more, but with patience we'll get there.

We had a huge squall come through earlier, not much wind but plenty of rain, so I took the opportunity to indulge in a little bit of open air nude bathing on deck and had a thorough tub up ..... 'twas not a pretty sight!

Tonight is the crossing of the equator party on board and I'm wearing my SUPER HUBERT magical cape that Hubie lent me, to protect "Sal" and I. St Peter and St Paul rocks are still 107 miles away.

A lot of people ask me WHY? Why do the trip?

Before I left I could not give a complete answer. My friend Keir Enderby told me that he felt I would find out once I was out here, but I wasn't so sure. Let me tell you that yesterday when I was holding the bucket underneath the sail trying to catch every drop of pure fresh rain water whilst I was soaked to the skin, thousands of miles from anywhere, a piece of the jigsaw that is the answer, dropped into place. Today when I was in the cockpit in that rain squall and scrubbing up, another piece dropped in. I can't go into a thousand words here but suffice to say that there is something very special about this.

Are you all still with me????? We've still got a long way to go!!

Take care,

Tony Mowbray