Update #70 - 30th January 2001 (3.00am AEDST, 3.00pm local time)
Position - 18°17' S, 25°53' W

Air temperature - 30 degrees
Water temperature - 27.1 degrees
Barometer - 1007 mb
240 miles ENE of Isle De Trindade off the coast of Brazil
Tristan Da Cunha is 1,335 miles away

Since rounding St Peter and St Paul Rocks 11 days and 1,300 miles ago, we have been sailing hard to windward. Initially the breeze was SSE and pushing "Sal" slowly towards Brazil. However, last Friday it shifted to ESE and allowed us to head directly at Tristan Da Cunha. The breeze strength has been between 12-30 knots, but mostly 15-25 knots. There has been lots of reefing and furling of headsails. This should be my one and only serious long-term "uphill" stint.

Only another 300 miles south and we officially leave the tropics. The anti-foul paint seems to be holding up well, however, "Sal" has some ugly black growth on the hull under the stern.

Shipping has disappeared and the new moon made it's entrance a couple nights ago, making for some glorious star laden nights. I have to keep an eye out for competing yachts in the VENDEE GLOBE single handed race as they cross my path heading north to their finish. My thanks to Rob Drury, a fellow member of the Shorthanded Sailing Association of Australia, for making me aware of the fleet. If you are interested in shorthanded sailing, I suggest you visit the association website (www.ssaa.com.au) and consider joining.

Useless fact ..... I am still using my first 9kg LPG gas bottle. I brought 4 x 9kg and 1 x 4.5kg bottles, so if my first bottle were to run out today, I have enough gas to last me at least 491 days! I estimate a total of 185 days out here, so I would say I have more than enough gas.

What I don't have left is that bloody beautiful BI-LO light fruit cake! Take a tip ..... try it! I'm just about out of Jatz and similar bikkies too. My overall supplies are going okay. BI-LO did a great job of looking after me and I quite unashamedly urge you to consider buying your groceries from BI-LO.

My current daily diet consists of breakfast being cereal with dried and/or tinned fruit with BI-LO long life milk, cups of tea, lunch might be a Sui Min or dried fruit and my evening meal can be from tinned salads, beetroot, 3 bean mix, potato salad, salmon, prawns, rice, pasta and I occasionally bake some bread. I will NOT come back lighter then when I left!

It is my mother's 78th Birthday on Thursday 1st February and I hope she has a lovely day. My mum has been an extra hard toiler all her life and she is a very strong and determined person. I recognise a lot of her in me and I am grateful for her passing on that never say die attitude and strong work ethic. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM.

Talk soon,

Tony Mowbray