Update #71 - 2nd February 2001 (1.40am AEDST, 1.40pm local time)
Position - 22°36' S, 23°23' W

Air temperature - 35 degrees
Water temperature - 27.7 degrees
1,040 nm to Tristan Da Cunha

1,000 miles and 10 days straight down the coast of Western Australia in 1994 was my previous longest continual period of working to windward. That benchmark has now been eclipsed in that I've just come off ..... 12 days and 1,400 miles working straight into the wind.

The stop sign was hung out yesterday after the breeze finally backed in direction to E then NE for a time, before departing "Sal" and I completely. Progress in the last 24 hours has been very slow (only 17 miles in 12 hours). After the breeze left yesterday it became incredibly hot and I was very, very pleased to see the sun set. Early this morning, just before sunrise, the ocean was like a mirror with just a slight amount of residual swell. In conditions like that I put one reef in the mainsail to minimise "slatting", furl the headsail and leave the helm unattended. This morning the heat arrived as the sun returned but with some breeze in the form of a ENE and we are inching forward at somewhere between 2 knots and 4 knots. Yesterday afternoon and today are the two hottest days of the trip.

A couple of days ago, I got whacked by six big rain squalls one after the other. Some days they are all round but you miss them, other days you get the lot ..... a bit like red lights I suppose.

53 more miles south and we'll cross the Tropic of Capricorn and leave the tropics behind. "Capricorn Dancer" is the name of numerous boats, and is featured in a beaut song. I really like the way the two words go together and sound.

Hi to all my friends and fellow members at Lake Macquarie Yacht Club. Hope you're all enjoying the ride.

Take care,

Tony Mowbray