Update #72 - 5th February 2001 (10.15pm AEDST, 10.15am local time)
Position - 27°55' S, 19°10' W

Air temperature - 30 degrees
Water temperature - 26.8 degrees
649 nm to Tristan Da Cunha

I was all set to tell you that the weather 'gate' was behind me, but now I'm not so sure. Progress is very stop-start. I've had three nights in a row now where I have been totally becalmed with the days consisting of lovely 8-14 knot breezes from the NW quadrant. The temperature continues to hang around the mid to high 30's, even though I am out of the topics and on a latitude equivalent to being a little south of Brisbane.

As I type, the shroud of 'becalm' has enveloped us again, so here I sit with the headsail furled and a reef tucked in, waiting. My weeks' progress logged on the GPS was just 745 nm, not much above my worst week of 727 nm. I'm keen to get to Tristan Da Cunha and 'turn the corner' for home.

Have you ever seen a premature baby? I have and I can tell you that it is a sobering experience. Go and get something that weighs 500 grams and it will start to give you some relativity as to just how tiny these precious little lives are.

It is the job of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The John Hunter Children's Hospital to care for these babies from birth, and try to get them on the road to life. I could not do the job and I am in awe of the people that do. These small wonders are connected to a machine at birth that monitors their vital signs, alerts staff to complications and provides vital information for the bub's treatment.

NICU needs to purchase 10 machines this year with each one costing $18,000. I committed myself long ago to raise some money toward the purchase of as many of these machines as I can. I cannot do it on my own. WILL YOU HELP ME PLEASE?

If you have been inspired in any way by the efforts of our project, then maybe you can apply that inspiration by organising a fundraising event. It can be anything from a simple raffle at the pub/club on Friday night through to a full on black tie ball, maybe a simple collection at work or a sports day like golf, tennis, cricket, etc. It doesn't matter what it is (could be bloody game of marbles). For those of you who take up the challenge you can count me in to assist you in any way possible and I will definitely be there on the day or night if the function is held after I return.

I can assure you of two things ..... there is a bit of hard work involved and you will quietly feel pretty good when you are finished.

Are you prepared to have a go???

Take care,

Tony Mowbray