Update #75 - 15th February 2001

Following is a poem written by Tony's good mate Mark Schroder, and inspired by Tony's time and efforts on board Solo Globe Challenger.

Ode to Solo Globe Challenger

In a Cole 43 named SGC
He left his home and his family
For 180 days she will be his home
His lover, his life, he will not be alone

With help from his friends we bade him goodbye
Pato and Chappy and of course Barry Rae
And don't forget Keir and Vicki and Gus
Then Steve and Phil ..... And the rest of us

We went to the sea to wave him away
And prayed for his safe return one day
To Newcastle Harbour he must persist
For a more beautiful place does not exist

Guided by Badham and modern e-mails
He sets his course and unfurls his sails
And heads west to east a man alone
Around the globe on a journey to home

He has worked for this time over the years
His destiny this journey - whatever his fears
South to New Zealand and around Snares Island
Left to the Horn 'Cross the great Southern Ocean

He is looking for sponsors - there are never enough
To share his vision for the kids doing it tough
In John Hunter Hospital they lay there sick
And Mowbray inspires us to all do our bit.

We share his quest with weekly updates
Via radio sessions we still hear our mate
Plugging away at each of life's chores
Until he gets home to peaceful lake shores

Station 12 is his lifeline to Holly and Jordan
And the outside world to relieve the boredom
He sits at the nav table, keyboard in hand
Writing a poem - too far from land

We can only imagine his hours awake
Forever aware of the dodgy chainplate
Nursing his girl on into the fray
And knowing that failure is not far away

At 56 south where so many have perished
He turns to the left - a thought he had cherished
A dream he had dreamed for too many years
Had finally come true - though at what cost he fears

On to the Atlantic with warm ocean currents
With doldrums and rain, the sun and quiet moments
He plods on his way one step at a time
To Newcastle Harbour round Easter time

The cold and the wet a brief memory away
But they will be back in a few short days
Rounding Tristan Da Cunha a rock on the map
At 37 south to make his way back

By the light of the moon and a wind nor west
Again he turns left - the last leg of his quest
By now the journey is 2/3rds over
And on the next chart is one last ocean
The Indian it is - this final test
Before he can lay his dream to rest

Of sailing the world - to conquer the ocean
Of rounding the Horn and feeling the motion
Of mountains of water rolling under his feet
A challenge not many are game to meet

His family awaits with arms open and smiles
Steadfast she sails - it's only 7000 miles
To greet all his friends (we will shout and cheer)
And help him to drink the world dry of beer!

by Mark Schroder