Update #78 - 22nd February 2001 (10.00pm AEDST, 1.00pm local time)
Position - 43°39' S, 18°33' E

Air temperature - 14 degrees
Water temperature - 11.1 degrees

Cape of Good Hope Rounded! At 9.34pm AEDST 22nd February, 2001 Solo Globe Challenger was 555 miles due South of The Cape of Good Hope. That's three down, two to go.

We had another NW blow around 30 knots yesterday, giving way to a 15 knot SSW breeze with some blue sky to round with. Tassie is now 5,574 miles away. We've travelled 15,539 miles of the course, leaving 6,284 to go, so we are 71% complete.

"Sal" is in good shape but showing signs of the incessant movement and loads. You are only as good as your weakest link and it is a continually changing list of weak links which I have to keep on top of ..... snap shackle on the "Handy Billy" sheared clean through the other night, "Vang" shackle worked it's way undone, a block on the rail blew up, one of the short spectra control lines on the Monitor self-steering decided to break as we were surfing down the face of one, the furniture down below gives off some weird creaking and groaning sounds, etc.

We've been making good progress since rounding Tristan Da Cunha, and have been heading south east but now we've levelled out and are heading due east on the same latitude as the bottom of Tassie. The thermal undies are on again while the suntan and sunglasses are mere memories. I want to be at least this far south on the leg home to minimise the distance to be sailed (shape of the earth and all that technical stuff).

Since Tristan Da Cunha, we have logged 1,549 miles on the GPS log yet the distance to Tassie has reduced by 1,704 miles! Beautiful! Mind games/a game of inches, it's all of that. One example - I started using the chart I am currently on way back on the 18th December, 2000 and will use it for another week or so. That will be around 73 days straight! It lurks on the navigation table and if only I had a dollar for every time I've looked at it ..... !!

To celebrate rounding the Cape today, I put together another "message in a bottle" on board the "Sailing Vessel BUNDY". The hull of S.V. BUNDY came to me from Cliff and Leoni Marsh, and upon receipt had a full cargo of Bundaberg Rum. I'm sad to say that the cargo has been depleted and S.V. BUNDY is now bobbing around on her maiden voyage. As was the case with the message inside S.V. STUBBY, I've informed the finder that free long term accommodation will be available at Russell Cumming's home plus Ken McLeod will give them unlimited free drinks at the bar of LMYC (AND smile about it).

Onwards we press, the days seem to roll into each other now as I allow myself to think more often about home. There is still a lot of water to be crossed and a lot of low pressure systems and cold fronts out there with my name on them, but with any sort of luck we'll make it.

Take care,

Tony Mowbray