Update #80 - 4th March 2001 (9.00pm AEDST, 2.00pm local time)
Position - 43°45' S, 48°12' E

Air temperature - 11 degrees
Water temperature - 10.5 degrees
4,282 miles to Tasmania
230 miles NW of the main islands in the Crozet Group

KOOEE (COMMUNICATIONS) ..... anybody out there?

We've been sailing for 140 days, 8 hours and covered 16,831 miles of 21,823 miles, so we are 77% complete. We had fog again a few days ago. Eerie stuff, sailing along at 6 knots into a white wall less than 50 metres away.

I've been feeling okay lately but sleeping like a log. Last Friday morning (your time), I was scheduled to do an interview with Luke Grant on 2HD Breakfast. I thought I would grab a couple of hours in the rack beforehand. I set the alarm and for the first time in my life I slept through it. Not only that, I finally dragged myself out after 11 hours!!! Needless to say, I don't think Luke was still waiting by the phone.

Last Friday afternoon, a high pressure system enveloped us starting off with SE breeze that saw us beating to windward for about 36 hours. It progressively backed going from E to the NE and then finally NNE, allowing us to hold course again on port tack. We were pushed north 30 miles and we've put our mind to getting south again.

Last night saw it blow 35 knots from the north (still backing to NW) with a shocker of a sea, exerting big shock loads on the chainplate repairs (they continue to hold on) and the steering cable, making me a little worried.

Each day rolls into the next and I've had this desire to make up a sign that shows my name/date of birth/date, then hang the sign around my neck and take a photograph of 'Prisoner Mowbray'.

All of my sponsors and supporters have been great but I would like to make mention of BI-LO again. The interest and concern for the welfare of my family shown by Richard McGough and Darren O'Neill whilst I am out here leaves me eternally grateful. Gentlemen, thank you.

Take care,

Tony Mowbray