Monday afternoon finds Solo Globe Challenger ("Sal") 180 miles east of the NE tip of Tasmania. We are again making good progress in our search for that distinctive headland, Nobbys, 460 miles away.
Our progress has been quickened with the arrival of a cold front at 8.30pm (why do they always hit at night?) Sunday evening. Initially the front was brutal in its attack, with winds around 40-50 knots from the west. Conditions have moderated to a fresh 20-25 knot nor-wester, providing "Sal" and I with a wet, bumpy ride. For a time last night, I lay down on the cabin floor, fully dressed in wet weather gear in case I had to go on deck in a hurry, wedging myself between a cupboard and the engine box, thinking to myself, "Is this any way to live (exist)?"
Another few hours and we will cross the 40th parallel of latitude finally emerging from the roaring 40's after 8 weeks. At this time we will also be entering Bass Strait. Mixed emotions lay ahead for me as I close in on the spot that "Sal", my seven crew and I met with our problems in the 1998 Sydney to Hobart race.
As I type, the breeze is increasing and I have been on deck to further reduce sail and it's shaping up to be a wild afternoon. Poor old "Sal" has been in perpetual motion (and myself too) for 6 months now, at times under great stress, and the Tasman Sea is providing the final test.
Diary extracts .....
I am so looking forward to being back home this weekend amongst my family, friends, supporters and fellow Novocastrians. Hugging my children for that first time is going to be something to be treasured. I'm down to counting the hours. Thank you for your interest and maybe I'll see you at Queens Wharf.