Early afternoon Tuesday finds "Sal" and I 2/3 of the way across Bass Strait, approximately 120 miles SE of Gabo Island, which is adjacent to the Vic/NSW border. We are making steady progress towards home, which now lays 330 miles to our north. The wind has lightened off considerably, and I am trying to coax from "Sal" every little bit of speed she can give me. With close to 30 crossings of this infamous stretch of water, I've seen most of its moods. Today is one of her better ones.
My satellite e-mail system decided this morning that it has had enough, and it has shut up shop. It has been a fantastic asset to me for the trip providing vital weather forecast information, allowing me to keep in regular contact with my supporters via updates on my website www.sailsolo.com, and also allowing frequent communication with my wife and children lessening the effect of our separation. I have carried out various checks to the system, and have decided that from now until the finish my only form of communicating with the outside world will be via RadPhone calls using my High Frequency (HF) Radio as supplied by the Newcastle Port Corporation. After all, Captain James Cook didn't have e-mail, or even maps for that matter, so I should be able to make do without for the next four days.
My trip is about many things, one very important aspect is that I'm trying to raise as much money as I can to buy vital equipment for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The John Hunter Children's Hospital. Have you ever seen a premature baby? They are amazing. Why don't you put your Newcastle Morning Herald down briefly and go and find something that weighs 500 grams, and try to imagine it could be a premature baby that could fit in the palm of your hand. Help me in my quest to give these precious wonders of the world an improved chance of life by coming to Queens Wharf on Saturday, and by signing a special sail that's just been around the world, already carrying the signatures of thousands of Novocastrians. Add your name and make a donation. I promise you that it will feel good.
Diary snapshots .....
My feeling of anticipation grows hourly, and now I cannot wait to be home. It has been a long 4 years.