Update #96 - 11th April 2001

Bass Strait ..... what a crazy stretch of water. Tuesday night saw "Sal" and I bobbing along on a gentle sea with that brilliant full moon that we are having. It can be such a beautiful place, yet at times it can be absolutely brutal. I was very glad to exit the Strait and enter NSW waters.

Wednesday afternoon finds us 230 miles from home, 100 miles east of Merimbula, and we have not had a good day. People often ask me "Why?". It is a question that cannot be answered easily and today I have been asking myself the same thing. Fierce rain squalls, very solid headwinds, lightning and the barometer dropping like a stone have been the focal point of my existence today. In these conditions, I withdraw "Sal" into her shell somewhat and become the tortoise. One must be patient, however, I will admit that earlier in the week I threw my patience into the bilge for a while, but had to retrieve it and dry it out for future use.

We are not far off being hammered by a very strong 40 knot SW change that will provide even bigger seas than we have at present, but will also provide a slingshot effect up the coast for "Sal", ensuring our finish on Saturday. With 22,000 miles covered, the Tasman is throwing one final test our way in the last 1% of our journey. It's taking me right down to the wire, but what it doesn't realise is that boys from Belmont just don't give in.

Yesterday, I mentioned our fundraising efforts for The John Hunter Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Have you thought about that? Can you help me? Perhaps you might care to organise your own fundraising activity associated with your own sporting body or social past time. It could range from a black tie dinner to a raffle at the pub on Friday night, or maybe just a plain old game of marbles. I don't mind what it is, so long as a bit of fun is had and you are helping the cause. I will be available to attend any fundraising functions and help in any way I can.

Diary snapshots .....

Frank Rigby, a man I have a great deal of respect for, said that it is amazing what lengths I will take to avoid mowing the lawn. I am damn proud to be a Novocastrian, and out here flying the flag for the home region. Perhaps I'll see you on Saturday.

Take care,

Tony Mowbray