Update #97 - 12th April 2001

KOOEE from "Sal" after what can only be described as the worst 24 hour period of my adventure. If I thought Mother Nature was going to give me a friendly passage home, after testing me for 180 days, I was sadly mistaken. One of the many things I've learnt out here, and it is the same with life, take one step at a time and don't take your eyes off the ball. Here are some notes I've made in the past 24 hours .....

Equal worst night of the whole trip last night and its still continuing - now 60 knot plus winds, big seas - 90 miles off the coast - keep getting pushed further out to sea, can't get in.

No sails, I put the drogue out - the front came through at 11.00am yesterday morning fairly timid to start off, then it freshened around 3.00pm - 4.00pm in the afternoon - like I have no sail, I put the drogue out. I lost it through the night it chaffed through and its gone. I have been knocked down, engulfed. I have had the worst night, the stove won't work - I have water where I have never had water, the boat is soaked - you name it, it happened last night.

I was talking to Luke Grant this morning on 2HD, and unbelievably in the middle of all of this weather I saw a rainbow. Swells are 35 feet and the wind has backed off a little to 40 knots. I am wet and I am cold and I am tired but I have to get there - I have to make it. All I can see is my wife Lorraine and our two beautiful children, Holly and Jordan. I'm 150 miles from Nobbys and I just want this to moderate a bit more - the barometer is rising slowly - I tried to get a weather forecast this morning ..... no go. No sleep just hanging in there.

Thank you all for your messages of support. They really help in times like this. One of the reasons people from our region stand tall anywhere in the world is because we look after each other. I will be back home on Saturday morning. I hope to see you and Queens Wharf from about 10.00am. I won't look the same and I'm not sure how my emotions will be, but I am sure of this ..... "Sal" and I are coming home and we can't wait to see you.

Take care,

Tony Mowbray