Update #98 - 13th April 2001

It's 5.00pm on Friday and "Sal" and I are off Moon Island at the entrance to Lake Macquarie. I'm so excited and full of emotion. It's unbelievable. I didn't think I'd be like this. This afternoon as I was sailing up the coast and Catherine Hill Bay came into sight, and then Swansea Heads, then Moon Island, it was a fantastic feeling to be back in home waters.

The NBN helicopter is overhead, and a number of boats have come out of the Channel to bid me good wishes. I'm going to spend one more night at sea tonight, bobbing around in the ocean, before we make our entrance tomorrow into Newcastle Harbour, and I can hardly wait. I can't express how eager I am to see and hug my wife and children. Tomorrow (Saturday) is going to be a magnificent day.

The storm of two nights ago and yesterday was equivalent to the worst I've experienced on the whole trip. It was absolutely horrendous. All I could focus on was from one wave to the next, to stay safe and get back home to my wife and kids. I've had no sleep for the past 50 hours, so I'm looking forward to a bit of shuteye before the wonderful reception I will receive at Queens Wharf at 10.00am tomorrow. I'll have a shave in the morning and do the best to comb my hair, using my fork as a comb.

I'm very appreciative of all the people of the Hunter that have helped and supported me to get to this point. This is a solo sailing expedition, but it has not been possible without the support of so many people throughout the Hunter Region, whether their assistance has come through money or goods and services. There is no way I can repay everyone, but I would like you all to know how much I appreciate your efforts.

I'd like to make it clear that until I cross the finishing line, nobody can touch my boat or throw anything to me on board, because this would negate the "unassisted" part of the Solo Globe Challenge 2000.

Tomorrow morning, I will be somewhere Moon Island and Nobbys. I will be off Nobbys no later than 10.00am and start to head in to Newcastle Harbour, toward the finish line around 10.30am - 10.45am. Hope to see you all there.

I'm proud to be a Novocastrian. I'm proud to be an Aussie.

Take care,

Tony Mowbray