Friday, January 1, 2010
Following on from the last one - to have got this far has been thanks to the help and support of lots of people many of whom have just jumped aboard when they have seen we needed help - Leif Hagen, Dave Boisseau, Pat Hahn, Cory Dimitruk, Peter Semotiuk, Felix and Manuel, Udo, Dave Carne, Gordy, Jeremy Burnett and many many more. Thanks! Then there have been the regulars, headbanging for us day after day - Steve Jackson, Malcolm Robinson, Speedy, Steve Withnall, for help way beyond the call of duty, Thanks! plus John Witchard, Simon Blundell, John Blundell, Marc Robinson, suppliers of technology and always on hand with advice. The RORC team, Janet and Ian in particular, Crosshaven RNLI, Peter Bruce - the NASA people, Leroy Chiao whose name should be writ in diamonds, Pascal Lee the great mapmaker, Carla Guzzardo, Keith Cowing and the Everest Dag - the whole lot of you out there reading this stuff and talking to us, kicking the Iridium tin and all, without whom this would not have been remotely possible. Lists are so dicey! I'm sure there are many more who should be included and my apologies. There were Yacht Clubs, met people, the Patagonian Cruise net, Falkland islanders, Malcom for sea surface altimetry when we needed it and I'll keep remembering more and more.
Plus a very special personal thank you to Corrie McQueen who jumped aboard at the last minute for the drag up the Pacific and the NW Passage and Kimbra Lindus who came too and both of whom suffered my moods during some of the really tricky bits.
And our extended families, Izz'n 'G and the rest, for putting up with all this nonsense.
The notion of an unasssisted circumnavigation is an interesting one! Were all of you not there? We did the boat bit but not in any sense without assistance. Thanks everyone, especially those who are not listed but were there when we needed you.
And we ain't home yet so please all of you stick around.
10 years ago, Pete and I, and Yahya, Caro, JG and Gordon were holed up in Skeleton Bay on the east coast of Tasmania sheltering from the weather, drying out the boat and getting some sleep before finishing the race. We drank some rum and slept through the arrival of Y2K. I had a badly broken face from a meeting with the highfield lever earlier in the race and we were all hung over when we departed at dawn. We finished the race around 0300 on Jan 2 with no-one awake in Constitution Dock except some backpackers who shared their fish and chips with us.
And that's really where all this silly gallivanting began. I could not get the face sorted in Hobart over the NY holiday and there was a big southerly blowing so on Jan 4th Pete and I had an eerie last supper at John Sutherland's in our wet weather gear and John put us on the boat and we sailed down the Derwent at night and out past Tasman Island into the guts of the southerly and roared up the coast past the derelict and abandoned Innkeeper which we passed some time in the second night and we got back to Sydney in record time. Then the cranio-maxillary surgeon opened up my face and filled it with chicken wire and screws and I've been a bit lopsided and daft ever since but we had realised that we could handle Berri double handed with no difficulty and this thing took some ethereal shape.
And here we are, 10 years later, a few more Hobarts, a million lists, a couple of Fastnets, Cape Horn, the North West Passage, the International Space Station, Baton Rouge and one and three quarter circumnavigations on the score card. If we make it back to Sydney, we will have achieved at least a couple of firsts and made a lot of interesting friends.
Heading east, at last, in what should be a steady 15 - 20 for a day or so.
Katherine C - HNY, happy new boat! Will be an interesting way to learn - go fer it! Text to our satphone doesn't seem to work but you can always call us - it will go into voicemail before we can get to it but don't leave a messsage, (I can't collect it anyway - forgotten the password) just keep ringing back till someone answers. Call costs depend on telstra but not cheap.
Val and Jill - amazed and humbled - what do you two do when you aren't reading our nonsense and where are you? I wonder how many others picked us up from the macca gigs.
Sue - I think we get the message, and thanks. No need for any more, just enjoy the Amazon and take care! Have pink post-it notes in front of me as I write. Pinkaraj still being a fairy on the mast.