FROM 1-34. Hobart-Sydney + Coming Home Party

Jan 06, 2006 - 0230hrs EDT

0230hrs 06 Jan 2006 EDT 38’30”S 149’35”E Ref 690

Another woolly black night but this time it isn’t raining. The darkness is soft and tactile and we’re undulating into a short sea with 2 reefs and the 4 which Pete and I set an hour or so ago. Berri perfectly balanced – on the step, for the aviators – at 7 and a half knots with the occasional wave thumping into the weather bow and throwing a couple of bathfuls of water over the cockpit. Nice sailing, as long as you get the timing right and duck at the exact moments. The woolly black is touched by the loom of the Bass Strait oil rigs just hardening the horizon to the west – there are at least 16 of them about 50 miles away. And we’re approaching the bottom right hand corner of [the]  Oz [mainland, leaving god’s own south eastern Australia, a.k.a. Tasmania, behind ;-0(with apologies to all Taswegians. Especially Colin) ]  – for my 26th time, 13 each way – and there will be ships in the offing so we have to part the wool and peer through it. We are 86 miles south of Eden and should get in this evening for a quick stop and refuel – and Fenwick needs a shower. I think I can see Wollongong just beyond Eden. Can’t get much further south than that without falling into the og.

From Tony J.

hi alex and peter–this is from a friend of fenwick–alex we last met at his birthday party a little over a year ago–i am an old chap that has been racing a pawtucket at RPAYC for some years–we had a lovely chat about your proposed trip and now of course you have successfully completed it.

alan gave me your web address and i have read lots of your log but not all of it–i remember the western pacific,cape horn,the falklands and the blow to the north and most of the indian ocean.

i write to congratulate you both on the sensational achievement of sailing the small brolga around the planet and coping with the extreme conditions the oceans of the world have thrown at you.i have great respect for the courage and seamanship of you have had to cope with the navigating,weather planning,electronics,food,diesel and the myriad detail of making it all work and at the same time nurse your boat so she made it in one piece.

i have done lots of ocean miles and loved your log describingthe ocean and wave conditions,the shreiking winds and the wildlife particularly the birdlife(not to mention the ferals)–very entertaining except the bits that had you both on the foredeck doing sail changes,reefing or dropping poles in the latest gale……..also loved your sense of humour.

alan tells me you got a great result in the fastnet,so congratulations on the great voyage,the fastnet and of course the seamanship award fromRORC which really sums it all up……………best wishes for a good trip home from hobart.

Tony J – I remember our conversation – thanks for your note and we’ll have a beer again soon if Fenwick ever invites me up there again after all the awful things I’ve said about him. He’s not a bad sailor – will have to ask him out to play again.

From Bill H.

Well done Alex – been quietly following progress of late – missed you in Malta due to lack of data!! Fair bit of time and saltwater between Fastnets – I was in Martlet but can’t recall which one you were in – was it the Grenville “”boat””  –  must catch up when next I get to Sydney – PS Love the logs and the consults.

Bill H – I was in Leopard – cant remember the Division. Jerry H is out there too – Jerry – I’ve tried to email you direct but it keeps bouncing.

From Duncan Wells

 I know you guys are amazing but you are even amazinger than I thought.  How do you get time to race, celebrate and read all the stuff that comes in and comment on it.  I thought you would be far too busy.  Never mind burning at both ends, this candle is alight along its length !

 I assumed that the Highwayman’s Hitch would be in your repertoire and I am honoured to think that I may have added to it.  And how typical of you to nobble it within seconds by googling it.  I had a look too and the explanations were not bad but it is easier than they make out, there are only three parts to it.

1.  Make a bight out of a length of rope and pass this under that to which you wish to attach the rope.  With any bight you will have a standing end (going to that which you wish to attach) and a running end (the loose end of the rope).  I’ve made this sound much too complicated for the sake of clarity if you get my drift.

2.  Take a loop of the standing end and pass it through the bight.  Tighten by pulling on the running end.

3.  Take a loop of the running end and pass it through the loop made by the standing end and tighten by pulling the standing end.

 Bish bosh job’s a good’un.  Horse not going anywhere and running end free to whip off as soon as you have robbed the bank or stage coach, or if it was a rustler’s hitch (same thing) nicked a few more ponies.

 Better still just pop over and I’ll show you.

BTW I know you asked if people would let you know if their stuff was free to publish/refer to and of course anything that I have said is, although I don’t imagine it contributes to what you are about to produce – book wise that is.

From Don P.

Dear Professor Sir Alex (well, the Pommie cricketers all got MBEs, so why not … ),

 Sorry we missed you in Hobart. We spent a bit of time on Saturday arvo watching out for you at the stinkhouse (aka Blinking Billy Point), but you must have sneaked in while we weren’t watching. We were there until about 3 pm (and saw a boat get to the finish at about that time) then went inside and looked on the yacht tracker which said you were ~4 nm out and expected at ~ 4:48 pm. So we went out again at around 4 pm and you had apparently already arrived. Buggered if I know how you did it. We went to the docks that evening, but (sensibly) there was no-one from Berri around – it was a pretty miserable scene.

Anyway, well done to all of you, and best wishes for the New Year. I hope all goes well for the trip back, and we’ll catch up for a (slow) run/stagger in due course.

Duncan – thanks again. Don, sorry we missed you – will chase you for a run soon.

And a big G’day to all the new Gusts – thanks for signing on and for your kind words -I’ll try to reply when we get home.

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