FROM 1-31. Sooo close to Hobart

Dec 07, 2005 - 1700hrs UTC

1700hrs 07 Dec 2005 UTC 44’08”S 133’24”E Ref 628

Interesting. We have been advised by an ex Merchant Navy sailor in Sydney who first checked with Customs Sydney that his advice is correct that if we are in Tasmanian waters, goods bought in Tasmania can be transferred to Berrimilla provided that we – Pete and I- do not come into close contact with other persons or set foot ashore or on another vessel or send any goods ashore. A statutory declaration might be necessary later setting out the exact circumstances. Seems to me therefore, that if we were to find a slab of fresh cold Dr Coopers Sparkling Ale with nice red labels floating in Storm Bay on the end of a line from another vessel which we were then able to rescue with a boathook, we would be fulfilling these conditions. Similarly, a 20 litre container of diesel if things are really desperate. Colin and Chris, this advice might be worth taking on board! We will be on VHF 12, 81 or 82 depending – RYCT might be able to tell you – probably not HF unless desperate but if so, 4483. Try 4483 after twilights tomoz – we’ll turn it on for half an hour from 2000. Reasonable chance at about 500 miles or less. We are VZN2025.

David H. – blimey! A serious voice from my callow youth. I remember well an invitation to visit your mess in the pointy end! What are you doing in Florida? Did you know that there’s an ex 892 Vixen up at Caloundra Aircraft Museum in Queensland – used to be 210, I think, and I vaguely remember that some hamfisted pilot broke its undercarriage deck landing in the Indian Ocean after Dar and it was trucked to a merchant ship in Singapore and later converted to FAW2. It’s out in the open and a bit the worse for wear, but it was nice to go and visit it last year. Ron Cuskelly ( would be able to give you more of its history if you are interested. Thanks for getting in touch and come and say g’day if you’re ever in Sydney. I’ll send you contact details.

I’ve just seen 15.9 knots on the GPS. In a Brolga. Strewth, as they say in the boonies – we are regularly hitting 14+. I wonder how fast we were really going coming off those waves down near the Horn because we certainly weren’t watching the speedo all the time and we were going – it seemed – a lot faster than this. Those surfs seemed to last for half a minute or more with monster rooster tails but we were bare poled, so a lot less power. Somewhere, I have 13.8 logged but that was just what happened to be in the display when I dared open my eyes. It’s a black old night out there now else it would be spectacular – not sure I want to go out and look! The GPS is consistently showing an ETE for SE Cape now so under 4 days – at these speeds, it’s not surprising – but it does mean we are almost on the doormat or, in marathon metaphor, we can see the clock at the finish and the uplift takes over…I have a photo of myself taken at just that moment in the last Melbourne I ran a couple of years ago – eyes looking ahead, blank, emaciated, singlet dripping off but everything working for those last few moments. Amazing that as soon as you cross the line and stop, you almost fall over – could not run, walk or hobble another step and the weight of the finisher’s medal is almost too much to carry. I’m a bit scared of that effect after this gig.

George, thanks for your ministrations on our behalf – I think we’re going to be ok! Sydney will be busy but feasible as long as we have a couple of days.

H – gotcha -thanksx

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