FROM 1-31. Sooo close to Hobart

Dec 08, 2005 – 0800hrs UTC

0800hrs 08 Dec 2005 UTC 44’01”S 135’34”E Ref 630

We spent the night in full surfie mode. The speeds I was seeing were – as I now realise – in the vmg field, so we may have been going even faster. The wind and seas have now abated – sporadic sunshine, lovely iridescent bloom from the wavetops as the sun shines through them and vivid white breaking crests. In a couple of hours, before the 0900 fix, we’ll have less than 500 to go and a foot in the door. Looking good for late afternoon Monday 12 around SE Cape and up to the Iron Pot and the end of the circumnavigation at the exact spot where it began on Jan 10. I haven’t done any stats yet because I want it in the bag before we play those games. We will go straight up to the RYCT where I hope we will be able to clear customs on arrival and get Berri up on the slip immediately for a couple of hours to attend to her bottom. Unload lots of stuff in Hobart which will be useful for the final trip north – inflatable, autohelm, cockpit floorboards etc – and perhaps get the radio checked then load up the shopping and go. No time for nice soft beds or carousing in the bar – the Examiner will be lurking out there somewhere on the voyage north and we can’t afford to ease up until we can see Sydney Heads from the inside, we hope on Dec 20. This would give us heaps of time to turn around and still have christmas with our families. Then it’s really on in earnest. Berri will be the lightest she’s ever been on the start line and we will be aiming to make the New Year’s Eve party on Constitution Dock.

Tom, G’day and thanks for your message – I hope your dream comes true!

Neil CA – thank you too for yours – reverse inspiration for us and very special to know that we have been able to give you a handle to cope with your bit of bother. Your own stamina and endurance are just as impressive. Really glad too that you have enjoyed the logs and I hope you will soon be back in your boat. We will certainly Consult on your behalf on Christmas Day – a little island of calm for us before it’s all on again on Boxing Day and we hope that you too will enjoy some true Medicinal Compound. With very best wishes for a complete recovery and we’ll be thinking of you.

Scott – thanks for proposed slab – most grateful! Last time i tried Dunalley and Blackman ba we nearly partked on the sandbank at the north end – we draw 2 metres and that was then right on the limit and we just managed to bounce out. Needs serious local knowledge and would be last desperate resort. Storm Bay ain’t too bad anyway!

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