Sunday, February 28, 2010

Vertical evacuation!!

Now we have been told to go to High ground..Tsunami warning??

Just Lost the car key!

Nightmare?? one flying up from Hobart ..ETA  1400??

That Sinking Feeling?

Well it is 0615 and I am back on the key board. Pete slipped out unannounced
about 30 minutes ago, without a goodbye, headed for an early flight.

My good friend Alex Edwards saved the day again last night..His whole
family, Bob & Margret ( with the Nordhavn 46) sister Fi and Alex's Partner
Mel have been our support crew family for the entire three weeks, supplying
boats and last minute logistics. On top of that,Alex delivered 500 pictures
on a disc..all good stuff,like the shot above, taken on the Sunday
starvation weekend when the crew were pushed to breaking?

Today will be very busy. Stu Flies out and I pack the Van, Drop the trailer
off, then drive to Melbourne after trying to clean the cabin?

Some days ago we met Jack Scott who had sailed on the 1983 Bligh
re-enactment voyage as a young camera man. We took Jack out on Pittwater for
the day on TBB and it was great to hear his first hand accounts of the
experience. We watched the film of that voyage and read one of the Magazine
articles on the day of the Press launch. Next morning Pete was not the same.

He looked a little quiet and disinterested? I was confused and at 1400 that
afternoon(Friday), when there was a lot of work going on, he went for a long
lunch, not returning till that night. The boat was already packed and
everything sorted for the next day to load into the container. This was not
Pete. He is the strongest worker when others are reading books or being
distracted! He was not speaking, but something was up. I though he was upset
with me or the crew about something?, but he did not want to talk about
anything. I asked him that night...maybe another time? We went for our last
dinner together..He stayed home.

Yesterday we loaded the boat , Mike and Dave left. When Stu , Pete and I
returned to the Cabin, Pete went out again not wanting to be around.
Something was up? Stu and I went out for dinner alone. Pete was in bed when
we got back. He was off in the morning and still did not want to talk. I had
to ask what was on his mind. Mike and Dave were also worried, as all had
been fine up to the end and we all thought we had done something wrong?

When Pete said he was worried about Talisker Bounty Boat being able to cope
in the inevitable storms that we will face, I was both relieved in one way,
but very surprised in another. At least it was not a crew conflict thing. It
was the inevitable voices inside us all when we have to face a serious
challenge. I have been through it, as has Mike and no boubt Dave too. Your
gut feeling is something that you have to listen to, as it is a survival
mechanism that drives your emotions and then your body and mind.

Pete read the magazine article of the 1983 voyage that Jack sailed on and
now feels that TBB may not be able to survive such conditions. He has been
out in big seas and wonders how we would cope and if we could. This is going
to be a very personal journey now for Pete. He must come to terms with what
is now happening to him and the expedition. I really want him on Talisker
Bounty Boat as he is a ROCK!..he has all the qualities of an excellent
expeditioner and a truly nice guy. He is not scared. He is making a value
judgement in his own mind and coming up with his risk assessment, so that he
can make a decision that will effect him for the rest of his life. I know
what it is like. I have had to do that many times myself. That is the
essence of what adventuring is all about. It is living at your peak.

This voyage has an unknown outcome. We are doing everything to minimise
risk. Bligh had no option, but we do. We could all stay home. I know this
boat and the crew are now good to go, but it is a very individual decision
when you are at the sharp end.

I had just one major objective over the past three weeks of training. To
shake out and prepare the boat and the crew.I have done that. When we get to
Tonga there is no turning back.

It has also been three week of real fun with a bunch of great guys. I have
lost count of the number of times I was gagging for air from laughing so
much. The catering has been as you would expect with five blokes in a cabin
but I know it will be great on TBB as I have volunteered to do all the
cooking after April 28th. And wash all the dishes!

I was sorry to miss Pete this morning. I told him to make lots of noise when
he got up so I could say good bye. He has a lot on his mind. I truly want to
sail with him on TBB, but I just want him to make the right decision. Only
he will know what that is.

May not get to Blog now till Tuesday,as I am on the road and then on a
ship..I will try. I know we have picked up heaps of new TBB followers over
the past few weeks so tell your friends about it. This is going to be an
interesting ride for us all....Don

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Everything is now up in the air!!

TBB in a BOX!

We had to Back the boat into the container..lash the back in, put pleanty
of tyres under it,then drive the trailer out from under the boat..worked
OK..then we loaded all the gear we need in Tonga, strap the boat down, shut
the door and it was all done by 11.30...good bye Talisker Bounty Boat and
thanks to all the crew at Meridian Frieght...Hard to believe this stage is
over...this really is like the end of the beginning.

All I can think is that very shortly we are going to be sailing away from
Tofua headed for Timor before any of us realise!

Pains Wessex!! Firepower

Hope we never need them but all our Pains Wessex Flares and EPIRB arrived.
Good to know we have the best in the world. We are using a McMurdo 406, GPS
EPIRB for the TBB with another in the life raft and will shortly be
receiving the neatest Personal Locating Beacons you can imagine...they are
tiny, full function 406 gps PLB's that we will have on us virtually all the
time..wait till you see them!

Goodbye Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park!

What an awsome place..I really mean that! Right by the beach, on a lake and
with the best surroundings..a little piece of heaven in the suburbs! And
they have looked after us like you would not believe. I was really worried
we were pushing the limits with five BLOKES! In the cabin let alone doing
all the work on the bout kept in the gardens out front..but not a word just
friendly faces and all the other campers were interested. But it really has
felt like home here so THANKS!!! To everyone here...this was a shot as
Talisker Bounty Boat left on the way to the container at 8.30 this morning.
Dave is Flying out to Hong Kong 3pm today and Mike has decided to go Party
in Hobart tonight so he is Flying down now too,before heading back to
London.Not sure if he told his mum yet?? And I am not doing that!!!

Stu , Pete and I are back in the Cabin for another night. I have to sort all
the gear returning to hobart, try to kleen my room and the cabin and then
tomorrow drop off the trailer at some friends ( till August?) before driving
to Melbourne for the ferry again across Bass Straight to Hobart..some big
days ahead.

Pete Flies out at 6am on Sunday and Stu at lunch time all the plans of
going to the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney tonight all fell apart at
the last minute.

Stu is now sorting footage onto Hard drives and Pete is doing his
washing...the sun is shining, the place is very quiet and I wonder if we
forgot anything????

Friday, February 26, 2010

Big day Yesterday

Talisker Bounty Boat above (David Sinclair Photo)is all packed up ready to
load tomorrow! So at 9pm we went out for our final dinner together with all
the crew but Pete stayed behind?. Been a crazy day with Dave driving all day
on truly serious, important and fully approved shopping missions.He picked
up some of our Ships Life boat buiscuits that will be a part of our food for
48 days and pleanty of last minute spares. Stu worked all day doing all the
last minute editing of training footage. I was keeping up with the media and
then we all got stuck in to load everything into the boat or the Van.

We picked up 16 Tyres to use tomorrow, as we have to some how launch TBB
inside the container to remove the trailer. We plan to put it down on tyres
and then strap it as best we can, before closing the door for the last time.
The container will then go by ship to Auckland in NZ, then transfer to
another ship for the final leg to Tonga.

It was a huge relief to get this all finished and we are right on track. It
has been a sucessful three weeks with the four of us discovering many things
about each other and what lay ahead..and there are still surprises to the

After tomorrow we are all headed in different directions. Between now and
April 8th when we all arrive back in Sydney (for the official International
Launch and send off) the plan is that each week, Dave, Pete and Mike will
blog here for one day each and I will fill the you can keep up
with what is happening in all our lives before we get into it...

Jessica rang again tonight..we are thinking sometime in the future
challenging her to a game of "Naughts and Crosses" by Photos on the
Blogs...her in Pink in Talisker Bounty Boat??...

See you what happened to the three weeks!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Look MUM! I'm in SYDNEY!

We only had one Talisker T-Shirt between us so I had to wear that and the
boys had Musto Shirts!

TBB doing 10 kts!! On the way to the Opera!

4AM to 4PM...Media

Big Day that went well..Up at 0330..then off to the boat ramp in Sydney
Harbour, arriving at 0500..rig in the Dark and launch at 0545. Long
suffering Alex and sister Fi turn up with the support boat( again!) and
launch at 0550..tow TBB out to the Aust. National Maritime Museum. I drive
around to the ANMM with Stu arriving at 0630. The Today Show( breakfast TV)
from Channel 9 were already set up, so as the 0700 weather was broadcast
Mike Dave and Pete rowed TBB into the shot between a Submarine and a
destroyer..then the 0730 weather was done from onboard TBB, then the 0800
weather was done with us all onboard TBB including Steve the weatherman.
There being plenty of laughs all round. The 0830 report was about us with an
update on Jessica Watson as well and opinions from Mike and me on her...she
really is out there you know!...that was great National coverage!

At 1000 we did the Official launch inside and ran the Doco Trailer which you
can access on the web site. There were a few friends, Talisker
Representatives and Supporting Sponsors and numerous Media outlets. Watch
ABC news tonight if you read this in time and the keep an eye out on the
7.30 report in the future.

At 01100 VIPs' and Media boarded "Ammonite" a beautiful 50 cruiser owned by
my mate Marcus Blackmore for a quick run out into the Harbour to shoot TBB
sailing by the Opera House,in a perfect breeze and sunshine..all good
really. By the time we got back to the ramp and back to the cabin, it was
1600 so another 12 hour day...But the crew have all disappeared? The boat
has not been washed? or cleaned ? so could be a late night yet...every one
had fun though.

HI to all the new people following this Talisker Bounty Boat
expedition...our Web hits are climbing fast, so tell all your friends as it
encourages us when we are out there to know people are following this.
Thanks to the people who are putting in Donations to SIF. We have an
ambitious $ target and there are some good things planned in the future
around the world for fundraising, so think about that sometime..

Every time I do a press conference before an Adventure I feel both good and
strange?..I feel good because it is getting the word out and while I have no
idea what will happen with this voyage I know something or many things will!
So that is fun...but then I feel a bit strange, because we have not done it
yet??...It would be nice just to go out and do it...but part of the
satisfaction of these adventures is to fire up those who are watching it,to
get them think about the positive values that Adventure can bring, not only
to those participating, but all those who are watching. just have a read of
the comments on Jessica's Blog. She is a real if you are
thinking about an adventure(that is anything with an unknown outcome) don't
hold back...that could be as simple as riding a bike for the first time

Thanks to all my sponsors for supporting this Voyage, and thanks to the
National Maritime Museum for being so helpful, friendly and Supportive. Our
MC Tim Stackpool..had Laranjitis and still preformed..great favor Buddy!

Time to wash the boat, they all came Back!! and then get some sleep! Big day
tomorrow too!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NDURA Computer is GO!

So many things on this expedition are going to rely on Comms and computers,
so we are happy to receive our NDURA Rugged computer...yes it will get wet,
but based on what we heard from Pete Goss at last years Sydney Boat Show, we
are very confident it will be up to the task. Mike is setting up the
programs for emails, photos and video's via Iridium and Inmarst sat. systems
yet to be installed.

Big day happening today with plenty of loose ends before the Press launch
tomorrow.The Irish paint job(We painted the white hull white!) antifouling
was completed yesterday and the cockpit Lee cloths should go up today. Then
we have to do a full load/Pack test of all food and gear, then prep the boat
for sailing tomorrow..I think we will have to leave the Cabin at 5am or
earlier to Launch the boat in Sydney harbour, then tow it to the National
Maritime Museum ready for media?

Friday is Pack for shipping, Saturday is Loading into the container for
Tonga!..what happened to the three weeks of training??

Mike's new Challenge!!

Well that was all fun with Jessica, but a few people thought we were
crackpots who had hacked into her Blog! Some complained that they now have
another sailing adventure to follow, so welcome may be an
interesting ride!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


It’s on I check it every day so you would think I know that!

WOW! Jessica is really doing it?

The proof is on but she has toilet paper, charts, torches, plenty of food and water, ipod, ..Us “real men” have none of that!! Go see for the real story…

FW: Jessica's Oyster!!

This is the poor excuse for proof we just received from Jessica...we told
her it does not count till she gets it up on her blog...we are still

Caption from Jess apparently onboard Pink Lady somewhere?...sent last night

Picture is all sent but i think everyones in bed for the day :( but i totaly

out did you guys with mussels, olives, pickled, onions, cheese and crackers

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jessica's Oyster!!

Well here it is..a blury photo of Mike and I eating a smoked oyster...WHY??
Well you see Jessica Watson just rang in for a chat with Mike and I was in
the room. When we are together the coversation can get very
how many days are there in August?? Well there was total confusion till I
said count your nuckles??..I have been doing that since I was about
10...when you are on the top of a nuckle, there are 31 days and inbetween
there are 30 days, except for Febuary which has 28, or 29 in a leap
year...just put your fists together and start counting. Jan, Feb, March etc
etc. You will never have to look at a calendar again...then some how Jess
started Bragging about the fact that she had smoked oysters onboard..big did we!! we got onto the fact that there is a whole group of
people around the world that believe man did not land on the moon at all.It
was all done in Hollywood...Mike and I are some of the
people who comment on Jessica's Blog..that she is not really out there, it
is all a scam and she is actually in the the Pacific, hiding behind an
island or she may even be in a studio? But not in Hollywood she is not that
important! ..Maybe Bollywood! we set a challenge...Mike and I would
immediately open our oysters and eat them on a cracker live "realtime" while
talking to Jess,photograph it and get it up on the Blog within 10 minutes
and she has to do the same, or it is all ONE BIG SCAM!!! go see and see if her "oyster shot" is up yet...this will
show the world once and for all that it is real!!!..or is it?

New water line!!

The previously marked waterline got lost in translation,so we started again?
At 10am? All a bit slow this morning...but a great job was done and then the
first primer applied. It was very hot and some of the crew questioned what
this expedition was all about and why I was in the airconditioning still?
That relates to me not finishing emails till very late last night,while
others had much needed afternoon naps. I then started at 6am this morning I
had sent 24 emails by 8.30am.I was still at it at noon...then I went
shopping to stock the kitchen which was empty.

One of Stu's cameras took some water on the weekend,so he sent that in for a
health check,while I wrote more lists. We have had some discussions about
onboard cameras and are about to order them..the stories developing on the
inside of this expedition are very interesting, so don't think you are
getting it all here..stay tuned for the Doco and Book.

We are caught in a Webb upgrade hole at the moment, but the updates on crew
profiles etc are just over the horizon. Sorry for all those who want to know
who Pete and Dave really are. The new site will allow us to easily upgrade
and and update all parts of the web site so it will be worth the wait..Dave
our web builder is possibly going to loose some hair over the Chinese
version of the expedition but will be worth waiting for!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The beginning of the end for training take two!

Talisker Bounty Boat reaches the open water on Sunday morning with only Mike
Dave and Pete onboard..I was taking Photos and filming. The swells were
between 1 to 1.5 meters and wind about 10 to 15 knots, but two of the crew
suffering from lack of food, sleep and energy were not having fun!see the

Breakfast at Dawn..One 55grm Buiscuit!

Dave snoring on watch at 0200!

This seat is only one meter long and 40cm wide, so his head is on the
Mainsheet traveler and feet up on the aft deck! That is a solid commitment
to sleep!

Mike the Bilge rat!

The on watch crew not steering can sleep in the cockpit is
probably the best bunk on the boat, but totally exposed!

Dave on the boards!

The boat just got a lot smaller.There is 240 liters of water under the
boards and there is not enough room to stretch your legs out across the
boat,but that and a sheep skin to sleep on is all we get!

The New Dodger!!

OARS hold the Dodger together

Our master boat builder Doug Cambell from Tassie made up the dodger from a
scrible on Paper. We will have Lee cloths around the cockpit too. Bligh had
his carpenter remove seats in his boat and cut up sails to make Lee cloths
and covers..we will have lee cloths around the cockpit too.

Stu is catching some great footage!


We all went up to kiss the crown,except Mike with holes reparing in his

Training excitement.!!!

No Blog last night as we were onboard Talisker Bounty Boat trying to sleep for the first time and the SatCom system is not operational yet.


It started well, but ended in major surprises for two of the crew who discovered first hand, that this is going to be a serious and very real challenge.


Pete, Dave and Mike were responsible for total boat preparation for the dress rehearsal weekend. Pete had picked up a leadership roll for that task and was going like a trooper, but we still departed a little late. At the boat ramp as we were rigging TBB and all the food was loaded onboard, I declared (as I had warned the day before) that no one was to eat anymore food..we would be on Bligh Voyage rations…basically starvation diet!...Dave Quickly scoffed something back at the car and Mike and Pete swallowed something? Pete had not eaten breakfast that morning, so was off to a bad start.


With 240litres of water onboard to give us extra weight. (We normally only carry 110ltrs) simulating a full load of gear..we set off for the morning in light winds very low in the water…about 35cm of freeboard!!. we set the Parachute anchor, checked sail settings, visited some friends on Scotland Island and then sailed up onto a classic beach in Pittwater, not for lunch( no lunch today- but Mike got confused and scoffed an apple!!) but to rig our spray dodger. This will give us some cover from the sun, wind and waves. Bligh rigged his sails as lee cloths and covers.


As the sun was setting on our first night onboard, all were issued with one, 55gram ships life boat biscuit for dinner. There were a few complaints, but lots of laughs about how good a hamburger would be etc. etc. there was no limit to the water. Pete and I took the 8pm to midnight watch and Dave and Mike hit the boards…our bed is just a board across the seats in the centre of the boat…for the two on watch in the cockpit, one can sleep in the bilge and the other sits and steers…the captain’s orders were for one person on watch to be awake at all times.


At midnight Pete and I got the boards and Mike and Dave the cockpit. At 0200 in the morning I heard Dave surprise, except he was supposed to be on watch!! 0400 Pete and I took over and just before dawn at 0600 I woke the other their bitter disappointment. Breakfast was another 55 gram ships biscuit, followed by a shared 110 gram tin of Lambs tongues…as if we had just killed a bird, as that is what we will eat every time Bligh killed a bird. Mike and I were in our element, but Dave thought it was cat food, not happy!! and Pete after trying to eat some said “that was disgusting” and suggested he may not in the future!! off for the morning row heading up Pittwater. We had a Runabout and 30 HP outboard with us in support, so I took off in that to pick up a friend Alex, while the others rowed. Returning 20 minutes later, I picked up TBB in tow to pull them out into the ocean about 40 minutes away.


With little food or sleep and a bit of exertion, I knew the crew would be under pressure, which was what I was trying to achieve. Without me on the boat, they all had to think and do things for themselves and when outside in the swells it was going to be fun. I was giving instructions on things for them to do while Filming and taking photographs. It was not too much work for the crew of TBB, but I could see people fading fast…things were happening very slowly. Then Pete was gone and Dave was not well.


After 90 minutes sailing in the Ocean we had to call it a day. I climbed back onboard TBB. Pete had crashed out exhausted, nauseous and possibly hypoglycaemic, shaking and hyperventilating. Dave was very lethargic and feeling Quite sea sick (and not impressed with me) and Mike was just hungry but happy. At 1130, just 26 hours after officially going onto half TBB rations, we all started eating food again. We took a tow back to the boat ramp.


It then became clear to all the crew, that I had succeeded in the most important part of the training …to show them that each of us will be effected differently by the privations ahead and that lack of food and energy effects the way we think, make decisions and use our emotions. It took me just 26 hours to deprive them of food, and get a result. I think (hope?) that they can see it was the intention and I know they will be stronger for it.


At the boat ramp Dave went shopping with our full endorsement, returning with sweet drinks (only water on TBB) sandwiches and chocolates..We were all smiles. We pack TBB into the container in six days. There may be more days lacking in sleep as the “To Do list” is huge.


After this past weekend we are a stronger and wiser crew. I am very happy! and would sail with them anywhere.        



Friday, February 19, 2010

Daves Blog at last? from two days ago

My writing here is evidence I didn’t go shopping today, clearly I’ve been in Hong Kong too long and suffer from complete denial as I never recognized myself as a shopper, but confess I have taken EVERY opportunity to escape to the shops… nothing to do with the aircon…. 

While confessing, I have sort serenity, bought a tent and moved out of the shared room with the crew and cameraman,  I now enjoy the luxury of my own space, two books and a sleepy time tea J Last night, I opened my eyes to see the outline of a rabbit along the edge of my tent, about 6 inches from my nose, remembering the scenes of Art Garfunkle I reflected, then remembered that cute bunnies don’t have long tails.....  Rolland the rat had replaced the crew as my new room companion....

Pete and I spent the day working through our daily work list on Bounty while Don dealt with more managerial matters in the aircon...  he’s very busy...

There is a cultural exchange taking place, Pete is kindly teaching us a new language which seems to be softly sung rather than spoken, while the British contingent is providing a free re-education of his forefathers, yes Pete, The Dogs B.....  is really a part of your heritage too... 

Bounty boat has gone to BME electronics and Mike and his boys are working their magic over the next few days, the solar panels have arrived and the crew will be working around them, no time to rest...

Mike can’t resist breaking records, the latest being over 36 hours for one machine load of laundry, though it is great to see him recovering, finding the seating position at the helm on Bounty brought the best smile since arriving....  the boy is back.....


SkyEye Tracker!

We fitted the Tracker today and tested the spare..they over the
next few days we will try to get something happening on Google earth. This
system is self contained solar powered and submersable...we will not know
where we are but you will be able to see our position every two hours during
the expedition plotted onto the Google earth map right here on the Web site.

Picked up the the Mizzen today with the new Talisker signage and the crew
tried to get the boat ready for started at 10 am?? and lasted
for three hours till lunch ..Dave slipped off for a few afternoon ZZ's in
the tent,so Pete and Mike decided to water bomb the tent at 3.30 to get him
out...a few things on the boat went well..a few things not so well...but it
is happening.

Right now we have a new house mother!!..the whole Watson family is here now
( except Jessica!) and Julie is in the galley preparing dinner!!! Dave has
gone shopping? Roger, Jessica's Father ,sister Hannah and brother Tom are
all sitting amongst all the boat gear chatting...Stu has put together
another film clip of the Roll over last weekend, so it is all happening...I
have a conference call with Talisker people tonight in the UK and the
planning for the press launch is getting frantic...

If you are in Sydney we will be on Pittwater for Saturday and Sunday ..just
look for the Tan good to say hi!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

National Maritime Museum Launch!

This is us on HMS Endeavour at the National Maritime Museum. We are going to
Have Talisker Bounty Boat there on Thursday 25th so if you are in Sydney and
would like to see the boat you could come down from about 9am till will be able to see it beside the Submarine...we will be having
the press launch for invited media between 10 and 11am and straight after
that headed out for a quick sail maybe depending on the weather.

Busy all day just doing "things"..the boys enjoyed checking out Child of
Bounty the boat used for the 1983 voyage and we got to speak with one of the
crew from that trip John Scott...he had some great insights into there Grand

The big news is the electrical system is completely finished and looking
very took Shaun just two full days to do the lot and it looks very
impressive..Big weekend coming up, a full dress rehearsal loading TBB with
all the gear to see how she goes with all that weight. Mike is finally
declared sort of will be on the boat for the first time.We have a
full crew at last!!.We are planning to check all systems on the weekend and
there is only one day left to plan that...I am still stuck on the computer
and happy that the sailing is now being organised by the others...

I did get Daves Blog from the other day by the way and will get it up idea what it was but will put it up...for those on Face book
we are going to get our TBB site flashed up hopefully tomorrow so stand by.
Feels like the time has run out already...

Tonight Julie Watson..Jessica's Mum turned up for Dinner and Jessica rang
in...Julie is is horrified !! You see we often have huge emails going back
and forward and tonight she saw me writing them and this! for the first
time...yes I am a two finger typer!!!..she thinks I should go to a typing
school to learn how to do it properly...then she thought NO! not a good idea
as if I type faster the emails will get longer!! We had some laughs
though...all the guys spoke to Jessica which was fun and there was quite an
amount of teasing going on all round.

Dave went shopping today! And I am very happy he did..he got me the most
amazing little emergency head lamp and all the gear to cook Spaghetti Bogg!
And it was great..he really is a good cook...may send him shopping
tomorrow..have to tell you there is a lot of serious laughing going on in
this camp every is quite a team!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Switched ON!!

Day one at Barrenjoey Marine Electrionics and things are moving
smoothly...Should all be wrapped up by tomorrow night. We have fitted an LED
tricolour nav/anchor/strobe light , VHF DSC radio, emergency compass light
and a power lead for the 240volt inverter and 12v chargers, all coming from
two 25amp Gell batteries powered by the three Powerfilm Flexible solar
cells...all very similar to what Bligh had..well maybe things have changed
just a bit. As a foreign going Australian Reg ship, with an MMSI number, we
are required by law to have no less than a certain level of minimum
equipment and that is all part of it...we could have had oil Nav lights, but
I know Bligh did not have them, as there were no other ships, so ??

We need all this electrical gear to work under water, surviving roll overs
for up to 30 minutes till we can right the boat,so it has to be perfect and
SHAUN in the Photo, knows what he is I left there this afternoon
feeling very good.

The boys have been busy today doing all manner of "other" work, preparing
for the time in Tonga before the expedition...and taking a few cat naps
along the way, but I can see real progress. We had a big team meeting today
and I handed most of the responsibility for the work over to the others, so
I can concentrate on the media Launch next week and all the official "Govt."
expedition stuff. I have to say we are recieveing great assistance from
various Govt. agencies in Australia and Tonga who can see the significance
of the expediton, so we are all happy about that...THANKS!

As for emails ...I have been on the computer solid from 5.30pm this
afternoon and it is now 11pm..and I have more to do before bed...Tomorrow we
are going to Check out the National Maritime Museum which is the Venue for
the Press Launch and call into the Sydney Heritage Fleet opposite to check
out the actual replica of Blighs Launch which made the 1983 voyage with
Capt. Ron Ware Bligh...that will be fun.

Chuck a DUCK!!

Well it is now 9am on Wed. Morning an Dave has missed his chance to blog! I
gave it to him at 10am yesterday when he was ready for work...things were
looking good right to the Shopping all day...but when we delivered
TBB to Mark Coats our electrician at the end of the day so he can do all the
wireing, the crew, lead by Dave! thought time to
blog? they went into the city returning about 2am this morning...I
thought I would stay and tidy my room which would take a few hours...and I
had pleanty of emails to write...There were pleanty of laughs planning the
activities before they left..and mother black duck and baby duck cruised
past..Pete looked at me and said "could we eat duck on TBB"..I said only if
you catch he did...Mum was miffed , the duckling was cool..but we
did not eat him, very funny though...My plans failed as the mobile internet
"stick" was in Daves car? And the cabin System just does not send out...

Pete is out for his morning training..he is very fit and makes me feel real
guilty, Stu and Mike are ready to roll, the sun is up...Dave is shopping for
a Flat White!

Some big days ahead. I hand over the last work list to the crew today and
tomorrow we are headed into Darling harbour to the Sydney Heritage Fleet as
they have the replica of Blighs actual Launch he sailed the voyage.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Good Blog!

Thanks to all those friends who are donating on the Sheffield Institute Foundation TBB Just Giving site in Memory of Shaun Keane ( see earlier Blog). He was a friend to us all. If you would like to read the comments left by those making donations, just hit the donate button and you will get onto the list..just scroll down…and then if you feel inclined to make a donation just follow the prompts. I don’t think I need to say more..but there are some encouraging remarks and Sailing for the cause is close to all the crew of Talisker Bounty Boat…we now have 1487.75 pounds in the TIN!  Heartfelt thanks to all those helping...Don & Margie     

Bad Blog!

It is 7am and I am back at the computer..Dave is still in his tent as the sun is rising and the rest are still pushing out Z’s in the bunk room ( did I tell you I have my own room!! Good hey!…I have set an 8am start work for everyone, stop at 12.30 for lunch, back to work at 1330 till 1800 for Dinner then back to work at 1930 till 2100…but the day usually gets all mixed up??...most days we are starting by 9am??


I just read last nights Blog..Bad English and a bit of a waffel!!..I think I am getting “Brain Fade” trying to keep up with all the issues…I went to bed at 1am this morning as most nights for me seem to be around Midnight..Stuart was with me, as he did a great little video clip for us yesterday and into the tonight I may let Dave write the Blog …but only if he can keep working all day and NOT go shopping?…I need to get some sleep…so today could be very exciting…Stay tuned!  

Monday, February 15, 2010

Talisker Bounty Boat is sinking!

VERY Low in the water that is. We marked the waterline on the boat today and
are about to start Antifouling. The red Tape is the lowest the waterline
will be, just two planks left for freeboard. My calculations suggest we will
actually be sinking lower in the water so the waterline will actually be
higher than that in the photo with just one and a half planks of freeboard
left..or about 12 inches, which is actually 50% more than Bligh. He is
reported to have had only 8 inches freeboard when he first set off. Pete
could not believe it...repeatedly asking "will it be that low!!" I said I
think so?? We will not really know till we set off,but it is going to be a
wet boat.

Bligh cut up sails and actually pulled up a seat board to make covers around
the transome and sides of the boat..He had the carpenter nail spare sails to
the side of the boat in an effort increase the freeboard and keep water out.
They also used the spare sails to huddle under while sailing. Today I went
to Scott Sails in Manly Vale and gave him a pattern for lee cloths to fit
around the cockpit of TBB and also a cover to give us some protection up
forward from the sun and spray. We will throw that over our oars as a Dave will love that..just like camping.

I dropped off our Mizzen sail at Wetton Signs to get a new Talisker logo.
Terry Wetton has been doing all our signage on Boats, vans and expedition
things since the Mid eighties! He said "You are doing WHAT!"..seemes to be a
common theme here?

Stu has been working on the first of our Promo Video clips for the press
launch next week..To our Australian followers you should hopefully read or
hear about it late next week. I had a one hour conference call with my
Talisker contact Rachael (who was just waking up in London late today) and
the Aust. PR company. I realised again how pleasant it is at the Sydney
Lakeside Narrabeen...My office for the call was a picnic table just outside
our cabin in the most beautiful gardens you could ever wish for. I could
hear the surf just over the hill, I had a Beautiful rainbow Parakeet sitting
on the table, a mother duck and her duckling walking around the lawn beside
me, while a couple of baby bunnies played by a bush and the white cockatoos
were squawking in the big Norfolk pines above. Two butterflies cruised
past..all this while the sun was setting on a beautiful day. Rachael was
talking minus one degree and a dull London day!

Dave has been ...well ...yes ...Shopping again!..but he did bring back a
couple of friends (Charlie and Jenny above) who got stuck into working on what did Dave say...well they are doing the work, so I could just
nip down to the shop and buy another tent!! So he did...a light weight 2man
tent..he did survive last nights thunder storms in the one man
tent...BUT!!! decisions yet on where he is sleeping tonight.

The panels arrived today. I ordered them from the USA
on Thursday night and they are very impressive. What Bligh could have done
with those hey!!

At the moment the lounge in our cabin is a mass of gear, first aid kit,Para
anchors,Drouge,Dry bags, media banners,cameras,Safety and satellite bits,
and the front porch has too much to this very moment Dave is on
an "official" Shopping trip for dinner..Thai takeaways, but I did send Pete
with another late night coming up..

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Well it was a huge day in the office today. We managed to capsize TBB many
times and checked our ability to right her. We were all really surprised at
how it went and now have real confidence in our ability to do it. Then we
went sailing which was a first for Pete and Dave. They did not stop smiling
all day and I gave them a real grilling to check their sailing and Boat
handling skills. We had too many laughs to mention and at the end of the day
I was really happy. When you put together a crew for an expedition like
this, it is as much a lottery as it is science and art...but we are coming
together as one weird twisted team,that is eager to get out there...we are
not ready yet by a long way, but I think we are all feeling good about it at
the moment.

There is a huge amount of work to be done in the next two weeks, so the
pressure will be stay tuned.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY to all the girls out there from all the boys on TBB!

We are all very tired now...Dave has pitched his one man tent at the the
other end of the park to enjoy some serenity!!..and it is pooring down with
rain as I write this are we all laughing...You bet ya!!

Look BIG when it is empty...

With nothing in the boat it is very light so looks quite big when high in
the water. Doug's new mast is perfect...Stu was filming quite a lot today.

Why are they so HAPPY!

Because I took the photo from another Pete and Dave were all alone
on TBB!!!

WHY ME!!!!

Could you spend 48 days with this LOT!!!!No toilet paper...SMILE!!!

Bad Hands!

After a day in the water our hands were stuffed..and all Dave could think
about was ROAST PORK!

Climbing the wall!!

We could right it with ropes hanging out with our weight or just climbing
onto the hull with all the hand holds or grab points...Doug did a fantastioc
job building in all these safety features...

Dave trapped under the boat!

Well lets say he went missing but not to the shop..he was comfortable in the
upside down hull!

Look Out Dave...

We set up a 90KG bouyancy bag on the Mizzen and it would not go over so

TBB swamped!!

It was easy to roll each way so by the end of the day we had done it about
ten times and were very happy that we had a system to do it. We all know it
will be different in 50kts. Wind and 5mtr seas at 2 am in the morning, but
honestly believe we could do it....we have a plan and will perfect it in the
next two months....

Saturday, February 13, 2010


We are not sure how it happened ( all checking Dave's figures on the
computer)but today was a big revelation to find that we had too much food on
the list, so now our daily rations are looking very grim!

The Capsize test was postphoned, as the weather was very bad last night with
heavy rain and winds so it was an inside day. Pete sorted the first aid kit
and managed to work on the boat a little, Dave and I went shopping..yes I
escorted him this buy more stuff for the first weeks in Tonga and
Mike kept recovering and managed some research for us.I spent most of my
time on the computer emailing Aust. Govt, Customs and Quarantine plus
contacts in Kupang and the Govt. of Tonga. We have many logistics issues to
sort out.

Things were going very slow for awhile with some on long phone calls and yes
Dave managed to slip out shopping again to get 10 rolls of Duct. Tape..he
returned a few hours latter with three rolls and $700 of his own camping
gear for Hong Kong kayaking trips! So I issued a panic day notice to them see when you are on expeditions it is always a panic on the last to try and solve that problem I occasionally will call a panic day
which means all the jobs on the morning work list have to be finished before
anyone can go to bed....well they all just went to bed and it is now I am Blogging and "most" of today's list was done!

SHOCK..HORROR! The big bad news for today was the discovery that we cannot
have as much food as we thought...Dave has been worried about the lack of when we started to pack it today, we separated it into seven for each week...and there seemed not enough to have one can of
beef every day...a quick check made me think we had made a mistake and we
were ten Kilo's short...Dave was ecstatic as we could buy more food...I
checked again and found we were 18KG over weight?..all the fruit and nuts we
not now available...

We had been planning 110grams of Ships biscuits in the morning, 50 grams of
nuts and 50 grams of fruit for lunch and then for dinner 110 grams of Ships
Biscuits with 85grams of tinned beef or baked beans each day...this was all
wrong...we discovered we could have no lunch at all...and only if we now
made six weeks of food we could have the 85 grams on beef five days out of
seven...we were all really shocked...and could we do that as it
was just not enough...I can tell you we were laughing a lot for awhile, but
then we realised we have a real problem here. This is not a game.We are
realising how little Bligh had...we are trying to use only the same weight
of food that Bligh took, but split four ways instead of 18..but we just
cannot do it!!

It is obvious that we may starve as that is very little food. Discussions
became very interesting but at the end of the day we had to concede that it
simply may not be possible.

This is a shock to me but I have to concede the point. So the decision was
that we will consider sticking to only consuming the Bligh food for lunch
and dinner...but now we are going to think about allowing ourselves to have
a free lunch! is only 50 grams of nuts and 50 grams of dried fruit...but
we need that to survive...go measure all this out and see what you
recon...we will starve any way..and 100 grams of free lunch is nothing...but
it is going against our original plan...But what can we do...we are going to
think about this and make the final decision when we are in Tonga....but at
this point we don't think we have any option...we will pack the fruit and
nuts incase we decide to go with it...but if you think we are giving up on
the food before we start...please go and eat 100 grams of biscuit for
breakfast and dinner..with 85 grams of beef five days out of seven and tell
me how you got on! We are only talking about 100 grams extra!

BIG DAY TODAY!..Capsizing tomorrow..

Friday, February 12, 2010

Your doing what?

Well the Guys at RIGGTECH usually deal with all types of "Normal" rigging on
"Normal" boats, so when I was trying to explain over the phone what we
needed for TBB it all got a bit confusing. We have fitted the new longer,
stronger Mast that Doug built,so need all new standing rigging. I had been
so busy that I only rang them this morning about the job and then said how
about doing it today...and they said YES! and gave me a good discount! Way
cool!! We need the rig up when we capsize TBB tomorrow.I was very greatful.

We have stripped the boat and removed all the previous electrical fittings,
which were not going to survive a dunking. I managed to order all our
flexible solar panels at 2am this morning from the USA and they are due to
arrive on Monday. The previous ones promised, never turned up from the UK.
Very much a rush on to sort the electix by next weekend 20/21/22 when we
will head off to sea on full Talisker Bounty Boat rations!! For three days.
The boys are worried already.

Very hot today some of the children had a little snooze this
afternoon, Dave went shopping three times! Yes the shopping center is
airconditioned..not sure what we needed? Mike was a target for the aircon
but is now doing research on the Bligh diaries..checking how many birds they we know how many tins of Lambs tounges to pack..we may catch some
birds to show you how, but we will not eat them!!so we get lambs toungs
instead..Pete is trying to learn how to navigate without charts. I told him
it is easy..when the sun comes up, steer away from it...when it sets , steer
toward it..

Tomorrow is going to be VERY interesting...stand BY!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Real men eat meat!

Steak , Mushrooms and onions!Five guys living together can be interesting,
but there were also stir fried vegies..I had the option of this shot or one
of the kitchen but decided that was too shocking to put up! Early start
today with Mark Coats from BME our trusty Expedition electrician calling in
at 7.30 to go over the electrical problems..basically we are starting again
as there are a few bits missing and we are really pushed for time...but I am
confident now we will get ontop of it...even though Mark had a flat battery
in his car when he left!! I mean he was laughing too!!

So Dave and Pete were busy with boat building Jobs, Stu was filming and
editing and I was stuck on the computer and phone for most of the day, till
I broke out in the afternoon to look for a good site to Capsize TBB on
Saturday...Mike is still resting with the TV on "loud", his computer working
Face book and texting on his phone...ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

If anyone in Sydney is reading this and you have nothing to do this weekend,
we are looking for volunteers to help with the capsizing of the boat..expect
to get wet and be in a couple of boats maybe, so shoot me an email so we can
meet up?..I have Alex ( Bob and Margarets son) as a replacement for Mike who
cannot get wet yet. We need four in the water.

Sat around the TV tonight to watch Jesse Martins documentary on ABC
TV...Jesse is still the youngest solo around the world non stop sailor, and
a friend, so it was all was about his sailing trip around the world
with two girls and his brother..really good.

Big day tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Your Joking! NOT ENOUGH? No way.

He read about it but the reality just hit days food ration is
four of those little ships buiscuits in my hand,plus 50 grams of nuts and
fruit and one quarter of the yellow can of tinned beef, just 85 400 grams a day...we laughed a lot today as we shopped for all
the goodies at the same time we shopped for a few days food for
the cabin .....that cabin food was bigger than the amount for 48 days in
Bounty Boat?..of course Stu got into trouble again for filming me trying to
smuggle a roll of toilet paper into the list...which is the only one onboard
as part of the first aid kit? The manager of the store politely asked us to
stop filming..which we did imediately of course as we could have been
setting up a terrorist plot, which is the way of the world at the moment..No
permits, no nothing.

Mike is back on the team, but laying very low. He came out of hospital this
morning. I waited last night till he came out of recovery and he was a bit
drugged and Dopey, but went straight for the phone and then to sleep,so he
is fine. It was his appendix, so all good news and we are happy to have him

The new mast went in today and we are making final adjustments to it. Had a
meeting with the PR team from Splendid Comms about the Australian launch in
a couple of weeks. Bought even more stuff from the boating shop to put into
TBB including a tool kit and made all the final decisions on Musto clothing
, logos etc. The satelite tracking system is now on it's way from New
Zealand but amazingly the week is coming to an end! Crickey what happened
the first week...the Cabin is great and this Park is realy a holiday haven.
The sun is out and it is just the best place to be all green and lush right
by the beach. The Boat is just outside the front door so it could not be

Tomorrow we start at 0730 with a big day planned...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

No More dish washing for days!

Mike is heading to have the operation as I send this. I went and spent some
time with him late last night and he was smiling under pressure with some
pain pushed back by serious drugs. Stu and Dave have gone in now to hold his
hand and try to film it ofcourse?? Hoping to get into the theatre but??? And
Pete and I will be there when he comes out of recovery...stay tuned!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Life raft was bigger!

We are all learning more about each other every day..Pete is too tall to
sleep laying across the boat!!

Sydney Lakeside New sponsors!

We are being looked after so well at the moment in one of the best BIG 4
Parks in Australia I recon. I will get some links up soon on this TBB web
site and you can see all about it, but for now we have TBB out the front of
our Cabin and Pete is onboard wondering where everything is going to fit!

Dave being Lazy? Acting injured into the life raft.

The survival course was actually very good and I learnt a few valuable
lessons. Dave and Pete learnt HEAPS! And were very happy to have done it.
Thanks do an amazing job. Every person going offshore should do

Where does it hurt?

Don't worry..he looked so cool I had to ask..Hey Mike , how about a photo
for the Blog? So this is him looking for the sympathy vote!

Mike Fails Survival Course?

Good excuse though..he went to hospital!..we set off to the pool at 0700 on
Sunday without Mike, as he was feeling a bit poor and then turned our phones
off as we were in the pool trying to survive..Mike felt bad, rang Margie in
Hobart and our friends Bob and Margaret here in Sydney swung into action and
drove over to the cabin, picked him up and took him to Manly Hospital where
he was admitted to the Emergency Medical unit for observations..suspected
Appendicitis...we finished the course and exams at 1800 and then saw all the
missed when we realised what was on..and then spoke to him, we
were a bit relieved to see he was just after the phone charger and his books

We went into see him with cameras rolling and got into a bit of stife for
filming in the Hospital, but in the end they said OK just in his room...he
was all smiles and looking like a Pom! White and in need of fattening
up!..but in a bit of pain we were all happy to see him being
looked after.

It is now Monday at 1730 and I have finally got an email link up...been
having a few problems here in Sydney,so you will see I just dumped the last
four blogs all at once..I had sent them on Friday and Sat. night, but they
bounced back...very frustrating being "Off Line" I have to tell you..anyway
Mike last night was fasting and set to see the surgeon this morning for a
decision weather to have the operation ..they delayed till midday and have
now decided to wait till it gets a little worse and then decide in the
morning ( Tue) it is another night in Hospital for Mike!

Jessica/Pink Lady rang from the middle of the Atlantic today and was
surprised to hear Mike was down...we speak every week and both had a few
laughs about him trying to get out of doing the dishes in the Cabin.

For now it is better for it to happen here than in TBB half way across the
Pacific,so I hope they take them out if that is the problem.For Mike it is
hard being away from home and family, but us Blokes will look after him..I
should say under the strict supervision of Margie and can't thank Bob and
Margaret enough....they own a Nordhavn 46 and cruised the Med for three
years then across the Atlantic, and Pacific for a year back to Australia.
Last year they went up to the Great Barrier Reef and they are thinking of
meeting TBB at Restoration Island with our camera man!

So pleanty happening at the moment!

Gerry's Survival course!

Well here is the first picture of our two new crew! Dave from Hong Kong on
the left and Pete from Minnesota in the USA on the right..what do you recon?
Have they got what it takes? Will get the full details up shortly in the
crew section of the web site, but for now I can say we are looking
is the first time that I have met both and I am really happy..they may be
shocked?? But that is the fun about adventuring and expeditions, meeting new

Gerry Fitzgerald who runs the " Offshore Maritime Training Centre" survival
course is a friend of 20 years and runs an outstanding course. We all had
more than a laugh when he was talking about tolerance being vital to assist
in survival if you ever find yourself in a life raft. You are all cramped
up, have little water and food etc and live ontop of each other..then we
started to realize we actually may have more of everything in a liferaft
than being in TBB..she is really a little boat?? So today it was all theory
and popping a couple of flares...tomorrow we are in the pool to play with
the life raft.

The other funny thing that happened today was that we got to eat some of the
food we are taking on TBB..out of date ships lifeboat buiscuits!!at least
they are softer than the Ships Biscuits we baked a year ago!!

Light my Fire Baby!

Dave lighting his first red hand flare (on the left in the Musto gear) Our
first full day together suggests to me he is a bit of fun and all
smiles!!but as he is sleeping in one room in the cabin with four bunks, he
is already thinking about putting a tent up outside on the grass by the TBB
and it has been pooring with rain all this could be fun?

Day one 2 down!

Well we are finally all together as a complete TBB crew and the young ones
are fading fast! This is Stu our reserve 5th man and camera man..he pulled
his back with a 3 KG camera! So was up and down all day during our first day
of survival training. Mike lasted only a few hours and had to leave the room
feeling a bit off? I just thought he was Jet lagged but decided he was best
off in bed at the cabin, so organised a Taxi for him and while waiting he
was throwing up. Now at the end of the day we have him relaxing and
re-hydrating..he is still smiling!! So all OK...on the next Blog it is the
BIG 4 Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park who are new supporting sponsors..not the
BIG$ was a slip of the keys!!! OPPS