Monday, June 14, 2010

Race to the Finish...the race is nearly over....!

A Fish Called Don'Da...(On the Left)

Normally I do the blog just before sunset while it is still light but not tonight..it is now dark..it was the last sunset so I drifted with it on the helm and enjoyed every minute..we are now just40 miles from the turn point at the bottom of Timor and then we have 12 miles up to Kupang..it is now 1830 hrs on the 14th so we could be on the beach at dawn..about three hours before Bligh..but there is no way we could do that...he has always had our respect and having just about completed this incredible journey my feelings for him and his men have grow very strong.


We chose to do this and no matter what we did to make things a little harder on ourselves we could never honestly get to the same levels of deprivation and fear they had every minute of their voyage...just the thought of traveling all that way and then maybe loosing it at the last minute..everyone on Bligh's boat would have known that no one would ever know their story and what they went through so while they were obviously very happy to survive the voyage I truly believe that would also have been excited and joyous in the extreme that at last they knew the world would know what they had endured...

Bligh was a special man in so many ways..so were all the men on his boat..so many things happened over such a long time..now is not the time to go over it but I will enjoy putting my perspective on it when I get to write the book and produce the documentary series of this Talisker Bounty Boat trip...it has been everything and more than I expected...

We have just dropped the mizzen for only the second time since leaving Horne Island..and the light head sail for the first time...that is the only sail handling we have done over the last 1000 miles..we need to slow up dramatically as we cannot turn the corner till after 0600 in the morning..we needed the daylight and the tide to turn..we are doing about 4kts still in a 20kts following breeze..

We switched over to GPS at 1800 hours tonight..we saw Timor for the first time at 1200 hours today and were very surprised as it was not meant to be there till just on Dusk...working down the coast we discovered ultimately that we have had a current helping us..unbelievably it put us exactly 60 mile ahead of our DR position..that is the exact distance that Bligh was assisted by current on the same leg..he did not realize that though as he made one of his very rare miscalculations..only discovered 100 years or so later when reviewing his note book..anyway I knew of this current in Bligh's journey so was being a bit cautious but strange how it worked out to the same distance..

the last 24 hours have been very relaxed sailing..we had a Flying fish come by and I was able to get him back into the water before it was too late..he became trapped on the foredeck..the amount of rubbish in the water has slowly been increasing which is unfortunate..not so many birds anymore and as I needed to film our coconut scales that we use to weigh out lunch portions we all had a free lunch to the great Joy of the crew!!!

I decided to allocate 4 liters of water to all for washing purposes so everyone but me had a bath for the first time since Restoration Island...I watched the whole process waiting for my time and then I started to refle3ct on Bligh again..we have soap on board but had only used it once when it was washed over in one of the knockdowns..another bar was pulled out today...I just decided in the end not to bath out of respect for Bligh...some of you will think that is a bit strange and I don't quite know who to explain it other than ...I just feel better without smelling all pretty!!...not good for the others on board but??

I took a photo of myself last night just to look at my beard...WOW!! it is long and look a bit older..I mean I am not young but I look forward to a beard trim, shower, food soon!! but again I have to admit that I am not really craving anything...well OK a comfortable seat would be nice..Life has become a routine at the moment and I know it will take awhile to settle down again..this may be the last night on board??..strange..

How about toilet paper..that will be very unusual and seriously I don't think as good as washing but I will survive..fruit will be good..

The Dave's made up our Indonesian flag today which should last a few days..it was like a therapy session for them with the sewing kit out..Margie had organized some colored pillow cases to use..thanks Ted!

So the endgame for us includes a bit of media from Australia and the UK etc who are all flying in...we are earlier than expected so they are not ready for us till about 3pm..OOPPS!!..the plan for us is to anchor somewhere while we wait for them ..the ETA on the beach, Bligh's beach!! for us is now 1600hrs and beside the fat lady singing the looks like there may be a reception of sorts for us.Ian Mojo and.Graeme Whitford in Kupang has been flat out organizing things for us for the past few months. Not sure what we would have done without them...

Still a few tricky navigation issues for tonight and it is very dark out there right now but we are hoping for a big day tomorrow.

You can see all our sponsors on this web site ..none of this would have been possible without them..so just want to say a Huge thanks to you all for having faith in me and this project ..especially to Margie for putting up with it all one last time...you can also see the Just Giving website ...PLEASE PLEASE consider helping SIF..we have probably survived this Adventure...most who now have MND will not survive..If you think we have done something worthwhile here, I would feel happy if you made a donation...I will be working on ideas and ways to build on the current amount raised for the rest of this year..for those that have already made a donation THANKS!!

I have been so busy over the last three months or so that I have not had a chance to put up on the web site some of the memorabilia we have been carrying on board...Coins, envelopes etc..I will do ASAP ..all the funds for these will go to SIF. We will even have packets of our ships Biscuits ( left overs and those that were emergency food) that have been carried on board , signed by all the crew available...

If you are in Australia watch out for the 60 minutes story in about two weeks time and we are hoping to have the boat shipped back to Sydney intime for the Sydney International Boat Show..all the crew will be there so come in and say Hi!!..and maybe make a donation to SIF there..our Bailing buckets will be out to throw your coins in !!

OK..Not finished yet but stay tuned for tomorrow..all the guys will blog off then too...we are all enjoying this last night ..it is very special to us...I know many people will be thinking of us here..THANKS!! it has been so good knowing you are all with us.

Finally I would just like to say well done to16 year old Abbey Sunderland...I just heard about her dismasting and ultimate Southern Ocean rescue..she is a brave young sailor and real adventurer...I can imagine what is being said in the media about the cost of rescue etc..I am glad she is safe . Adventure makes better people and communities..we have produced too many Marsh mellow kids already so encourage your kids to dream and explore...life can be full and rich if you do.. See you all tomorrow..Don


18 comments:

magpie said...

This is such a thrill.
You guys have done what I thought was crazy.
To skip along the top of Australia in that tiny vessel and still admire a man and his crew, 200+ years on, is fantasmagorrigal.
☺☺☺ Hoo Roo ☺☺☺

Profpaul said...

Just brilliant.

Everyone in Sheffield is so proud of you and in awe of your achievement. Do take care turning that last corner!

Hoping you all get the magnificent reception you deserve in Kupang and back in Oz.

We are all looking forward to the chance to thank you in person when you finally get over to the UK.

There aren't words to describe what we feel about you and your inspirational adventure. Hanging vicariously onto your coat-tails across the oceans has been such great fun. Can't wait for the film and the book.

Well done.

worldwidewendy said...

Well done all :)

Kay - Ohio - USA said...

I have not commented before - but wanted you to know that I have followed your journey even during the planning stages. Thanks for letting me ride along. I have to admit that I was chewing on some pizza and drinking a coke while reading it a couple time as you were talking about your tinned beef. I had to put my pizza and pop down out of respect. :-)
What all you have gone through both physically and mentally has made you all better people. I am happy that everyone stayed on board to the finish.
I am in the USA and hope to be able to see some media coverage of this. Just remember us over here in letting us know how to watch things.
You are brave men and well respected!!!
Congrats - I will definitely be waiting on the book and dvd (or whatever you put out)
Don't let your guard down just yet! Cheering you on!

Anonymous said...

Don,
Congratulations! We are all proud of the Talisker Bounty Boat crew and of you especially! 'Ofa atu from the Prime Minister's Office and the people of Tonga!
Lopeti Senituli

Dave D. said...

Congratulations Guys,What a great effort. Kay took the words out of my mouth.I have not commented before but wanted you to know that I have followed your journey from the beginning. Looking forward to hearing alot more of your adventures.Safe landing.
Dave D. Auckland, NZ

Sarah said...

Congratulations, Captain & crew!!

I've followed your awesome adventure since February, before you even got started, and I have to say I thought you were crazy at times but I've really enjoyed being 'along for the ride', so to speak, from the safety & comfort of home.

Between you guys, Mike, Jessica and Abby, I've even begun sailing, despite age and arthritis, and you may just have inspired me to go and have some sailing adventures of my own!

I'll toast your landing with a nice scotch once you're ashore and look forward to the book(s?) & documentary.

Well done! Cheers!!

Sarah (Canada)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic; congratulations to Talisker Bounty Boat and her crew; an amazing job and a wonderful result. Can you now just head back to Tonga the same way please? I'd love to join the crew! Proud of you all Best wishes Digit

Tim Stackpool said...

Well done guys. We'll be celebrating on your behalf back here as soon as we hear news of your landing.
In anticipation,
-Tim

Anonymous said...

Congrats to all of you--glad you are almost there and safe! I've followed you from the beginning and enjoyed the voyage. Have been anxiously checking the blog today for any updates. I know you are so excited about the finish being so close! Hope all your goodies taste better than you imagined :-)
Kathy, USA

Dan near Toronto said...

A voyage well lived, gentlemen. Thanks for the exceptional blogging...it has been memorable...right up there with Mike Perham's voyage.
Til we meet again.

pam french said...

Congratulations guys - well done!! We're really proud of you here in Adelaide. What an epic journey and a very different way to lose weight!! Don, saw your Mum yesterday and she said you had called her.
Great effort in the fundraising.
Pam (in Adelaide)

Anonymous said...

Well done gents, toff my hats to you lads for a journey well travelled. I hope your reintroduction to the unreal world is not too harsh. No doubt you will miss the stars, the ocean and the simplicity despite the hardships. Good luck with the fundraising.

Cheers

David S

Daphne T said...

Congratulations to you all! Fabulous cause and fantastic achievement. My MND sufferer is encouraged by the effort put forward to raise money for specific research into MND. Thankyou from all of us carers on his team.

The Man at the Pub said...

What an incredible journey! Hats off to you all, and indeed to Bligh and his men. You put those solo circumnavigators to shame.

Ian said...

Congratulations to Don and the crew. A great achievement. Sorry unable to meet you on arrival, but I had a beer anyway to celebrate.
Cheers
Ian Modjo
Kupang

Sahaja Sam said...

OH YES !
Many many congratulations to all of you, the crew, the suppoert teams and all the followers and bloggers too.
I, for one have been thrilled to follow this adventurous journey and want to say THANK YOU once more for sharing all your thoughts and warts !
Best of luck for your respective joyous homecomings for you sailors.
Thanks, with much love and admiration, Sahaja in Mexico

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