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