Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eternal Vigilance

Things slowed up considerably for me yesterday, as you would have seen from the tracker. It doesn't mean however that the swells also settle down, they seem to be mountainous no matter what, influenced by the lows that move through further south. The flogging of the sails in the light winds with the movement of the boat is a real worry with the chafing of the ropes that goes with it. I've had to really keep an eye on the rig, particularly the boom and main sheets, have had to redo my makeshift boom brake a couple of times and then I noticed the main shackle the main sheet runs through had come undone! Had next to no sleep during the night as it kept on coming loose requiring me to go up on deck five times to sort it out. I've now cable tied it so it can't happen again and re-run the lines to keep the boom more secure, at one stage it was banging around so much I thought it could do some damage to the mast. Will have to get it seen to in Hobart. At this time I'm reminded of a saying of an old boss of mine, from my very first job years ago. He migrated to Australia after the war, and every day he used to say to me "what's the price of freedom Jamie?" and I knew to answer "eternal vigilance, boss, eternal vigilance". I've never forgotten it and in order to safely complete a voyage such as this, eternal vigilance is definately the way to go! If you don't pick up and fix the small things, they inevitably lead to bigger issues that can take you out. I am now approaching Tasmania and am expecting only light winds for the next couple of days. At this stage, I think I'll get to Hobart sometime on Sunday. Can't wait to see Jo and Bella, looks like they will beat me there after all. Damn these light winds.

A big hello to all the residents at Dalkeith hostel in Traralgon Victoria, I am very honoured to have become their pin-up boy, and glad they are enjoying following my adventure. I hope you all keeping Naomi on her toes!


  1. Glad to hear that you're ok, and I must say that i agree, freedom is expensive, and vigilance is part of the price....
    keep tracking safely. We all are with you in spirit as we cannot do anything else...
    God bless and bye for now

  2. Hi Jamie,
    Eternal vigilance my brave and wonderful hero, eternal vigilance. Hugs kisses and best wishes.

  3. Hello Jamie!

    Just checking tonight (well, guess it is late afternoon there) and found your new post. Sounds as though you have really had your hands full with maintenance issues and once again, have been successful in overcoming. You are certainly a-one-of-a-kind brave and skillful sailor!!! You are SO amazing!

    All the very best to you!

    Janell in Oklahoma, USA

  4. Hi Jamie, I am glad to see your tracking is working great. I must admit the last time I sailed around Tasmania was in 1980 in a yacht race sponsored by Golden Fleece. The race started from Portsea in Port Phillip Bay and the rounding mark was Tasmania, the race finished Flinders in Western Port Bay. The weather was extremely rough and many yachts retired. We finished just behind Siska owned by Rolly Tasker, and the yacht was called Challenge and the owner was Lou Abrahams from Melbourne. We won on handicap, but I think it was the only ocean race that we were all so tired and worn out we did not even celebrate our achievement. So I am glad to hear that winds are light and you are making good progress towards Hobart. And keep up your eternal vigilance, it is very important to fixing the small things before they get out of hand and turn into major problems or issues.
    Cheers from Richard Evans UVS

  5. Blow harder the sail during light wind! Get closer to Tasmania. Do you see mountains far away? From Richard

  6. Even though it looks 'in the bag' from tracker, you must be totally knackered. That's a hell of a time to be alone solo in charge of a boat and in a very isolated cold part of the oceans - even with the winds having been favorable. Hopefully the excitement of 'land ho' will keep you alert for navigating the arrival. What an incredible achievement - a giant leap for the best of us, but now a mere stride for you. Jamie, you have raised the bar on conquering the 'impossible', and the very definition of 'courage' for all of mankind. You left Rockingham a dreamer, you arrive to Tasmania a hero. Bloody well done mate.

  7. Hi Jamie,
    Have just spoken to you, words are not enough to express how thrilled we are for you, to achieve your first leg of the journey to Hobart is wonderful.
    We feel so grateful to the wonderful people that have supported you whilst you have been at sea, for the love and support they have been sending. Carol and Rob for the pure wool blankets that kept you warm. Thank you is not enough to all of these people.
    We wished that we could have been there when you arrived. But knowing you have Jo and Bella there makes it all OK.
    Our love and thanks to all of our friends out there that take the time to worry about our son. Take care Jamie, rest up, achieve your dream.
    Love Mum, Dad, Gran and family

  8. Go man GO!!!! but do it safely ok?

  9. Hello Jamie - CONGRATULATIONS on making Hobart this afternoon. Enjoy your R&R! Best wishes from Cath and Campbell, Wanganui, NZ

  10. Hi Jamie, we saw you on ABC news this evening, what a gas! hearty congrats on your achievement so far, every wave under the bow setting a new record. Your blog makes exciting, exhausting and very informative reading. Goodness knows how you manage the blog with eveything else going on at the same time. We talk of you and follow you daily.
    Pauline and John Dilley

  11. Hi Jamie
    Say Hello to Tassie for me (my birthplace) Well done! We'll have a beer or two for you at FSC.

  12. Hi Jamie
    Congrats on reaching Hobart and your prize of Jo and Bella - am sure their feelings in seeing you again were mutual! Take care and enjoy a bit of R + R before sailing ahead.
    Best regards

  13. Hi Jamie,

    Its Priya Cooper here. Ive just started work at ABC radio and heard you with Russell the other day.

    Good luck with the next adventure!! Where are you going?