I've had a couple of days of recovery now and am starting to feel like my old self. Finishing on Sunday felt like an out of body experience, I was there but I wasn't there! Fatigue definately had me by the short and curlies. Firstly I'd like to say a big thankyou to all the bloggers for following me as I circumnavigated Australia. Your comments along the way made the hard times a lot easier and I felt very humbled by them. Thankyou all. I'd also like to thank everyone that came down to see me in on Sunday at Rockingham and I'm sorry it was such short notice as I know there were others that would have come down but didn't know I was coming in. Thankyou to all the volunteers that have helped in making the voyage a possibility and believing in me enough to do it, also of course to the number of sponsors without whom I it would not have become a reality. And a final thankyou to all the people that supported me as I went around Australia and gave their valuable time to make sure that I felt welcomed and that the boat was well prepared and safe for me to continue on my way. You guys made the trip fun and I really enjoyed meeting new friends who were fantastic people - that was actually the highlight of the trip for me, besides coming home! The willingness of strangers to support what I was doing shows our Aussie spirit of mateship is still alive a well and made me proud of the country I live in. We are so much alike in the way we think from one end of the country to the other. The people I met really valued life and living it to the full, and want good futures for their children and children's children.
Something that has come to light over the last few days is the time it took me to get around the country and the distances covered. For your interest, we are still calculating the exact distance but the last leg from Darwin looks like it was around 2000 nautical miles, I may be just under that, may be just over it but whatever it is it will be a new world record for a quadriplegic sailing solo unassisted. The sailing time to do the circumnavigation taking the stops out of it was 57 days. The current record was set about a month ago by Ian Thompson from Airlie Beach at 42 days, before he broke that record it was 68 days! So, I am ecstatic that I've managed to knock 11 days off the old record that had stood for years. Damn you Ian!
This is possibly the last blog for this voyage. I'm still in shock that I have completed the trip and am still alive and in one piece! I'm sure I have a guardian angel that was looking after me, there were a number of extremely close calls. I keep looking at the tracker page with the red line circling around the whole of Australia and I just can't believe that Spirit and I made that track!
For those that are wondering about the plans for a world trip, well its back to the drawing board on that. It's not a goal that will disappear out of my life but it would not be a possibility in Spirit. There is too much to maintain and I have some major issues with the extreme cold and heat which were the two things that nearly took me out due to the thermoregulatory issues of being a quadriplegic. I have some very long term ideas to explore, I think it is possible but of course its a matter of finance and support. After this eight year project I know how long things can take and quite honestly it might be quicker to take over the world than try to sail around it!