Big Ben

Big Ben
Mawson Peak, The highest peak in the Australian Territories

Tuesday, June 4, 2013



If my little project has a winter, I think in terms of activity, I am in the depths of it now. 

I think that I like the idea that Heard Island Solo started in the Autumn and those initial wins I had with sponsorship and the development of my yacht where the warm lingering days of autumn, with the dwindling warmth of summer still remnant  in the ground, warm water to swim in, gentle sun to warm your face during the day and cold easy sleeping nights.  The colour of leaves changing in the trees, and a few early frosts later and here I am with my yacht still stuck in Bundaberg, no more money to do anything about it with, and no time on my hands. 

Winter is tough and cold and living in it is harder and slower.  Things take longer to warm and there is less sun through the day, to cheer you with.  But winter is not without its beauty and going through it helps you appreciate the lush wet spring, and long wonderful warm days of Summer that are ahead.  Its times like this that I should remind myself that I do like the cold!

Yes I’m out of money, and my time is all taken up between my little mob and working for more money to pay off my huge debts that the expedition has left me with.  It’s easy to get down about my luck with the floods in Bundaberg, but there have been many more happy times in the last few months to keep me sain and occupied, so I have not been too worried about my predicament. 

The yacht (which I have officially decided to re-name after an abusive email from the previous owners son, damming me for not stuffing socks into the yachts hull in the floods,  and wishing that I had drowned with it…. I know a bit weird!!!) is still in Bundaberg awaiting me to inspect her and see just how bad she is.  I know it sounds crazy that I have not been to see her since the floods, but I really have not been able to afford either the time or money to get up there and check her out.

Things will need to get moving again soon because Russ and Lorraine want to clear the boat yard, so I am starting to think about my next move, which will be extremely tough without much in the way of funds to speak of.

My plan from here is:

1.    To grab a cheap flight up to Bundaberg and inspect the yacht for myself.  (possibly shed a few tears, and see how my friends are all doing)
2.    Lock in a truck company to carry the yacht South
3.    Hire a crane in Bundaberg to lift her onto the truck
4.    Confirm a location nearby (down South), to keep her
5.    Escort drive my way South with the yacht and truck and of course the truck driver
6.    Hire a crane (wherever I decide to drop the yacht?)
7.    Unload the yacht
8.    Work out how I am ever going to pay for all of this?

On the expedition news front, it has been quite as you know but there have been a few developments.

I had a great yarn with the legendary solo sailor and boat builder Kanga from Jarken boats the other day.  He had some interesting suggestions for my plans and we had a good chat about where to keep my yacht while I rebuild.  He filled my visit to his shed with yarns of his BOC round the world challenge race, and how he and the fleet got along through the Southern Ocean. Interestingly he raced the same year as Don McIntyre, and it was nice to hear him speak about someone I know, a little.

Speaking of Don, he has been busy again preparing for another season in Tonga, discovering and logging historic ship wrecks for the Tongan Government.  It sounds so idyllic over there; swimming with the whales as they calve, warm sunny days, living on the boat, fresh fish and happy well balanced local people all around, a far cry from my literal and metaphorical winter in cold Sydney.  I may have an opportunity to visit him later in the year, as I have offered to help him in the development of a Youth Pirate Camp and he has invited me over in September to start the ball rolling.  Here is a link to his blog and some information about our plans.

The Cordell Expedition looks like it may be on hold also. I feel for Rob and fully understand how hard these things are to get up and running.  It looks like funds are the big issue for him as well.  I don’t have any news on a new date for Cordell yet but I will keep you posted, especially if by chance it does run at the end of this year.

It goes without saying that my expedition plans have changed significantly, in both timing and structure.  Who knows what it will look like when the snow melts and spring graces the expedition with its first warm rays. I’m not sure when that will be but at the moment it’s looking like a long cold winter, from deep inside my little snow cave here. 

Before I go back into my hibernation hole, a big thank you and hello to my mate Kenny Koala, for keeping me focused.  I had forgotten that anyone was reading my blog, and interested in my little project, so it was lovely to hear from him asking how I was going.


  1. Good to hear an update mate!

    Don't let the weight of any perceived expectation bring you down. No matter what happens, you can always fall back on the things that got you here in the first place.

    Go for a paddle...a walk...soak in the places that started your journey.

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