Tony Mowbray Circumnavigation 2
In the 1998 Sydney-Hobart Race while Tony Mowbray was in Bass Straight the wind was blowing extremely hard and the waves were very large. A radio schedule started at 2 pm and chaos ensued. At 4 pm a wave came along and slewed them around for the next wave which turned them over and dragged them along. In Tony's mind he felt in a lot of trouble, the mast snapped like a cannon, and he was picked up like a rag doll. When he went up on deck he saw Cyril hanging off the back of the boat. Most of the crew had broken bones. They jettisoned the mast and cleared the boat. They were in the water for fifteen hours trying to survive. He promised to himself to abandon the around the world attempt. They were taken to the navy ship and he told his wife that he did not want to continue with the circumnavigation.
The hunt for sponsorship for Tony Mowbray was a difficult task and he grovelled to get what he wanted. He needed food for nine months and ate all the good food first. He had eight or nine shopping trolleys of food. His helpers stripped the cans of labels and hand varnished all the cans to stop the rust getting into the cans. There is an intangible legend about Cape Horn because so many people have perished around there and it is such an inhospitable place which is difficult to get to. About a thousand miles from Cape Horn he was anxious to get there. He was wary, nervous, and excited as he approached it.
When he almost lost the mast, he thought it was over. At first he thought it was he could not do it. But he stuck at it and fixed it. He did not have insurance because he did not have the money and no-one would insure him anyway. He saw the chain plate had broken when he was going to the toilet. He went into the fifties latitudes to get a good course. One of his water tanks got a hole in it and he had to mix his good and bad water. When it rained he was totally intent on collecting as much fresh water as possible.
In the Atlantic a few more dangers presented themselves and one night he was stalked by another boat. Tony chose not to take a gun and eventually the other boat veered off. The Indian Ocean was a very dangerous place for Tony Mowbray. A hurricane had formed off MOzambique and turned into an intense low and eventually got him with 60 knot winds and huge waves. He was standing there like a stunned mullet when the bilge alarm went off because there was water coming in.
In the tropics Tony wore shorts and a shirt. In the colder climates he wore thermal underwear and ski gear. He was on track with a huge iceberg and there was snow falling at times in the Southern Ocean. Tony had two self-steering devices, one a mechanical device and the other was electronic. When he returned the boat was filthy from a growth he picked up in the Atlantic. He had sponsorship from Sony who gave him gear. Ascencion Island is just south of the equator, beautiful and very dry. On Christmas Day it was not easy for Tony and it was tough to cope with. His sleeping patterns would change all the time, depending upon the conditions and whether there were ships around.
Off the south coast of new south wales he is buffeted by a nasty low. He was terrified that if he sunk a couple of days before getting there, he would have to do it all again. He was genuinely worried about getting blown past Newcastle, but the wind slowed down and he managed to steer in to newcastle. On the Friday he was off Moon Island and the next morning he sailed into Newcastle Harbour. The John Hunter Hospital at Newcastle is the charity that he has devoted his work to. He has raised money for equipment for the hospital.
Tony Mowbray Circumnavigation
Mowbray Circumnavigation 1