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September 26, 2007

Entering the Whirlwind

LOCATION: Oostende, Belgium
Longitude: N:51deg.14'53.
Latitude: E: 002deg.55'45.
Kms from Istanbul: 3,183

We're into the final stages now and I feel like I'm being sucked into the centre of a cyclone with the volume of activity that has suddenly been generated by media interviews, chartwork & navigational planning, dealing with the officialdom needed to cross The Channel, and the most important part of all - getting the boat ready. Traditionally it gets very hectic before any sea leg, but this time there are other compounding factors such as judging the appropriate weather window to cross and having a very fixed date for the arrival on the 6th. Normally it's a bad idea to let external factors influence a decision on when to depart on a crossing, but this time it's a little different. I really need the weather to cooperate to allow the circumnavigation be completed on schedule.

Europe overland completion

Great assistance with Moksha preparations have been forthcoming from Nathalie and son Andreas with sanding down the boat hull prior to painting - Andreas especially (his mum just posed for the photo!). Two layers of undercoat are now on, and if it doesn't rain today I can slap on a layer of finishing paint before Eilbhe arrives from Ireland tomorrow to paint on Moksha's new figurehead. A team of helpers are working around the clock in Mumbai, India to finish work on the 1,800 names that will hopefully be sent by courier by the end of the week to be stuck on the hull before the arrival. This I think will be very tight. We may even have to pull the boat out of the water again once over on the UK side to complete this task.

Andreas Theys

Kenny and Chris arrive tomorrow evening with a rented van and trailer. While Chris is replacing some of the polycarbonate windows to allow the pedaler to see out properly one of us will have to scream up to Antwerp and back in the van to pick up the boat's trolley that we'll use to push her up from the Thames to the Royal Observatory on the 6th. All things being equal the channel crossing will happen this Sunday or Monday, depending on the wind direction.


Oh, and did I mention that the French authorities will arrest us if we leave from French territorial waters? Just one more compounding factor into the mix. But my luck has run this far over the last 13-years, and I've been keeping one my nine lives in reserve for this last crossing, so I'm sure a solution will be found....(?!?)

Thanks to those BTW who have kindly contributed towards the cost of getting Moksha from Antwerp to Oostende here (see below).



The crane hire and transporting Moksha from Antwerp to Oostende ended up costing a whopping $850 USD! Once again I have seriously underestimated European prices, with the result that a rather large dent has been put in the remaining budget for the expedition completion. I know many of you have already contributed generously to getting Moksha back from Djbouti, but if there are any of you that missed out on the funding drive the first time around, a contribution towards this cost would be greatly appreciated.

You can make pledges here. Or email contact@expedition360.com

Sincerest thanks to the following for your pledges -
Gretchin Lair - $50
Tim Murfitt - $50
Samantha Carter - $50
Merlin & Carrie Lewis - $200

> Total to raise: $850
> Total raised to date: $350
> Total still to raise: $500

Final bike odo reading from Istanbul to Oostende

Posted on September 26, 2007 6:55 AM