Sunday 1st May 2011 – Day 7

We've been sailing for 24 hours! Yesterday evening the wind finally showed up and since then we've had a nice 15-20knot southerly wind which is great for us. We're still hard on the wind; sailing on a port tack with the wind around 60 degrees. For a catamaran, that's about as good as we can do without losing too much speed. We can hold the wind a little closer, approximately 45 degrees, but then we pay the cost in boat speed. With 20knots, we're making around 5.5 – 6.0 knots of boat speed at 60 degrees of wind. If we move closer to the wind, say 45 degrees, then our boat speed would be closer to 2.8 – 3.5 knots. Clearly, everyone likes to be going faster, so we figure we're better going faster and slightly further, than to go that slow. I guess we'll see.

We left the Perlas Islands seven days ago and since then we've pretty much been switching between motor sailing and motoring in light to no winds. I know diesel will be very expensive in the Galapagos, so it hurts to start the motors, but it also hurts to bob around going nowhere. We're sailing in company with a collection of old and new friends – Sunburnt, Bondi Tram, Steel Sapphire and La Pelicana. Apart from Steel Sapphire, we're all Australian boats, so Glenn and Lynn are getting inundated with Aussie slang and rhetoric every morning and evening on the radio net. Normally I'd feel sorry for them, but they can give as well as they get, so they've been given the status of honorary Aussies; for this leg at least.

La Pelicana are a couple of pretty cool Australian guys who have been best mates for most of their life. Years ago they made a pact that if they turned 30 and weren't married, tied down or otherwise occupied, then they'd buy a boat together and sail around the world. Well, they turned 30, so with no ties and little sailing experience, they flew to the United States and bought a boat, then set out on their big sailing adventure. Sadly, in the marina where they bought and prepared their boat, they were surrounded by people who perhaps sailed a hundred miles a year and always returned to the same marina every winter. These people, with the best of intentions, no doubt, constantly tried to talk Ben and Shay out of going on their dream trip. I'm glad to say that they didn't listen to the critics who said they couldn't do it, so now they're out here and sailing their dream. I love meeting other young people who take the chance to do something they really want to, and who get out there and make it happen instead of listening to the critics who give a list of reasons why it can't be done.

Ugh, the wind's died again. We're down to 8 knots, so “Connect4” is crawling along at a touch over 3 knots. Bondi Tram and Sunburnt are both light weight displacement boats, so will be racing along at 6-7 knots in this wind, but for ourselves and Steel Sapphire, who incidentally has more keel ballast than we weigh in total, we don't like the light winds. “Connect4”, being a catamaran, is very sensitive to weight, and she's currently dressed in her long haul outfit, weighed down with over half a ton of fuel, a ton of water and enough food and equipment to see us for approximately the next four months, hopefully until well after the Kingdom of Tonga. Given the weight she's carrying, she's doing very well to be moving at all in this breeze.

Wednesday 4th May 2011 – Day 10

Some things in the cruising life are so worth celebrating! Today was a huge milestone in our cruising life because we crossed the equator! As of 20:53 UTC today we can no longer be referred to as “Polywogs”, but now must be addressed as “Trusty Shellbacks” because our family has officially sailed from the Northern hemisphere to the Southern hemisphere, crossing the equator at 00o 00.000N 88o 01.582W.

Some days we weren't sure if we'd ever actually make it this far. We set out from the other side of the world with not much more than a dream and a general plan that we'd keep going so long as we were enjoying ourselves – oh, and didn't kill anybody. We've had good days, we've had bad days, we've had days we'd rather forget but we've also had days we've wished would never end. Through it all though we've just focused on spending time as a family, exploring and moving forward. “Baby Steps Sparky … Baby Steps” is what comes to mind as I think of how we've made it this far. Truth be told, I still don't feel like we've travelled far, or accomplished much, but when I look back on how much we've seen and achieved in the last year as a family I know we're doing what we set out to do – to build family relationships, to have fun and to make an adventure that we'll remember for the rest of our lives.

Have fun – well we did that! We jumped off “Connect4” and swam across the equator together as a family. We also collected a jar of precious “Equatorial Water”. It had a nice bright green line running right through the middle of it, but once we'd capped it and moved south of the equator the green line faded and in our excitement, I forgot to take a picture of it. Perhaps when we get back to Australia, we'll auction off some of the water. We can assure you that it's genuine, because since it's equatorial water if you flush it down the drain it'll go straight down – not spinning either clockwise nor anti-clockwise. Yep, our jar is the genuine article!

No crossing of the equator is complete without a visit from Neptune himself, and our family onboard “Connect4” was no exception. No sooner had we hoisted sails and were getting underway than King Neptune, resplendent in his regalia (and blue webbed feet), appeared on deck to conduct the inauguration for the newest four Shellbacks.

After a short ceremony we were all accepted as proven members into this prestigious club. Water and flour balloons were ceremonially used to ensure that everyone understood that this wasn't a title to be taken lightly.

Tradition has it that we offer a quart of rum and some other assorted goodies to Neptune as we cross the equator. Truth be told, we didn't as we've made it a bit of a thing to be offering our goodies to Neptune on a pretty regular basis. Now not to sound like I've been keeping tabs, but so far I believe we've offered two 10mm spanners, a set of Allen (hex) keys, countless pegs, a nice new floor mat, a bra, a towel, a few children's toys, Cheryl's good cup, a nice new hat, three t-shirts and a pair of shorts. We figure we've offered more than enough to Neptune without giving him out precious supply of rum!

It feels nice to be in the Southern Hemisphere – it feels like we're getting closer to home.

Friday 6th May 2011 – Day 12

We arrived in Academy Bay, Santa Cruz, Galapagos at around 3:00am this morning. They called the Galapagos Islands the “Mysterious Islands” because for many years they believed the islands appeared and disappeared. Sometimes they would be found, other times they were invisible. The truth of the matter was that there are often strong currents flowing near the islands which would often put the early sailors off course without their knowing. I guess sometimes they would hit the islands, sometimes they'd miss them. Couple this with the fact that there seems to be a permanent haze around the islands which makes them hard to see from a distance and I can understand how the islands could seem to appear and disappear. We tried to slow down to come in after sunrise, but we picked up a 2.5kt current which pretty much made it impossible. Since it was a well marked bay, with good lighting and no reefs or problems, we cautiously made our entrance and anchored next to a score of other cruising boats in the bay.

After a few hours sleep, we contacted our agent and proceeded with the arduous and expensive check in procedure. While checking in, we caught up with a young lady we've been tag teaming with since somewhere around the Gibraltar. Laura Dekker is a 15 year solo sailor whose taking her yacht “Guppy” around the world in an attempt to be the youngest solo circumnavigator. In our traditional style, we said a hello, shared a cab to the immigration office and checked in as she was checking out with a promise to catch up properly in the Marqueseas.

Saturday 7th May 2011

We walked around town today, glad to be ashore and to stretch our legs. We saw some iguanas, sea lions and even some pelicans. Also had an ice cream each - What a treat when you don't have a freezer onboard!

Sunday 8th May 2011

The Galapagos Islands are a bit of a bonus to us on our journey. For us, a holiday in the Galapagos just wouldn't be a tourist destination, so we'd never have come visit if not for the fact we were sailing past the islands.

Since we're here though, we're more than happy to make the most of looking around and seeing all the curious animals. This afternoon we walked to the Darwin Research Centre and saw the tortoise breeding program as well as some land iguanas, Darwin Finches and of course Lonesome George – the last living giant Galapagos Tortoise from Isla Pinta. Lonesome George is in a big pen with two “girlfriends” who are his nearest genetic relatives, coming from an adjacent island, however he's not fooled. They're not from his island so he's not taken the friendship any further. Sadly, once he dies, that will be the end of his species.

We walked along the board walks and down into the giant male tortoise enclosure where we sat down on a step near a giant tortoise. As we watched him, he slowly roused himself and walked over towards Chelsea. He got within a metre of Chelsea, then stretched himself up as tall as he could – standing tall on his giant tree stump legs and stretching his neck out as far as he could. Chelsea, feeling partly intimidated and partly curious wondered what on earth this giant wild creature was was doing. She exclaimed that it looked like he

was wanting his neck scratched. I dismissed this thinking that being a wild animal he was more than likely trying to intimidate Chelsea off his step than to want a neck scratch, but I was wrong. As Chelsea reached out and scratched his neck, he leaned into her, clearly enjoying the attention. Between the four of us, despite the sign saying “Please don't disturb the animals”, we all took turns scratching and patting this tortoise – he didn't look disturbed, rather he seemed to be enjoying it.

We found out later that this tortoise used to be owned by a local, as a pet, some 40 – 50 years ago before he was given to the park so was quite used to human company. He was also a bit of a movie star since he featured in “Master and Commander”. If you remember the scene where the botanist was measuring the tortoise with a tape measure and half way through the measurement he stood up as tall as he could, I think someone off set was promising to tickle his neck.

Monday 9th May 2011

It was a hot day today, so we went for a walk to the Las Grietas pool with Yves-Marie, Natacha, Magali and Léa from the French catamaran “Galilea”. The walk was long and hot, but once we were in the grotto we all jumped into the water and enjoyed a cool off. We took turns jumping off the rocks into the deep pool of water, but it was Nick who enjoyed the jumping the most. He had a couple of jumps from the lower rocks where the rest of us were content to jump from, then asked if he could go up a little higher. I told him that so long as he jumped into the middle of the pool, he could go a little higher. A few minutes later I heard a shriek from Cheryl – Nick had climbed to the very top of the grotto and was preparing to leap the 30m into the rock pool. We quickly stopped him and with tears of disappointment he made his way back down to the lower rocks, very upset that we'd not let him jump from the top. Life is tough for a 9yr old boy!

On the way back out, we kept our eyes open and looked long and hard to find the “Blue Boobies” that were meant to be everywhere, but we once again we didn't see any.

Wednesday 11th May 2011

Yesterday we caught a fast ferry from Santa Cruz to San Cristobal to have a bit of a look around. One of the rules of staying in the Galapagos is that you can only visit one port with your boat unless you pay an additional premium for an autographo which allows you to visit three islands, so where you check in is where you stay.

Glenn and Lynn are anchored in Wreck Bay, San Cristobal and very generously offered that if we caught a ferry over we could spend a couple of nights onboard “Steel Sapphire” which would let us look around a second island without paying a fortune for accommodation or an autographo.

The ferry was a small boat with three huge 200hp outboards across its transom. We left Santa Cruz and powered through the waves, flying off one wave to land with a shudder on the trough of the next with a bone jarring crash. After 20 minutes of being shaken around and leaving our bench seat on a number of occasions we were ready to get off. Sadly we still had another hour and a half to go! The trip had to be one of the worst I've ever experienced.

It was with relief we finally made it to San Cristobal. With wobbly legs and aching hands from hanging on for so long, we climbed ashore and met up with Glenn and Lynn. Never have I been so glad to get ashore.

Before dark we went for a walk along the beach and saw a couple of harems of sea lions. It was nice to get the blood flowing in our legs again.

Wednesday morning we got up early and went for an explore around a few parts the island. We were told that a must see was a visit to the famed tree-house. This isn't any ordinary tree house mind you, but rather a huge house that has been built into one of the largest trees on the island. There's a rickety suspension bridge, complete with missing rungs, that takes you precariously up to the bottom level of the tree house, and from there you climb up a short ladder to the second story of the sleeping quarters which are about 20m up from ground level. Inside the tree house is a toilet and bathroom, complete with running water, as well as a romantic little bedroom with beautiful views out across the countryside. Once you're done with the views and the pretty surrounding there's a gigantic fireman's pole that you can slide down to get back to terra-firma. As if a giant tree house isn't enough - just like in a scene from the “Folk of the Faraway Tree” there is a narrow step ladder that descends from ground level, down between the roots of this ancient tree to another underground room.

Once you climb down between the gnarly roots of the tree you find yourself standing in a small room below ground level, with large roots weaving their way through the walls. This precious little room is resplendent with a double bed and a quaint little set of furniture that makes you wonder if “Moon-Face” would come calling soon.

Our next stop was a beautiful little bay called La Lobería where we were assured that we'd be able to see the Blue Footed Boobies, (birds that that had been avoiding us to date), and we'd be able to swim with sea lions - two things that were high on Cheryl's “must do” list.

At the beach we donned our snorkelling gear and waded out into the water, eager to swim with the sea lions. Once we were in the water, we were rewarded with an amazing experience. We saw not one, but about twenty giant Galapagos Turtles, some swimming around, some relaxing on the bottom of the sea; there were large ones and baby ones. Some were curious, some just ignored us, but all of them let us get close to them, unperturbed by our presence. It was the most precious experience to swim with these giant turtles, touching their shells and feeling their leathery necks and flippers as they swam slowly by us. At one point in time, a sea lion darted past me, and swam around behind Cheryl as she was engrossed watching a turtle on the sea bed. I frantically waved and pointed at Cheryl to turn around and look at the sea lion, but she missed it. Sadly that was the extent of the Cheryl vs Sea Lion interaction in the Galapagos and still we didn't see the Blue Boobies.

Thursday 12th May 2011

Our little sojourn in San Cristobal ended all too soon. The wildlife there was fantastic and Glenn and Lynn were great hosts, proving us with meals and accommodation for the two nights we stayed with them.

Early Thursday morning “Steel Sapphire” pulled anchor and the six of us sailed “Steel Sapphire” back to Academy Bay in Santa Cruz; it was a beautiful sail without a care in the world. You see, when you sail your own boat, you're responsible for it. Regardless of whether I'm on watch or off, I'm always listening to the wind, feeling the motion of the boat, and generally on alert. When it's somebody else's boat, you're just the passenger, so you can sit back and relax and enjoy the ride – and that's what I did I enjoyed the sail.

Friday 13th May 2011

We went out again today, collecting more provisions, buying more food, getting more parts for “Connect4” and slowly ticking off the job list so we can leave. You sort of reach a point where you just want to leave and when that happens, all you can think about is leaving, and that's how I feel right now. Short of seeing the “Blue Footed Boobies” we've ticked most of the boxes for the Galapagos and now I'm itching to get underway and get this next passage behind me. We all know it's going to be a long passage, so I think we all just want to get into it and start ticking off the days to the Marqueseas.

Tonight was a big night for Glenn off “Steel Sapphire” and Sandra off “Bondi Tram” as we'd arranged a progressive dinner to celebrate their two 60th birthdays. We decided to have entrees onboard “Bondi Tram”, mains aboard “Steel Sapphire” and then dessert aboard “Connect4”. Just to add a little twist to the night, we made it a fancy hat party. Technically their birthdays aren't until nearer the end of the month, however since we knew we'd all be at sea then, it was determined an early birthday party was in order. The night was a great success and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely. Everyone put in a fantastic effort with the hats and it was a night to be remembered.

Friday 20th May 2011

Well I've decanted the 180ltrs of diesel I had stored on the deck into the main fuel tanks and over the last few days Nick and I have brought nearly 1000ltrs of water aboard in jerry cans with the dingy – a back breaking job by any stretch of the imagination. Nick and I changed the oil in the two engines and replaced a worn fan belt on the starboard engine. Yesterday, after much debating and indecision I finally bought new house batteries. House batteries have been the bane of our existence since as long

Nick: “Dad, do you know how you can tell the cruiser's dingies from the rest of the dingies? It's easy, because the cruiser's dingies are always old and broken and patched and worn out looking – like ours! … no offence Dad”

as I can remember; the problem being that they cost so much to replace. House batteries power things like the autopilot, the running lights, the interior lights, the fans and charge the laptops and provide power for our living. We've been trying to find new batteries for a while now as the ones we've been using were second hand give-me's from the Canary Islands. Finally now we have three nice new house batteries which will give us approximately 410Ah of power. No more robbing Peter to pay Paul as we juggle priorities to see who gets to use the fan and who gets to use the light.

Cheryl's been busy shopping for provisions for the big crossing and every time she comes back to the boat, she has another mountain of food or fresh fruit for the crossing.

Yesterday I went up the mast to look at the broken main halyard pulley. It broke sometime on our travels from Panama to the Galapagos and now clunks whenever we haul up the sail; I think the brass centre is out of round. As I mentioned earlier the anchorage hasn't been the smoothest, with a fairly sharp swell rolling into the bay almost continuously, still it had to be repaired. I spoke to our agent a little while ago and he asked the navy if we might be given breakdown permission to go to San Cristobal for a “repair stop” since it's a much smoother anchorage, however we were denied permission to take our boat to any other anchorage. The rules here are very strict. With reluctance I made an attempt to climb the mast. Cheryl winched me up, but with the rolling swell coming in, I made it barely ¾ of the way up the mast before I started getting thrown around mercilessly. While I was still securely attached in my harness, I was beginning to resemble one of those paddle bats that have the ball attached to the paddle with a short piece of elastic – only I was playing the part of the ball and the mast was the bat!! I came down again, glad to be back on the deck, feeling sore and bruised. About this time, we decided that we'd leave Academy Bay and instead of heading direct to the Marqueseas, we'd do a “breakdown” detour to Isabela, an island on the south western end of the Galapagos chain. We'd try our luck coming in and calling an emergency breakdown.

We departed Academy Bay around 9:45am and had a pleasant sail for the 46NM to Isabela. We arrived around 9pm local time, where Glenn and Lynn from “Steel Sapphire” were there waiting for us, guiding us in from the deck of their boat, having gone to Isabela a couple of days earlier.

On Isabela, we waited for the officials to come and visit us, asking us why we'd arrived without authorisation, but nobody came. We later found out that of the seven or eight boats that were in the anchorage, only “Steel Sapphire” had the proper paperwork to be there; the others feigning various “breakdowns” to get permission to stay a couple of days. At least we had a genuine, demonstrative breakdown!

Saturday 21st May 2011

Glenn came over to help me up the mast. The anchorage was better, but was still a little rolly so the task was still one that took some effort. Reluctantly, I scaled the mast, hanging on with legs and arms so that I wouldn't get thrown off. At the top of the mast my task became even more precarious as I had to release myself from the halyards that hauled me up and clip myself directly to the top of the mast so that I could release the weight from the lines in order to remove the pulley. Carefully, checking every move, I attached two additional harness points to D-shackles that I secured through holes at the mast top, then slowly got Cheryl to lower my weight off the halyard so I could work on removing the pulley. Simple tasks such as drilling out a couple of pop rivets take on a whole new dimension when you're at the top of a 63' mast, swinging around with little to hold onto. After approximately two hours at the top of the silly mast, I was bruised, scratched, hairless on the insides on my thighs, I had blisters on my heels that had appeared then popped as I tried in vain to hold onto the mast with my legs as I worked. I was exhausted and the pin holding the stubborn pulley in place wasn't about to budge anytime this century. Wearily I concede defeat and was lowered back down to the ground.

Glenn, being a true hero even after he saw the condition I came down in, volunteered to go up the mast to see if he could remove the pin. Sadly, this man that never gets sea sick, was, after approximately half an hour at the top of the mast feeling a little worse for wear and quite a bit nauseous. Strike two for the mast, zero for the men folk. We decided to live with the damaged pulley, figuring that if it broke completely, it would still support the main halyard on the pin, and if that wasn't suitable then we'd be able to swap and use the topping lift as a substitute halyard for the main, so it wasn't a safety decision that would stop us from departing.

Sunday 22nd May 2011

Our life is complete – we found the Blue Boobies! They were right near our boat all along. Early in the morning Cheryl spotted them on the rocks near where we anchored, so we launched the dingy and carefully motored over to the edge of the rocks … and do you know what? They really do have blue feet!

Monday 23rd May 2011 – Day 0 of the Big Puddle Jump

After a good night's sleep, we woke early, sent off a few quick emails to home to let our families know we were departing and then motored out of the bay into the beginning of our big “Pacific Puddle Jump”. We left early as we'd felt that we'd pushed our luck enough over the weekend with the immigration officials, but since it was a Monday, they'd probably be out looking for us if we tried to stay any longer without clearing in. The wind is a light 8-10 knots from the South East and the seas are less than a meter as we raise our sails and head south west looking for the trade winds.

Thursday 26th May 2011 – Day 3

The sun is shining on the beautiful big blue Pacific ocean and as I look around, I see nothing ... nothing but blue. The sky is a beautiful baby blue without a cloud in sight. The ocean is a deep blue, like the eyes of a pretty girl. We've around 15knots of wind over our aft quarter and the seas are relatively calm. Despite all the excess weight we've so sadistically heaped onto her, “Connect4” is moving along at a steady 5.8 – 6.2 knots, a great effort considering how overloaded she feels right now.

Today is our third day at sea and true to form, we're all feeling a lot better, enjoying it more, feeling more awake. The first few days are always the hardest. We feel flat, tired, unmotivated. During these first few days we all give each other plenty of space and show lots of patience. Meals are simple, life is simple and not much beyond the essentials gets done. We all know that in a few days we'll be out the other side and feeling more human again. As always, it feels good to be at day three!

Our position, our address if you like, right now is 02o 52.855S, 096o 45.448W. It's funny how much importance we put on a simple set of numbers. Once upon a time I had an address, a fixed place where people could find me, a place I called home. Now I have a set of numbers that define a small space in this world that I occupy ... but in a few minutes I'll have moved. Each morning, on the radio net we read out the magical set of numbers that uniquely define where we are at the present, our own little hallowed plot of water that our little craft rests upon. There's a sense of security in this, as if anything happens we know there will be 20 other yachts that will know our last position, not more than 24 hours ago. Along with our boat speed and heading they'll have a pretty good idea on where to look for us if the unimaginable happened. But we don't dwell on that thought, none of us do. Instead, we look at each boat's progress and plot their position daily from the longitude and latitude they give us. When we've covered more ground than they have we quietly smile, knowing we're sailing a little better than they are. On the flip side, when they've gained on us, we silently agree that they just have a “faster boat”, then I go out and re-trim the sails.

Perhaps when you're on land, my longitude and latitude aren't important. But to me, as I slowly cross the biggest ocean in the world, my longitude and latitude are important, they're essential actually because they tell me where I am, they tell me I'm still on course and they tell me how fast I'm moving. If I was game enough to look, and do the maths, they'd also tell me how much farther I have to go and how long it will take to get there – but I'm not that game … at least not yet. At the beginning of the journey, we all play a bit of a psychological game, a game that agrees our passage time to be somewhere near the absolute maximum time it will take us to get to our destination. In our case, this time, it'll take us 30 days to get to the Marqueseas. Perhaps we'll get there quicker, but we're all mentally preparing for 30 days at sea. You see, we've learned that it's really really disappointing when it takes longer to get somewhere than you've planned. It can break your spirit and make you feel like a failure. For us, it's better to aim slow and then arrive faster. Perhaps when we're about 5-6 days out, then I'll recalculate the time for landfall, but not until we're much closer.

It's been said that friends make the world go round. For me, it only takes a moment of reflection for know that just knowing our friends are out there, thinking of us gives us a place we belong. This life makes us so transient because we meet new friends and then we move on. Even within the cruising circles, we know that the friendships are only for a time, because eventually we'll part company and we'll sail in different directions, possibly never to see each other again. Our time we've had together will be just a memory as we move along our ever winding path back home again. Home – the place where our friends and family are, the place where we belong. Friends are very special.

Friday 27th May 2011 – Day 4

Hooked a Mahi Mahi today and this one didn't get away.

Tuesday 30th May 2011 – Day 7

Early this morning Cheryl and Chelsea spotted at helicopter, or rather should I say, a helicopter spotted us. We must be 800NM from the nearest land, yet around 8am this morning, a white helicopter appeared from nowhere and came zooming up on us. He circled us at mast height once while Cheryl and Chelsea raced out on deck, in their underwear, to wave to the chopper. He banked and to the side and then hovered while the co pilot waved back, then he was gone as quickly as he appeared. What a strange morning. I bet you didn't see any helicopters out your window this morning?

We introduced the kids to the game of “Rummikings” this afternoon and I think we've got them hooked.

Pity we can't hook any fish at the moment.

Wednesday 31st May 2011 – Day 8

I was a naughty boy last night. Cheryl woke me up for my 11pm watch, and after a very nice cuddle with Cheryl, I got up and started my watch duty. The night was slow and the conditions pretty calm and there's only so many games you can play on your iTouch before you get bored, so I fired up the laptop and watched a couple of episodes of “Big Bang Theory” that I'd bought for $1.50 a DVD in the Galapagos. Truth be told, we couldn't resist ourselves and between us we bought about a dozen different DVD's, including some new release movies that we've been slowly working our way through. After a couple of episodes of “Big Bang Theory” I decided that I'd better put the disk away as I was in fear of waking everyone up with my continuous howls of laughter. Next up was the movie “Hitch” with Will Smith that came highly recommended by Cheryl. I watched this movie as I ate a bag of “Hershey Choc Drops” that I'd found stashed in the pantry earlier on, and nearly sprayed the screen with choc drops when a guy he'd been coaching kissed Hitch when he was helping him practice how he was going to kiss his girlfriend. Will Smith jumped back and exclaimed “What'd ya do that for ???!!!! – You were only meant to move in 90% !!!” “And I had my mouth open too Man !!!”

Hitch finished, my bag of choc Hersheys was finished and as I put my DVD back in the bag I spotted “Matrix Revolutions” and couldn't resist. Now I have to confess, my three hour watch finished at 2am, but it was now a little after 3am when I decided to put the DVD on … just for a little while.

Matrix Revolutions finished somewhere around 6am, since I had to keep pausing the movie for my watches and logs, so what was I to do? I decided to let Cheryl sleep until she woke up and I curled up on the saloon couch for a 13 minute nap between 15 minute watches. Around 7am, Cheryl and Chelsea got up and when I opened my eyes to reset my watch alarm and do my routine surveillance they were staring at me with bemused smiles. Sprung – my all night movie marathon had just caught up with me.