Bad weather halts smalls plan

To meet his weather window Pete Goss and the crew of Spirit of Mystery left Newlyn in a hurry. They forgot that their underwear was still rolling around in a local launderette!

As Goss headed out on his epic voyage to Australia via Cape Town, Stuart Elford, director of Formedia, the company that handles Goss’s media communications planned a rescue mission.

Stuart said: “The satellite tracking device on board Spirit gives us an exact course, speed and position for the boat, updated twice daily. So, all we had to do was buy several packs of underwear, pack them in a floating waterproof bag and fly to their latest position. We reckoned we could get there in less than two hours, make a drop beside the boat and return.”

With the vessel only sailing at about six knots, the search area would be small and it should be a relatively simple procedure to make the drop.

Unfortunately, the weather has conspired against the mission and it would be dangerous to reach the little wooden boat given the current conditions. By the time the weather clears they will be out of range of light aircraft from the UK.

“The crew of the original Mystery would not have had this sort of support, so perhaps it is fitting that we didn’t make the air-drop,” said Stuart. “I’m sure a lack of underwear will not be a major challenge compared to what else the team will face. They have already battled sea-sickness in very rough conditions on their first night at sea and have the might of the Southern Ocean yet to face. However, they are well trained, the boat is very strong and we are confident that they can make it.”

Although Goss and his crew are navigating only by the stars as they recreate the journey of seven brave Cornishmen who, 154 years ago, sailed a 37 ft wooden Mounts Bay lugger called Mystery to Australia, modern technology means that the outside world can follow their progress on Pete’s website: