Goss across the Equator

Spirit of Mystery into the southern hemisphere

Saturday November 22nd 2008, Author: Stuart Elford, Location: United Kingdom
Westcountry sailor and adventurer Pete Goss and the intrepid crew of Spirit of Mystery have celebrated crossing the equator in style.

After just over a month at sea the little wooden lugger left the hard sailing of the unpredictable and fickle doldrums, entering the Southern Hemisphere at about 2330 hours on Friday 21 November. The crew of Spirit of Mystery toasted the crossing with a glass of 25 year old whisky donated by Talisker, a project sponsor.

Pete made a call to all his supporters via the blog on his website to join him in raising a glass at 1800hrs GMT today (Saturday 22 November): “I would like to share a moment with all those that follow the project. Grab your favourite tipple or mug of tea, toast the good ship Spirit of Mystery and spend ten minutes reflecting on something to lift your spirits along with someone else's. Book that romantic meal, bake a cake, pick up a load of boxes from the supermarket, clear the front room and make a spaceship with the kids, turn off the telly for forty eight hours and see what happens.”

To mark the occasion and the intrepid voyage a limited edition medallion has been released. The 1400 Spirit of Mystery commemorative medallions are cast from rare Cornish Tin recovered from the wreck of the SS Cheerful, which sunk off Land’s end in 1885. The oak presentation box is hand-made in Cornwall from the same wood stock used to build the Spirit of Mystery. The medallions can be purchased from the shop on Pete’s website - petegoss.com.

Pete Goss said: “These beautiful medallions commemorate our voyage and that of the original Mystery and are appropriately a celebration of Cornwall’s heritage, skills and pioneering spirit. We would like to think the crew of the original Mystery would approve.”

The 37ft Mounts Bay lugger Spirit of Mystery is following in the wake of seven intrepid Cornishmen who sought out a new life in the Australian gold rush. Leaving Newlyn on Saturday 18 November 1854, the Mystery travelled about 11,800 nautical miles in 116 days before arriving in Melbourne on 14 March 1855. Like the crew of the original Mystery, who were all related by blood or marriage, it is a family affair, comprising: Pete Goss; his younger brother Andy; Pete’s youngest son Eliot (who is 14); and Pete’s brother-in-law Mark Maidment.

Spirit of Mystery is fitted with a satellite tracking device so that its progress can be monitored via Pete’s website - petegoss.com. Using technology supplied by Google Earth and Sailblogs, it will be possible to read daily log entries alongside those of the original voyage as the team battle the elements to steer their little wooden boat through the Atlantic and Southern Oceans to Australia.

Although technology will allow us to see their position accurately, read the log and look at pictures and video from the boat, it will be a different matter for the crew, who will navigate only by the stars. Comparing log entries will be fascinating for everyone following the project, not least the children from the Cornwall Playing for Success Charity, of which Pete is a founding trustee.

This project is designed to shine a light on the achievement of the crew of the original Mystery and raise awareness and funds for Cornwall Playing for Success. Children from the out of school hours initiative will follow the adventure and learn about local and social history, boat building, navigation and a host of other subjects as part of the ‘Sense of Place’ program.

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