05 / 07 / 2007 Falling out of the sky
I've just dropped from 11,000 ft to 9,000 ft. I nodded off! The guys in HQ have been telling me to sleep all day - and look what happens when I do what they say. They now want me to get up to 10,000 ft. It's been a busy day - I've travelled 903 kms since midnight. Phew. HQ have told me I've gone 2324 km in total. I feel refreshed after my kip and have got my eye on that record. The guys have got the map and I've just got to cross the line. Sounds simple - but there's still a long way to go.
What's in my basket?
This basket is cramped. It's about 4ft by 4ft, smaller than most people's dining tables.
People always ask me what I’ve got in it. Well, I’ve got all my safety equipment, inflatable life raft, life jacket, helmet, maps, oxygen bottle, sat phones, VHF radio, Argos satellite systems, flares, knife, food, drink, toothbrush, waterproof bag. No deodorant, soap or books.
My one luxury is toilet paper. And I will be taking my map reading glasses as I’m a veteran now - and all veterans wear glasses. If I didn’t have my glasses I’d be stuffed.
I’ve also got my prayer beads which I’ve used on every expedition and, touch wood, they’ve always got me home safely.
I haven’t got a parachute. Trying to parachute into the sea is very difficult. What you can do is cut some of the ropes and the balloon will act as a parachute. It’s a big ocean to get lost in and it still scares me.
The other thing I don’t have is a sleeping bag - and last night was chilly chops.
I’ve been told I’ll fly over land - northern France - in the early hours of tomorrow morning. If I’m lucky I’ll see the sunrise over the coastline. I can't wait.
Actual : 18:00 UTC - 9500 ft - 3°C - 44,2 kts - 2612 km