However, Tom's greatest challenge at present is locating his missing de-salinator. In 1998, after completing the first leg of his crossing, Tom stopped in Gran Canaria so that Vera Hugh II might undergo repairs. Called back to the UK for an emergency, Tom left his de-salinator in the custody of a Dutch couple whose sloop, Grace, was also undergoing repairs at the time. Various postponments kept Tom away, and in the interim Grace moved on. Whether her owners maintain custody of the de-salinator, or if it was passed along to the care of another, is unknown.