Frolicking dolphins provide hope for Dee Caffari of good things to come 9/5/06

Date9 May at 0102

PositionN 31° 37′ / W 28° 3′

I was sitting on deck thoroughly depressed at about 2130hrs. The sun had set and the sky was still bright, streaked with orange, the sea was almost mirror flat with the odd ripple made with the two knots of breeze that the instruments were promising me was blowing. There were some dark clouds ahead on the horizon that I hoped held some breeze although at my current speed it was going to take me all night to get to them.

Then I had the most magical sight of the whole voyage. Amongst all the stillness and with Aviva just about moving forward all around us were dolphins. There was no wild acrobatics just graceful swimming under and around Aviva’s hull, gently breaking the surface of the water and crossing tracks with each other. There must have been more than ten of these beautiful creatures and the water was so clear that with the sky still being bright you could see them below the surface of the water swimming as well.

My dark mood was instantly lifted and I rushed to get the video camera. The dolphins stayed until I returned on deck but as there were so many swimming all around I was not sure where to point the camera and so I settled with the fact that this scene was for Aviva and I and later on as I write this log I would try and describe it to you. After about five minutes of being mesmerised by this display in the water, there was a dolphin that jumped up high fully out of the water and then with that they all gracefully swam away into the distance, again just gently breaking the surface of the water rhythmically.

I have decided that as dolphins are a good omen, they had come to let me know that we would be back in the wind soon and heading for home again.

My day began by the wind going light as dawn broke, then by mid morning the wind was dying with each minute. I knew this lull in the wind was coming but after sailing at nine knots for the last few days it is still difficult to deal with suddenly averaging three knots especially when you are this close to home. I tried to stay busy and did some cleaning and sorting out below that I had been putting off for a while. I had already got the downwind sails from the sail locker but with the wind being so shifty, big blue was going to be my best bet.

By the middle of the afternoon the Windex was constantly revolving. The sails were flapping and there was not a zephyr to fill them. Early evening there was a general trend of breeze coming from a direction west of south. This meant a gybe. It felt strange because is the first time the sails have changed sides since we left the doldrums and their fickle breezes. The ropes were encrusted with salt and were very stiff to handle.

The nights are improving, as the moon has been getting bigger. We are slowly returning to sailing in a spot light again which makes night sailing much more pleasant and makes handling any shipping at night easier.

I am currently just keeping Aviva moving and just hoping that we find some more breeze soon. At the moment I think it is the pull of all the great messages we are receiving that is keeping us going.

Dee & Aviva