Dee Caffari carries out more autopilot repairs and ends up well oiled 6/4/06

Date 5 April at 2308
Position S 30° 43’/ E 14° 26′

We sailed from a fantastic day to a very disappointing and frustrating day.

The wind in the early hours backed round to the south and then proceeded to die away completely. I kept living in hope as I saw a number of black clouds around but even they died away to nothing.

As the evening came my hope was with the edge of a line of cloud followed by clear skies that were coming my way. Although we have managed to keep moving, the wind hasn’t really settled from a definite direction and found any kind of strength.

I have intense frustration in very light and fickle breeze so I played some music very loud and set about keeping myself busy with jobs that needed doing.

To continue the theme of frustration the autopilot decided to be difficult. I know you may feel that I have had no problems since my passage south in the Atlantic last year. That is not strictly true, I have at various times had issues but all have been surmountable by various means to keep us going. I have become very good at troubleshooting. I did however venture a look inside the autopilot box today. I haven’t entered the box since I drilled holes and adapted the pipe work. I am pleased to say that all was well. So the autopilot decided to give me a headache but that was not all.

I decided to attack the grease gun again. But again I was met with failure. I managed to cover myself and a large portion of the deck with the grease but I couldn’t get the grease to pump from the gun, so again I had to invent an alternative means of greasing the bearings for the steering and hydraulic rams.

Defeated with my jobs so far, frustrated with the wind or rather the lack of it and disappointed with our progress, I decided to take on domestic chores to at least accomplish something today and to make Aviva feel better.

Such a contrast to yesterday, but as we know the winds can change quickly so I shall rest, eat and drink well and be ready to sail fast as soon as the conditions allow.

Dee and Aviva