Good progress and more sleep helps Dee Caffari prepare for the big day tomorrow

Date 22 December at 1200

Position S 33° 57’/ W 46° 26′

Well, the saga of the pilots is not over yet and something tells me this may be the case for the whole voyage, but the progress is definitely in the right direction anyway.

Thursday delivered much steadier winds from the north allowing swift progress to the south for Aviva and I. I capitalised on the steady conditions and grabbed some more sleep. Flying around Aviva today were four large birds, swooping inches from the waves and circling around the rig, they were acting almost as our escorts. They were very graceful to watch and had very distinctive markings on their heads, almost as if they were wearing the mask of Zorro. Which reminds me, what is the cheesy film line up for Christmas Day? That is when you hope that DVD you asked for from Father Christmas has been delivered.

Another full day with no rain, I need to be bottling this good weather up as the temperatures are definitely reducing. I really noticed it last night when I was on deck and needed to get my jacket on. In a couple of days the weather will bring me southerly winds again and then I shall feel the cold and it will be time to get acclimatized for the Southern Ocean.

I had some much-needed words of encouragement from Sir Chay Blyth today. I am reminding him of his adventures but definitely not tempting him back out here again. It was very special to talk to him and as he wished me the best for the next part of the voyage, I couldn’t help but feel emotional. It meant a great deal to me.

The steady conditions have made a nice change to sailing today. We have made progress and I haven’t had to talk to any inanimate objects either, it must be the extra sleep. We broke through the 6,000-mile barrier today as well which is a great bonus. It’s hard to believe we have sailed so far, mind you we are ever conscious of how far we have still to go.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for fair winds this weekend so I can take some time to enjoy Christmas and make my phone calls of glad tidings home. I am ever so excited about the Christmas cupboard and finally getting to open the presents. My mother will be so impressed that I haven’t even been rummaging to guess what the presents are. When I was younger, I was always the one downstairs first on Christmas morning checking out who had the biggest present and trying to guess what they were.