A happy Dee Caffari celebrates her successful autopilot repair with lunch and dinner on the same day!


Date21 December at 1200

PositionS 31° 52’/W 44° 35′

Wednesday saw the Gods shining upon me. The sun shone, the breeze was steady if light during the day and I managed a couple if decent hours sleep in the early morning.

I was feeling good and decided to achieve some more jobs today. I ran the water maker, who is playing very nicely now and filled the tank I am using and also one of the aft tanks in preparation for rounding Cape Horn. While the sea temperature is higher it helps the water maker run more efficiently. Cold water slows the production rate down as does all the krill in the Southern Ocean. While this was happening I washed some of my clothes and hung them to dry.

Next job was to do the last winch in the pit area as the forecast is for more breeze and building overnight and early hours of Thursday, as we may be reefing again, now was my opportunity. That job done I checked my e-mails and there was the next instalment of the autopilot soap opera. Another wiring job and then test out all the options and report on the results. Off I went to the stern of Aviva and opened up the box of tricks. The wiring was straightforward and rather nonchalantly I turned the switch to report on the results and stood with my mouth open catching flies. We had cracked it! The other autopilot was working with no alarms sounding. I could hardly believe it and couldn’t wait to tell the technical team that all their patience and tenacity had paid off. I took the photographs as asked with a little message on a piece of paper in the background and rushed down below to send the e-mail with the news.

I was overjoyed and relieved. To celebrate I cooked some lunch and sat in the sun to eat at leisure.

After that astounding result nothing could really affect me. I pottered about cleaning and returning Aviva to a place of domestic bliss. The sky was a picture postcard of blue background and fluffy balls of cotton wool. It had been some days since we had enjoyed a clear day all day long and it was lovely. I actually felt relaxed. I even enjoyed a dinner later in the day, that is probably a first to get round to eating lunch and dinner in one day. So before the change in the weather comes I shall endeavour to get some rest.

Dee and Aviva