Caffari enters final stage of Southern Ocean in euphoric mood 20/3/06

Date 20 March at 0855

Position S 41° 55′ /E 59° 35′

According to Dee Caffari’s shore team Caffari’s fast progress west in favourable winds has put her in a euphoric mood today. In a message to the shore team she reported: “Speed has been good. I think Aviva can see water on the other side of the Cape and she has speeded up of her own accord. A few weeks ago, I was struggling to see an end and thought I would be battling against the elements for ever, but today I firmly believe we are going to do this.”

Logistics Director Alistair Hackett added: “The sea temperature is rising, it’s15°C now, everything feels warmer and she says she is back into proper sailing mode rather than setting a sail configuration and hanging on. She feels like she’s turned a corner in all sorts of ways.”

Caffari and the shore team are beginning to focus on preparations for the charge up the Atlantic towards the finish. Aviva is already nearly two tonnes lighter than when she set off from Portsmouth as fuel and water have been used, and Dee will be looking at the distribution of weight in tanks and other measures to optimise Aviva and increase speed for the Atlantic section of the circumnavigation.

But despite looking ahead, the shore team remain cautious. “The key thing is to try to control that element of relief,” says Alistair Hackett. “Dee’s still got 1,995 miles to go to the Cape of Good Hope – the equivalent of a transatlantic crossing. She’s still in the Southern Ocean, still in the Roaring Forties and she’s still got to get round one of the worst Capes in the world. There is still a lot that can be thrown at us, but we’re making good progress and Dee’s doing incredibly well.”