Dee Caffari is currently floundering in little wind but forecast big winds are due later today
There is obviously something quite magical about the early mornings in this part of the Southern Ocean. I was met on deck by an array of rainbows. They were crossing paths overhead as the various cells of dark rain clouds surrounded Aviva and I on all flanks.
It had been a fitful night and I had got very little sleep. The little wind we did have would change by up to 100 degrees with each cloud that passed by and with each shower, that too would either increase the wind from nothing to something or take it all away again. The best course available to sail was somewhere between due south or due north or anything in between on the western sector. It was pretty arbitrary, as the distance we were covering was not going to make much difference in the grand scheme of things. It was more frustration that was setting in, as I know from the weather forecast that by the end of play on Wednesday I’ll be back in strong gale force winds, crashing off steep seas and living at that precarious angle of 30 degrees from the flat and wishing I could be somewhere else.
It seems as if my passage west will be an all or nothing affair. After being becalmed, some wind would be good, however, we need this in moderation, rather than severe gales.
I have tacked more times over the last 24 hours than I have all voyage so far I think. At least with the lighter airs the physical exertion is less, however, the weather was definitely not making life easy for me yet. As I was getting tired and my frustrations were taken out on the wind and clouds around. My raised voice startled a few birds that were minding their own business. Again, all I was after was consistency then at least I could get my head down for a while. I really want to concentrate on rest and food in preparation for the depression I was going to pass through in the next couple of days.
When you are in strong up wind conditions, life reaches a compromise and you do get used to how to live at that angle in those conditions. When you sail from pleasant flat conditions into the strong winds it takes time to adjust and acclimatise to the conditions around. For the first 24 hours apart from keeping the boat safe there is little will to do anything else. Eating and drinking and general ablutions are such hard work that only the bare essentials are concentrated on for the first day. Then as life settles down again, one can carry on as normal, just learning to balance things at an angle a little better. Mmmm? I can’t wait!
The void that we seem to be sailing, or rather floating in, at the moment actually has the sun generating some warmth during the afternoon. I have checked every last inch of Aviva before we go into tomorrow’s weather. She is looking pretty good, I even took a sponge to a few areas, we can’t have her looking shabby, and you never know whom you might meet down here!
Dee and Aviva