The final haul out of the South is frustrating for Dee as Aviva momentarily sails under blue skies 23/3/06

As I write this it has just got dark and as the light faded I could see rain clouds gathering on the horizon looking menacing. Today was a strange and frustrating day. A glorious sunrise gave way to the wind dying as I found myself trapped in a high-pressure cell that is moving east slowly. The sky was a clear blue and the sun was warm to the skin. I did a few small jobs but mainly it was just about trying to keep Aviva moving.

Unfortunately at one stage I was pointing at a heading of 290 degrees and actually travelling east. The current was pushing us backwards. It was tremendously frustrating and disappointing to see progress being lost.

As soon as I could move, my aim was to head south of west to duck below yet another secondary low pressure that was travelling towards us at 30 knots. It seems that they are stacking up to make me suffer as much as possible before we actually get to leave the Southern Ocean behind. The winds were fickle as they filled in making progress difficult. Now though there is a definite change in the air temperature, the barometer is falling steadily at the moment and the wind is getting stronger and the swell building.

To fill in my morning and to avoid looking at the electronic charts displaying us travelling east I completed an oil change and a change of oil filter on the generator. It was a bit messy but I am glad I got it finished. That is the service complete now on the generator and I think there is only one more to go much nearer to home in the North Atlantic.

Well I think I am in for a wet and windy night so I will be busy reducing sail. I am hoping the worst of it will be short lived. Just before I send this the barometer has stopped falling steadily and has started to drop like a stone, 7mb in two hours at its current rate of fall. The forecast is set for winds in excess of 50 knots yet again for a few hours.

Here we go again!

Dee & Aviva