Dee Caffari makes final checks before rounding Cape Horn early next week

Date 30 December 2334

Position S 49° 3’/W 59° 11′

Visibility cleared a little but everything was still very grey. Although everything was damp I had to continue with my adaptations for the hydraulics box lid. They didn’t take too long and the end result was pretty close to what was wanted, I think, so all was well. The problem I have in these conditions is making the fittings as watertight as possible.

I then took advantage of the flat water and re calibrated the rudder end stops on the other pump and set it to work. So far so good, as in I have had an alarm free existence for a full day now. That is pretty much a first since the first week, I think.

After my excitement of the iceberg Thursday night, I have become obsessed with the water temperature. Watching it fall is quite dramatic and makes you realise that now is not the time to go swimming. Also the next lot of spray over the deck will be icy cold. It is hard to believe that only a couple of weeks ago the water temperature was about 28 degrees and now it is only just 8 degrees.

I can’t believe it is the end of another year. So much has happened this year and it has gone so quickly. I started 2005 in the Southern Ocean and I’ll pretty much be starting 2006 in the Southern Ocean. I’ll plan somewhere warmer for 2007 I think. Still, another month and we’ll be about half way on this little adventure and also I’ll be another year older. Definitely not getting wiser in my old age. I have spent years saying, what’s another year, a year is nothing, and now you start to realise that eventually they catch up with you.

Apart from the temperature dropping the weather has given me kind conditions, it has really helped me while I have been working on deck and testing different facets of the autopilot. I know it will change quite soon so I am definitely enjoying it while I can. I even had a shower to make sure that I was presentable for the New Year’s Eve Party, Aviva and I are invited to. I also had to change my clothes for the next level of warmth as the temperature dropping is really starting to notice.

There are those that like the temperature, and the abundant bird life continues to keep us company as well as a special guest that I was fortunate enough to see, a seal. No joke, I was on a walk around the deck, just checking over stuff and in the water there looked like some driftwood. Then while I was looking at it a little nose came out and off he swam down the length of the boat and away. I couldn’t believe it after dolphins then icebergs, now a seal. I am positive my eyes are not deceiving me but he was a little camera shy so I cannot share him with you all.

Dee and Aviva