After 92 days at sea Dee is struggling to cope with fickle Southern Ocean weather
A very difficult 24 hours has passed and I am struggling with the voyage at the present time. We are sailing in winds that one minute are blowing at 28 knots and the next at 42 knots. The winds are also changing direction by as much as 20 degrees, so you can be happily sailing in the correct sail plan at a good angle to the wind and then 20 minutes later be almost head to wind and be massively underpowered. Conversely you could be well off the breeze and massively overpowered. I am struggling to get the balance right and finding it very frustrating.
I so desperately want to sail Aviva as hard as possible but we still have the whole second half of the journey to go and now is when fatigue on equipment may show itself. So pushing too hard in the wrong conditions may result in much slower progress due to breakages or damage. It is a very fine line and there is still another 5000 miles to go before we clear the remote expanses of the Southern Ocean.
The other exasperating side to this weather is that we have strong winds making progress difficult for a couple of days then we have a high pressure to keep us company for a day. Again we are back to extremes of conditions again. The high pressure will be good to catch up with housekeeping and maintenance chores but fingers crossed it will not slow progress too much.
We are now at the beginning of week thirteen and we have sailed just over 15000 miles. I have been onboard Aviva now for 92 days from leaving Portsmouth and considering I have never been alone for even a week before, I am impressed that I still seem relatively sane.
We have just had a wet and windy night with winds in excess of 40 knots for 8 hours. These winds have forced us south so we are looking for an opportunity to claw our way back to the north when possible.