Dee Caffari spent yesterday carrying out final preparations for her Southern Ocean encounter

Date/time13 December/ 0039

PositionS 14° 29’/W 35° 12′

Course216 degrees

Monday proved to be a productive day. I am struggling from a lack of sleep but fulfilled many chores to be ticked off the list.

I have the time it takes me to sail down the South American coast line to get organised and make sure that Aviva is as prepared as she possibly can be to enter the Southern Ocean. The Technical Team are sending me a list of jobs that they want checked whilst I am still in pleasant conditions, these will include rig checks and sail checks. I am anticipating the list and have started servicing the winches onboard.

I serviced two winches today that took an hour each. With 15 winches onboard, I am glad I started now. Apart from being a mucky job it was quite therapeutic. The sailing was lovely. Sunshine, a steady breeze and the sea was a beautiful turquoise. The winches serviced today held no real dramas, cleaned off the old grease, re applied grease and oil and replaced two broken springs. Those springs alone make you realise how worthwhile the processes are. It is far easier taking preventative measures in suitable conditions rather than trying to fix the problem with sea water being thrown at you.

I also carried out some standard checks on the generator. It has been working hard since my departure. Apart from a top up of water in the header tank, all was well. I am aware that I will be asked to do some more involved mechanics on the generator at some point probably before we round Cape Horn to take advantage of the flatter conditions. We shall tackle that when we come to it.

It seems strange to have said goodbye to the sight of land at the Lizard Lighthouse, 21 days ago and not seen any since that time, yet be sailing along the coast of Brazil with land no further than 200 miles to my west. The increase of shipping has been very noticeable and the amount they chat to each other is very different to the English Channel traffic.

As yet I am still on the lookout for the amazing sunsets and sunrises that everyone who sails offshore has the beauty of seeing and the difficulty of explaining to others. I am afraid that they have yet to display themselves to me but the evenings are, in my opinion, still the nicest time of the day to be sat on deck making lists, planning the next job or simply taking some time to reflect. The sunsets are still glorious colours, they just happen to be interrupted by so much cloud.

Dee and Aviva