Jumble of emotions beginning to take their toll on Dee Caffari as she makes her way up the Atlantic 24/4/06

Date of report23 April at 2349
PositionS 3° 1’/W 19° 58′

Before the sun even thought of waking up this morning we gybed onto a starboard gybe on a heading just west of north. Although we went for the gybe before the heat of the day kicked in it was still hot and sweaty work. We had a moderate breeze and after about 20 minutes we were settled on our new heading taking us home. We were now heading for the equator and the doldrums. I felt quite excited.

I then grabbed some sleep. I have found that the early morning has the coolest conditions to try and sleep in. After that everywhere feels stiflingly hot. The breeze has stayed with us and I felt as if everything was sending us north today. The breeze was pushing us along and even the swell was picking Aviva up and encouraging her forwards.

Not wanting to get any more sunburn I moved around Aviva in search of the little shade she has at various times of the day. During the morning everywhere is pretty exposed to direct sunlight, but then after lunch the sails form a shade as the sun passes behind them. At this time I sat just in front of the mast in the shade from the headsail. I definitely needed to give my panda eyes a rest from the sun.

Evening sailing in the tropics is wonderful. The sun loses some of its direct heat and as it sets the colours displayed are wonderful. This then leads onto a magnificent backdrop of the velvet sky and the millions of stars that feel close enough to touch with an outstretched hand.

As I sat enjoying the cool evening air on the foredeck, I identified some of the emotions I had been feeling for the day. I had been tearful earlier for what I thought was no reason, but reflecting back I realised I have a whole jumble of emotions beginning to roll around in my mind and I am acutely aware that these are going to be rearing their head for the remaining miles left.

Whilst I am desperate to get home, see friends and family, I am also feeling slightly apprehensive. I am conscious that my adventure will soon be ending and at some stage I will have to get off Aviva. Those thoughts make me feel sad. I know that there will be more adventures but moving on from my routine that I have been living for a few months now seems quite daunting. My sister told me that habits could be formed in three months, so you can imagine how conditioned some of my behaviour is now after five months. Maybe I should start practising for my arrival home; I could begin by making more than one cup of tea at a time!

Dee and Aviva