Dolphins, phosphorescence, a passing ship: Dee Caffari begins to enjoy her solo round the world record attempt

Last night highlighted some of the amazing sights and experiences of sailing offshore.

I was conducting a deck check before I lost the light and as I was at the bow of Aviva, I heard a familiar noise in the bow wave. All around us were dolphins playing and saying hello. It is always a great sight and fills me with confidence that we are being looked after. It was deemed a good omen when we had a large dolphin off Portsmouth harbour between Aviva and the RIBs before we left and look how fast we have travelled, so it was great to see some more dolphins today. I probably spent an hour as the sun that was hidden behind the mass of grey clouds disappeared watching our friends buzzing around.

Then down below I was disturbed by the radar alarm. Someone had entered the guard zone I had set up. I almost got excited, as I haven’t seen anyone for a while. I headed up on deck and saw nothing in the blackness that engulfed us. Then some rain came and the wind picked up and Aviva accelerated again. I had a suspicion that my radar had alerted me to a squall, which was nice but a little wet. As I was on deck anyway I kept my eyes peeled and as the rain passed over sure enough lights of a ship appeared. He looked like he was heading from the Azores to the mainland or even the Canaries. He was too far away to get really animated about however; I stayed on deck for a full 45 minutes while he crossed our track.

It was in this quiet moment that I noticed the phosphorescence in the water. It looked fabulous as the waves bounced from the hull. We were making torpedo tracks in our wake with the illuminated water. It is a sight that you can never get bored off and I have no doubt that I will be telling you all about it some more along the way.

The night continued to be a long one and as a result I am very tired. The radar picked all the squalls coming across our path that saw the wind vary from 12 knots to 30 knots, and vary in direction by as much as 60 degrees.

Still the sun is shining and I should have some fun weekend sailing.

Cheers, Dee & Aviva

To follow Dee’s progress, see