Dee Caffari finds herself playing to the small amount of wind she gets 28/4/06

Date27 April at 2252

PositionN 2° 31’/ W 22° 45′

‘It can’t last forever, it must be over soon.’

A couple of months ago I found myself saying that to 50 knots and storm force conditions in the Southern Ocean. Now I find myself saying it again but this time to being becalmed in the doldrums.

Today I finally lost the intense heat of the sun by being under a rain cloud for the day. It started raining at about 0700 and we had a brief spell with some decent wind that helped progress. After an hour we lost the wind and remained in the rain. A while later we found some more wind and then for the majority of the day we were left with drizzle and no wind again. So although it was cooler, it was wet. I therefore had the hatches closed so below remained similar to a sauna, with the two fans in the galley pushing warm air around. We have miraculously managed to keep moving forward, I think that may mainly be due to the positive current having a good effect.

It is now dark and it has stopped raining for the first time today. There is a blanket covering of cloud making spotting any squalls difficult. During the course of today there has been some really weird airflows. All my weather should be making its way to me from the east, yet today I have predominantly found myself sailing in a westerly airflow. Yet the rain cloud that sat on top of me for the day came from the east. It has made life very difficult in deciding what side to put the sails, especially when we are looking at only one or two knots of breeze.

I have played all the mind games I can and I am now struggling with this lack of progress. I really do have my fingers crossed for it to be behind me soon. I don’t want to sound as if I am always complaining, too much wind, too little wind, too hot, too much rain. It seems I am never happy, but The Aviva Challenge has delivered such extremes. It really has been an all or nothing affair, whatever happened to a steady 15 knots for a few days. I don’t ask for much!

Dee & Aviva