Dee Caffari recharges her batteries during temporary settled conditions 1/2/06

Date31 January at 2337

PositionS 50° 14’/W 151° 3′

I tacked on the passing of the cold front just before dark but strangely enough the wind and rain I was waiting for didn’t arrive. Was I being lulled into a false sense of security again or had it already gone through. I checked the weather from Mike [Broughton] and the weather fax and all had the front coming through with 30 knots of wind which wouldn’t decrease for at least the course of the morning.

I sat pondering, I was all for getting going but I was also for looking after myself because I knew I didn’t have the strength to deal with a fight if the wind picked up. I went on deck and looked around. There were ominous looking clouds at the horizon all around. I could clearly see a line almost marking the front but there was also localised rain with many of the clouds around, these were all going to have an effect on the wind. I settled for a sail plan I was happy to handle and watched the instruments. It didn’t take long for the gusts to come back, but the nice change was they were not near 40 knots for a change.

The major difference during the course of the day was that the sea state had improved. The waves were still there and there was no way I could stay dry if I went on deck but they seemed more under control compared to the last couple of days. Looking at the chart for the last couple of days saw me cross over a fracture zone where in places the depth went from 4 kilometres to just 168 metres. With this kind of range in the seabed topography there is no wonder the sea had been pretty frantic recently.

Dawn awoke under an orange glow that bathed Aviva in a glorious light. I even had to go on deck and check it was the sun having that effect; after all it has been sometime since I had seen the sun. The sky was awash with an orange radiance and the stormy clouds were fading into the horizon. I had a good feeling about the daytime. I used the more settled conditions to get some sleep and awoke for the first time in two days feeling as if I was back with the living. I am not sure if that is because the wind has dropped, or the sun was out or that I had had some sleep finally. It would guess at a combination of all three. I capitalised on the situation and cooked some food and made a large cup of tea. I still felt a little delicate but definitely 100 per cent better than I had the previous two days. I even enjoyed the hour spent surveying the deck and all the equipment. This was the recharge I needed as I head into yet another low pressure with some strong winds.

Dee and Aviva