This week Dee and her support team have been playing hide and seek with deep lows pressure systems sweeping across her path and the threat of a tropical storm east of New Zealand. The beginning of the week was marked by constant 50 knot winds, the boat driving forward at 7 knots.
Dee's latest position (7 Feb 06)
However, with the heavy steel boat ‘feeling more like a cork lost in a watery landscape’ had such violent action that Dee had little ability to sleep. Constant quick decision making to find the best conditions for the boat meant that by the end of the week Dee had headed north and, in her words ‘received the first forecast that does not include 40 knots.’
Dee’s daily log says as much about herself as it does about the conditions on the boat. After several days of little sleep in ‘survival mode’, saying it was ‘the toughest conditions so far on the journey’ she admitted that she was feeling very emotional.
So what did she do? She ‘had a chat with myself’ and deciding, ‘there's nothing wrong with the boat and nothing wrong with me’ so the only option is to ‘get on with it.’ After a phone call to the shore team yesterday they described her mood as 'buoyant'.
Now, she is a mere 1000 miles from New Zealand and 7000 miles from the Cape of Good Hope. In the lighter conditions of the more northerly route she is now on, she has had a ‘total sleep’
There are no recent reports of on board problems of any kind, with all systems apparently working well, in spite of the vicious conditions.
Dee in Aviva Challenge is attempting to be the first woman to sail solos non-stop round the world the ‘wrong way’ – against the winds, from east to west. Her journey started on November 20th, 2005, and is expected to take 150 to 180 days. She has already been at sea longer – 80 days - than Ellen Macarthur, who completed her downwind round world sail in 71 days.
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