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13 December 2005, 03:29 pm
Emotional Start To Fourth Week For CAFFARI
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WSSRC Record Attempt

At the start of her fourth week at sea after covering 4,300 miles, Dee CAFFARI's (GBR) course along the west coast of Brazil is reminding her of the route she sailed during the Global Challenge, only this time she will not be stopping before entering the Southern Ocean as she attempts to become to first women ever to sail solo westabout around the world.

'Even now a year on with an extra 30,000 miles under my belt on the same yacht,' said CAFFARI, '...I am still feeling the apprehension and the nerves. Every day I sail closer to the gateway to the South. It is an amazing piece of water - it can hold such beauty and just as easily such vengeance.'

The next major landmark is Cape Horn, and she is making good progress in the Southern Hemisphere since crossing the equator last Thursday. But this weekend the enormity of the voyage ahead was difficult to contemplate.

'It comes across in waves of emotion and simple things are the triggers,' said CAFFARI. 'I did have a 'feeling sorry for myself' moment this morning at the realization of what a weekend actually means to me. I almost feel more alone at the weekends as I know that people are not at work and therefore not naturally by a computer.'

Before departure she worked closely with Personal Coach Harry SPEDDING, identifying potential problems and their causes. On Sunday night she was putting theory into practice to tackle feelings of loneliness, 'I am guessing that how I am feeling emotionally has a lot to do with how tired I am.'

One effective method of rejuvenating her mood is reading the messages of support sent to the website. 'They are fantastic and you cannot believe the lift it gives us on our way round on this voyage,' she said, adding that they take her on, 'a little roller coaster ride of tears and laughter.'

There are now more than 500 messages of support posted on the website from an incredible 38 nations around the world, including Zimbabwe, Iceland, China, Sri Lanka, Croatia and India to name a few.

Although the weekend may have been difficult emotionally, there are vital jobs to carry out. 'The technical team sent Dee off with a whole list of checks and inspections that need to be carried out on a periodic basis,' reported SPEDDING on Saturday. 'Whether it is recording fuel levels, inspecting the running rigging for chafe or dipping the generator oil levels, Dee will need to stay on top of all the chores in order to ensure a successful completion of her circumnavigation.'

The weekend is also Dee's designated domestic time, so she has been mopping out the bilges, cleaning the galley, her clothes and herself! In terms of ongoing maintenance, the water maker has been demanding further attention from the busy solo-skipper. The high-pressure pump 'finally decided to die in great style.' She replaced the pump successfully, but rather than keeping her mind occupied for the afternoon, the water maker problems reminded her of the long journey ahead:

'I need to consider filling all my tanks now ready for the rest of the voyage just in case the water maker continues to be problematic. That would add an extra tonne of weight whilst in these lighter conditions is far from ideal, however, it would save a lot of stress. Thinking about decisions such as that really keeps bringing it home to me the amount of time Aviva and I are out here.'

Aviva (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Dee CAFFARI's solo challenge is into it's fourth week:© onEdition
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