Our plan the coming 6 months and thoughts beyond

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Fri 6 Dec 2013 03:14
First of all, let me explain, because it seems that we have missed to tell why we are here and for how long (we get questions on e-mails, thats great!).
In the Southern Pacific, above 20degrees South, at this time of the year the water gets warm. With that comes the cyclone season, which is the local name for hurricane season. When boats sail the Pacific "coconut milk route" they have to schedule to leave the area where the cyclones are most likely to show up (Nov-April).
Or make sure your boat is as safe as possible and stay up there. In Fiji for example they dig a big hole and put the boats in the hole. Or they have a marina that they close like a bath tub. In Vavau/Tonga you can find hurricane safe moorings etc. Well we have all seen that there is no safe place if you get a direct hit. Most likely you will not, but a near hit is bad enough for unprotected boats and houses. The climate can be very humid and hot with a lot of thunderstorms as well. So you might as well get out of there, go north or south. Our plan is now to stay in NZ, live in Whitianga where I'm going to prepare a new speech for May and June in Sweden. Talarforum (the biggest (and best) Swedish agency for speakers) have me on their agenda and hopefully they can sell a new Inspiration Speech (they kept me on the road the last five years before sailing away). It is going to be about "Brave to Innovate". My thesis is that most of the time things are not done differently for the simple reason that we are scared. I think that I have something to tell and develop with the audience, how to handle uncertain situations and risk, but most likely how to handle things when there is nobody that confirms you around. I think that most of us are very dependent on "fitting in" and that is a big obstacle in making things "different". Sailing on an ocean is a very good metaphor for that.
I think it is the hardest part to comprehend, when you are out there all by yourself there is a very different feeling where you have to trust yourself and your crew, you cannot confirm your decision by looking at other sails.
So our plan is that we will put Salsa on the hard and then fly home in the end of April beginning of May. The main reason is that Lisa, my eldest daughter is getting married in the end of June, but of course we will take the opportunity to see as much family and friends as we can.
BUT there is a BUT, if I do not get any assignments it will only be me that comes home for the wedding and then I will go back. The flight from NZ to Sweden cost a fortune for all four of us. Our kids count as much as adults now. We checked the prices and we could buy a small house for the money...
And unfortunately it is expensive to live here in NZ (NZ dollar is getting more expensive every day), we hoped for a while that Ellinor could work as a doctor, they have a big shortage, but the immigration procedure takes to long to get through.
OK and then in the end of June we go back to NZ, put Salsa in the water and get up to Tonga, Fijij, maybe Vanuatu etc and enjoy the best part of the Pacific that we did not make enough. Then it is the same as this year, we have to be out of there in November.
After that there are 2 main plans:
1. Sell the boat in NZ and then maybe enjoy NZ or some other countries from land and then fly home (we would be home May-June 2015)
2. Sailing something called the "Classic route", you go down to 40S and catch easterly winds to Patagonia, go along the Chilenian coast down to Drakes Passage,
round the horn and then sail up along South Americas to the Caribbean, wait to get the right winds back to the Azores and sail over the Atlantic to the Azores-Europe and home (we would be home beginning Sept 2016).
That would be what all on board except me are voting for. And the reason I'm against it is that I cannot see what we do with Salsa when back home.
She is a big boat and they are not sought after much in Sweden. We will not get the money back as far as I can see. Here it looks like we can get what we paid for her AND most of what we spent on getting her ready for blue water sailing. In this country they know Blue Water sailing more than anywhere else. NZ stretches from 30S to the most stormy waters you can find on earth. Salsa is in better shape than ever, believe it or not, we have looked after her and improved things along the way. Even the guys lining the engine, checking the valves etc said that the engine is in great condition. She is dryer than ever etc.
Pros are that the route to and through Patagonia and South America is supposed to be grand, it is one of the most beautiful on earth we heard. According to Bob Mc David the weather guru in the Pacific (we met him on a seminar here in NZ and had a long chat) that route is safer and more rewarding than going the Indian Ocean westward to Cape of Good Hope (the name says it all).

Well today we are taking off and start to sail south towards Whitianga, even though Im pretty satisfied with sailing I look forward to short dailies and anchorages along the way. The weather has been quite unsettled here for a few days, we have lived inside a washing machine, lots and lots of rain and some strong winds, but not as bad as the southern part of the North island where they had stormy winds.
The plan is to be in Whitianga by the 20th of December, christmas we are invited to Ian and Jan, whom I know from my film career.
The kids start school at the beginning of January and we live in the marina. I work daily with three big projects I have and Ellinor will hopefully get time to paint.