Fights on board 06.00S 111.29W

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sun 26 May 2013 22:47
Sunday, but you can't tell other that it says in the loggbook.
The loggbook is where you logg whats happening on board and how the weather changes.
It is very useful, you see trends that you would not see, because humans tend to get used to the environment or we tend to dramatise.
The most important thing though is to keep track of longitude and lattitude, written about once an hour.
If we would get a total failout on the navigational equipment (read electricity) we can continue to navigate on paperchart and compass (and sextant).
Our loggbook looks dreadful right now, Ellinor spilled a cup of coffe on it as she "forgot" the waves....
Another thing you logg is engine hours and fuel consumption. The first is to know when it is time for next service and the latter to keep track on how much fuel there is left in the tanks (dubbel check with instruments).
It is always a sport to fill the boat and see how close the loggbook and the reality are. Most of the time within 10 liters.
We have not filled Salsa since Panama, we have used 243 liters of Diesel, not bad considering we have travelled 2500 miles since then.
Most of the fuel was used passing the doldrums on our way to Galapagos.
Now we have 360 liters left and we use none for propagation, just for the production of electricity wich is done in our generator (that uses 1liter per hour, we usually run 1-2 hours every other day).
Our kids have some need to move and of course Salsa feels small for that. Also there is a tendency for physical fights between Andreas and Erika. Andreas gets frustrated when she does not want to play with him. So now I have an experiment that is going well, we have organised wrestling in the doubble bed. The kids fight against me, and Im only allowed to use one hand. They are all over and they scream, pull, push, wrestle etc. After 30 minutes this morning they have been angels all day. They loved it and want to do it again. Poor me.
Ellinor and I have no need for that.... yet
We actually had a conversation all morning in the cockpit, sitting by ourselfes, no interuption (the kids playing downstairs without fights...).
It felt very priviledged. We do not see each other much when running a watch schedule.
Today it is Sunday (again) and we are taking a day off from projects. The sun is shining but we sit in the shade (thank god).
The wind has picked up a little bit but we wish for more. Last 24 hours we are down to 125nM. It has been hard to sail with little wind and waves that obscure the sails.
From monday (tomorrow) the trade wind is going to give way to a low and we will experience very little wind til wendesday, according to the forecast.Our plan is to head west as long as possible and then start pointing SW to pick speed with a higher angle on the wind.After that head west again with hopefully increasing wind again.
As Philippe a french sailor on S/Y Caucienelle said whe I gave him a lift to shore (in Galapagos) one morning:
-There are three kinds of wind:
Too much, Too Little and from the wrong direction.
We are on two networks here at sea, one is called the Scandinavian fleet, it is runned with emails since most boats here do not have short wave radio. So we send emails with position,intentions, moods on board, menus, bad jokes etc
The other network called Sothern Cross  is more international on the shortwave radio every morning at 0900 local time.
That is a more formal network with roll call etc. For those that are curious it goes something like this.
There is a netoperator (I'm on on saturdays from now), the operator opens up like:
-This is Southern Cross net, operated from Salsa this morning, do we have any emergency or priority traffic?
Then you wait for 15 seconds, and if we are lucky there is none. There has been a few mornings with rigg failures etc.
-Nothing heard, well, let's start with a roll call from West to East, Sirius, Sirius, this is Sothern Cross,
-Sothern Cross, this is Sirius,  can you read me?
-Loud and clear, what is your position?
So the give their longitude and lattitude, heading and speed.
This is good because we can track them on a paper chart, so when they report weather conditions, currents etc we can all compare with the forecast and get an idea on how good it looks for us.
Then the operator asks: -All well on board?
-All well on board, we saw two humpback wales yesterday!
-Wow what a treat! Any wishes for traffic today?
-No thank you, Sirius over and out.
So there is no small talk, just a spark of life, a fish caught, some empathy with the boat that has no Autopilot, but no more.
The wish for traffic opens up if Sirius wants to chat with for instance Tuatara (another boat name), that is executed after the net.
The reason you keep it short and gentle is that there are about 15 boats listening and they all want to give a position, get an idea of the weather and then get back to work, or sleep.
On top of that, some boats will be so far away that we have to relay a call, that takes extra time. To relay means that there is a boat between the net controller and the boat that cannot be heard, and that boat has to repeat all said.
By the way the net controller repeats all conversation so all can hear.
Right now the activity of the sun interfears a lot with the radio waves so there is a lot of problems hearing each other.
Well is it worth it?
Being at sea so far out, not seing a single boat makes you feel small, so plotting other boats and hear them is a great comfort. Even better is the safety issue, as a boat had a serious rigging problem, other boats closed in on them and stayed close to offer help.
That makes a huge difference for the one in troubble.
Last but not least, IF we would have satellitephone  only on board, and the system gave up we would have no other way of communicating. There is not one single boat close enought to be heard on the´VHF. The situation without a satphone is not dangerous, they sailed long before that thing or even the compass was invented. But it is easy to imagine the situation at home if nobody heard from us in 14 days at sea.
Now we can ask that somebody on the net email to Dag our DP and keeps everything calm.
Happy mothers day!