Sailing to Mars

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sun 27 Jul 2014 08:11
This kind of sailing gives you an idea what it would be like travelling on routes less traveled. We are used to not seeing anybody but at least we are used to have some radio contact with boats on the same route. We get on the radio, only static noise. T'his cold weather, the dark clous chasing us all the time makes you understand that this is wintertime, and winter time it is. Last night the person on watch had all the clothes I mentioned before PLUS a sleeping bag, three blankets and TWO wintercaps on top of each other and it was still freezing cold.
If you take globe and turn it til you have New Zealand right in front of your nose, you realize how far off they are, the only thing you see is Antarctica south of them, and Australia up to the left, not even the whole (depending on how close you stick your nose...). That's it. We have made North East and the first 24 hours we made 165 nM, that is good considering we had squally weather and actively had to sail with lows around 12 and ups to 30.
But an hydraulic reefing system is just gold in these times, you can reef and let out sails downwind with no assistance and that saves the crew from having to jump out of you warm bunk during your off shift.
The kids came up this morning at about 7.30 as usual with a ton of energy and it is amazing that they always see a new day as a gift of opportunities. We should all, shouldnt we? The short time we have on earth, lets spend the energy on possibilities and stop complaining about things we cannot do anything about anyway, not even spend the energy on it. It is like sailing an ocean, what difference will it make if I get bothered about the weather or the waves? Im here, that is my choice, this is how it is and I can only look at what I can do about it. Easy to write but also something I guess we need to remind ourselves every moment of grief.
The big happening today was that Ellinor and I went out on deck on this rolling madness and jibed the genua and the pole. The wind veered from SSW to SW so we had to work that angel out. As we were doing that, with all our clothes and then a life harness on top fo that it felt like a space walk. I was just reading about the new expedition to Mars that is about to be set up. They are planning to send 4 people to Mars 9 years from now. Applicants are many, 200.000! And thet is despite the trip is only one way. There is no technology to bring them back. So sailing on an ocean feels suddenly like no adventure at all, can you imagine being stuck with 4 people in a spaceship for 2 years on a journey to Mars, no EPIRB, no SAR, No rescue... NO way back. They have to continue living on Mars and the plan is to send the next group 2 years after...
ERika was really funny when I told her the story today (she is getting older....), her comment,"what if they get children on board?, I mean they will most probably have sex with each other..."  You see even on our short journey that has lasted more than 2 years now, the questions change with the kids....