From calm to wild 30.16S 175.23W

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Fri 1 Aug 2014 08:22
This morning was a moment of a mental jewel, 5.17 am  Venus rised to the Northeast. Not that I would have known without my Ipad (try Starwalk if you haven't, you just hold your Ipad towards the sky and everything visible can be revealed), but it was such a rare color and the fact that it came over the horison made me believe we had a ship in sight. I was so inspired by knowing what planet it was that I had to bring the sextant out in the fresh air and see if I could take some readings. Maybe you are a little impressed now... Yes i can take readings and actually I took 4 more when the sun was up and I got within half degree right on the lattitude and a couple of minutes on the longitude.
The trick is that I have an app for that... There is an app called iZight that contains all the almanacs and does the calculation, so IF the GPS system is shut down by some reason, you can take a reading as longs as you have power. We carry a plastic sextant, not fancy but does the job and is very light wich is nice when the boat is swinging in the waves.The same manufacturer has a "bubble" meaning that you can practice at home without horison  (but you need the sun or some moon). Just make sure you half your readings or you end up frustrated...
Could the GPS sytem fail? Well could a vulcano in Iceland stop the flight traffic in Europe and some other parts of the world? (You probably heard the joke since it happened soon after Iceland declared itself almost bankrupt: A London banker exclaimed- We said cash, not ash!)
Back to this morning, try to picture a horizon all around you, not interupted by anything, stars, million of stars from horison to horison. When there is no light pollution you can even see that different stars have different color temperatures.
Light pollution, yes that is not only a problem in cyties, even on a boat you have so many electronic instrument etc that blink and give too much light. Many of them can be turned down but some you have to cover.
Sailing for so many days and just see an albatross (that came today again!) and some dolphins makes you realise how much water there is, 75% of our planet is blue! We have a liquid landscape that can turn from a floor this morning to 3 meter high waves tonight.
The wind has picked up from the east, from 18-22 knots and suddenly Salsa feels like a crazy train bumping in about 7 knots to the north.
In about two hour we should break the wall of 30 Degrees South and move into the 20th.
Is it warmer yet? Well during the day, actually before lunch I took a nap on my off watch at the foredeck, wonderful the sun was shining but not warm enough to make me crawl out of my sailing pyjamas (you know sailor clothes: pants that go all the way up to your ears and a jacket that goes down to your knees). And tonight despite the thermometer showing 16 degrees C, the chillfactor from the wind is enought  to keep me dressed.
Our ETA to Tongatapu is easier to calculate since we are heading that way now: 5th of August 5 in the morning, well that can change many times but it gives you an idea. We have about 540 nM to go, if we decide to move on to Hapaai we have another 90 but then we are closer to land and can decide to stop and take a break.
Today you have two choices, either tell yourselfe that you like what you are doing or tell yourselfe how much you hate it.
Feel the difference it does to your mind, just by saying that...
Thank you for reading...