Land ahoi! 21.41S 175.14W
Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Tue 5 Aug 2014 02:20
Last night started out rough (again) but eased off by 1 in the morning. When the wind gave up we could feel the warm air filling up Salsa, almost like exiting a plane when you leave your cold country in the winter and step out in much warmer place further south.
With the wind giving up it's constant stress on people and equipment there was a relief filling our minds. The sea was still quite big when the sun rised but as the day has progressed the waves are now downt to 1,5. We are sailing downwind at about 7,4 knots and just an hour ago we could spot the highest peaks on the island of Eua. Well they are not very high, 276 meters, but high enough to be spotted from 30nM at sea.
According to the kids it is 10 day celebration, so we had showers and pancake made in the oven for lunch. There will be drinks of course by 4.
No desert promised from the younger quarters today, thank god...
As the sun is shining and everybody happy I had to bring out the guitar and play some songs for Poseidon and thank him for letting us pass this journey. As I sang the wind started to get stronger so I quit, we had enought of that.
For those interested in weather and why we ended up in such a hard sailing condition.
As you might know a high pressure system can be seen as a mountain top and a low as a big crater or hole. The steeper the high pressure the faster the air will fall down. It is all happening to even out pressures but with new energy from the sun new systems will form.
If the earth would not spin the air would actually just fall straight down, but as the earth IS spinning (and it does that quite fast, imagine if you would fly around the world in 24 hours!) there is a coriolis effect taking place. Coriolis effect is the spinning movement creating a circular movement of the winds. Now remember we are in the southern hemisphere so a high pressure spins the opposite direction, counter clockwise. And a low, yes you get it...
As we were "riding the train up north" we used the upper part of the circular movement, were the wind blows from the East. It was important for us to keep pace with that part of the high as the whole system moved north. If we would have fallen behind we would have gotten from the top part to the eastern part of the front system. And if you draw arrows counter clockwise around a system you will find out that they are pointing south.
If we had ended up in that part everything would go from bad to hell, unless we wanted to go back to NZ.
So it is important to see that big picture when you make your plans. BUT as we moved up up with the system there was another well known system already in place, the trade winds. The tradewinds are huge systems blowing along different latitudes, and in different directions.
Now if a system with let's say 15 knots of wind blowing from E hooks in to a system with another 30 knots blowing in the same direction, you get what you add... And if a system going one direction hooks into one going the other you subtract- of course.
When you have two systems adding you get something called a squash zone, and I think it describes rather well how it feel to be in it...