School at sea- and a test! 30:04.8S 159:33E

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Tue 9 Jun 2015 10:12
The sea the sea...
It changes face more than anything on earth, at least within a visible timeframe.
Last night was great, calm and at midnight we had to start the engine to keep moving at some pace above 3 knots.
This morning the wind picked up enough so we could hoist the genacker, shut down the engine and enjoy a "stroll in the park".
Since Erika is done with her math for this semester I suggested she takes the test. She said no! Then I asked her, "how many 11 year old Swedish girls have taken a math test on the ocean between New Caledonia and Australia?"
That made it.
So as not to disturb her Andreas and I went to the bow and had math and Swedish there. It looked very idyllic, having school on deck moving forward at 4-5 knots, shadowed by the clouds, tranquill!
As it was our fifth day out it called for celebration. But no way could I get the rest of the gang to go aft and take buckets of salt water over us and then take a warm shower (on aft deck we have a shower so we can always get rid of salt water before entering the cockpit).
So we ended up just having the best food the kids can think of - tortellini with cream sauce and parmesan cheese (freshly grinded of course!).
Then there was talk of baking a cake but nothing came out of that either. So to be honest Im not sure it was a celebration....
But the nice weather made us all feel free and suddenly you could walk on deck without feeling like a spacewalker in a space suit and a life harness.
We read, we write, we try to relax before the next front shows up. Looks like tomorrow night UTC.
For those that read our blog to prepare a journey on their own.
Why have paper charts on board?
In this digital era very few boats carry paper charts. I am against it for 2 reasons-
1. A hit from lightning is enough to shut off all electrical stuff even the backupsystem
2. Paper charts can have a lot of different information than the plotter charts...
Now I have a third argument:
As I plot our way on a paper chart (1:3,500,000) I see that 2 reefs will be obscuring our way, they are in the middle of the ocean.
I zoom in on the chart plotter to find them but no information. This is interesting since the accident in the Volvo Ocean Race where they did just that, crashed on a reef in full speed. In this case the navigator claims you had to zoom down a LOT before it became visible.
I tried to zoom down on the exact coordinates and found an area that was marked as shallower, but not reefs.
The reason was that I had not put in the chip for Australian waters yet and it was on there. Well this is interesting, we are just in between two waters, on which chart will you find the obstacle?
Who is swapping mini sd cards in the middle of the ocean to find out?
Well, withing 2 hours we will pass 10nM south of one of the reefs, now showing on the plotter with the right memory card...
If you start to wonder where you will find all the money to buy paper charts and where to stow them I have an advice:
Check out Belington, they print charts on demand, it makes them up to date and they make them in Black/White very fine resolution AND
1/3 of a normal chart size. And you can decide to just print large scale charts. My idea is that without power I can get to Newcastle, then use a pilot book with descriptions on how to get in... Or wait for a boat...