Hawaii to Tahiti: Day 8. Southern Cross

19 Apr

Last night we spotted the Southern Cross for the first time ever. It’s a right of passage for sailors headed to the South Pacific from Northern latitudes, and it was magical to see it off our bow as we were gently sailing in a 10 knot breeze. Sailors, modern and ancient, are obsessed with the stars. In the old days the stars were used for navigation, together with the sun, wind and waves. Fortunately we didn’t actually have to steer by it, as our compass and GPS are doing an excellent job at figuring out where we are and where we are going. It’s nice to appreciate the old traditional ways when you have modern conveniences that make navigation easier and safer.
The Southern Cross constellation is the Southern hemisphere equivalent of the Northern Ursa Minor, with its brightest star always showing the way South, just like the North Star (Polaris) always shows North. Jupiter was also out in force, glowing so bright we thought it was the space station for a moment. Fortunately I have an AR app on my iPhone, SkyGuide, that does a great job at figuring out which stars you are looking at, even with the movement of the boat. I wished I had a HoloLens for a more immersed view but i think Alex sent all of those to the space station 😉

Today we had a beautiful day with gentle 10 knot trades and fluffy clouds. Lots and lots of fluffy clouds. The favorable current is back and we’re making the best out of it trying to gain more easting. At this point it’s a game between sailing where the wind is in order to avoid doldrum conditions and going far enough east, without losing said wind. We are getting weather from Predict Wind 3 times a day to help with those decisions.

In other news, our tracking page is down since this morning but we are working as best as we can with our hosting company through our awesome distributed shore support team. We hope it will be back up soon.

Aloha from Octavia and Petter