The summer solstice

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25 June 2007

The summer solstice

We have passed the milestone of mid summers day, otherwise know as the summer solstice, marking the moment in the year when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky. At lower latitudes this event signifies the longest day in the year.
However, in the land of 24 hour daylight with the sun constantly above the horizon, this point becomes irrelevant. More importantly for us, the solstice marks the turning point in summer. The sun now begins its journey back to the southern hemisphere, slowly but surely descending towards the horizon.

We have been lucky to have unusually clear blue sky over the last week, allowing us to make some solar navigation observations. Although navigators of today have become dependent on the GPS, we still find pleasure in using the sextant for the age old art of celestial navigation.

Our celebration last night for the solstice coincided with ‘La Fete de la Musique’ in France. With an orchestra of instruments on board, including 4 guitars, two digeridoos, one African djembe drum, two accordions, three harmonicas, an inca stone flute, whistles and various other improvised objects (spoons, shakers and pots and pans) we created quite a cacophony of sound. Lucky for us we don’t have any close neighbours!

Grant