Happy Summer Sailstice

summer sailstice, summer solstice

Wishing everyone a happy Summer SAILstice.  Or solstice. Or Litha. Or 23.45 degree day....

So, what is the Summer SAILstice?  The Sailstice is really just sailors celebrating the Summer Solstice.  It's the longest day (daylight) of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the first day of Summer, and otherwise an excuse to get on the water and celebrate the summer!  In the NW especially - we love the sunny days....

Summer Solstice alignment of StonehengeCelebration?  Sailors love an excuse to get on the water and celebrate!  But the roots are deeper than a sailor's excuse for a ration of rum - the Celts celebrated the Solstice with bonfires, Christians the Feast of John the Baptist, and the Chinese have their festival of Li (Chinese Goddess of Light).  The Romans - this time was sacred to Juno (goddess of women and childbirth) and Vesta (goddess of the hearth). Even Stonehenge records the event!

The day is known as "Litha", solstitium (in Latin), and translates into "sun stands still".  What happens is simple: the Earth's orbit around the sun - specifically, a point when the Earth's axis is tilted approx. 23.45 degrees - fully exposes the Northern Hemisphere to the sun.  Below are two helpful graphics illustrating what happens....

Weird, aye?  In modern times, perhaps it's best for a sailor to take a Celestial Course while pondering all the wonders of the Solstice - of course with a rum in hand (not while operating a boat*got to add that caveat).

The Solstice is June 21st, 2018.  Warning - many sailing companies market the Sailstice on the 23rd (incorrectly).

NOPE - why? If you're going to celebrate the solstice, Litha, solstitium or SAILstice - do it on the right day! Sailors are a superstitious bunch, and at least at Island Sailing we're not going to belay thousands of years of tradition and modern science....

Enjoy!  Celebrate! Be Safe....

The earth during the summer sailstice.

 

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