Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Choosing Where to Go Part 2

Continuing on the theme from the last blog: Becky and I were chatting over coffee this morning and as we discussed the coming summer and our choices we realized that we were having the dickens (does anyone actually say that anymore?) of a time choosing our path. We began to wonder if this was just part of our nature or if other cruising friends have struggled in the same way? You all know who you are… comment and let us know if the choices you made while cruising were a difficult part of the process. We have “decided” on a course of action over and over again only to continue thinking about a different option until we were again back at square one.

I think this is part of the reason we frustrate our families… we seem to be flakey because we cannot just choose a path and stick to it no matter what. So here is the continuation of our thinking. Some of you asked to be an intimate part of our life cruising, in my opinion this whole “choosing where you are going next” is a part of the lifestyle.

The easy choice for us would be to sail back to the East Coast of the US. I have sailed back and forth from the VI to the US eight times so it is a familiar passage to say the least. Jimmy and I have delivered boats up and down the east coast of the US so many times now that there are very few surprises as far as entrances or inlets. We have a little town that is dear to all of us, (Oriental, NC) we would love to ang out back there with those folks for a season. We would be able to cruise in the Bahamas again and we all loved that too. So with all of these positive things piles on the side of heading back for the year we “decided’ that that would be our choice. At first we felt very relieved to have made a choice… it lasted about 24 hours before we were talking about sailing in the Pacific again.

Why? This is not at all the easy course to follow.  The trip would involve a whole new area of the world, the Panama Canal would have to be traversed and the Pacific Ocean would introduce us to true long distance sailing. Oh sure we have done 8 to 10 day trips but most of them are 5 to 8 day trips and even on deliveries the longest Jimmy and I have been offshore was for 13 days. We would also not be able to work in Panama (probably) so we would have to have enough money and provisions on board to get us through the summer and through the canal and provision the boat for a long (30+ day) passage.

So… why can we not just be happy to make the choice to sail back to the East Coast and be done with it? HMMMM well we want to see new places so that is a positive for us…. The Panama Canal would be cool to go through and educational for the kids… we feel ready for the next step in cruising and a long passage would be good for us… we would rather be cruising than working any day sooooo…..

We do want to sail around the world and heading back to the east coast feels like going backwards…. OH that’s because IT IS!! Our boat is a true blue water boat in great shape and ready for sea today. She needs a few things but nothing that would prevent her from making long offshore passages (we have the part in the mail for the auto pilot by the way) In my mind the only thing that would keep us from moving forward toward the Pacific is fear… fear of the unknown, of the long passages, of our own ability to handle what is thrown at us. I truly believe though that a drive in a car from North Carolina to Washington State and back to North Carolina would be more dangerous than a sail from The VI to Panama and then from Panama to Washington state via Hawaii.

This is our current JELLO MOLD plan. (Cruisers understand that comment, for those of you who don’t it means, the plans are made like jello they can wiggle around and change at any time.)

CURRENT PLAN: We will stay in St Thomas through most of May so Jimmy and I can do our deliveries (Marinette and Changin Tags) and then we will sail to Cartagena, Columbia and on to Panama where we will spend the summer hurricane season out of the path of all of the blobs of doom on the weather page. We will explore the San Blas Islands and make our way to the canal and through in time to give us a little time on the Pacific side to explore the Las Perlas. Then toward the middle of November we will set sail for Hawaii (To answer Rennie: because we have to make money and the cruising kitty will be about empty by then, and it's "on the way" to Washington State ... oh and it is HAWAII after all!) where we will settle in for the winter months working and living in much the same way we do here in the US VI. In May or June we will set sail on the long passage to Washington State where we can visit Becky’s family and drive out to see mine in Wyoming.

So there you have it… for now hehehehehe.

Trying to actually SET the mold,

Captain Tofer


  1. If only you could click your heels together to get to Washington. Maybe we'll spend Xmas with you in Hawaii???

  2. Well fellow Jello Buddies... we completely understand and look forward to when you hit the West Coast, whenever that might be! Enjoy your time in the San Blas they are amazing! Eric Bauhaus' (spelling??) book was indispensible on San Blas and into Panama. We also LOVED Cartegena and Solange and High Five are there now. Can't wait until we see you guys again!
    Rennie <><

  3. Hey if you come down this way DONT miss the VZ out islands they are great! and safe. We are so glad that we got out of the eastern Carib and into Spanish America. It's not better , just different, and we were ready to leave the eastern carib and see some new country . You may be surprised at how much $ you can make here if you have some boatyard skills.

    Hope we see you down here!!