Sunday, July 31, 2011

In Grenada

Hi everyone!

We had a great passage and are safe in Grenada.  We will stay here and do our boat work.

Looks like we just made it out of the VI in time!

Thanks for the messages:

Mike thanks for the riddle!
Jimmy we missed you.
Herman we used less than 5 gallons of fuel... sailed the whole way motored the last 5 miles with no wind into Grenada.
Steve, Get to the mangroves!
Christian, wow did we ever have squalls!!

More to come with pictures!
Captain Tofer, Beck, Emily, Kanyon, Kaleb, Benny on WD

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We're On Our Way!

We are heading south!  Right now we are passing by St Croix.  I still have cell service so I can pop off a quick blog.

Our plan is to head to Trinidad, haul the boat, work... then sail back up to Grenada for the rest of the hurricane season.

We will be using spot about every 6 hours if you are interested in where we are.  Our weather window is still good as far as the wind goes but a Tropical Wave is passing over us today and tomorrow so it is squally... lots of gusts and rain as they pass.

I sail a lot of boats and I have to say... I LOVE to sail Wandering Dolphin!  Today we raised the sails just after Porpoise Rocks, shut down the engine and have been sailing on a close reach to St Croix all day with double reefed main, stays'l, and a reefed in jib at an average of 7 knots.  In an hour or so we have to change course to a close hauled course so that will drop a bit but I think WD will be able to sail close enough to make Grenada on one tack even with these winds.

Unfortunately I cannot blog on the way since Rebecca is with us. (No one to post the blogs for us!)  If you would like to send us messages on the Iridium just read a couple posts back how to do it.  It is free for you and for us and we love to get them, especially the kids!  Sorry we cannot answer you but we really do like to hear from you.

God Bless!
Captain Tofer and the Family!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nassau to Annapolis - Blog July 10, 2011

This morning we find ourselves just east of Cape Canaveral, out in the Gulf Stream. The wind is barely blowing at 10 knots or less from the South South West. The Gulf Stream is a tame beast this morning. If it were not pushing us along 4 knots faster than we would be going without it we would only know it was here because the swells behind us are just a little bit bigger than they would normally be with this wind strength.

We left Nassau three days ago and after a slow 24 hour run on engine power, because of low wind, we made it to Lucaya, Grand Bahama. The Garmin XM weather was showing a tropical looking disturbance just to the west and north of us and I don’t play around with the possibilities of Tropical Storms and Hurricanes at this time of the year. We pulled into Lucaya to check the weather again. Every thing looked good so we left the next morning.

During our run up from Nassau to Grand Bahama we noticed the Screecher Halyard was fraying and it was very difficult to launch. When I looked closer I noticed that it looked wrong at the top of the mast and I assumed that it had just slipped its shiv. I made a harness out of some nylon webbing (thanks to my days of rock climbing in Wyoming) and we pulled Dylan up to the top on the main halyard. He informed us that the whole shiv and all were gone! Once he was safely back on deck he reminded me of the time with Bob and Jarred when we were flying the screecher and we all heard a loud bang from the mast. We all looked but couldn’t figure out what was wrong. The rigging all was fine so we guessed that it was just a sheet banging extra hard on the mast or something. Now we know what that was... the shiv was blown out of the mast!

So we can’t fly the screecher. If we could we could sail right now and turn off this motor. The Genoa alone just can’t keep our speed up enough.

Well I just ate some eggs, bacon and a bagel for breakfast and need to get the fishing line back in the water.

Hope you all have a great day!

Captain Tofer, Captain Dick, and Dylan

Monday, July 4, 2011

Norman's Cay, Wardrick Wells, Allen's Cay

After we spent the night at Allen's Cay we sailed to Norman's Cay and anchored in the cut just off of a little island with one lone palm tree on it. Wade, Pat, Steve and Debbie all paddled the kayaks over to the little island and at a sack lunch. After lunch they went snorkeling in the shallow water on the far side of the island.

That night we took the dingy ashore and walked across the island to the little restaurant called MacDuff's where we had a great dinner and even some ICE CREAM for dessert.

The next morning we woke up and got an early start and sailed all the way to Wardrick Wells, which is the headquarters for the Exumas Land and Sea Park. The sailing was great and although we were close hauled we had a great time tacking the boat back and forth until we were close enough to motor through the cut. While we were at Wardrick Wells a couple of four foot Nurse Sharks hung out just under the boat eating all of our scraps. You could pet them as they swam by. I even hung on to a rope in the swift current behind the boat and the shark just swam with me.

Everyone loved the park so much that we decided to hang out there for another day. The next day everyone went on Kayaking and snorkeling expeditions and Dylan had some long talks with the Park Rangers.

Yesterday we woke up early and sailed downwind from Wardrick Wells back to Allen's. With the wind blowing right behind us at around 18 knots we pulled up the Screecher and Jib wing-on-wing just like we flew it for most of the trip from St Thomas. Wade was happy as a clam seeing the boat do this. It is such a beautiful care free point of sail that he told me he should pay me a discounted rate for the delivery.. hmmm well I would go for that but would have to charge three times more then for last January's delivery (read about it in the archives if you are interested.) Last night everyone went snorkeling and they trapped a big schoolmaster fish while Dylan swam down with the spear and got him. Then I cooked it up in some olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper. mmmmmmmm It was a group effort and everyone was happy.

We needed to be in Nassau by noon today so we got up early and with no wind at all we were forced to motor back to the city.

This has been a great week and reminded me of a lot of fun and happy times I have had on my own boat with my family. If you own a boat bring it to the Bahamas and if you are a guy who wants to get your lady into cruising... start here!

Stand By For The Next Leg of The Delivery - Tofer, Dylan, and Dick Nassau to Annapolis - Departs Nassau July 7th.

Captain Tofer, Wade, Pat, Steve, Debbie and Dylan

S/V Sweetest Thing

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