|Honeymoon Bay, Water Island, USVI|
I will keep you informed as to the progress of both getting the boat ready for a significant voyage and the progress of preparing our family for the same. While we prepare for this voyage keep in mind that our family are not neophytes. We have lived on Wandering Dolphin for eight years, sailed the US East Coast, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and for the past 5 summers, we have sailed up and down the islands of the Caribbean as far south as Trinidad. I have also done about 50,000 offshore miles on deliveries, most of those with Jimmy or EmilyAnne as crew. The reason I mention all of this is not to brag (though we are pretty proud of it :) but to point out that our preparations are based on a lot of real life experience. I have lately been reading some fantastic blogs written by cruisers who are pretty new to the seapeople (credit to www.yachtmollymawk.com who are certainly not newbees either for that moniker) lifestyle and it is fun to read as these new cruisers learn by mistakes and discover many of the things that we now consider normal everyday daily life.
In our years on the boat we have also drifted away from a lot of the common beliefs that a lot of cruisers live by. I will address some of those differences as we walk through this preparation process with you all.
But here is a quick preview; Boat selection: Full keel or performance.
Metal or Fiberglass
Watermakers and Fridges
Sailing VS Motoring
Trash and Sewage
I am sure a lot of those blogs will cause quite a lot of comments and discussion (if anyone reads them).
So what is the plan right now? Wandering Dolphin will be hauled out one more time in Trinidad at Peake’s this summer. For once she only has a couple of projects. The biggest one is that she needs a new Teak cockpit combing made so the big seas don’t wash through the dodger into the cockpit. We thought about making an aluminum combing but teak is cheaper than aluminum in Trinidad and Jon, the woodworker at Peake’s, is world class. She also needs a dedicated shelf for our life raft and ditch bag below.
|WD's got a new life raft... finally|
When the boat goes back in the water at the end of August we are hoping to sail down to Suriname for the remainder of the hurricane season. Why? It sounds like a cool place to visit... errr well a hot, cool place.
|Another oldie... with all our kids and Paul and Jacob in the Bahamas 2008|
So what is our big voyage going to be? We would like your input. Like I said at the beginning of the blog, our family can go anywhere the ocean can take us. Wandering Dolphin is only limited by her crews temperature requirements... Rebecca has ruled out anywhere with snow year round, though she is hoping to go somewhere where there are at least seasons of cool weather. We have been in the tropics for a long time. Here are a few of the thoughts mulling around in our heads.
Ireland: We have friends in Ireland and it sounds like a fun place to visit, we could then also sail Scottland and the rest of the UK. Make a trip over to Denmark or maybe even visit our friends in Norway for a summer.
The Med. Destination Turkey: Well what’s to say? All that history along the way would be great Spain, France, Italy, Greece and we have a lot of friends already scattered about the Med.
Pacific Crossing: New Zealand: Beck would get her seasons... and we might meet Hobbits! This would also commit us to the circumnavigation we have talked about for the past ten years.
Pacific Crossing: Southeast Asia: We have met a lot of cruisers who swear this is the best cruising ground in the world and we could even work and definitely feed the family for a lot less than say... the Med! Also commits us to a circumnavigation.
Pacific Voyage: Panama-to-Galapagos-to-Hawaii-to-Alaska-to-Washington State: Ends at Beck’s home state and, believe it or not, the home stomping grounds of the majority of our former cruising family friends.
Feel free to give us your thoughts, share with us - it makes it all more fun and interesting.
Thanks for coming along with us!
Captain Tofer and the Crew