Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 31 Position Report

5/31/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
GMT 1600
14 35.19N 133 35.84W
COG 285T
SOG 6.5kt
DMG 140 nautical miles
DTG 1273 nautical miles

Wind: NE 18-25
Temp: 86.6f
Pressure: 29.7
Sky: overcast, light rain
Seas: 4-6ft NE swells
Sails: double reefed Main, deep reefed jib, no stays'l

Hey!  The flying fish was amazing!  I am really kicking myself for all of these years throwing flying fish overboard in the morning!  I scaled the fish, gutted him and fried him crispy in a pan with butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little garlic just like I used to do with brookie trout back in the mountains.  He was about the same size as most of those little brookies too.  I just scoured the deck looking for fish this morning... None.  The funny thing is, my family here wouldn't touch the fried fish... To them it's like I am eating out of the garbage can.  Years spent finding them on deck and throwing them overboard have taken their toll.  Frankly, I couldn't be more pleased... They are pretty small fish after all and no matter how many we find now... They're ALL for ME!

The weather was stormy with this cold front all day yesterday and in the afternoon the wind actually quit altogether for a while.  We filled the day tank from the main tank and motored for a couple of hours, the batteries needed a little charge anyway.  Our main fuel tank is done now so we have 20 gallons left in the day tank which we know from experience will run the engine for a little more than 24 hours. It should give us plenty of fuel to get into Hilo Harbor.  These cloudy days are killing the solar charge.  Thank goodness we also have the wind gen.  As long as the wind is blowing better than 15 we can keep up just fine.  If it blows 18-20 we can start the fridge and have cold drinks, if it blows 25-30 the kids can even play Xbox on a cloudy day.

I ended up getting a headache in the afternoon and had to sleep it off.  I sometimes get migraines and have to take a high powered pain med but I hate to do that out here because they knock me out for a few hours.  All was good though, I woke up feeling fine when we reefed the sails at 10:00 pm.

This cold front is still passing and so today looks just like yesterday.  It's all shades of white and grey and a light drizzle of rain.  The following seas are pretty big and the boat surfs down the waves pretty fast at times.  Everything feels damp and a little cold.  I think it's a great night to have our last pizza meal.  We have enough ingredients left for two large pies and we have grown to love pizza night offshore.

I have my last lure in the water with forlorn hopes of catching a big one.  We could all use the fresh meat.  Yesterday we had rice with butter, sugar, and cinnamon  for breakfast,  popcorn and pretzels for lunch, and grilled canned chicken with stuffing and corn for supper.  Oh and I grabbed a can of spam and we all ate it cold right out of the can at one point in the day.

We should be in Hawaii in a little more than a week!  We have been out here for a month... That seems hard to believe.  Everyone is in good spirits but we all are getting a little bit antsy for land.  Benny will probably run around until he falls over, Kaleb is desperate for his updates on his games, Kanyon wants to walk and pace to his hearts content, Emily is dying for a little Skype face time with her special someone, Beck wants to stand in a hot shower for a full day and I want a Big Mac.

I think the strangest dichotomy out here is that our world is so small on the boat but at the same time it is so big all around us.  We have not even seen a ship on AIS for two weeks and the AIS picks up ships for 50 miles all around us!  The last ship we saw was heading for India and wouldn't arrive until the 29 of June and they traveled at 13 knots!  The size of this ocean really cannot be understood by looking at a little globe.  But then I look up at the stars and those distances really are so huge the human mind cannot wrap itself around them.  Five-hundred years ago travelers and explorers traveled the oceans, a lot of them knowing it would be a one way trip.  Whalers working out of New England 200 years ago would leave for work and be gone for five years or more and that was when they had to go all the way around Cape Horn just to get to their fishing grounds.  I cannot help but wonder if one day we really will travel the vast distances between the stars.  I know of the scientific limitations to space travel and faster than light travel but then again, Columbus could not have even imagined the jets and communications that make our world so small now.  Here I sit, as far from land as a human might be and yet you will read this over coffee in a few minutes!  Have a double shot vanilla latte with a croissant for me this morning!

Captain Tofer

Friday, May 30, 2014

May 30 Position Report

5/30/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

GMT 1600
13 53.32N 131 19.60W
COG 285T
SOG 6kt
DMG 138 nautical miles
DTG 1413 nautical miles

Wind: ENE 10-16
Temp: 87.8f
Pressure: 29.65
Sky: completely overcast, light rain
Seas: 4-6ft confused
Sails: double reefed main, full jib

Last night was a mess.  The wind blew 25-30 while it rained.  The wind was blowing the rain horizontal and we were heavily reefed, again taking some crazy waves over the deck.  It started to moderate about 4:00am.  Why does that stuff happen at night when you have zero visibility?  All I could think about was another hurricane developing right on top of us.  I stayed up all night working the boat, waking Emily when I needed to mess with the sails.  It is completely white out right now.  The sky looks like a Montana winter sky and it is actually very cool out.  The wind feels cold and there is a light drizzle rain falling.

There is a decent size flying fish waiting for me to fry him up for breakfast.  This is the first that has been big enough to eat so I'm actually looking forward to it.  I have heard they are great.  Tickles used to have that flying fish sandwich, it was my favorite.  There was also a six inch squid on deck this morning... I'm not that hungry yet.

Well that's my report for this morning.  I'll see if Becky wants to write anything while I cook up my fish.

Hello from the world of grey!  From the sky of lightest grey to a grey-blue sea my entire view is a  shade of grey.  I finally figured out what my environment reminds me of, a snow globe.  Except we are the ones inside and Mother Nature is shaking the globe to see how we handle it.  I have to say that when it's rough Tofer and EmilyAnne do all the boat handling unless they need a third party.  I have successfully worked myself out of a job and that was always my plan.  So last night while I wedged myself into our V-berth Captain Tofer slept in the cockpit, worked the sails, and dodged the rain.  My only frustration was that I couldn't find a great place to wedge into.  So I think we handled the globe shaking alright.

I think for now Mother Nature is done shaking our globe.  Hopefully, after breakfast Captain will rest while the boys and I do school.  We will do some chores and I will tackle trying to be creative on meal planning.

Chuck, thanks for the riddle
Jim V have fun being a chaperone tonight

Hope your day is full of unexpected adventure, Tofer, Bec and Crew

Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 29 Position Report

5/29/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
GMT 1600
13 20.04N 129 02.75W
COG 290T
SOG 5kt
DTG 1551 nautical miles
Temp: 89.4 F
Pressure: 29.65
Wind: NE 10-12
Sky: overcast
Seas: 2-3 ft

Good Morning! (Well it is morning for us!)

Changes:  Yesterday we decided to change our clocks all the way over to Hawaii time.  What we have been doing so far is waiting until the appropriate longitude and switching over all of the clocks on the boat.  This has the disadvantage that everyone has to change their internal clock as well and it messes with the rhythm of watch schedules.  We had a three hour change between Pacific Time and Hawaii Time and yesterday we were at the point where we would have made a one hour correction.  We just decided to make the change once so we can all get used to it.  Well the sun will set a little early for us and rise a little early but only for a couple of days as we continue sailing west.

The other change that this will reflect is my position reports.  I like to write early in the morning before everyone wakes up but AFTER the sun rises.  I am inspired by the sunrise and I have always been one of those people who cannot sleep once the sun is up.  My watch has been the 4:00am to 8:00am morning watch and I would do my POS during the watch.  The farther west we went the earlier in my watch I had to write my blog and do the data.  It got to the point where I would just take down the position at GMT1200 and write the blog a few hours later.  Now the GMT 1200 data needs to be collected at 2:00am ships time, which is on EmilyAnne's watch and by the time I write a blog and send it off it is old info as far as our real time POS.  I have decided to do a POS for the rest of the trip at GMT 1600 which is 0600 ships time.  That way I can go back to the way I like to do it.  It is strange to think that all of our friends in St. Thomas are six hours ahead of us having lunch while I am writing this at 6:00am!  It really boggles my mind that this boat, our home, has sailed so far away from Honeymoon Bay!

Yesterday we spent some time talking about St. Thomas, laughing about all the fun times we had there and all of the things we will miss.  That lead to talk of Charleston, SC, where we spent a year, and Oriental, NC where we spent six months, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Grenada, Trinidad.  All of those places where WD spent serious living time in the past eight years or so.  This is a crazy way to live, having a home that changes latitude and longitude every year or month or day in this case.

Someone asked me if I thought that the transient nature of our life was negatively affecting our children.  The honest answer.... I have no idea.  They have spent years away from extended family.  Although the family that really actually wanted to be a part of their lives has made an effort to come see us and they are VERY close to our kids.  What about a sense of community?  People really don't understand that there is a community out here.  It is far flung but it is as real as a neighborhood.  We have friends we met in Trinidad years ago who are in Hawaii and sailing to Alaska about the time we are.  Did any of us plan that?  No, and we might not even run into them but that illustrates the way this works.  And our kids certainly had a sense of community in Charleston, Oriental, Water Island and in Grenada and Trinidad.  The other thing people don't understand is that although the view and the time zone changes our home itself stays the same.  WD is the constant in our kids lives.  We are as far from land right now as we will ever be but yesterday our kids actual daily life was pretty much the same as it was in Honeymoon Bay.  It will be interesting to see what they all have to say when we get together in 25 years.

Yesterday turned into one of the prettiest offshore sailing days in my recollection.  The waves moderated the wind was blowing fresh and from the starboard quarter.  The water was what I like to refer to as "offshore blue."  Emily and I went up to the bow pulpit where we watched schools of HUGE tuna chase flying fish.  When the flying fish would break from the water in schools of fifty or more then the birds would set to work on them.  There were three different types of birds out here all of them swooping in to catch flying fish as they would dodge from wave to wave.  I put the meat lines back out.  In the past four days something BIG has taken all my lures.  We have 400 pound test line and steel leaders and nothing has ever broken it before.  We pulled in that huge five foot Mahi with it so whatever has been biting through the steel has been bigger than that.  I am going to rejigger the hand lines with light line and smaller lures to try for smaller fish.

Today we are sailing along gently with completely overcast sky, hoping for a little rain and even though we aren't going as fast as we'd like, we are really enjoying the reduced motion of the boat and the cooler weather.

Yesterday we had oatmeal for breakfast, ramen noodles for lunch and fried potatoes with onions and spam for supper.  That marks the end of our fresh food... Oh wait we still have some cabbage left but no one can decide if they want to actually eat it or not.  Oh and we had butterscotch pudding for dessert.

Thanks For Sticking With Us!  Wow! 27 DAYS!
Captain Tofer, Becca, Ems, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Benny

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 28 Position Report

5/28/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
GMT 1400
12 36.90N 126 32.13W
COG 285T
SOG 6.5 kt
NTN 158 nautical miles
DTG 1704 nautical miles (destination changed from Honolulu to Hilo)
Wind: NE 18-20
Temp: 88.2 F
Pressure: 29.6
Sky: overcast
Seas: 4-6ft 5 seconds
Sails: double reefed main, deep reefed jib, no stays'l

Last night was one of the rough ones.  I've been out here so long that I cannot say the roughest, but just one of the roughest.  We came into this cloud bank right at dusk and it was pitch dark after the sun set.  I'm still not sure if we were being hit by squalls or if the wind which was blowing steady 20-25 would just gust on its own to 30-35.  There was no rain but the seas became very confused and they would break over the deck.  Right after this stuff started one broke over the deck and through the hatch drenching the salon and all the kids who were sitting at the table.  That is bound to happen eventually if you leave the hatch open but we still do it to cool the boat off.  Now all of our towels are wet with saltwater and we will need to wash the cushion covers in Hawaii as well.

So right now the boat is closed up and hot, the seas are uncomfortable, my hair is sticking straight up and out all over like a mad man, my beard is sticking to my face, I'm tired from being awake most of the night, and everything is salt water wet.  Haha I remember thinking there would be days like this...

Wandering Dolphin is doing so well.  It has been great to feel her in her element.  She shrugs off these waves and keeps pushing us along toward Hawaii.  We're deeply reefed and still making 6.5 to 7 knots with ease.  I could push her and do 9 but it's better not to break things... Like my wife for example, she might break anyway.

Yesterday we had oatmeal for breakfast, tomato soup with chicken and rice in it for lunch, and baked beans, tomatoes, and BBQ sauce over biscuits for supper.

So our plan has changed a bit.  We will make landfall on the big island at Hilo where we can check in and then we can see the volcanos and stuff.  Then we will sail over to Lahiana on Maui for a week or so and then Oahu where we will provision for our trip to Alaska.

It's funny to think that even though it feels like this big passage is almost over with 1700 miles left there is still more sea time left than on one of my deliveries from Norfolk, VA to St. Thomas!  Perspective.

Beck will comment on messages on Facebook.  Thanks for the messages!

Have a Wonderful Day!
Captain Tofer, Rebecca, Emily, Kanyon, Kaleb, Benny

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27 Position Report

5/27/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

GMT 1200
11 42.37N 123 48.17W
COG 290T
SOG 5.5 kt
NTN 158 nautical miles
DTG 2102 nautical miles

Wind: NE 11-15
Temp: 88.2f
Pressure: 29.6
Sky: partly cloudy
Seas: 4-6ft NNE swells close interval
Sails: all sails set

Sailing has been great but by evening yesterday the swells started to come close together and the boat was so uncomfortable that we had to head up a bit to the north in order to take the waves at a better angle.  There are a few squalls around so I reefed about 0330 so I wouldn't have to stress about it anymore.  I will pull the sails out again in daylight.  I don't always run at night with reefed sails, never if there is a bright moon.  We are very quick and efficient at reefing under the gun so I will usually just reef when we need it but when it is this dark I am constantly watching for the next squall.  It is much easier to just reef and relax.  Even reefed we are still making 5 to 6 knots so I can live with that until morning.

From Beck:
Yesterday we filled the day with "normal" daily activities.  The days out here mimic the days before, sometimes we mix it up by where we each choose to sit.  My life right now seems to me like the movie "Ground Hound Day," not that it's bad, I just am longing for some variety.  Maybe today I will mix up the day and.... Darn can't think of anything to mix up.
Everything out here feels damp and sticky, I can't wait to wash everything and I mean everything!  Laundry is a hard task underway because fresh water is precious; you can wash in salt and rinse in fresh.  Even when washing like this, things to me still feel stiff and not clean.  So, on WD we are just collecting laundry and we will tackle it in Hawaii.  I see a margarita/laundry party in my future...heheh.  At this point I will make a party out of anything.

Repair update;
Our poor Mainsail needs to be sewn, she has sail tape on her now but today's task will be to drop her and hand sew the seam that is coming apart.  Thank goodness we caught it early.

Message corner:

Ms. Katie, thanks for the notes to the boys.  The only place we can answer you is on the blog or FaceBook.  And that is a long fish name for sure.
Jim V, thanks for the recipes & great ideas.  However, my baking soda got wet and I don't have any lard or shortening on the boat.  Need to add that to the list.
Aline, thanks for the daily encouragement and Hollywood news.  I love the fact Em doesn't know who most of the people are.
Carl, you are a foundation of knowledge.
Salt n Light, thanks for the riddles, we will see you all soon.
If I forgot anyone I am sorry I didn't take notes yesterday.  We appreciate you following our journey and hope you are planning your next adventure too.
Becca and the WD Crew

Monday, May 26, 2014

May 26 Position Report

5/26/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

GMT 1200
11 03.32N 121 13.87W
COG 270T
SOG 7kt
NTN 161 nautical miles
DTG 2261

Wind: N 15
Temp: 88.6f
Pressure: 29.5
Sky: partly cloudy
Seas: 4-6 ft N swells
Sails: all sails set

Yesterday we sailed all day.  We worked the boat and at one point had to drop the main for a little stop - gap repair to a seam.  Today we will pull it down to the deck to actually resew the seem by hand.  Fortunately it is one of the seams at the top of the sail so it shouldn't be too bad.

We are now on a nice beam reach since the wind moved to the North.  It should have gone all the way around to NE but not yet.  It's pretty comfortable sailing.  Even though the large swells from the hurricane roll the boat a bit they are far enough apart, and we are moving fast enough that the motion is very controlled.

There was enough charge from solar and wind that the boys were able to play X Box.  It's pretty fun to hear the laughter and goofing off.  I was thinking about what a strange foreign sound that is out here.

I noticed a strange smell yesterday when I went up on deck.  It is so hard to describe.  It was actually like a lack of scent.  My nose and brain were working to figure it out and I think that is what it was.

I have lost two lures and caught one more fish.  The fish was a little 2 ft bull Mahi and I let him go.  I laughed because back in Wyoming and Montana I would have held it up for pictures and eaten it for supper!  The kids were happy I let him go and Benny even prayed that he'd be ok when he prayed at supper time.  I'll try for a bigger one today.

Another strange thing happened on my night watch last night.  I heard some kids talking out in the water, just what sounded like a normal playground conversation, and I couldn't make out any words, and when I looked around there was nothing but a wave covered ocean.  I glanced below and everyone was sound asleep. Hmmmmm.

We have been looking at the charts of Hawaii and the closest first stop would be Hilo, on the big island.  We thought about stopping there, then going to Maui, and on to Oahu.  We know ourselves though... We're pretty sure if we stop we will just stay in that place until we leave for Alaska.  We need to do some shopping and fix a couple things on the boat so I think we will just tough it out to Oahu.

Yesterday we had oatmeal for breakfast, chicken noodle soup for lunch, and spaghetti with pink sauce for supper.  We also ate some granola bars and nuts for a snack.

It is so wonderful to see the "time to go" on the chart pushing out 12- 15 days instead of 34-46 LOL.

Katy, Benny was super happy to hear from you, thanks for the message.

Herman, your messages were the highlight of the day!  We laughed until we hurt trying to figure some of the VI gossip out!  Beck is beside herself now and needs to know MORE!

Steve:  Becky said, "More info please!"

Jim V.  Can you send us a recipe for tortillas?

Aline, thanks for the vital Hollywood news!  We laughed.

Cave, Moitessier Syndrome will NOT be a problem on WD!  Besides, we still have to sail for ALASKA!

Hope You All Have a Wonderful Day!  Captain Tofer and the Crew
PS Could someone eat a Big Mac for me and message me?  LoL

Sunday, May 25, 2014

May 25 Position Report

5/25/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

GMT 1200
10 38.26N  118 33.04W
COG 280T
SOG 6.5 - 7 kts
NTN 164 nautical miles
DMG 164 nautical miles
DTG 2421 nautical miles

Wind: NW 18-22
Current: can't measure it this morning
Temp: 90.2 F
Pressure: 29.55

Good Morning,

A few days ago we changed over to Pacific time so now my 1200GMT report has to be written at 5:00am while it's still pitch dark out.  We have to change time four more times I think before we get to Hawaii.  I will still write the vital statistics at GMT 1200 but my observable conditions will be at daybreak and that is when I will send off the report.  It is pretty crazy to think that we have sailed so far now from St. Thomas that we are on Pacific time!

Yesterday was rough!  Well actually it continues right now too.  The wind filled in just after daybreak from the NW and built to 20 gusting higher.  We were reefed and ready to roll though and WD sails to windward like a witch but that doesn't  mean it was comfortable.  The seas built quickly from the wind, and the swells soon kicked in from the hurricane to our east.  We were shipping water over the deck many times throughout the day and even now two waves came one after another and broke over the deck itself.  Of course this means we had to keep all ports shut and the hatches dogged tight so the boat is HOT.  Everyone tends to spend a lot of time in the cockpit so I had to rig the cover.  In order to put up our cover we have to slide the main sheet out which is not a good place for the sail normally close hauled but in these seas and winds it actually helped by spilling some wind out of the double reefed main slowing the boat and taking away the weather helm.  We averaged seven knots all day, there were a lot of eights too.  Once the wind moves around to the NE to a broad reach she will really kick up her heels and we could be averaging 11 knots with the help of a 2 knot current!  We are looking forward to getting the wind and waves behind us too.  Don't get me wrong!  We are HAPPY to be moving right now!

The wind gen. has been performing admirably.  Last night we didn't even need to start the generator to watch our show.  We just turned on the inverter and let the wind power it all.  It looks like we will have a sunny day today as well which means we will actually have power to burn!  The boys love that because I let them play X-Box during the day when we are making that much electricity.

The crescent moon and Venus are side by sine this morning and absolutely stunning!  The sea is a beautiful woman with her hair all messed up from the wind and a wild look in her pretty eyes.  These waves are harsh but beautiful, foaming, crashing into the side of the boat.  They hiss as the approach.  Our flush deck shrugs them off again and again and after 24 hours of this our cockpit is still dry.

Yesterday while the waves were crashing Benny was laying along the cockpit coaming playing with his Legos and he was commenting about the difference between little Dulcinea, and Wandering Dolphin.  In case you are a new reader, Benny went on that delivery right before we left St. Thomas for this trip.  He and Emily and myself had been out for almost a month with only a week between the passages.  Benny said that the biggest difference in the boats to him, apart from having an auto pilot on WD, is that Dulcinea was so much closer to the water.  She's a great little full keeled boat but at 35 feet the freeboard is so much lower that when things get rough you are right there with the waves where we have higher freeboard and also splash guards to help keep the waves out.  When we stopped in Grand Cayman we met some folks on a 31ft Cape Dory.  That little boat was REALLY close to the water!  They said that to do the dishes offshore they just reached out of the cockpit and dragged them through the water!  Well, when it gets rough I sure like to have a dry cockpit and a boat that has the ability to spill shipped water efficiently.

Aline, thanks for the math riddle for Benny, he solved it quickly and said he needs a harder one.  He really liked having a message addressed to him, but when we told him he had a message I think he was hoping for one from a girl in St Thomas... Hehehe (don't say anything Steve)

Jim V. No keep the food ones coming!  Also Beck didn't write out the tortilla recipe so send it again please!  Yesterday's afternoon post is all about the canning.

Carl, thanks for the history trivia.

Cave, we love the news and personal stuff from you!  Those Rangers are great, fast little boats.

Shannon, we just finished season 3, season 4 comes out in August.

Mike, thanks for the info on Amanda.  Crazy when you look at the sat picture and look at our position I bet?

Hope I didn't forget anyone... We sure like getting your messages!

Listening to "Amanda" by Boston.... I wonder why?

Captain Tofer and the Crew

Saturday, May 24, 2014

May 24 Afternoon Position Report

5/24/14 Wandering Dolphin Afternoon POS
GMT 2200
10 21.03N  116 54.27W
COG 285T
SOG 7.5kt
Temp: 91 F
Pressure: 29.5
Wind: NW 18-20
Sky: mostly clear
Seas: 6-8 ft from the NNE
Sails: double reefed main, single reefed jib, full stays'l / close hauled

From the cupboards of WD
In years past, when getting ready for passages I would spend a few weeks canning our meats.  I canned chicken, BBQ pork roast and ground beef in a variety of sauces.  This was a long process but made offshore meals easy and even amazing at times.  The funny thing is, I did this for passages of only a week to ten days at best.  I also canned a lot of meat for our time in the Bahamas.

Today our discussion was how great my canned chicken would be or the BBQ pork on homemade bread.  I hung my head and Tofer gave me his look.  See, I procrastinate most everything I do, I believe it makes me work better.  Haha!  Not really, I had great plans to can for our biggest passage to date --this one.  I set up a place (Jim Blakey's home on Water Island) to use as a  kitchen.  I priced out the meat and even bought some new rings for my jars.  The date was penciled onto my calendar more then twice.  I had the best intentions... I was going to can, however I worked up to the last week we were in St. Thomas.  Like most moms we think we are super human and can fit 36 hours into a 24 hour day.  Another fault of mine is I get distracted easily and then think I can do it tomorrow.  But Tofer knew was that I was over extended and just plain worn out.  I was working 10+ hours, six days a week, and on my day off I was playing catch up.  So together we chose to buy our canned meats for this passage.  We figured we could find the canned chicken at least and substitute spam, canned ham, corned beef, and other meats for the beef.  I should have stuck to my moto, "When you see it buy it!"  We left St Thomas with only 2 canned chicken and never found it again in Panama or Costa Rica.  BUMMER!

Today is one of those food craving kind of days where one of my home canned meals would be a welcome sight.

Some other things that I should have provisioned are:
Powdered eggs for baking
Butter Crisco for baking
Powdered milk for baking
I don't think you can have too much flour bacon bits-add to salads or pasta

I am sure I will think of more but thought I would share what I have found.  Before heading out I would recommend that all flour, mixes, pastas or dried goods be placed in freezer for at least 24 hours to kill any living little creatures.  This has always worked best for me in the past.

A Sappy Side note;
Even though I never was able to fit canning into my crazy last of days on St. Thomas calendar, I was able to take in some special moments in a place that is so beautiful and filled with great people.  For so many years I only saw what was inside my bubble.  It was an eye opening, breath taking, puddle jumping, and great laughter send off.  My belly might regret not canning for now but happy memories outweigh the hunger.  Now to go find something to make out of tuna....
Eat Something Yummy Tonight and Think of Us!
Becca and WD Crew

May 24 Position Report

5/24/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

GMT 1200
10 11.85N 115 49.72W

COG 270T
SOG 4 kts
NTN 122 nautical miles
DMG 88 nautical miles
DTG 2583 nautical miles

Wind: NW 6-8
Current: +1.5
Temp: 88.6f
Pressure: 29.5
Sky: mostly clear
Seas: calm
Sails: all sails set

Good Morning,
Last night was beautiful.  We spent the night with all sails set, sailing close hauled in light wind with no seas to speak of.  When we are close hauled we have to roll up the cockpit cover so we have a great view of the night sky too.  The sky was clear and we were told that it was the night for the meteor shower so we all went out on deck and looked at the stars.  There were a few meteors but most of the time they were just small.  We did see a couple of big ones too.  The cool thing was sitting up on deck with the kids.  It is usually a little too rough to enjoy hanging out up on deck but it was perfect last night.  We were ghosting along at 4.5 knots, laughing and joking around.  It was like going out to sit on your roof of your house to watch the stars.  I used to teach Astronomy so it has been super cool for me to see stars in the southern sky that I have never seen before.  Sure, we've been this far south before, but never with such an unrestricted, unpolluted view of the southern sky.  The North Star sits right above the northern horizon and the boys get a kick out of the idea that we could use that one star to find our way back to land.

Amanda... Yes there is a named storm just to the east of us.  The projected routes for that storm take it slowly to the north and west of its current position which should keep it well to the east and north of us but it still gives me the heebeejeebees knowing it's there.  Those storms are notorious for not following the rules so I am happy to keep slowly trucking along to the west but keeping down near 10 degrees of latitude so if she decides to come west we can duck to the south.

Yesterday we had blueberry pancakes for breakfast, fresh baked bread with butter and strawberry jam for lunch, and Kaleb fried up some potatoes, onions and corned beef for supper.  That was Kaleb's debut meal.  He likes to cook so we are going to let him!

We only have enough episodes of the third season of Game of Thrones to get us half way to Hawaii so we watch one every other day and on the alternating days everyone takes turns picking a movie.  Last night was Rebecca's pick and she chose "Where the Wild Things Are."

Aline, thanks for the news although it sure is heartbreaking to hear about the sailors who are lost in the Atlantic.

Jim V:  Oh man!  The food stuff is killing me!  Thanks!

Madison Hubbell:  Emily wants to know if your family is planning on moving onto a boat or if you are just curious about it yourself?  Go ahead and message us directly to our sat phone if you'd like.

Sharon Burris,  thanks so much for the kind words and the great stories about your sailing experiences when you were young.  We loved how you dodged the "no swimming" rule by capsizing!
Brent Gillroy and Brian also asked about communications: we use an Iridium Sat phone which requires per purchased minutes at about $1.60 per minute, depending on the block you buy.  Once the phone is activated you can receive unlimited free messages to the phone itself.  We also use a SPOT communicator in areas near the US coast and in the Caribbean, unfortunately it has no coverage way out in the Pacific.  On this trip we have been using a Delorme InReach which used the same Iridium satellites as our phone, so it has worldwide coverage.  The InReach unit we have pairs via Bluetooth to our iPads and iPhones and allows us to send and receive text messages and to update our Facebook page from anywhere.  Other than that we only have our VHF radio for ship to ship communications.  We also have AIS (Automatic Identification System) which sends our ship information and location to all other ships in the area and we also receive their info from this system.  For AIS we use one made by Vesper Marine which sends all of that info to our smart phones and iPads.  We also have a built in AIS receiver on our Matrix VHF radio as a backup.  I am a BIG believer in AIS and if I were told I could only have AIS or a life raft, I would choose the AIS (and then smuggle a life raft...shhhh).  As you might notice our iPhones and iPads get a lot of use out here.  Although we have two Garmin chart plotters on board, one for the helm and one at the nav station, all of our navigation happens through my iPad and iPhone, using Navionics and iNavX.   Thanks for the great questions!

Stephanie,  thanks so much for the encouragement and kind words from Atlanta!

Thanks to all of you for coming along!
Captain Tofer, Rebecca, EmilyAnne, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Benny

Friday, May 23, 2014

May 23 Afternoon Position Report

GMT 2200
09 58.81N 115 05.48W
COG 240T (tacking back north in a bit to stay around 10)
SOG 4.5kt
Wind W8-12
Sky mostly clear
Seas calm
Temp 90f
Pressure 29.6

Wandering Dolphin Daily News,

As the days click on by and we see the miles melt away we begin to talk about things we would like to do on our short visit to Hawaii.  My family isn't the typical cruising family, we don't look for hikes in the mountains or hikes through the jungle.  Oh, we tried a hike in the jungle in Trinidad.  We were maybe 5 minutes from the trail head when we all looked around us, took in the beauty of the unknown and turn around and headed back.  OK, to be fair we were all in crocs, no socks, and shorts.  I just remember the entire floor of the jungle moving and I didn't want to know why.  Lol!!  And the last time anyone hiked a mountain to jump off waterfalls Tofer broke his ankle.  I realize now that, that was years ago and we should adventure out more.  Now, that the kids are older, stronger and can carry their own things we just may explore out of our box.  Yes, even the WD has a box that we need to escape from.

I have enjoyed our journey of other places and some of the challenges they brought.  In the D.R. I went hunting for provisions with Rennie of Salt n Light.  This was our first outing in Luperon and after what seemed like a life time (around 4 hours+), I returned home with a pineapple and a loaf of bread and tears in my eyes.  In the next few days I met other cruisers and learn the ropes of shopping.  It all worked out in the end but it was a daily hunting expedition for food.  I do smile as I think back on other chores like hauling water, doing the laundry & finding a hot spot for the Internet.  Cruising today is much different and we all look for what others are leaving behind.  We want the convenience of a bigger town or even a CITY.  Yes, I know how strange that sounds to most cruisers.  Finding a stateside supermarket makes us so happy.  We can find Miracle Whip, white tuna, chili and all sorts of goodies we love.  I make OK coffee but we all want our fancy coffee and pastries.  We are looking forward to seeing all the movies we have missed in the last three months.  Emily & I are looking forward to some pampering at a local salon.  And we all will visit the mall to window shop with hopes we will find the next great deal.

We will also visit historical sites, site see and, who knows, we might even hike a volcano.  Only time will tell now.  Originally we had a month in Hawaii but now it's down to just under three weeks.  After this month of traveling I think my troop might want to venture out.

I guess I am getting ahead of myself -- we still have 20 days or so to go.  Today is a beautiful day of gentle swaying and the sails are full.  I need to focus on this moment & enjoy my journey.  Carl, you are right that we are doing what so many would love to do.  There are even moments out here where everything is so nice that I even begin to think of planning on another sea journey.  Then there are times where I want it to be DONE now, not tomorrow!  Heheh.

Scott & Karrie, Thanks for the note about Grams service.  I was lazy yesterday and didn't write my daily notes.  Aline, thanks for the information on Hawaii, I put into my journal.  And the news about CR.  Brent, Tofer will answer you question in his morning blog.  The other messages from all of you keep me locked into the land side of me.  Keeps us laughing, thinking, talking & adding to our knowledge.  Thanks for being part of our adventures and thanks for sharing your adventures with us.  I made bread today and it was gone in 20 minutes... Kaleb traded Tofer his second piece for a Snickers bar.  The rest of the family said no way, Mom's bread is the best!  Now WD smells like bread & our bellies are full of bread, butter & strawberry jam.  We are happy campers!!!

Enjoying the moments, Becca, Tofer, Emily, Kanyon, Kaleb & Benny.

May 23 Position Report

5/23/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
GMT 1200
10 17.76N 114 20.35W

COG 250T
SOG 5-6 kt
NTN 123
DTG 2681

Wind: W 12-15
Current: +1.5
Temp: 89.8 F
Pressure: 29.6

Sky: mostly clear nasty cloud bank to the East (the low?)
Seas: 3-4 ft short interval on the nose, from wind against current these waves have caused us to reef and slow the boat so we don't beat her and ourselves to death.
Sails: all sails set, double reefed main, single reef jib, full stay s'l.  Close hauled.

Good Morning!

Wow! We have been moving with no stop and no engine, batteries charging from solar and WIND, for two days now!  Our fantastic weather guy directed us into the helpful current and has also put us in a great position to take advantage of the helpful side of the tropical depression that is breathing down our necks.  It should pass just to the north of us and we should get helpful, although on the nose, west wind from it. Wandering Dolphin loves going to windward so we can make good time going SW, and as the wind moves to the NW we can move up to west ourselves. The advantages of going a little south right now are: We stay in favorable current with a boost of 1.5 knots and it keeps us on the "safe" side of this tropical depression.  The south side of these storms is the side you can easily bail out on by just heading south.  The wind actually helps you leave the system whereas in you are caught in the north the winds are much higher and actually pull you into the system.  The storms also move to the north due to the Coriolis effect.  The actual spin of the earth sets the system spinning and close to the equator there is not as much force to this effect so they cannot get ramped up.  So if it looks like it could turn into an actual tropical storm we would sail south and the storm would move north.  Remember, we are not blind to all of this thanks to Bob Cook of Ocean Pro Weather and also thanks to our friend Bob Thomas (owner of Sweetest Thing) who generously donated the cost of our weather routing to Hawaii.  I get weather info twice every day from Bob Cook and if we needed to change course immediately he would send us a msg to our sat phone.

Yesterday we happily worked the boat.  I had to drop the main at one point to add some sail tape to a couple of wear spots, and to replace the nylon webbing on one of the slides.  Benny was my helper as I hung on to the mast and sewed in the new webbing.  We tied off all of our wet stuff to flap and dry in the sun.  WD must have looked like The Beverly Hillbillies Boat sailing along with towels and underwear flapping away on the lifelines.  Some fish probably got a big laugh out of it.  Speaking of fish... Nothing on the meat lines yet... Hmmmm, wonder why?

Yesterday we celebrated 20 days at sea!  Wow!  We had rice for breakfast, peanut butter wraps for lunch, and a special supper of homemade YUMMY PIZZA and EmilyAnne made chocolate chip cookies!

Messages:  You guys are awesome!  There are too many messages from yesterday for me to answer you all so just a few but know that we appreciate every one!  Well there were two from one guy trying to bring us down yesterday but we just deleted his and read the rest!

A couple of you asked when we will get to Hawaii: Well, that all depends on this wind.  If the wind keeps blowing we should be around the 7th or 8th of June.

Someone asked when we can go grocery shopping again:

Brian asked about the tropical depression and I hope I answered that in the paragraph above.

Jennifer M: thanks for the messages on the blog, you can also send free messages right to us real time on our sat phone, just look at past blogs to see how.  Exciting to hear about your move on to your boat!

Thanks for all the jokes, riddles, trivia, news items and encouragement form all of you.  And thanks to Mike for passing on messages from the blog itself.

I'm gonna get this sent out, Rebecca will do a family blog this afternoon!

Captain Tofer, Becca, Ems, Kan-man, Kaleb, and Benny

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May 22 Position Report

5/22/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

GMT 1200
10 32.23N 112 16.68W
SOG: 3.5
NTN: 80 nautical miles
DTG: 2781 nautical miles

Wind: NE 3-5
Current: 2kts
Temp: 89.8f
Pressure: 29.6

Sky: mostly cloudy
Seas: calm
Sails: set flogging every few minutes

Good Morning from our Spot on the Planet.

Yesterday was a great day.  We actually got a little sailing in but most of the day was a drift day.  The swells were small though and the sun was out and everyone was in pretty good moods all day.  The solar panels charged our battery bank up to full again and when the rain showers hit in the afternoon and another after dark, we were able to actually FILL our water tanks all the way to overflow.  What I do to fill the tanks in those heavy rain storms is, I let enough rain fall to rinse the decks thoroughly, and then I go up on deck in just my swimsuit with a clean dish towel and open the fill hole on deck.  I roll up the dish towel in a tight roll and make a little dam with it against the scuppers.  Then I hold it there and direct the water into the tank.  When it is really raining it fills the tanks up in about 40 minutes.  I get drenched of course but I actually like it.  I like the feeling of getting cold, even the shivering when I do it at night is welcome to me.  It feels so good afterward to dry off and have to actually get warm.  We spend so much time and energy trying to cool off that it is a novelty to do the opposite.  I am sure that novelty will wear off quickly next month when we are on our way to Alaska.

Yesterday for breakfast we had instant oatmeal.  For lunch we had peanut butter and honey tortilla wraps and fruit cocktail, and for supper we had corn chips with a chili/cheese dip.  It was a no cooking day.  The boys are beginning to get that look that I used to see on the faces of coyotes back in Montana.  They give us a furtive glance every time the food cabinets are opened, licking their chops, and sometimes they look like they might attack us and begin to gorge themselves.  We are actually eating about the same amount as we always have but the variety is getting a little thin and there are no snacks where they are used to making a PBJ sandwich or eating fruit whenever they want it.  We also have not had any bread for about ten days now and that belly filler is not being replaced by anything really.  I think we need to make more rice and just let them eat it until they are stuffed.

Today I wanted to answer a specific question that was asked by a reader a couple of days ago.

We had someone who said, "I bet you guys wish you had taken a whole bunch of fuel jugs on deck huh?"  I thought I would share my thoughts on this subject with you all.  This is one of those areas where I am a bit stubborn and have a bit of a pet peeve.  I am of the opinion (and I am full of opinions) that if you own a sailboat you should expect to sail it and being becalmed is part of the sailing experience.  I also believe that, for example,  if your boat can carry 110 gallons of fuel in its tanks and you add 40 gallons of fuel on deck in jerry jugs, that 40 gallons is not going to make a lick of difference in a 4500 mile voyage.  If we had had an extra 40 gallons we would have burned through them by now and that extra 40 hours of movement would not have moved us out of the area of calms we are in anyway.  You might ask, "So what does it hurt to carry jugs on deck though?"  I have been offshore for at least 60,000 miles and in most of those miles it was on boats I was delivering.  I have had jugs that were VERY secure and in extreme weather, I have had to go out on deck, risking my own life to try to secure them again after huge waves have ripped them loose.  One time on a delivery we had four jugs that were secured to the stanchions with a 2x6 board and a wave hit them hard enough to actually rip the stanchions off, destroy the stern pulpit, and we were forced to go out on deck in 55 knot winds and 20+ foot seas to try to cut them loose before they did real damage.  On our last delivery on sailing vessel Dulcinea, the owners had secured their jugs to the stanchions and the jugs were the newer kind with the permanent spout that sticks up with a vacuum type valve on it.  The jib sheet would wrap around the spouts and constantly try to rip the whole spout off.  It succeeded one day spilling fuel on the deck and into the ocean.  When we were in rough weather on that same delivery, I had to go up on the heaving deck multiple times to re-secure the jugs to their ugly board.  Based on my extensive offshore sailing experience, I simply will not sail with crap secured to my stanchions or rigging.  My deck is clear.  My dinghy davits are empty.  The only thing secured to my foredeck is my dinghy and it could be either cut loose easily or quickly used as a secondary life raft in need.

The other thing people don't take into account is the sailing ability of their boat.  As I pointed out about weight on the bow in my "Hold Fast" post about anchor gear, the sailing ability of your boat is seriously and negatively affected by weight up high on your deck.  We actually saw a boat leaving Panama with 15 jugs on each side of the deck!  To me that is not even responsible, it certainly is not good seamanship in my opinion., I do not regret the extra fuel we could have carried in jugs.  What I do regret is my choice of routes.  When we were back in Panama I had decided to sail the southern route which adds over 1500 miles to the overall voyage.  That route is the recommended route for sailing vessels going from Panama to Hawaii.  I also knew we were pushing the hurricane season with Beck's trip home to see her Grams.  Then why did I choose the route we are on?  It was the classic situation of having been given advice to the contrary.  I then began doubting my own personal beliefs that were based on all of the knowledge that I had obtained from multiple sources.  Instead I listened to other advice and in that doubt I made the wrong call in hindsight.  The fact remains, I am the captain of my vessel and I should have just gone with my own gut and made my own choice.  When comparing the two routes though if you compare the stats from boats sailing both routes they end up in Hawaii within days of each other.  Going the southern route would not have saved us any time but we would have been sailing more of the time.  The big issue really is that had we gone the southern route we would not have been worrying about all of these lows developing into tropical storms around us.  We also chose the northern route because we mistakenly believed that Costa Rica would cost us less than Galapagos.  That turned out not to be true.  Costa Rica was the most expensive cruising ground we have come across since the Bahamas.

Sorry for being such a blabber mouth today!

Have a Great One!
Captain Tofer, Rebecca, EmilyAnne, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Benny

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 21 Wandering Dolphin Afternoon Report with Becca

10  44N 111  31W
COG 255T

Celebrate with us -- we have wind & rain!  We are hoping to get some miles in and fill the tanks.  We hit 9.2 knots for 2 seconds!!  Tofer is up on deck making a dam around our water intake while I am holding a bucket under the biggest drips off the Main.  We have our water catcher up in the cockpit with her hose running to a jerry can.  We will see what we can get from Mother Nature.

It seems that the little rain shower has passed and now we're back to a steady crawl.  At least we are knocking out a few miles everyday.  I know once this voyage is over we will look back on it and say we had 20 something days of being becalmed and 15 days of great sailing.  I'm looking forward to the great sailing part now.

I have gone through our food stores, and folks, we are going to be eating lots of rice, tuna & black beans.  We are going to be craving some red meat when we hit land.  We have been talking about our first meal ashore and we still have not come to an idea of what or where but it's sure fun to talk about it.  For now we can only dream.  I didn't get any bread made today, I took today off and we are doing non-cooked meals.

Hey!  We have upgraded from 2kts to 6kts because of another squall.  Celebrating the little moments as they show up.

One more thing to share with you all.  I have a joke for you all, my Grams shared it with me while I was home.

"Two fisherman were sitting in their boat.  One fisherman told the other he hadn't had a bite in two days.  So, the other fisherman leaned over and bit him!"  Corny huh?  That was Grams.

Catching the Wind & Rain today, thanks for following along,
Becca, Tofer, Emily, Kanyon, Kaleb & Benny

May 21 Position Report

5/21/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
10 53.83N 110 59.86W
COG 226T
SOG 1.5 - 2 kts
NTN 60 nautical miles
DTG 2863 nautical miles
Wind: becalmed drifting in favorable +1-2 current
Temp: 89 F
Pressure: 29.6
Sky: mostly clear, clouds all around horizon
Seas: calm and glassy with 1-2 ft SW swell

Well yesterday marks the lowest milage day so far.  Today should be about the same.  We all did a little better yesterday though.  We just chose to have fun instead of bitch about our windless existence.  The fact that the sea was not so rolling helped a lot.  When you can get around without being catapulted across the cabin it makes living easier.  I will probably go for a swim today.  It freaks me out to my core but it cools off the body and helps with getting really clean.  We haven't collected any rain to speak of for almost a week so today we will make water.  The lift pump that was sent to us in Panama is way too powerful so it runs hot and has to be turned on and off all the time, it also changes the watermaker from a 4amp draw to almost 10amps!  10 amps to make a gallon an hour?  For that draw I could make 15-20 with a different watermaker.  At any rate we can't sustain that kind of draw on the batteries so what we do is this:   Benny mans the sea water foot pump at the Galley every 15 minutes he pumps seawater through the foot pump, into a hose that runs down to a jerry jug which has another hose that goes to the water maker.  So we bypass the new lift pump and because the jerry jug is at the same level as the watermaker it has no troubles.  What a pain huh?  Too bad we can't get a watermaker company to sponsor us and put a better one in in Hawaii before we set sail for Alaska.  Everything else on the boat has worked very well.  I guess we are having some frustration with the Delorme but most of that is our fault for deleting the wrong thing.

Today I am thinking about putting up our big drifter genoa.  I'm a little hesitant to do that because it is so light that I don't think it can take the flogging and it doesn't have a foam luff so when it is rolled in to reef it has a big fat blob in the middle of the luff and looses all shape as an upwind sail.  But just maybe we can get a little more light air speed out of it.
As much as I hate being becalmed like this I am bedazzled by the view right now.  The sun is rising on the glassy ocean and the pastel pinks and light blues of the sky are reflected on the water in a 360 degree horizon around our floating home.

This morning, on my watch, while it was still dark, I was gazing up at the stars and I got to thinking about the plan to send a married couple to Mars for a flyby of the planet.  Apparently they won't land just orbit the planet a few times and come home.  The voyage is six months there and six months back.  The living space will be smaller than our boat, and the exposure of course makes ours out here downright laughable.  I still think they should be looking for a cruising couple for that trip because offshore Bluewater sailors are the closest thing our planet has to professional, long distance voyagers.  Can you imagine how fun it would be to read what Captain Fatty Goodlander would write about on a voyage to Mars?  Or think about our friends Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger, those guys would be perfect for a trip like that.  They once sailed the "wrong" way from South America to Australia, 9000 miles in one voyage!  They have the "right stuff" for a trip of that magnitude.

Beck is going to make bread this morning, the kids will do school, I will look for stuff to fix.  Just another day becalmed on the Pacific Ocean.

Thanks for your messages!  Oh and hey Jared, "I'll just bounce back!" Is a better answer to your riddle than, "Oh snap!"

Captain Tofer, Becca, EmilyAnne, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Benny

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 20 Afternoon Position Report

GMT 2330
11 13.67N. 110 23.47W

May 20 afternoon update by Beck:

Today has been full of this and that and waiting.  I did get a coffee cake baked this morning and that brought the morale up a bit.  For the most part everyone is in the groove of blue water sea life.  We each have a routine and then the day unfolds In front of us.

Captain Tofer works WD mostly with moments of reading and sleeping when he can.  EmilyAnne is Captain's right hand gal and they work well most of the time together.  She has been passing her time by reading, sleeping & watching shows.  Kanyon is so calm and doesn't complain about a thing.  I am having a hard time keeping him full.  He is our movie watching guy.  He and his brothers also play card games & Legos.  Kaleb has his moments of anger and complete frustration where he shakes and bites his lip.  Where in the world does he get that?  But most of the time he is reading, playing Gameboy or finding a way to torture his younger brother.  Benny has to much energy and he might just burst any day.  He does escape by reading & playing games.  Big Lion is still his best buddy.  My day includes normal mom duties but I get plenty of day time to read, write & nap.  So, life isn't too bad.  It just feels really slow right now.

Tofer and I had time today to play with some Dr. Seuss parodies, I hope you like them.
This one is for Kanyon who paces:

Here to There
There to Here
There to Here
Here to There
I'm not going anywhere

Forth and Back
Back and Forth
And Back and Forth
And Forth and Back
Now my track is just a Crack

Stern to Bow
Bow to Stern
And Bow to Stern
Stern to Bow

I think I'm there now

Today has been a blessing with all the kind words of encouragement.  Steve I hope 110 is the magic number.

A Friend, thank you for the kind words.

Carl I see more blue water sailing for us in the future.

And prayers are always welcome.

Lorrie what a blessing your message was & so true.

Zella SOON we hope.

Aline thanks for the news and keep us posted.

Chuck that is a great story.

Jim V you always keep us going with your notes.

All is well & it's time to take the tuna casserole out of the oven.  Watch out Hawaii we are sneaking up on you.


May 20 Position Report

5/20/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
GMT 1200
11 23.21N  110 05.97W
COG 226T
SOG 1.5 - 2 kts NTN 94 nautical miles
DTG 2924 nautical miles
Wind: none/ flat calm
Sky: overcast
Seas: Flat with 1-2 ft SE swell
Temp: 89.6f
Pressure: 29.6
Current favorable 1.5 - 2

Good Morning From Beck in the Pacific,
This mornings sunrise was a welcome sight indeed.  Yesterday I was in a funk and so frustrated with everything and everyone.  That mindset is no good when you are cooped up on a 41 ft boat with 5 others and 3000 miles in front of you.  I couldn't pin point my frustration all I could think of was its day 17 with only 1500 miles behind us and 3000 more to go.  Tofer and I have talked this through, I know that WHEN we get wind we will move faster.   I guess it's the WHEN that eats at me.  Out here you hear a lot WHEN the wind fills in we'll move, WHEN the squall passes there will be no more nasty wind, WHEN we hit this target waypoint there will be wind.  I know this is out of anyone's control but for my sake someone hit the wind button please.   I also know that WHEN the wind fills in I will more than likely complain that there is too much wind. Let's just say I need a happy pill and move forward.

So this morning I enjoyed the sunrise while everyone was still sleeping.   I have a Christian playlist playing right now to inspire in me a gentle heart & spirit today.  I have to realize that everyday out here is a character builder.   So today I will look for the positives in our ROLLY POLLY WAITING ON WIND day.  Today might be a great day for baking some goodies.  We will see how the day goes.  We finished the third season of Walking Dead now we will need to wait until the end of Aug to see what is going on.  Tonight we will continue on with the Game of Thrones.

Thanks again for everyone that messages us, it makes me feel like I am still linked to land a bit.  Feeling much better today now it's time for someone else to have the blue water blues.
Cheers, Becky

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19 Position Report

5/19/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
GMT 1200
11 51.86N.  108 35.05W
COG 280T
SOG 5-6kt
NTN 70 nautical miles
DTG 2971 nautical miles

Wind: S10-12 (we have seen nothing but very light south and even SW winds last 24 hours)
Current not noticeable
Temp: 88.2 F
Pressure: 29.6
Sky: overcast
Seas: 2-3ft

Jib and main set

Good Morning!
We are moving.  That makes us all happy!  Yesterday we only managed 14 nautical miles during the day but overnight we were able to get up an average of 4 kts in the right direction.  The forecast east winds still have not arrived but these light south winds are better for us than light east winds anyway.  The boat does better with light winds on the beam than light winds right behind us.

I remember reading about people making these long voyages.  They always go on and on about how much they hate the doldrums and I always thought it sounded kinda nice.  Sit out there on a calm sea in your boat with nothing to do but read and relax, squalls come by to give you free water, what's not to like?  Wow!  What an idiot I was!  I have been becalmed on deliveries before, not too recently on Dulcinea, but this is a whole different animal.   First of all, being becalmed in the trade wind belt is always temporary, short lived and though there may be a few little squalls around the difference is in magnitude.  Out here you are becalmed in the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) this zone is also known as the monsoon trough, in layman's terms, Breeding Ground for Hurricanes!  The squalls are not little squalls that hit and run, they are enormous thunderstorms like the one that hit us the other night and stayed on us throughout the night.  Not that there aren't any of the little guys too, just as soon as one of the big Mamas is done spanking you one of the little bitches comes right up your backside and sucker punches you.  Then it all calms down the sea goes glassy, the heat radiates off the water, the boat steams and you would like to think you could then relax and catch a few winks... No... The swells don't stop so the boat rolls back and forth, the sails flog, things break.  The other difference is the distance.  When you are becalmed in the trade wind belt of the Caribbean or like we were off the Bahamas on our way to Key West, you're almost there, no matter where you look there's land within a couple of days... Not so out here.  We have been out here 16 days and still have nearly 3000 miles left to Hawaii!  Being becalmed with that many miles in front of you is nerve wracking in itself.

Well we're hoping these winds keep blowing but we have kinda lost our faith in them.  We sure will make use of them while we have them though!

Yesterday Rebecca, EmilyAnne and I sat in the cockpit daydreaming.  It started with me asking Beck if she wanted to go on a virtual date.  I told her I would take her anywhere she wanted to go in our imaginations.  Beck is known for never being able to make a choice for a restaurant. ( it's because she always wants to make the other person happy and her first choice will always be the one she thinks YOU would like most). Emily came to her rescue by saying, "Dad, the guy asks the girl out he should already have the romantic date planned, not expect her to plan it for him!"  She was disgusted with my unromantic attitude about this virtual date.  I said, "OK fine but if you put the planning of the date in the guys hands when he gives you carte Blanche to go where you want you can't complain when you don't like the place..."  They both shook their heads at me, the stone for brains guys apparently.  "You are supposed to know what I like and plan a date you know I'd love." My sweet wife gave me a little smile.
 So I planned the virtual date in which we could go anywhere.   It started out with drinks in Ten-Forward on the Starship Enterprise D, where Guynan served us Romulan Ale and we were serenaded by the sweet violin playing of Lt. Commander Data.  Then we rushed off to Douglas Adams, "Restaurant at the End of the Universe" where we had a sampler plate from various worlds while Ford Prefect tried to convince us to invest in a new inter dimensional travel machine which we would need to get to our dessert place on time because for dessert we were going to The Prancing Pony in Middle Earth for Cakes and Beer...

My idea of a romantic virtual date was not really what my wife had in mind, although I have to say our nerd daughter thought it would be pretty damn cool.
This led us to questions about which novel we would be in if we could choose, Beck: "The Great Gatsby."  Emily: "Outlander."  Tofer: "The Lord of the Rings."  Which led us to the question, if you could be any movie character.... That went on and on but the funny answer was Beck wanted to be James Bond.

Don, thanks for the yummy omelette thoughts, wish I was there
Aline, Benny loves money problems and the occasional (5th grade) math riddle.
Cave, Jack Reacher 6 "Without Fail" and Rome is great, but more soap opera than history LOL
Jared, thanks for the trivia and riddles, we loved the one where Wandering Dolphin was the answer!
Jim V.  Man! Now I'm hungry!  Tex/mex for breakfast sounds great.
Herman, what's happening back in St Thomas?

Thanks everyone for sticking with the messages, they really help get us through the rough spots!  And a BIG "THANK YOU!" to Mike for posting our blogs and passing on Facebook posts since the InReach is on the fritz.

Hope you all have a great day!  Hey dolphins just showed up!  That means it will be a good day!
Captain Tofer, Becca, Emily, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Benny

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 18 Afternoon Position Report

5/18 Wandering Dolphin Afternoon Post

Well, we have hardly gone anywhere today.  The beautiful wind from yesterday is gone and all we have is light wind from the south east and occasional squalls to brighten our boredom.  Everyone is on edge, tempers are short and patience is at its bare minimum.  The fact that the boat rolls around in the swells, going nowhere, makes matters worse.  Rebecca said today, "It's a lot easier to put up with the uncomfortable motion if the boat is actually heading in the right direction fast huh?"  Ain't that the truth.

The kids have just wedged themselves into their little spaces to do their own thing.  Emily and Kanyon are watching old seasons of "Survivor" on my little iPod, Benny has his lee cloth up and he is cuddled with Big Lion reading Fablehaven on a Kindle, Kaleb is playing a Final Fantasy game on his GameBoy, Rebecca is spending her time watching "Rome" on her iPad, and I searched all the books on my Kindle and discovered a Jack Reacher novel that I bought a while back but had never read, so bonus!

With no sun and no wind our charge situation is such that we had to turn off the fridge until further notice.  The only food left in it is butter and cheese and I'm hoping it will all be ok once we can turn it on in a few days.  The reefing line for the main chafed through today as well so I had to do some creative splicing from the stays'l sheet to fix it.

We are surrounded by squalls with no wind right now getting ready for another night out here.

Don and Cave, thanks to both of you for sharing your food that you're eating!
Jim V. The special cookies sound AMAZING!
Aline, thanks for the puzzles, Benny loves Math but Kaleb said, "Tell her no one is EVER that bored!"
Herman, and alas... Our winning streak has been snuffed!
Christian, bet you're glad you're not on this one huh?

Hope we have a more positive report in the morning!
Thanks for coming along,
Captain Tofer, Becca, Emily, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Benny

May 18 Morning Position Report

5/18/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
GMT 1200
11 51.82N.  107 24.58W
COG 300T
SOG 3 kt
NTN 144 nautical miles
DTG 3039 nautical miles
Wind: SW 8-10
Current: Sky: overcast, squalls
Seas: 4ft
Temp: 86f
Pressure: 29.55

Yesterday we had great wind and we sailed all day.  The seas were rolling behind us pretty good and we all felt like we were leaving the doldrums/ITCZ crap behind us... But alas it was not to be.  The squalls began to hit us just after dark so we were reefed pretty heavily and then, what I assume must be the remains of the Low that had been forming behind us caught up to us and the wind, which had been behind us out of the east all day began to clock and blow harder.  By now it was pitch dark, dumping rain, the wind was blowing 25 gusting to 30 or higher, the seas were large and confused (so were we by the way!). The wind, as it clocked from the east to the southeast, forced us to move more and more to the north to keep from gybing.  In order to do a controlled gybe in that higher wind and seas someone would have to go up on deck to handle the preventer.  I decided to just wait it out, assuming it would pass and the wind would fill back in from the east.

By 4:00am the wind had come all the way around to the SW and we were forced to gybe to get back on course.  The rain had died down to a drizzle but the sea was still rolling pretty big and it was still pitch dark.  I went up on deck and handled the preventer while Emily took care of the main sheet and Beck tried to keep us in light with the super flashlight.  We managed to get the sail moved around and now we are headed on 300 again but the wind is now so light I have to run the engine to keep moving.  In these swells heaving/to would not be a fun thing at all.  The boat would roll heavily and the sails would flog and possibly break something.  I have not tried to measure the current but I'm pretty sure it is against us now.  We are very tired now having had almost no sleep last night.

Yesterday we had Cheerios with blackberry yogurt on them for breakfast, fruit cocktail and granola bars for lunch and fried bean and cheese quesadillas for supper.

Looking forward to... favorable wind and seas, sunshine, no squalls...
Captain Tofer and the crew

Saturday, May 17, 2014

May 17 Afternoon Position Report

GMT 2200
10 45N. 106 34W
COG 295
SOG 7 knots

May 17th day 15
Family report from Bec

And we are moving right along at an average speed of 7.5 knots with seas of 8 to 10 ft. in east swells.  At this speed we can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  This morning began with everyone irritated at each other.  Someone was in someone else's airspace or they were sitting in their spot.  Yes, we each have a spot to call our own.  It was a glorious morning NOT!  Once the grumbly gremlins were fed, tempers lessened.  It is funny how we can be the best of friends and worst of enemies all at once.  To be honest it drives me crazy and I snap without warning.  After my outburst the boat goes back to neutral with eyes fixed on what I might do next.  Today was simply taking a nap and letting the others work it out.  I woke to a calm boat with Emily on watch & boys playing with their toys.  Laughter once again was ringing throughout WD.  It's great to see all three boys playing with their stuffed animals together.  They make their little funny voices as each stuffed animal talks to the others... The stuffed animals topic of conversation today...cheeseburgers and french fries!

A few night ago I was trying my wit at changing Dr. Seuss quotes into what was happening on WD.   The two I thought of:

Quote to Em on day 10
"Don't cry because the wind is lite
Be happy we have wind!"

And when the squalls kicked in all I could think of was
"I don't like this, Sam I Am!
Give it time peeps, It is only day 15 of 35 I will figure out a good quote soon.
From the diary of Bec;
Life has so much to offer, so don't settle on so, so.  Go for it, follow your heart, your dreams & passion.
We want to thank
Jared for the riddle about US!
Aline for taxing our brain with the brain teasers oh and Hollywood gossip Steve & Katie, Ramen does rule!
Jim V you always make us laugh
Shannon haha thanks for early morning laughter
Carl great history lessons yet again
Caveman for being our news guy and much more
And Mike for being our IT/ shore support guy...
Until tomorrow my friends, be safe and eat something yummy for us and msg us and describe it!  Yes we want to be tortured!

May 17 Position Report

5/17/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
GMT 1200
10 19.43N.  105 32.58W
COG 300T
SOG 7-8 kts
NTN 142 nautical miles
DTG 3177 nautical miles

Wind: E 18-20
Current: 1.5 to 2 kts favorable
Temp: 89.2f
Pressure: 29.5
Sky: mostly cloudy with squalls
Seas: 4-6 ft east swells

Good Morning,

Yesterday started with no wind, wallowing back and forth.  I motored north for two hours, charging the batteries and then the wind started to fill in.  By the end of the day we were sailing at 6-7 knots to the WNW with reefed sails in 20 knots of east wind.  That has continued throughout the night.  We are now up in the belt where we can expect this wind for at least the next couple of days.  We have decided to skip Clipperton.  The possibility of Tropical development has us spooked and we would just as soon get as far away from the "hot zone" as we can, as fast as we can.  The low developing just behind us is forecast to be on top of Clipperton about the same time we would get there too.  It would have been cool to see a place where humans don't actually live but the unanimous vote on WD is to keep moving and get to Hawaii.

We have had some trouble with our Delorme InReach.  It got to the point where we had to pair it with the iPad every time we wanted to send a message to our Facebook page.  We accidentally deleted the link in it to our page when we were trying to get it to clear an unsent message and now we can't remember the link we have to put in the message bar to get it to post.  We are trying to sort it out. If we can't we will send this morning post and Beck will send one in our evening email check so there will be two posts everyday from email.

Yesterday we had oatmeal with pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon for breakfast, Ramen noodles with the broth for lunch, and spaghetti noodles with butter, Parmesan, garlic, sweet Italian sausage and olive oil for supper.  That is the end of our fresh meat, the rest of the trip will be canned stuff.  Yay...  We have about 8 onions, 10 potatoes, and two cabbage left in our fresh veggie hammocks. We have been taking multi vitamin and vitamin C gummy bears every day so hopefully that will keep us healthy.
With no sun and light wind it has been a challenge to keep the batteries topped off but now that the wind is blowing harder the wind gen has taken up some of the slack.  I shouldn't have to run the engine for charge today.  Running downwind decreases the efficiency of the wind gen because it subtracts the boat speed from the wind speed turning the gen.  But it has been steady enough that we are getting an ok charge through the night.  Until the charge is high we turn off the fridge at night and are restricted in our watermaking ability.  We have caught enough fresh rain water to keep up though and if we can get another good dump during the day I can go up on deck and open the fill hole and maybe top the tanks off again.

The boat has been doing very well.  The other night we lost the very top batten out of the batten pocket when the boat was wallowing and the sail was flogging.  I have an extra batten that I can cut down to size and put in the pocket when we get a calmer day again.  It doesn't make any difference in sail shape right now anyway since we are running down wind on a broad reach.
Sorry this mornings' blog is all business we'll make the evening one more of a family blog.
Captain Tofer, Rebecca, EmilyAnne, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Benny

Friday, May 16, 2014

May 16 Position Report

5/16/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
GMT 1200
08 59.32N. 103 36.08W
COG 310T
SOG 3kt
NTN 97 nautical miles
DTG 3304 nautical miles

Wind: calm now but fills in NE at 10-15 after squalls
Sky: cloudy with squalls all around
Seas:2-3ft 3 seconds with 4 ft northeast swell
Current: NW 1.5 knots FAVORABLE

Yesterday morning we sat wallowing and waiting for wind.  At around 10:30 the wind filled in from the NW and we were moving again.  The wind increased and clocked to the north then NE until finally we were moving on a broad reach with a heading for just east of Clipperton at 7-8 knots.  In the late after noon we were surrounded by big squalls on the horizon all around us.  It was strange, like we were in the middle of this squall factory.  The wind increased to 35knots as the first squall hit us and the rain dumped in buckets.  Then, before the squall had passed, the wind died away and the rain continued.  That was the pattern throughout the night.  The wind would increase and we would sail.  We would get hit by a squall, reef, get rained on and the wind would die and we would wallow in the waves with no wind for an hour or so before it started again.  It is very frustrating but at least we made almost 100 miles toward the NW yesterday rather than further south.

The possibility of tropical storm development around us is now a very real possibility.  The hurricane season in this part of the world begins on May 15.  We should have been well past Clipperton at this point and heading far enough west that the hurricane threat is minimal, but here we sit... Waiting for the wind.  When the boat is wallowing it is terrible.  The motion is sometimes violent rocking which dies away to nothing for a few minutes, the sails flog constantly but you cannot bring them down or the rocking of the boat is from gunnel to gunnel and you need to be ready to grab the wind every moment you can.  We keep the main double reefed right now so all we have to worry about is dropping or raising the stays'l and reefing the jib.  Since the wind is now on our aft quarter we have the main set out enough that we have the cockpit closure up. When the rain dumps we can stay relatively dry in the forward area of the cockpit but not entirely, the rain is so heavy sometimes that the very air itself is wet.  The cockpit is a steam room and the closed up boat below is a sauna.

Yesterday we had rice with cinnamon, sugar, and milk for breakfast, pasta salad for lunch, and teriyaki pineapple ham with mashed potatoes for supper.  
My right arm is so sore from working the winches that I can barely lift it and it falls asleep every time I go to bed.

Thanks to all of you who keep sending messages.  They lift our spirits.

Captain Tofer, Becca, Ems, Kanyon, Kaleb, Benny

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 15 Position Report

5/15/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
GMT 1200
08 25.64N  102 03.19W
COG 320T
SOG 1.4-2 kts drifting in NW favorable current
NTN 84 nautical miles ( this is noon to noon but does not represent distance made good.)
DTG 3400 nautical miles Wind: none
Current NW 1.4-2kt favorable
Temp: 88.6f
Pressure: 29.55
Seas: 2-3 ft n swell

Sails: double reefed main an stays'l set in tight to heave/to position

We sailed all day yesterday and as the wind clocked to the NW we were able to head up to a westerly course by the end of the day.  The wind quit about dusk and we have been drifting NW throughout the night.  I need to charge the batteries for a couple of hours this morning so at that time I will motor north west for two hours.  It sure will be nice to get out of this area of calms, squalls and variable winds and start making real progress toward Hawaii.

Last night on my late watch the moon had not risen yet so it was pitch dark and I took my super bright dive light (which I bought from Blue Water Divers in St Thomas) and shined it into the water.  Nothing happened for about ten minutes and then slowly a HUGE shape swam up under the boat.  I couldn't tell what it was because all I could see was... Well... A mass.  It spooked me pretty good so I put my flashlight away.   I think it's a good idea to maintain, what we used to call in theater, "a willing suspension of disbelief" when it comes to the space around the boat.  It freaks me out if I begin to really process the creature that was near enough to see that light and come investigate or if I begin to try to fathom (no pun intended) the depth of the water below us (13,540 feet) or the vastness of the ocean we are sailing/floating on today. The boat is a little safety bubble.  It has been our home for years so everything is familiar and "safe" but really as we sit here floating in the current it is no more than a really posh life raft at the moment and we are floating through a hostile environment where humans are not supposed to live.

Yesterday we had blueberry pancakes for breakfast, roasted red pepper tomato soup with chicken and rice in it for lunch, and Dad's cheesy mozzarella and Parmesan goulash with a sweet garlic and onion marinara sauce and sweet Italian sausage for supper.
Aline:  thanks for the word riddles those are a fun change of pace.
Jim V.  Thanks again for occupying our thoughts with funny little jokes and riddles. We were SUPER jealous of you watching season 4 of WD, we are on the last four shows of season three. And for "what has one eye but cannot see?" Benny said a blind pirate. LOL!
Carl:  we enjoy your history lessons thanks.
Chuck and Gayle: thanks for reading and, We love you!
Jared: keep 'em comin!
Cave:  you'd have got a real kick out of Beck reading the news like a news anchor last night.
Herman:  I'm pretty sure I explained our frustration with this southerly course in the blog... Hmmm perhaps you skim?  Thanks for your messages and thoughts!
Mjlferando: thanks for reading and I'm SURE we'll need something from West Marine when we get to Hawaii... Actually I have a list already LOL.

Well time for me to fire up the engine and motor for a couple of hours.  It sure will be nice not to roll back and forth for a while.  The sound of the sails flogging is nerve wracking!

Have a Great Thursday,
Captain Tofer, Rebecca, EmilyAnne, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Ben

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 14 Position Report

5/14/14 Wandering Dolphin POS
GMT 1200
08 38.21N  100 40.42W
COG 255T
SOG 6.2kt
NTN 110 nautical miles
DTG 3478 nautical miles

Wind: WNW 8-12
Current: favorable 1 kt
Temp: 89f
Pressure: 29.55
Sky: partly cloudy, squalls around
Seas:1-2 ft

All sails set. Close hauled.

Good Morning,
Yesterday was a good day.  We were moving all day long under sail alone.  It has been two days since we ran the engine for any reason.  The sun has given enough charge in the day to fully charge the batteries.  We have been turning off the fridge at night now since all of the fresh meat is gone anyway. All is well with the boat and crew.

Our biggest frustration now is that we are headed south and loosing the helpful current.  The clear sky's are also to the north while squally weather is to our south.  The problem remains, if we tack, we stop making headway to the west entirely and our northerly progress is hampered by the very current that helps us on the other tack so that we are only moving north at 2 knots.  We are continuing to gamble that if we stay on this WSW heading the northerly shift in the wind will come and allow us to head up enough to make Clipperton.

This time offshore has given Beck and I a lot of time to sit in the cockpit and just chat and laugh.  I think everyday life gets in the way for almost everyone and time to just sit around and talk is forgotten.  Out here we have lots of time to spend on each other.

It's funny, on the shorter passage from St Thomas to Panama, by day six we were all daydreaming about food but on this one we haven't began to do that yet.  Perhaps it's just because we are still eating so well.  Yesterday we had cereal for breakfast, tuna/cabbage wraps for lunch, and pepperoni pizza for supper.  EmilyAnne also made chocolate chip cookies for snack.
The meat line is in the water now.  Hope we get another big Mahi Mahi.

Jimmy!  Thanks for getting back to us.   Email us today please!  I'll repost the instructions for the sat messages too, your brothers would love it if you sent msgs.
Carl:  thanks for the history of the bicycle!  Don't know if you know it but I rode my bicycle from Wyoming to Alaska when I was 16.
Jim V: glad you got some rain and both Beck and Em got the Bison riddle :)
Jared:  we should be in Hawaii still near the end of June but we will be at the Yacht club in Honolulu. Pierre: thanks!  We sure are glad to be moving!
Emily Osborn: SO great to hear from you!  Hope all is well back in Montana!  Tell our friends "hi" for us!  Glad you're with us on this trip.
Shannon: thanks for the new riddle.
Aline: OK this coin one has us flummoxed!

To send us a free message on our Iridium phone just follow these instructions: you leave the number 8816 that is already in the number slot and add our number to it 32521786 then just type in your message. Don't bother putting your email in the email line but do put your name and the message order like 1/3, if you're sending 3 msgs. (160 total characters per message) But you can send as many as you like and they are free. Remember when the beep goes off from the phone we always jump to see what it says...
Thanks Again for Sailing a With Us!
Captain Tofer, Beck, Ems, Kanyon, Kaleb, Benny

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 13 Position Report

5/13/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

GMT 1200
09 08.00N 098 53.83W
COG 260T
SOG 5kt
NTN 92 nautical miles
DTG 3577 nautical miles

Wind: W6-10
Temp: 86.4f
Pressure: 29.55
Current favorable 1.5 to 2 knots
Sky: mostly clear
Seas: 2 ft NW swell

Good Morning,
Yesterday was a great day.  The wind filled in in the morning and we were able to sail slowly all day.  It was a fun day.  The kids did some school and then everyone just kicked back and read or played games.  The sun was shining all day so the solar kept everything charged up.  After so many days, lately, of jumping up to reef for squalls and working the boat it was nice to have clear sky's and a steady, if not light, wind blowing.  It allowed us to catch up on sleep and relax.
Around noon Beck decided to make some bread and I woke up to the smell of fresh bread!  With the breeze blowing through the open hatches the boat even stayed pretty cool.

We had rice with sugar and milk for breakfast, fresh bread with butter, jelly and peanut butter for lunch, and burritos with black bean and green chili, corn salsa smothered in cheese for supper.

Just after supper the wind died again and the seas went glassy smooth.  The sky was clear and the moon almost full and we could clearly see Saturn low on the eastern horizon, Mars right beside the moon and Jupiter high in the western sky.  The auto pilot went on strike because we had no steerage so we just tied off the wheel and let her drift.  Around 2:00am the wind started to fill in again from the west and we slowly made way again.  We are a bit further south than I would like to be but the wind is forecast to move to the North today so we can then head up some more and get back up on a heading for Clipperton.

The kids are doing so well out here.  Today will make it 10 days on this voyage which matches our longest voyage as a family to date back when we sailed from Oriental, North Carolina to Nassau.

Kanyon still has not discovered the world of books so he is a little bored but I have high hopes that this will be the trip where he discovers that reading is fun.  Benny is really loving "Fablehaven" but he has too much energy to sit still for long and he always craves attention so sometimes when Kaleb is reading Ben will begin to pester him just to get attention, pretty soon I hear a scuffle start and Ben is being run off by both Kanyon and Kaleb.  He then seeks out his sister and begins to make noises that he knows she hates.  He will "meow" like a cat or "chirp" like a bird or just click his tongue until finally she erupts in a volcanic hail of fists and flails on him until he cries for mercy.  Sometimes I see this happening in time to move Ben up into the cockpit with me before he causes too much unrest.  I try to engage him in the sailing of the boat or the view, looking for whales or whatever.  Maybe today he can catch a fish.

Thanks again for all of your messages!
Carl:  thanks for the naval history.  I shared it with the boys.
Jim V., Aline, Jared, and Shannon thanks for the riddles!
Cave, thanks for the bread recipe... We like the name "cavebread."

This morning is beautiful and the wind is actually moving us along so we are happy.  I have a few boat maintenance things to do today.  I will run the watermaker and fix an electrical connection for the stern light.  I will also be walking the deck looking for chafe on the running rigging and checking on the standing rigging.  I also think it's time to put a meat line in the water!

Hope you all have a great day!

Captain Tofer, Becca, EmilyAnne, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Buggin' Ben