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

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