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

1 comment:

  1. When do you think you will get to Hawaii? When will you be able to do more Grocery Shopping? Praying for you all.