Saturday, May 24, 2014

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

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