Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 31 Position Report

7/31/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

1000 Anchorage Time/1800GMT
N44 28.78 W148 34.43
COG 080T
SOG 3-4 kt
DMG 88 nautical miles
DTG 1083 nautical miles

Wind: S 10
Pressure: 29.75
Temp: 68F
Sky: overcast
Seas: 4ft swells
Sails: main and jib set.

From Becky:
Good morning, today we find ourselves again waiting for the wind to fill in.  Our wheel is tied off and we are drifting with the current and riding the swells as they try to make it under the boat.  In the morning as I drink my coffee I plan the meals based on the sea conditions.  Example; rougher seas mean a one pot meal with a lid.  The mellow days I bake, fry, get my Betty Crocker on.  What I have found is that what I consider a rough day has changed and I find myself cooking more difficult meals in difficult situations.  This means we eat better and I try to prepare meals instead of just foods.  Bonus for my family, right?  I still use a pot with a lid for really rough days, however I also bake bread, muffins or dessert to go along with the meal.

For the meal planners out there, make your provision as simple to prepare as possible.  Buy mixes that just add water, canned goods that can be used for a variety of dishes, different kinds of pasta just to mix it up, dry sauces and gravy mixes come in handy.  Crackers (Ritz) keep well because they have sleeves.  Although once open you need to eat the entire sleeve that day.  In the past I have over stocked dry goods and this just makes for waste.  Example is flour is stored in my cabinet 4 to 6 month is will take on the "boat flavor."  This won't kill you but it makes it taste off and disappointing at best.

For long passages you should also bring comfort foods such as nuts, granola bars, candies, jerky, chips -- anything that will brighten your day.  I often store goodies in different lockers so when found it's like a treasure for the family.  I just pulled out a bag of starburst and there were smiles all around.  Who needs an entire bags at once?  We make our bag last a few days by only handing out 3 to 4 at a time.  Funny how quantity changes when living on a boat.  I have tons of stories about food but one of my favorite is from the Dominican Republic.  The months prior to the DR we were in the Bahamas where food was very pricey & so we had to share apples, sodas, candy bars, etc.  Once we reached the DR we went to shore for dinner where each child got a soda.  Benny put his little hands around the glass bottle held it ever so still and looked at me and said, "Is this all mine?"  Little Benny (then 5 years old) asked me.  I replied, "Yes!  All for you!" and he giggled, smiled and began to slurp it down.

Or when we were in Puerto Rico while in the grocery store I told them they could have a treat, all five kids stood there discussing with their heads together and then they picked an apple out of the cooler.  They picked the apple because they could eat it right off the core without me cutting it up to share.  Even on this passage I still cut up the apples to share and hand out candies in small quantities.  Without complaint (most of the time) my family doesn't moan or cry about the food.  Unless I get too creative.  Sometimes that doesn't also turn out so well.

If you have been following long you all know my family loves to eat, just remember the weeks after landing on Hawaii...haha.  What I am saying is don't change your diet on a passage.  Eat what you would normally eat.  Just plan for simpler meals.  Plan some meals you won't need to cook and throw in some things that will make you feel comfortable.

Here is my recipe I use for offshore quick rise bread

2 1/4 C milk
1t salt
1/4 C sugar
8T butter

Heat above times until warm but not hot to the pinky test.  ;) not sure temp
Once temp is correct whisk in 4 1/2 t yeast Then add 1C of flour at a time up to 6 C Turn out onto floured board and knead 5 minutes. Don't over knead or add to much flour, this will make dough too heavy.  Form dough into a ball & Spray or oil dough, cover and let rise 30 to 40 minutes.  I use this dough for cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls or bread.

Cinnamon filling;
Once dough is rolled out, spread with butter (a good layer), sprinkle with cinnamon, layer brown sugar over dough.  Roll into tube, cut into 2 inch disc.  Again, I don't measure... ;)

For a more detailed recipe, look up quick rise white bread.   It will give you details I left out.  I hope you enjoy it.

From my galley to yours,

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30 Position Report

7/30/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

0900 Hawaiian Standard Time +2 / 1700 GMT
N43 25.76 W150 00.12
COG 050T
SOG 5kt
DMG 40 nautical miles (pretty sad huh?)
DTG 1181 nautical miles

Wind: SW 10-12 (just started blowing about an hour ago)
Pressure: 29.80
Temp: 66.6F
Seas: 1 ft
Sky: overcast
Sails: all sails set

We're moving!! Yay!
Yesterday was a no wind and glassy sea day.  The sun did peek through the clouds on a couple of occasions but it was still mighty cold.  It was one of those days where the calm is so calm that the boat doesn't even rock back and forth in a swell.  We sat right there on our spot of the ocean just like we were anchored to the bottom.  The water was so clear we could see all kinds of little floaty creatures. Occasional flocks of little sea birds flew by and the albatross swooped around the boat again.

We decided it was a good day to open the hatches, air out the boat and do some cleaning.  We scrubbed the floors, shook out the cushions, and Becky and I fixed the stopped up galley sink drain.  We dumped vinegar and baking soda down alternated with boiling sea water and pretty soon it started to flow.  It's a constant battle to get the kids to scrape all of the food off the plates before they wash the dishes but after more than a week of doing dishes in buckets and dumping all the water over by hand I think maybe they will pay closer attention.

Our day would have been very relaxing if it wasn't for the fact that we were becalmed in what is pretty obviously the North Pacific shipping lane.  There are always ships passing either east to west or west to east.  It is just as busy as the Gulf Stream on the Atlantic coast of the USA.  Right now there are eight ships showing on AIS.  Even though we have a transponder AIS and all of the ships can theoretically see us, we have to keep a sharp look out at all times now just in case some yahoo at the helm of a big boat is watching a movie or something instead of his AIS screen.  So far, they have all seen us and altered course to avoid us.

We ate leftovers for lunch yesterday and Becky made fried potatoes with spam for supper.  She is going to bake bread this morning and we will finish off the eggs with open faced egg salad sandwiches on fresh bread for supper tonight.

The wind filled in this morning from the SW and we are once again underway.  We are going more north than our destination for two reasons. Number one, our speed and comfort is better on a broad reach than it is sailing directly downwind and number two, we know the wind will be moving to the NW in a few days so we need to get north as soon as we can.

... (Three hours later... At noon.)
So as I was writing the report one of the boys used the head and came up to inform me that it was not flushing... For a history on our past head problems read a past blog from last summer...but not if you have a squeamish tummy... For those of you who want to know what it's REALLY like out here you MUST read this to understand that the head issues are boat issues and if you live on a boat you WILL deal with them.  That being said, I prefer to deal with them near shore not bouncing around 1000 miles offshore.

I went below and determined that it was the macerator.  Beck and I have done this before so she got up to help me and we took the head apart... Sure enough it was clogged with paper!  We have a strict rule about no paper so no one was going to fess up so I didn't even try.  I'm sure it was one of those accidental drop in situations and rather than try to fish it out the culprit just flushed with fingers crossed.  Well three hours later the head is still clogged.  Well the head itself and macerator are flowing free but the hose from the head to the through hull is clogged and that is not a task to try to fix offshore.  (Think... Oops the through hull broke! *** boat sinks***)

So for the rest of the passage we are using a bucket...  Enough said...

Hope your day is better than ours!
Captain Tofer

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 29 Position Report

7/29/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

0900 Hawaiian Standard Time +1 / 1800 GMT
N43 04.05 W150 47.50
COG 084
SOG 5.4
DMG 113 Nautical miles
DTG 1195 Nautical miles

Wind: N 5
Pressure: 29.95
Temp: 69F
Sky: overcast - will we ever see the sun again?
Seas: calm
Sails: stays'l set for stability
Engine: 1800RPM - last day we can motor. We need to save fuel for land approach.

Good Morning!
We are a little distressed that perhaps the sun is gone for good.  Did anyone hear anything in the news about the sun?  We are all pretty sure it's still up there because it still gets light in the morning but that yellow ball of fire has not been seen for almost a week now.

Last night the temperature on deck was 59F.  The kids were trying to see their own breath (while still wearing shorts and no socks I might add).  We sailed slowly for about six hours during the day yesterday but this morning there is not even enough wind to sail slowly.  There are rain squalls all around us and I wouldn't mind getting a really good rain to rinse the decks and even let me divert some to the water tanks.  My guess is that sitting up on deck in the rain wearing nothing but shorts while I fill the tank might be a bit more invigorating at this latitude than it was down in the doldrums south of Hawaii.

EmilyAnne and I are the only ones awake right now.  She is down below making some hot cocoa for the two of us.  Rebecca made corn bread and chili last night so this morning I made Emily and myself a breakfast of fried eggs on cornbread.  We still have plenty of good food so we should be fine for the next 10 days.  Someone once asked me how we keep eggs.  I think it's pretty funny how Americans keep all of their eggs in the refrigerator. We went for six years without a working fridge on the boat so we learned a lot of tricks but the egg secret was the best of them.  Before we started cruising I had read all the different ways sailors kept eggs for long periods... Don't buy eggs that have ever been refrigerated, wrap each egg in tin foil, coat each egg with Vaseline, turn the eggs every couple of days... Yada, yada, yada... Because we were so lazy and all of those methods involved forethought and actual work we discovered that eggs (yes even refrigerated ones) keep just fine for at least a couple of weeks, even in the tropics, without being refrigerated and without doing ANY of the crazy things listed above.  I'm sure there are people out there insisting that if you coat your eggs in candle wax, under a full moon, while chanting a Gregorian Chant that the eggs will keep for two weeks or more... I can't say they are wrong either... Well perhaps the hot candle wax might start to cook the egg and it might go bad.  We know through our own lazy, "Hey, How long have those eggs been on the counter?"
   "I'm not sure... They're probably still good... Break one and see!" method, we learned that they will keep for a really long time.  I know the shocked looks that mothers everywhere are giving me but let me say a couple of things before you lynch me.  First, we have been doing this for over eight years.  Second, we now have a working fridge and would never waste fridge space with eggs.  Third (and perhaps most important), the nasty food poisoning you get from eggs you get from raw eggs out of the shell so all clean handling of cooking surfaces with raw eggs still applies.  And last but not least, don't worry that you might accidentally break a rotten egg into a pan, cook it up and eat it... Trust me... You know if the egg has gone bad...
Well the proof is, we bought those eggs 17 days ago... Mmmm they were yummy!

We had some really great messages from you folks yesterday and your encouragement really made our day!

To Magda: sounds like you have a wonderful dream and we hope you make it happen.  Sorry I don't know of that boat right off the top of my head.  If you like my crazy contrary opinions just keep reading, I'm full of them!  You can look back at my anchoring post called "Hold Fast".  I make some pretty contrary to the normal cruising advice opinions about ground tackle known there too.

To The Philips Crew on Redemption: Wow!  Thanks for reading.  We spent time in Oriental (our all time favorite stop by the way) I look forward to hearing about your trip so keep us updated.  Our kids really loved the Bahamas.  We left NC in January about seven years ago and sailed right offshore to Nassau.  It was our families first real offshore passage.  The Bahamas was a great place to ease the family into the whole lifestyle.  Sounds like you have circumnavigation plans though so long stops might not be in the plan.  When we moved aboard it was with the loose goal of circumnavigating but with no real end date so because it was more a lifestyle change we have basically become sea gypsies who stop and work in different places.  It still might get us around the world someday.  The challenge of homeschooling three kids on board is sure worth the effort.  Our oldest is off to college and doing well and the homeschooling was a good thing for him.  Our struggle was to find enough room on board for all of the books and stuff.  The iPads and Kindles have helped with that though.  We are considering putting our boys in school in Washington this year... I'm wrestling with all of the ramifications of that right now.  Keep sending us messages.

Well we are about 10 days away from our destination.  The wind is supposed to fill in a bit tomorrow and we are ready for it.

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

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28 Position Report

7/28/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

0800 Hawaiian Standard Time +1 / 1700 GMT
N42 05.92 W153 06.50
COG 080T
SOG 4.5-5kt
DMG X48hours 205 nautical miles
DTG (wpt changed for more direct route) 1319 nautical miles

Wind: NE 6-8
Pressure: 30.00
Temp: 75F (bet it's 60 with wind chill off this water)
Sky: Overcast fourth day in a row
Seas: almost calm
Sails: Full Genoa and Stays'l

Good Morning,
Sorry we missed a report yesterday.  The night before last had been a tough night because the wind moved around to the NE which is our destination heading, then it started blowing 20 knots plus and raining, and of course it was cold.  When the wind comes around to a close hauled heading we have to remove all of our cockpit cover and rain protection (the traveler runs through the cockpit so when the main sheet is in tight we cannot put up our connector between the dodger and the bimini).  Once we got it all set up it was all bad news.  We could go east but lose to the south or tack and gain north but lose to the west.  We tried both tacks for a while to see which might be most advantageous and chose the NNW track until morning when we tacked and went ESE.  The wind died in the late morning and we motored.  The same wind has been blowing lightly ever since and it will periodically drop altogether for a few hours and we pull in the sails and motor for a while.  It is all rather frustrating.  The kids have liked it because when we run the engine they get to play the Xbox.

I have heard dolphins squeaking around the boat for the past two nights.  They must be near the surface or on the surface because it's pretty loud.  There have been no other wildlife sightings other than the little birds and an occasional albatross.

The water in our tanks is ice cold now.  The kids have all their clothes on and wear their blankets around like Indians (they probably got the idea from watching Lonesome Dove).

Yesterday Becky made homemade biscuits and gravy. (Thanks for the rolled biscuit recipe Cave!).  It warmed us all up and warmed the boat up with the oven too.  We're gonna have to have some more baking in order to keep the boat warm!

So this morning I decided to take a shower... Our shower is one of those camping showers set up on the Bimini.  It was filled when we left Hawaii and I'm sure it was so hot from the sun at different times that it might have burned me... but this morning... When I was backpacking in the Wind River Range in Wyoming I took a bath in a glacier fed creek.  My shower this morning was that cold!  It sure felt great while my teeth were chattering and goose pimples were raised all over my body to pull on my polar fleece and feel the instant relief of warmth.  Becky also made me a hot cocoa.  Wow!  See!  You don't get to experience that EVER in the tropics.

While writing this the wind died away again and I had to pull in the jib and start the engine again.  See that is our battle right now.

I think I am going to go make an omelette.

The messages have slowed down... Sorry we are so boring but that gives you a real idea of what most days are like out here.  If you have questions or things you would like me to tell you about please send us messages and I will answer them in the next report.

Have a Great Day!
Captain Tofer

Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 26 Position Report

7/26/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

0800 Hawaiian Standard Time +1 / 1700 GMT
N40 20.49 W156 47.30
COG 053T
SOG 5.5kt
DMG 116 nautical miles
DTG 1613 nautical miles

Wind: SW less than 6
Pressure: 29.9
Temp: 79F
Seas: 1-2ft
Sky: overcast
Sails: stays'l set in tight for stability
Engine on at 1800RPM

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  The wind did die completely around 10:00am and we had to start motoring.  The sea was calm and the sun was shining.  It was nice to be cool but yet have the sun shining. We opened the hatches and let the cool sea air wash through again.  It was cold enough in the cockpit that Becky was like a cat, seeking spots of sun to lay in.

The boys did their school and when it was all done they played Xbox for the rest of the day.  The unlimited power also meant we could watch an extra show in the evening.

We had cereal for breakfast, open face tuna sandwiches on homemade bread for lunch, and PIZZA for supper!

At dusk a big pod of dolphins came by and swam around the boat.  They played in the bow wake and we all sat up on deck watching them.  I had my feet hanging off the bow pulpit and one of the got me wet when it came up for a breath right under my feet.  They took off in a race all of the sudden.  I have never seen them swim so fast!  It was like they were a bunch of kids and the parents just said, "I told you not to go play with that boat!  You get your fins over here right now or you'll feel my tail!"

The wind (what little of it there is) clocked around to the SW which I take as a good sign.  It must mean we are near the correct side of the high to get our west and north west winds later.  We are supposed to have a little west wind in a day or two before it dies again.  Our goal is to get up to 48 where the consistent winds from the west and north west should take us all the way to Washington.
We have had the engine on for 24 hours now and we can motor for a total of 5 days if we have to but we want to keep 24 hours fuel for our approach to The coast and Port Angeles so that gives us 3 days left of motoring to get across this high.  I am sure we will have to turn it off and sail slowly again in order to get through it.

It was cold last night... No really... I was actually wearing all my polar fleece and our fleece blanket and still shivering.  It BLOWS my mind to think about the latitudes we have covered!  From almost at the equator to 40N now... Wow... From hot to cold.

I am going to see if I can plant the idea of pancakes in my sleeping wife's brain.

Have a great day on your spot on the globe!
Captain Tofer  

Friday, July 25, 2014

July 25 Position Report

7/25/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

N38 54.98 W158 26.12
COG 035T
SOG 4-5 kt
DMG 110
DTG 1728

Wind: E8-10
Pressure: 30.05
Temp: 84F
Sky: partly cloudy
Seas: calm
Sails: full genoa and stays'l, main down for repairs. (Partial repair yesterday, finish it today)

If every day offshore was like this EVERYONE would sail across oceans!  Yesterday when the wind filled in it only blew at 8-10 all day.  The seas died to nothing, the sun came through the clouds and things warmed up a little.  We opened the hatch and the fresh sea breeze washed through the cramped smelly cabin below blowing all the accumulated odors of six people for so many days right out the back of the boat.  Rebecca made cinnamon rolls so the new and wonderful smell of baking sweets wafted up out of the companionway.

While the kids did school Emily and I went up to the sail bag to try to repair the main.  I managed to fix a ripped spot on the leech and put some glue and tape on the seam that is opening up.  I will have to remove the sail itself from the boom in order to sew it properly before we put it back up.  For those of you who have been messaging us and are getting ready for some of these long offshore passages, I sure recommend you take your sails in for re stitching before you go.  I left knowing our sails would take a whole lot of love and work to make this passage and we will need a new main when we get there.  The fact that we have been able to keep patching this old sail by hand shows that it can be done but had we spent the money on just re stitching it we would have avoided almost all of the work.  The sail has only ripped in two places due to the old fabric.  Most of the problems have been seams opening because the thread is bad.  Don't get me wrong, an old sail like this is not recommended anyway.  It doesn't hold its shape if the whole main is raised so we are reefed all the time, the fabric is shot, and it is just one more thing to stress over out here.  When we sailed that little boat Dulcinea from St. Thomas to Galveston it turned out that their main was the original 1981 sail!  On inspection their other sails were original as well and the spinnaker, which the owner thought was a genoa because he had never even had it out of the bag, had completely rotten seams.  They bought that boat after a survey and took it cruising for two years so it shows that if you are not ever doing any real offshore passages beyond island hopping in the Caribbean you can make use of those old sails and even in our case, if you are willing to sew and nursemaid your sails you can make actual long offshore passages.  Having sailed Dulcinea for almost 2000 miles with only a jib and no main because it ripped out in less than 20 knots of wind, (which the owners considered my fault by the way!) and fixed our own old sail for almost 10,000 miles in the past four months I recommend you bite the bullet and get some good sails.  I wish we had not wasted so much money fixing the watermaker and had used that money for a new main...  Oh well, hindsight....  
Last night we sat up on the deck and watched the march of the Portuguese Man-o-Wars... It still continues by the way.  There must be millions of them out here.  Swarms of little ones.  We also saw a little Loggerhead Turtle.  Thanks to our friend Aline for doing the research to let us know what type it was.  Our guess is that he is eating those Man-O-Wars.

These days don't come by very often out here.  Usually when you are in this calm water you're not moving and that's no fun or you have to start the noisy smelly engine.  But for now we are sailing on a calm sea!  I have always thought most of those "sailing" songs are full of crap... You know like the one by Christopher Cross... In my experience sailing, at least offshore, is anything but peaceful and relaxing. It is mostly hard, painful and uncomfortable with a constant undercurrent worry about what is going to break next.... Sorry I'm still having Dulcinea flashbacks (if you want to read the blogs from that delivery they are back in the month of February). Days like this, where the sea is calm, the sun is shining, and the boat is actually moving along under sail are few and far between but they are certainly worth a song or two... When I'm done writing this I am going to play that song... Also maybe... "If I Had a Boat" by Lyle Lovett.

Yesterday we had cinnamon rolls and fresh bread for breakfast and lunch and sweet sauce Gulash for supper.  Tonight it's Friday which traditionally has been our offshore pizza night... My fingers are crossed.  The kids are back in the swing of school, and we are all really enjoying Lonesome Dove.  We are on the second Mini Series Now, "Return to Lonesome Dove."

Wow thank you for all the great messages yesterday!  If I miss someone I'm sorry it wasn't intentional!

Cave:  thanks for the awesome weather and reminding us of Shave Ice.... Brrrr
Jim V.  Thanks for keeping us company buddy!  Favorite riddle was... Fsh
Jared R. I knew humans was high but flies was a surprise.. We're stumped for #1.
Rennie- we are looking forward to seeing you guys again too!  Doubt you'll recognize WD, tho!
Dick and Jill - Hi!  Thanks for the msg!  Hope CT is ok for Aug and Sept in STT. Nerve wracking when those storms start marching across! Alex - thanks for the msgs this morning!  It's great to hear about your coming plans.  We would love to meet you guys before you leave and give you our info on CR, Panama, and of course the Caribbean!!  We'll be there soon!

Well it's time for me to get this sent off!  Have a wonderful day today!
Captain Tofer and the Fam on a calm sea on WD!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Send Text Messages to Wandering Dolphin

It's Mike from the WD Shore Crew:

The Wandering Dolphin crew sure enjoys receiving text messages on the Iridium satellite phone.  To send a message, go to

1.) Click the first box and enter 881632521786
2.) Click the second box titled Reply Email and put in your name and message number.  Example: Mike1/3 or Mike 2/3.
3.) In the third box, type your message.

Each message can be up to 160 characters so you may need to break up your message into multiple parts.  Just enter the message number in the second box so the crew can keep track.

Sending messages is free so send as many as you like.  As soon as you click the Send Message button, the crew receives your message and jump up to see what it says.  Someone is always on watch so they'll get your message right away.

Your jokes and riddles help pass the time and if you have any questions, we can answer you on our next update.

July 24 Position Report

7/24/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

0700 Hawaiian Standard Time / 1700 GMT
N 37 24.77  W 159 43.90
COG 030T
SOG 4.5 kts
DMG 105 nautical miles
DTG 1833 nautical miles

Wind: E 5
Pressure: 30.10
Temp: 78F
Sky: overcast
Seas: 1 ft
Engine on motoring @ 1800rpm

Good Morning,

It is a foggy and chilly morning out here today.  This is the first day we have woke up to fog.  The dodger windows are all dripping with condensation on the inside and for the first time since we left Oriental, North Carolina headed for the Bahamas, almost eight years ago, it feels nice to go below and feel the WARM cabin!  It seems strange to read the thermometer and see that it says 78 and yet with the fog and all we are chilled and wrapping the polar fleece around us in the cockpit.  By the way I am still in my shorts but after a pretty cold night I think I will break out the polar fleece tonight.

We are in the High.  We were hoping we could sail until 39N but it must have stretched out to 37N.  We cannot motor our whole way across and there is still a little wind blowing today.  Yesterday I noticed one of the big seams in the main was pulling apart.  It had only separated about six inches right in the middle of the sail.  That is a pretty easy fix but if I were to have left it up it would have gone all the way across the sail and that would have been a bigger job than I could do by hand at sea.  The wind was still blowing though and I knew I couldn't fix it and wrestle with the sail on deck at the same time.  With the wind blowing at 5 or so I should be able to fix it today.  If I can get the main fixed and back up we might be able to sail along at 2 or 3 knots and save fuel for when the wind truly dies.

I wonder if I can talk Becky into making cinnamon rolls for breakfast today.  We have been eating very well but this time we left with almost no candy or sweet stuff on board... Not my idea by the way... I am not of the opinion that smokers should quit on a long offshore passage... There is enough stress to deal with out here... You need comfort where you can get it.  I digress.  We would all warm up to cinnamon rolls and hot cocoa.   Ok, that's my pitch, I'm going below to make it.
Hmmm not sure if we're going to get them this morning.

Yesterday we had scrambled eggs for breakfast, Parmesan noodles for lunch and burritos for supper.  The fridge still has some good stuff in it so now that it is getting cooler we will start to have pizza and other yummy stuff.

As I have been writing this the fog has turned to a foggy drizzly rain.  Sure glad we have AIS you could never spot a ship in this stuff.

We were expecting to see a lot of trash from Japan out here but so far we have only seen three of those fishing balls.  I am betting that there will be more as we cross this high.

I have read a lot of books written by people on these long offshore voyages and for the life of me I cannot figure out what it is they write about.  Day in and day out things are pretty much exactly the same as the day before.  The big changes in each day are simply what you eat or maybe the set of the sails.
Hey the wind filled in to around 10 from the ESE just now so I cut off the engine and pulled the jib out and we are sailing again and the rain has stopped too.

Thanks for the messages and if anyone is bored and would like to say hi we would sure like to hear from you.  If you go back to the older blogs at the start of this voyage from Hawaii there is one that tells you how to send messages.

Hope Everyone Has A Great Day!
Captain Tofer, Becky, Emily, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Benny

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23 Position Report

7/23/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

0800 Hawaiian Standard Time / 1800 GMT
N 35 41.89  W 160 32.67
COG 010T
SOG 6.4kt

Wind: E 18-22
Pressure: 30.10 rising
Temp: 82.8F
Sky: mostly clear
Seas: 2-3 ft
Sails: double reefed main, partly reefed jib, stays'l
Next Waypoint: N39. W159.  Then motor across high to N48. W155.   Then Cape Fl WA.

Today's report is from Rebecca.

Good morning from WD.  I can hardly believe that our home WD is on the move from St. Thomas, VI to Washington state even this far into the journey.  As the water passes under the hull I am at ease with the motion and enjoying the cooler breeze.  When we left St. Thomas March 17th, I had a tear  in my eye and a smile on my face for the next big adventure.  This journey has covered miles of open sea, some stops at great locations, and we have met some incredible people.  Someday our kids will look back and realize what a life event this was for them but for now it's just another sailing journey on our home.  We all have childhood stories of great adventure wether you were in a city, farm, island or out to sea.  We have lots of time to share while out here and one of my favorite times is when the kids tell of the crazy days of the farm or Water Island and their air soft gun wars, selling coconuts to the tourists, sleepovers, fishing for sharks, sodas on Bones and the list goes on.  They are now talking about what being on a dock will be like.  Questions are flying, the main question is, can I have a bike?  It makes my heart happy to see my family excited about the next chapter in our lives.  It reminds me to be childlike and not to stress over the unknown before getting the facts.  At this point Emily and I have channel fever with WA only being 2,000 miles away.  We daydream of what's to come when Captain reminds us to enjoy the rest of the voyage.  So today I will focus on the beauty of today.

Replies to messages:
JaredR:  We enjoyed hearing of your families motor home Yuma adventure.  And I don't like crickets!

JimV: You are one busy Dad safe travels to you.  Also we are all enjoying the Lonesome Dove series.

Aline:  Thanks for following all these miles.  How is the boat hunting going?

Len:  We will make plans after landfall for sure.

Alex:  S/V Pesto WD will not be stopping in Seattle but hopefully we can connect before you start your journey.

Steve: thanks for the updates!

Herman: I miss your STT news, where are you?

Cave and Chenoa: thanks for the news and weather!

WaterIsland & STT peeps big and small:  You are missed and talked about often.

Now to embrace whatever today brings at me, Becca

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 22 Position Report

7/22/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

0700 Hawaiian Standard Time / 1700 GMT
N 33 36.34  W 160 56.40
COG 000T
SOG 5-5.5 kts
DMG 137 nautical miles
DTG 2393 nautical miles

Wind: ENE 20-25
Pressure: 29.95
Temp: 88F
Sky: overcast with squalls
Seas: 6ft
Sails: double reefed main and stays'l

Well that wasn't one of my favorite nights!  The squalls hit us in a marching line and the wind in the squalls picked up to the high 30s at one point.  We kept the jib rolled all the way in but even with the double reef in the main and the little stays'l out I was about to go forward in the dark to drop the main.  The boat did well and we only took a few rolling waves over the deck.  I stayed in the cockpit again all night just catching cat naps between the squalls.
We should be approaching that high today or tomorrow.  The kids are actually looking forward to running the engine so they can play their XBox.  We've stopped making west now and are pretty much headed due north.  The North Star is right to the starboard of my mast at night just a little bit with the Big Dipper on the port side.  We remember from our passage to Hawaii what it was like to be in a calm for days but we are actually looking forward to a little calm, warm weather right now.  If we can motor across it in about four days I'll be cool with that but I bet it will be too big and we're gonna end up sitting in it for a while twiddling our thumbs.

Oh! We had a visitor yesterday!  A HUGE albatross flew around the boat all day.  He must have had a 9 or 10 ft wing span.  He would just drift on the air currents sometimes dragging his wing tip in the water.  He didn't seem to interested in Wandering Dolphin though, not at all like all the sea birds who try to land on the bow pulpit or even in the cockpit.  Albatross are considered good luck offshore!  I'll take it thank you very much.

The kids all worked on school yesterday.  They have a bit of catch up to do because they took they whole Hawaii time off school.

Thanks to the folks on their boat in Seattle, and also the ones in Vancouver, please send us your contact info.  We would love to meet you and hear your plans for cruising!

Cave,  thanks for the weather and all that news.  We were sad to hear about James Garner.  We watch the "Return to Lonesome Dove" tonight and he plays Woodrow Call in that one.

Steve:  thanks for the weather info and Beck requests news from St Thomas.  She's a little mopey sometimes missing all the folks there.

Jim V.  Not sure you'll get this for a couple of days but drive safe and.... What in the world is Twirl Camp?

I am going to go below now and make some scrambled eggs with bacon bits and cheddar cheese for the family for breakfast.

Hope you have a wonderful day!
Captain Tofer, Rebecca, EmilyAnne, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Benny

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21 Position Report

7/21/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

N 31 21.49  W 161 01.79
COG 000T
SOG 5.5kt
DMG 118 nautical miles
DTG 2599 nautical miles

Wind: ENE 18 gusting to 30 in squalls
Pressure: 29.90
Temp: 85.4F
Seas: 6ft
Sky: overcast squalls all around
Sails: double reefed main and full stay s'l. Jib is rolled all the way in, I was getting sore from reefing it every 20 minutes.

Good Morning,

The sky out here looks like winter.  The thermometer still reads in the 80s but with that cold wind I can sure tell we are going north.  I am still wearing nothing but shorts all day and night but at night I pull a polar fleece blanket around me.  The moment that I have to put away my standard tropical uniform and pull on long sleeves and long legs will be a momentous occasion and it is my intention to put it off as long as possible.

Last night the wind and squalls hit us right after supper and so we left the jib rolled in all night so we lost about 25 miles to our daily run.  I am ok with that.  It sure made the night less stressful to know she's all reefed in for squalls.  Between squalls we would slow down to 4 knots but we probably averaged 5 throughout the night.

We had a lot of fun yesterday when we all had supper in the cockpit again.  This time we were talking about all the crazy jokes you guys send us and we developed a new game.  The way the game works is one person tells a joke that they are making up with no punchlines and then everyone else has to try to think of a funny punchline.  For example I say to you, " A Nun, a hooker and a carpenter are stuck in a life raft..." Now you finish it!   Lol we laughed at our own stupidity until some of us (Rebecca) had tears running down our faces.

We had cold cereal, tuna wraps, and Ramen Noodles with spam and corn for our meals yesterday.  I am about to fry up some potatoes, corned beef, and scrambled eggs with mustard for breakfast.

Oh! And last night about midnight a ship came by within half a mile and altered course to pass us astern.  Man I love our AIS transponder! Don't leave home without one!  Our course is for The North Pole right now so he was probably thinking were are crazy people.  On that note, it is pretty cool to actually use the North Star for navigation purposes right now!

Here comes the rain... Another squall.. I'll get this sent off.

Ridin' The Storm Out, (one of my favorite REO Speedwagon songs by the way)
Captain Tofer and the whole Fam.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20 Position Report

7/20/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

0600 Hawaiian Standard Time / 1600 GMT
N 29 23.73  W 160 58.31
COG 350T
SOG 5.5-6 kt
DMG. 138 nautical miles
DTG 2564 nautical miles to Port Angeles, WA, first stop for fuel.

Wind: NE 15-18
Pressure:29.90 rising
Temp: 86.5F
Sky: partly cloudy
Seas: 5-6ft east swells with 2 ft wind chop
Sails: all sails set, double reefed main, reefed jib, stays'l

We are all used to being at sea again.  Everyone is pretty excited about getting to Washington and family.  It's pretty cool that the summer family visit will include both Wandering Dolphin and Kristofer this year.  We spent a lot of time yesterday talking about family and remembering times back on the farm.  It was pretty cool.  All of us were out in the cockpit laughing and joking around.  We sure miss our oldest son Jimmy though.  If he only knew the tales the kids tell about him he would want to be here to defend himself.

I did my boat walk around and checked all of the standing rigging and running rigging looking for possible failure points and chafe.  We also have a clog in the galley sink drain which is a pain because to fix it you have to remove plumbing below the water line so we would have to close the through hull, fix it then reinstall it all and open it.  I am not really keen on messing with plumbing below the water line this far out to sea so I have decided that dishes will be done in a bucket and the drain water tossed over... It didn't make me the most popular person on board.

We had some rain yesterday and the decks were rinsed but they are all salty again.  Today looks like a nice sunny day. We are still moving along nicely toward our northern waypoint where we hope to find the west wind that will take us east to Washington.  I know that one of these days soon, maybe today, the wind will die and we will be forced to motor for a few days to get across the North Pacific High.  Maybe we will luck out and it will reform to the SE of us and we will get good wind with no motoring... One can dream.

Yesterday we had egg, bean, salsa, wraps for lunch, and spaghetti with pink sauce and burger for supper.  We watched Lonesome Dove and then a fantastic star shine show and moonrise.  We have not seen a lot of wildlife yet or trash from Japan like we expected.  We did see a very large, yellow, mooring type, buoy yesterday.  I couldn't tell if it was a weather one or just floating trash.  We have seen two ships on AIS since we left Hawaii.  The closest just passed us at 10 miles away.

Kaleb read two books yesterday.  His recreational reading speed astounds me.  Especially when compared to his academic reading skill.  He complains about his school reading of course.  Benny is on the last of the Fablehaven books and EmilyAnne is reading three books at once right now.  I am about to start on a new science fiction series called "The Kestrel Saga" I bought on Kindle, on a whim, before we left Hawaii.

We didn't get very many messages yesterday.
Thanks to Cave and Steve for weather.
Jim V. Thanks for the riddles and the food thoughts.
Jared R.  Quite a lot of discussion on the boat about this whole dangerous animal thing, great idea!

I just looked at my chart plotter and ran a line from Hawaii to Japan and with this big dog leg to the north that we have to do we could have gone to Japan!  So I immediately started thinking about sailing from Washington to Hawaii to Japan.... Gotta love this whole boat thing, the world is one big WD oyster!.... Oh wow! See there goes my mind again... Those Oyster boats are soooo nice!

Time for breakfast!  Have a Great Day on your spot on the globe!
Captain Tofer

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 19 Position Report

7/19/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

0600 Hawaiian Standard Time / 1600 GMT
N 27 05.75 W160 25.47
COG 350T
SOG 6 kt
DMG 144 nautical miles
DTG 2769 nautical miles ( changed waypoint last night )

Wind: NNE 5-10 Pressure: 29.9 rising
Temp: 82.3F and falling...
Sky: mostly cloudy with rain squalls
Sails: double reefed main, reefed jib, stays'l set, close hauled wind dies after squalls and blows hard in them... Typical squally weather
Seas: 10ft east swells but with long interval
Engine on 1600RPM  for charge and to power through the calms between squalls.

Good Morning,

Everyone on board is feeling much better today with the exception of Rebecca who has a bit of a cold.  I'm sure it's the same one I had that kept us an extra day in Lahaina.  All of the kids will probably get it next.

The wind and seas moderated a bit yesterday and everyone felt pretty good.  We had oatmeal for breakfast, Mac-N-Cheese for lunch, and smothered burritos for supper.  We started on Lonesome Dove last night.  The kids were really not expecting to like it but Ol' Gus and Woodrow have worked their way into even EmilyAnne's reluctant heart.  I sometimes forget that all of the western things I am so used to from growing up in Wyoming are not "normal" for my "sea kids."  I found it funny when I would have to pause it to answer questions like,
Ben: "Ouch! Why are they burning those cows with the hot poker?"
Me: "They have to brand them so everyone knows whose cows they are..."
Kaleb: "Didn't they just steal all those cows?"
Me: "Yes, but they don't want someone else to steal the cows from them now."
Kanyon:  "The dumb guy in Mexico should have thought of that..."


Ben: (notice a trend here?) "Why do those cows just follow the guys on the horses?  Why don't they all just decide to go wherever?"
Me: " The guys on the horses are cowboys... They drive the cattle where they want them to go by riding around them with the horses making noise and stuff, it's called a cattle drive."
Ben: "Cowboys... Ummmm hmmm" mind ticking over... "Cowboys."

Had we stayed in Montana my boys probably would have at least been intimately educated on branding and there would have been at least an even chance that one of them might have been a cowboy but alas they are sea people more familiar with the movement of a boat on the ocean and fish in the sea than a 4x4 on a dirt road and cattle drives.

We continued reading our books.  I finished " A Fault In Our Stars" and today I will do some school time with EmilyAnne.  That book is a great book and it opens up a ton of good questions about the nature of humanity, eternity, and our place in it all.   The boys will also get cracking on school today.  Their three day window for seasickness is over so they need to break open the school books.

Thanks again for the messages:
*Jared R:  We were certain dogs would be on the list of most dangerous animals and Kanyon was glad to be right.
*Jim V.  Thanks for the riddle answers and MAN those Tex/Mex enchiladas sound Great! Make mine with chicken and green chilies and top with sour cream mmmmmmmmm! *Kayden from a boat in the Bahamas:  it's GREAT to hear from you!  The boys love to hear what other kids on boats are up to so txt us when ever you like.  Kaleb said to tell you he is on the first book in the second series and his favorite character is Firestar.  Ben wanted to know if you have read Fablehaven by Brandon Mull?
Steve: we don't mind multiple weather sources knock yourself out!
Cave: Tell Chenoa we had beans for supper!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!
Captain Tofer, Becky, EmilyAnne, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Benny

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 18 Position Report

7/18/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

0600 Hawaiian Standard Time / 1600 GMT
N 24 50.61    W 159 50.39
COG 345T
SOG 6.5 kt
DMG 144 nautical miles
DTG 2798 nautical miles (depending on when we can make our turn to the east)

Wind: NE 20-25
Pressure: 29.8
Temp: 86.8F
Sky: partly cloudy
Seas: 7-10 feet
Sails: double reefed main and reefed jib.
        (We could let more sail out and increase speed but it makes it too uncomfortable below.)

Good Morning,
Yesterday was pretty typical for a second day offshore on a passage, if not just a little bit more challenging.  It's always nice to start a passage with nice weather and light winds and small seas because you can ease your body into the motion of the boat and when the rough stuff hits you have your sea legs (which is a REAL thing I assure you!). This time we left a calm marina and started bouncing and crashing to windward right out of the gate and everyone, including myself and Kanyon who is known for his iron constitution, has been feeling under the weather.  The Sturgeron Forte meds have helped but, for the first time, they have not really completely cured the Mal de Mer.  Today is day three and traditionally sea sickness takes care of itself in about three days...

So yesterday we all kinda found a spot and stayed there doing whatever our bed ridden entertainment of choice is.  Kaleb and Benny have traded in their Game Boys and iPads for reading.  Kaleb is reading the "Warriors" books.  That should keep him busy until he's about 18, even reading them one a day.  There are about a thousand of them.  Benny is still reading Brandon Mull books.  Emily is also glued to her Kindle, I'm not sure what she's reading but, being a teenage girl, it's a GREAT book if it makes you ball your eyes out.  Kanyon has been playing on his iPad and watching some movies.  Rebecca has been playing games on her iPad, Civilization and Tribez.  She likes any of those games where she gets to be god and make all of her little minions do what she tells them to.  I have been reading the newest book in the Outlander series and one of Emily's books, "The Fault in Our Stars."  I'm sure I'll be crying big ol' alligator tears by the end of the day and then she'll realize how sweet and sensitive her old Dad is after all.

The boat has been doing great.  We had water in the bilge yesterday but quickly discovered that it is coming in through the chain locker. The bow has been slamming pretty hard and that forces water past my little foam covers on a couple of the vents and down the chain too.  We heaved to and I blocked it off as best I could with it being all wet up there.  I can stop it up once we have a sunny calm day.  The sails seem to be holding together now.  My stitching jobs might not look pretty but they do the trick I guess.  The waves are coming at us from an angle where an occasional wave (one every hour) crashes over the cockpit side.  It's a good thing we have these splash guards around the cockpit or we would be drenched.  As it is we still have a lot of salt water wet towels up here now from sopping up the mess the waves leave behind.

We only ate easy stuff yesterday, instant oatmeal for breakfast, PBJ (peanut butter and jelly for you non Americans) wraps and "Cheese Its" with apples for lunch, and cold, canned chili with cheese over tortilla chips for supper.

None of us have felt good enough to start our evening supper and a show tradition yet but maybe we will tonight.  We will be watching the Lonesome Dove mini series to start off with.  Thanks Jim Vines for loaning them to us for this passage!

Your messages remain our favorite entertainment.  *Caveman, thanks for the news and weather.  (Am I gonna miss the High?)
*Steve: the kids are bummed that they are not with Katie, Nicole, and Amanda at Disney.
*Jim V. Riddle answers!  *Brent-Gilroy thanks for the kind words.  *Jared R. The kids are betting on the most dangerous animal... Ben thinks it's a dragon...Kaleb scoffs and says a Centaur could kick a dragons ass...( thanks Brandon Mull)... Kanyon thinks dogs should be on there with all the pit bull stories in the news, Emily is pretty sure the Fur de Lance snake is it, Rebecca thinks it's a spider and I personally am pretty sure the number one killer of humans is the primate Homo sapiens erectus.  *Welcome to Heike from Hamburg, Germany! Thanks for the note and please tell us what it's like where you live... The kids can call it school haha.
*Aline.  Welcome back!  How goes the boat shopping?  Tell Jake that math is even more exciting offshore!

Well I sure hope you all have a wonderful day where you live.  The sun is out and it looks like it might be a very pretty day... Sure is a lot of BLUE out here!

Captain Tofer

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 17 Position Report

7/17/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

0600 Hawaiian Standard Time- 1600 GMT
N 22 30.68  W159 14.72
COG 340T
SOG 5-6 kt

Wind: NNE 20-25 ?? Arrrrrrrg
Pressure: 29.75
Temp: 87.4F
Seas: E 7-8 ft
Sky: cloudy with squalls
Sails: double reefed main and reefed jib

Good Morning from a romping, wet, ride in the North Pacific!

Yesterday morning Rebecca and I ran over for coffee right before we left and we met a very nice honeymooning couple from Chicago.  He is a pastor and prayed for us right before we left.  What a super way to start a long offshore trip!

We left Oahu knowing that this little system was moving through and that it was blowing east at 20+ knots which meant the channel between Oahu and Kauai was going to be rough with enhanced wind.   It was!  We were only sailing for about an hour before I noticed that a little spot in one of the jib seams high up was coming apart.  Great!  I turned the boat so it would be closer to the island as we went around it to the west and sure enough that put us in the Lee enough to drop the sail.  Emily sat on the sail and held on to it while I taped and resewed the seam.  We raised the sail just as we left the Lee and BAM! We were hit with 30/35 knots of wind from the NNE...  I figured that was just an effect of the island but it's still blowing and we are close hauled heading NW.  You might think that is depressing since Washington is to our NE, and it is, but we actually need to be a little west of here and way north to pass the notorious North Pacific High which is an area with no wind, once we pass it the wind changes to the west and we can head for Washington.  We couldn't afford our regular weather guy this trip but my sailing buddy Richard is at least letting me know where the wind is.  Thanks Richard!

Yesterday for the family was all about getting the feel of being offshore once again.  There were a lot of green looks and evil eyes pointed my way too but Rebecca made a great supper of pesto and parm. noodles and Hawaiian sweet roll turkey sandwiches and that made everyone feel much better.  Food in your belly actually helps you feel less seasick.... Well that and the Sturgeron.

I want to thank those of you who shared our Facebook page and blog.  It takes quite a bit of my time to do this and I know there are a lot of folks out there who need a break from their daily life to dream and live these passages with us.  I used to sit at my desk and read along and I remember what it was like, for those few minutes I could be out there with those folks.  That's what I hope this does for you.

Thanks for the messages!  We are off to a fun start with Jared sending us the worlds most deadly animals and Jim V. Sending us his usual fun facts and riddles as well as his own life stories.  Thanks guys!  Also thanks to my brother Chuck and sister-in-law Gayle, we appreciate your prayers and support and we sure miss ya!

Remember, we update our Wandering Dolphin Facebook Page throughout the day in real time using our Delorme InReach.  I will try to write a little more tomorrow but I'm a little green right now myself!

Bumping and Bouncing,
Captain Tofer, Rebecca, EmilyAnne, Kanyon, Kaleb, and Benny

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our Floating Families Fueling Fiasco

There are a lot of things about cruising on a sailboat that make our lifestyle interesting and full of adventure.  You would never guess it but just obtaining diesel fuel in Hawaii has been an unexpected adventure.

When we arrived in Hilo back in June after 38 days at sea we were, of course, down to our last couple of gallons of diesel fuel.  I assumed there would be a nice little fuel dock near Radio Bay where we could pull up and top off our fuel and even fill our water tanks and maybe even buy a couple of bags of ice.

We have traveled up and down the East Coast of the USA, to the Bahamas, and all down the Caribbean and in almost every little spot some enterprising person has put up exactly that.  Some of those spots also had laundry facilities, and a little place to buy groceries.  Heck the Gas station on the Alligator River even had the best cheeseburger on the Intracoastal Waterway!

In Hilo we had to take our two gas jugs and fill them with diesel every time we took the rental car to town.  Over the two weeks we were there we almost filled the tanks.  Before leaving Hilo I thought about topping off the tank all the way but my mind was still fixed on all of the great, easy access fuel docks from our past.  I decided to wait for the fuel dock in Lahaina on Maui rather than lug the jerry jugs in Hilo.

Lahaina did have a fuel dock but we were informed that it was for only the local merchant boats and that if we wanted to buy fuel we would have to negotiate with one of them and pay a little extra.  I was disgusted with the thought of walking up and down the booths full of businesses hawking everything from Parasailing to whale watching, stopping at every one of them to find out if they might like to make an extra buck on fuel just to let  me use their special little key.  I didn't really like the fact that the dock itself was right up against a rock wall with surf smacking against it either so, again blinded by my vision of the wonderful fuel dock at Crown Bay Marina in St Thomas, and against the advice of both Rebecca and our friend Richard, I decided to fuel up at Tofer's Marvelous and Mystical Fuel dock where we would find everything a sailor needs.  I dreamed of diesel fuel, gasoline for the dingy and Honda Generator, fresh sparkling water filtered through charcoal filters for filling our tanks.  I imagined ice, both block for the fridge and crushed for the drink cooler.  There would be snacks and maybe even fresh doughnuts and Kona coffee for sale and right there a Laundry facility with fast machines so by the time the tank was full we could have our laundry done.  Oh and best of all would be the Bikini clad female fueling attendants who could really handle the hose, we were heading to Honolulu after all.

Surely you would think that the largest city in Hawaii would have a fuel dock right?  The Ala Wai Yacht harbor has almost 1000 boats in it with many of them liveaboards.  There are tons of boats running in and out with visitors doing all of the normal "on the water" adventures.  So sure was I that my Perfect Diesel Pumping Paradise existed that I didn't even bother to call the harbor in Ala Wai before we left Lahaina.  We left at about 9:00pm and after a night offshore and sailing through, not one but two, channel crossings, we were bone tired as we called the harbor control for instructions to the fuel dock...

I was at the helm while Rebecca called for instructions and I knew right away that there was a problem.

"No fuel dock...  ummmm hmmmm, Do you know anywhere else that we could buy fuel?  No?  Oh OK, do you happen to know their phone number?...  Ok."  She hung up the phone shaking her head at me.  Rebecca has this way of communicating both her displeasure with me and also saying, "I told you so!" with nothing more than a flash of her beautiful blue eyes.  I was still in disbelief...  Why wouldn't they let us use the fuel dock?  There HAS to be one there... What is the rub?

At this point Rebecca began franticly calling to find fuel and she managed to find one fuel dock way up in an industrial area but when she asked them about water she was told that there was no water available there!  We made our way up the harbor and located the fuel dock where we met a very nice attendant named Red who looked like he belonged on the cast of Duck Dynasty.  I was sure glad Red wasn't wearing a bikini.  While we were fueling I we could see that the next dock had water and electric... it was another marina, and there were open slips everywhere.  Problem solved!  I would just get permission to pull up to the T-Dock and top off our water tanks and we would be on our way to Washington!  Red shook his head at us and said that he personally thought it was a great idea but that he was also certain that the powers in charge would never allow it.  I asked why and he gave me a sad shake of his scraggly bearded head and just said, "They would have to do paperwork."

Sure enough the dockmaster of the marina itself said that in order for us to get water at that facility we would have to be legally docked there and since they didn't allow transient vessels we would have to apply for a slip, have a full boat inspection and pay at least one days dockage...

Rebecca called Ala Wai again and asked if we could come back for water at their dock and was assured that not only could we have water we could stay a couple of days.  We finished fueling and motored an hour back to Ala Wai against the wind.  The entrance to the Yacht Harbor was an adventure too.  Because of the Super Moon the surf was coming in in HUGE rolling breakers on either side of the little channel entrance.  As we went through the marker bouys we looked out and saw a couple of buff surfer dudes smiling up at us giving us the Hang Loose sign with their two middle fingers closed and their pointer and pinky raised, right then a wave caught the transom and the WD became a surfboard for about 10 seconds as we surfed into the harbor.

We docked and met some super nice folks at the Harbor Office... turns out that they are also not in favor of what replaced their fuel dock...  Now instead of fuel you can get married on the same spot at a very nice little Japanese Wedding Chapel!

We set sail in the morning for Washington!
Captain Tofer

Friday, July 11, 2014

7/11/14 Wandering Dolphin's Hawaiian Adventure - Maui

Our adventure in Hawaii comes to a close tomorrow.  We have spent the last couple of weeks in Maui where we have adventured with our friends Richard and Chenoa, met long lost cousins (in Tofer's case) and not so long lost (in Becky's case), ran into blog followers who visited the boat, and even bumped into one of Tofer's favorite middle school teachers from 30 years ago in Wyoming.

When we arrived in Maui we were amazed at the difference an overnight sail can have.  We went from rainy, almost chilly, laid back Hilo, on the Big Island, to dry, hot and bustling with tourism Lahaina, on Maui.  We had made arrangements with the Yacht Club for a mooring out in the harbor so it was pretty easy to just grab one of the available moorings.  We checked in with the Harbor Control office where we were required to show our boats documentation and clearance papers for Hawaii.  They were super nice and gave us great information about the area and the fees for staying in the harbor were, once again, very affordable.  It cost us $2.00 per person, per day as well as $2.00 to use a mooring.  Hard to complain about spending $14.00 a day to stay in one of the top destinations in the USA.  We also ended up having a front row seat from our boat for Maui's firework show right in Lahaina harbor on the Fourth of July!

We did find the attitude of the Yacht Club a little confusing.  They were never very friendly and we always felt like we were not really wanted there.  The first day we arrived to give them all of our paperwork they were so rude we almost wanted to leave.  In order to stay on a mooring, (or even be in any Hawaiian harbor) you are required to have $500,000 liability insurance for your vessel.  We didn't have this coverage and instead of just saying, "Hey guys, just go get the coverage and you'll be set."  They just told us to get off the mooring immediately and drop our anchor.  That would not have been a smart thing to do so I just ignored them, we went to an agent right here in Lahaina, who sold us the coverage we needed for $80 per year and we went back to clear in with the club.  I'm not really sure what the problem is but they sure don't seem very welcoming.  That being said, we found almost everybody else to be super nice.  One of our favorite places was, Local Boys Shave Ice.  The girls there were SUPER!  They had us coming back for more not only because of there YUMMY shave ice but because of there bubbly fun and welcoming spirits.

The $5.99 breakfast special at "Cheeseburger in Paradise" was great but I think the best actual cheeseburger was at "Cool Cats." That was where the best milkshakes could be found as well.

From the harbor in Lahaina the grocery store is within walking distance but you really need to rent a car to see the island.  The bus system is great and for $4.00 you can get an all day pass.  It would be crazy to try to see the whole island with a family on the bus though, not to mention trying to provision.

Richard rented a car and one day we drove the road to Hana which took all day but was well worth the time.  The road has about a thousand curves in it through jungle with amazing views of the ocean through the trees.  Becky drove in and Richard drove out... They even sell " I Drove The Road To Hana" T-shirts because it's such a big drive!

Becky's cousin Josh and his wife Danielle came to visit one day and spent a little time out on the boat.  Jared, one of our readers also came out to the boat with his little daughter Katlyn.  They just happened to be here for vacation and saw us one day having breakfast!

We went snorkeling at Black Rock which is a beach off of a resort and was full of people.  Kaleb ran right up to the top of the rock and jumped off with the locals.  I'm not even sure he looked down before he leaped.  We saw a couple of turtles while we were there as well as some very pretty coral and a ton of fish on the bottom hanging out in tidal eddies.

Our next snorkel spot was at                      where the boys spent most of their time playing in the surf and checking out bikini clad babes.  The snorkeling there was not great though.

Kristofer's cousin Melinda and her boyfriend Kurt joined us for the Fourth on the boat.  We fired up the BBQ and Richard cooked burgers and we watched the closest fireworks show ever while sipping margaritas on the deck of Wandering Dolphin.

There is a movie theater right across from the big tree so our movie nut family got to watch a few shows and with a Bad Ass for coffee and Cool Cats for cheeseburgers and free internet at Burger King right there our family had everything we like right within visual distance.

Lahaina is a great stop for cruising boats and if you can just ignore the attitude from the bartender at the yacht club you'll have a great time.

We hope you will follow us as we sail again.  We will be back to posting daily position reports and blog posts while we are offshore.  Remember to follow our Facebook page as well.  We post regularly in real time using our Delorme InReach.  All comments are passed on to us as well.  We also love to get your messages on our Iridium phone and we will post these instructions as well.

Next stop for WD will be Blaine, Washington where we have a slip and the family will be staying on the boat for the winter! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.   Should make for some interesting stories though huh?

Setting Sail,
Captain Tofer, Becky, EmilyAnne, Kanyon, Kaleb and Benny.