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!

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