Friday, August 1, 2014

August 1 Position Report

Aug 1st, 2014 Wandering Dolphin POS

1100 Anchorage Time/1900 GMT
N44 55.05 W147 03.56
COG 036T
SOG 3.5kts
DMG 70 nautical miles
DTG 1014 nautical miles

Wind: SW 6-8
Pressure: 29.75
Temp: 76F
Seas: calm
Sails: main and Genoa set

Thanks for your messages - answers coming in tomorrow's report!  Keep them coming!

Another one from Rebecca,

This morning as I sit in the cockpit with my coffee and the sun shining (finally), a blue sky as far as my eye can see, and a smile on my face, I remembered what it was like for me almost nine years ago when we first set sail from Florida and I decided to write to everyone who is at that point in their sailing adventure.  This morning I am writing to all of you who wonder if you have what it takes just to live aboard or do you wonder if offshore passages or even overnight passages are something you can handle or if you find yourself with an adventure in your heart a willingness to adapt and learn a new lifestyle (being just a smidgen crazy helps too).  If that's where you are right now I believe you are ready to throw off the dock lines and get the water moving under your kneel.

I find myself writing this to you over 1000 miles from the nearest land after sailing almost 8000 nautical miles in the past four months after living aboard and sailing the East Coast of the USA and the Caribbean for the past nine years.  I thought I might share my experiences, as a mom about what works for me and hasn't worked for me.

The only way to find out if living aboard works for you is just to do it.  You can read, read & read some more about what others say and what they do.  But the truth is that every boat is different and every family is different.  Some people hate electronics and think we are crazy to have an Xbox, Gameboys and iPads on board, others who sail heavy displacement boats scoff at my Captains ideas about ground tackle and jerry jugs and his obsession with keeping the boat light.  So for us, after many hours of reading, trials, and wasted money we have found what works best for us.  The only way you will ever find what works for you is to get out there (here) and do it.

One of our areas of struggle when we started is that I am not an organized soul, so chaos would be rampant aboard WD without our Captain.  Ok, if I could live in my fantasy world, it would be a perfectly organized one, but I could never make that happen.  Everything should have its place onboard, really it should, every single thing should have a storage spot where it always rests and that's what our Captain does for us.  The night we were motoring across the channel between Hawaii and Maui the fuel Racor filter started to sputter, he shut off the engine went right to the spot under Benny's bed where he KNEW the spares were, fixed the filter and we were underway in less than five minutes.  He is my Master of organization, Master of all drawers & storage.  Except for my closet, boys closet & Em's closet.  He even straightens up my costume locker.  (Yes, I have costumes...)

So do you have what it takes?  Are you willing to cast off the lines and head out?  I remember hearing Tofer's answer to my question.  "Bec, let's sail around the world with the kids before it's too late."  I am not sure if I even paused before I asked, "How do we make that happen?"  The excitement of Internet boat shopping consumed hours of our life for 2 years.  Of course I was always trying to push for a bigger vessel, while Tofer had his list of wants.  I had two things I needed, an indoor shower and the other one I have actually forgotten.  I have used the indoor shower a handful of times in 9 years.  I shower in the cockpit which is much easier for sure (I think cockpit showers are out for the stay in the Pacific Northwest).  So, before you buy your boat spend some time really thinking about what you need or think you need on board and remember, those things will change as you experience life on board.

So, to wrap this up, ten short years ago we lived on a prairie in Montana raising our babies in a huge farm house.  We all had "our" space.  Plenty of room to roam, to clean, to collect stuff in, plus three bathrooms!  I had everything a busy mom could want for her family of seven.  I also had a huge fear of the water and couldn't swim from one end of a pool to the other if I had to.  Yep, that's right, I moved aboard WD with my babies and with a fear of the water and lack of swimming ability.  What I did have was the spirit of adventure, the ability to adapt and the willingness to try something new.  With much prayer I moved  my young family onto WD.  It wasn't easy, everything was so stressful and difficult because of my fears.  Without the patience of Tofer and helpful spirits of other cruisers I am not sure how things would have turned out.

So here we are right in the middle of one of our longest passages ever.  I am proud to say, I can swim now and that my fear has turned into an awareness of the water and to make sure safety come first.  I know now that long passages are just about sailing, living, and enjoying where you are at that point.  Also, if I had been thrown into the seas we have sailed in over the last few months at the beginning it would have stopped my sailing dead in the water.  Pace yourselves, take it easy, don't push each other.   Make sure everyone aboard is comfortable with the up and coming passage.

On WD we have those who love to sail, those who love to travel, and those for whom it is now their whole lifestyle.  It takes all of us to make our home on WD work.  One of the things that helped me early on was that I chose to make WD our home.  In my mind she is not just a boat she is first our home.  It just happens that our Captain can make her move around the planet.

So do you have what it takes?  I can't answer that for you, all I can say is if you are longing for the sea under your kneel give it a go.  Start small, with a smart weather window and add to the difficulty as you become more comfortable and capable.  On WD we have an agreement that when one person is done sailing then as a family we look for the next adventure.  Family first, adventure second is our motto.

Wishing you the very best on whatever adventure you choose.  Becca

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