Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 5 Position Report

8/5/14 Wandering Dolphin POS

1100 Anchorage Time / 1800 GMT
N 47 31.82   W 142 05.29
COG 090T
SOG 4.5 - 5 kt
DMG 102 nautical miles
DTG 757 nautical miles

Wind: S 8-10kt
Pressure: 29.95
Temp: 76F
Sky: mostly clear
Seas: 1ft
Sails: main and genoa set

Good morning,

The wind has died down so we are going slow again but the sea state is beautiful so the motion of the boat is peaceful.  It's quiet enough that all you can really hear the sound of the gurgling water as it flows along the hull and just a whisper of the wind flowing over the sails.  The sun is shining through the dodger window and has warmed up the cockpit enough that I am back in a t-shirt for the first time in over a week.

Thanks for all of your well wishes while I was undertaking that cold water dive on the prop.  It took me most of yesterday to really warm up afterwards.  I thought I might talk a little bit more about that this morning.

I have been in situations of flat calm many times on offshore trips.  On many of those deliveries we would decide to go for a quick dip in the ocean, mostly to cool off because they were almost always in super hot weather.  No matter what precautions you take it always feels wrong to jump off of a boat in the middle of the ocean.  That was always part of the thrill of it though.  When you are in that seemingly fathomless water the rational side of your brain never quite stops screaming at you to get back on the boat.  When we were drifting in the South Pacific, one day I decided to just get in the water and hold on to the swim platform with my snorkel on and look for fish... It didn't last long because I just felt like bait.  Ever since  my son Jimmy almost jumped right in on top of a huge shark while we were drifting along one time I can't get those big creatures out of my brain either.

The most difficult thing about having that wrapped prop was the waiting.  I had to wait for almost 24 hours to get in and fix it.  That whole time I was thinking about the cold water, sea monsters and being beat to death by the boat as it lifted and dropped suddenly in waves.  I am also not the type of person who waits very well.  If there is a difficult or unpleasant job that needs to be done I do it NOW.  I cannot relax knowing that something has to be done and I get all worked up and nervous with the procrastination of it.  Well it's fixed now I can relax until the next thing breaks.

To answer a few questions about yesterday's post:

Alex:  Heaving-to without the sea anchor actually works fine too.  That is what we were doing once the drogue was wrapped.  The problem is that in winds over 35 knots or so you have to reduce sail to smaller and smaller sails and if you don't have a storm trisail for the main and storm jib you cannot heave to because at some point you have to go bare poles.  Under bare poles even with the helm hard over to windward the bow gets pulled downwind and you are no longer taking the waves from the forward quadrant.  We noticed immediately when the drogue was no longer holding our bow into the wind as a sea anchor and although we were still heaved to with the stays'l and helm hard over to windward and the boat was still pretty comfortable there was suddenly more motion because the boat was no longer drifting down wind at an angle creating that nice slick which breaks the waves before they reach the boat.  A sea anchor is definitely worth the money and in my opinion, so is a drogue.  If we had faced that same gale with the heavy wind behind us blowing us toward our destination I would have deployed the drogue in its proper fashion (behind the boat) and sailed under storm sails toward Washington.

Cave:  We lost the drogue.  I had to cut it away in order to free the prop.  If I could have stayed down a little longer or done two or three dives I might have been able to unwrap it but I am certain that I couldn't have even gone down one more time.  The current was similar to the current in Lahaina when you and I were cleaning the prop too... Only this time Japan was my next stop if I drifted away.

On other topics:
I'm going to beg for pizza tonight!  And since we are out of the Lonesome Dove we are watching old episodes of Saturday Night Live.  Everyone is daydreaming about hot baths and showers.  My bypass fix on the head is still working fine and... We saw lots of whales yesterday.

Keep the messages coming we enjoy them.  Jim V.  No exercise.  We just lay around like Romans.

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

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