Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11/14 Wandering Dolphin "Fit to be Tied"

WARNING:  This short blog is NOT upbeat, fun, exciting etc... it is DEPRESSING.  Read at your own risk:

I’m pretty sure we screwed the pooch with this move to Washington.  We spent every single dime of our savings to sail Wandering Dolphin from St Thomas, USVI, through the Canal, to Costa Rica, Hawaii and finally Washington.  We went from no marina fee and only a cell phone for a bill and no debt at all to a slip, vehicle, insurance, gas, and we owe money to family members who have graciously tried to help us over this rough spot.  All of these changes in a moment when we set foot on the dock it seems.  I left quite a few delivery jobs on the East Coast for none over here on the West and Beck has been struggling to find work.  The jobs she has right now don’t even cover our bills much less food and stuff.  I am struggling with the very thought of everything we are giving up in order to be here.  Mostly it is the enslavement of a “normal” American life that is getting to me.  I don’t even want all of these things!  I want the freedom of the sea again already.  I want to drop my hook in a free anchorage again and row ashore to find work for a season right off the boat.  Washington is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen but it is also full of restrictions and rules and laws that are designed to curb my freedom and it is growing old SUPER fast.

I have also been plagued by a depression that I have never faced in my life.  To me our 78 days at sea was a milestone and I was pretty depressed when we finally reached our dock and only 3 people were there and not one of them was from my own family.  I’m not exactly sure what I expected but I definitely felt a bit of let down and even anger toward my own family.  That had really been building for years actually.  We have spent the past eight years in one of the prettiest places in the world and the only one in my family to visit was my Mom.  It didn’t surprise me to find none of them waiting at the dock but it did sting none the less.  
I am also depressed because I actually really like my life as a sailor and have been very proud of the way we have chosen to live our lives.  Now here we are actively trying to unspool that life and fill it up with all of the very things I hate, debt, bills, schedules, and our boat tied to a dock like a lion in a cage.  I am pretty sure I need to earn some quick cash by cutting crab in the fish plant, pay off the folks we owe money to, buy WD some new sails, and point her bow west this spring.
My buddy Richard told me in Hawaii to be prepared for depression when the journey ended.  I laughed because I have really never experienced it before.  I know that there are a lot of people who will read this and say, 

“Poor Baby!  You mean you have to go to work every day at a dead end job for the rest of your life to pay bills like the rest of us?”  

I can hear them laughing at me just like I have been laughing over the years every time we pulled up our anchor and set sail for another Caribbean anchorage and our day to day life on Wandering Dolphin.

Well here we are... NOT “Living the Dream!”

Hog Tied to an Ugly Dock,

Captain Tofer


  1. I hear you sailor, and have no doubt you will get back out there. Good hunting for now and fair winds again soon.

  2. Things change, tomorrow is a new day and with every new day is a new chance. I do the same thing as your experiencing but I don't have a boat, so in my eyes you are miles ahead. Freedom is just around the corner, have faith.

  3. You are not falling victim to consumerism only doing what is necessary to rebuild the kitty. As I tell people all the time there is a figurative super highway of opportunity just above you , commerce that is happening all over you just need to keep your head up and grab a piece for yourself when it passes by. Stay positive!

  4. This blog article just below yours in my RSS reader thought it would help

  5. You have a wonderful family and you have inspired many many people with your adventures.You are experiencing the inevitable low after the high. It will pass Chris, try not to let money problems get you down, you'll get through it. Why not use spare time to work on your book or articles? I reckon you could get something published, you are smart, articulate and entertaining. There are many people out there who might not be family but love you all the same. It's just a passing low. Chen up, Captain.

  6. Just use it as another experience and get out of there. Set a date, reprovision and set sail. Nothing has to be forever, that's the beauty of having a boat.

  7. Don't go to weather, change tack and enjoy the ride..

  8. I don't know you or your family but I've followed your 'wanderings' for some time now. I have to say I'm more than a little surprised at your comments.

    You say 'we' made this move, 'we' spent every dime, 'we' owe money, 'we' have all this debt. So to whom are you complaining? Who told you to make the move? If things were so good in the VI, why leave there?

    Did you research job opportunities before moving? Did you plan it? Sure doesn't sound like it.

    'Enslavement of a normal American life'? WTF? If you feel enslaved by this move that YOU made, point the finger right at yourself (remember the 'we'?).

    Washington is no more "full of restrictions and rules and laws...designed to curb my freedom..." than any other civilized place.

    You don't like it here? Well, quit your whining and leave. Just don't let the main sail hit you on the ass on your way out of Puget Sound!

  9. Thanks for all the comments. I thought I could best respond by writing another blog post.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. Man! Some people can be such a-holes. I changed the settings so I moderate comments now.