Drifting with Dolphins

May 29, 2020

Report from the Chief Galley Officer

Woke up to partly cloudy skies and sunshine. It inspired me to wash my hair! The combination of clean hair, blue skies, and coffee works wonders on one’s attitude.

I’m thinking we’re close to half way. Half way in nautical miles is not necessarily half of our sea days. Bob suggested a “party” to celebrate and that sounds good to everyone except me. I think a party means I get to cook and clean more as I don’t see anyone else whipping up a lemon pudding cake, carrot cake, or chocolate brownies, or conjuring up chicken stroganoff, enchiladas, or shepherds pie, or doing dishes. I do have weird reddish pink hot dogs from Hawaii on board. It could be a hot dog and bean bbq! With saltines and Nutella for dessert. I believe I’ll have a second cup of coffee, enjoy the sun, and contemplate the menu because homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting does sound yummy and I don’t luv Nutella.

So what else? I had a shellacing by Mark in cribbage last night. If not for my skillful pegging I would have smelled a skunk. I started a Nora Roberts novel. Face  slap! I can honestly say I’ve never read her and this one is 478 pages.  Yes, this is what sailing 4000 miles will do to you, I’ve become, a Nora Roberts reading, carrot cake eating, card playing, wonder. Meaning most of my time is spent in wondering.

We’re still seeing the effects of the low from a few days ago and suffering with a boring high pressure system and small winds, hoping that things pick up by this evening and we can hoist the main. Seas are fairly calm with 1-2 meter swells and I’m still on the look out for whales and tankers. 

p.s. An amazing pod of dolphin, 100 plus strong, possible fishing? Crappy pics but it was amazing

From the Captain’s Log

Hello, just a quick update for Friday.  Today is the halfway point and we hope to have a little party later on to celebrate.  We’re currently at 38d 51’n 147d 58’w, at about the latitude of San Francisco.  Saw a large pod of dolphins today, jumping and chasing ESTELLE, which was lots of fun.  Otherwise, it has been pretty boring.  

We are STILL motoring, in light wind and flat seas, heading due north.  We expect to get some wind in about 18 hours or so, as we get both farther away from the center of this high pressure system and closer to an approaching low pressure cell.  It is another high one, actually the combination of three systems that have merged into one.  We are aiming for a waypoint at about 40d 00’n  147d 40’w, At about this point, the counter rotating winds of the high and low should converge and we will head on a more northeasterly course toward Cape Flattery.  That’s the thought, anyway.  We want to stay well south and east of the center of the approaching low, which is moving quite quickly.  We also want to conserve fuel, as we may need to motor even more as we approach landfall in several days.  As a result, we have actually SLOWED down a little.  We are taking it easy, catching up on sleep and getting ready for the next thing.  

More minor gear failures, including the shackle on the boom topping lift and some chafing through of the UV cover on the genoa.  Nothing critical.  The domestic water pump is acting up, tripping the breaker on a regular but intermittent basis. Yes, this is the new pump I installed in Oxnard, back in November.  I believe it is the fourth such pump I have installed on ESTELLE and each has failed for a different reason.  I am disappointed but we are managing to make due.  I switched the Seagull filter spigot to the foot pump, so we can at least get water that way if the pump fails altogether.

The current plan is to pull into Neah Bay (just inside Cape Flattery) to drop off Bob.  That’ll put him on the right peninsula and Dianne can pick him up easily from Port Townsend.  We can refuel, maybe spend the night, and go onto Friday Harbor from there.  Probably 10-days away still.

A Big Blue Hole

6 thoughts on “Drifting with Dolphins

  1. Seeing the dolphins must have been amazing, I am envious of that,not so much the limited space and tossing and turning. Good news Rob and Wendy , I am scheduled to get my Prosthesis on Thursday, so am very excited for that! Finally the last stage of my recovery….Stay safe and enjoy…..


    1. Hey friends. Life in Durango is opening up, if you want it to. Looks like we will have some restaurants serving food on the sidewalks and lanes of main, took a pandemic for us to go Euro. Rivers around 2609 skies are blue and we miss you! Loved your Dolphin moment, so cool!
      Until next time❤️


  2. I am enjoying watching your progress! It makes all those swirly wind charts on the screen much more interesting. I am now thinking about your fuel – do you have gerry cans with extra fuel? Also, who is winning in canasta?


  3. Rob and Wendy,
    Have really enjoyed following your epic trip vicariously through this blog. Spring has finally come to Vermont, snow on the mtn (Okemo) has melted off the last of the trails and things are coming back to life, nature and commercial. Stay safe and well.


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