Wednesday, April 7, 2010
In this picture Lulu is stepping aboard with her half of today's beer run. Her pack contains a 30-pack of 12 oz. cans of fine American lager. Including the pack, that's about a 25 lb. load. I also carried one. Then we went back again in the afternoon for another load. Now, we took the bus to the store and back so we only actually had to schlepp the beer 3 or 4 hundred yards at each end of the bus ride but believe me, that was plenty.
Right now, as I sit at the Newport library writing this, she's back home on the boat with her sewing machine a-whirring, making canvas covers for our propane bottles to protect them from the sun. She recently re-covered a whole boat's worth of cushions on a friend's boat earning enough in the process to buy us 200' of new anchor chain.
long. I ordered 2 solar panels and an MPPT charger for our onboard
electrical needs. The reason I've been procrastinating is that solar
stuff is VERY expensive and I know so little about it. But, I finally
decided that I'd learned about all I was going to w/o actually having
the equipment in hand. And, if there was any chance to get it
installed and working before we leave in July, I'd better get on it.
So, after a reasonable amount of cost-comparison shopping on the
internet, I ordered 2 80Watt BP panels and a Blue Sky MPPT
controller. One of the bummers about a small boat like Siempre Sabado
si that there is very limited real estate fro mounting things like
solar panels. The 80 watt units were about as large as I can go. The
sad part is that I could get a 135 watt panel on sale for just a
little more money (maybe even a little less) but there's just no good
place to put it. Oh well, look at how much we save in bottom paint.
So, between the 160 watts of solar power, our 70 amp engine-driven
alternator, and our Honda 2000 generator, we should never need to
connect to shore power while we're out traveling. That's good because
different countries often use different power systems (220 V 50 Hz vs.
120 V 60 Hz for example). Also, shore power connections are reputed
to be one of the worst sources of stray voltage leading to
electrolysis. And, besides, shore power is available at marinas and
we're hoping to primarily be anchored out away from shore.
There, the money's gone so now I can just relax and get on with it.