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Thursday, July 1, 2010

7/1/2010 - Maybe we're forgetting something...

...but I don't think so. I certainly hope we're not.

With so few days left in the marina before haul-out and then head-out, you'd think our days would be a flurry of last minute stuff to do. But we must either have it pretty much done or we've learned to relax because we're actually kind of at a loss for things that need doing. Today, Lulu made bread primarily to have something to do.


I went to a few stores for pretty much the same reason. Oh, I needed the stuff I bought but it could have all waited until Saturday when my folks as well as Cody & Scott will be here with vehicles. It's weird to be that far along on the to-do list. We'll be fairly busy next week while we're in the yard but the next few days, not so much.

One thing I bought today I think is really cool. I didn't originate this idea. I've read it in a number of cruisers' forums. The problem is making sure others can see your boat when you're anchored in the dark as well as making your boat stand out from the others so you can find it on the dinghy ride back after dark. We're all required to have an all-around white light displayed while at anchor. On a sailboat this is usually located at the top of the mast. This works pretty well most of the time. But, when you're in a dinghy, the top of the mast is a long way up and it would be pretty easy to run into the side of a boat while you had your neck craned skyward. The other problem is that since everyone has one of these lights, how can you know which boat is yours in a crowded anchorage?

Well, Westinghouse has the answer. They make these cool solar-powered lights for use in gardens, along walkways, etc. They each have a single LED bulb, a rechargeable battery, a solar cell to charge the battery and a photocell to turn the thing off during the daytime. And the best part is the price. You can get them at Wal-Mart for $2.50 each. $2.50 EACH!!! That's amazing. Or at least it seems so to me. How will they stand up to the marine environment? Who knows? But they're made of aluminum and plastic and are meant to be used outside so they might do just fine.


(note: this picture was taken without a flash. The light on the right side is dark because it was picking up daylight from the porthole)

The stems are 3/4" aluminum shafts so I'm going to mount a few short lengths of 1" PVC pipe (I'll try 3/4" first but it might be too tight) to a few handrail stanchions with wire ties and then just drop the fixtures in when I want to use them. When we're going somewhere, we'll store them in a cloth drawstring bag that Lulu is making even as I type this.


I don't know who the first person was to come up with this idea but my hat's off to 'em.


5 comments:

SV Estrellita 5.10b said...

Congrats! You are just ready to go...

Anonymous said...

One other trick. Most carry a good flashlight in the dink. 3M made a reflective tape that could be put around the mast. Two bands to mark your boat from other lights. See the pic of Satori on the beach. Also some bicycle reflectors placed around areas will mark the spot you want to get aboard. Made of plastic they won't rust. Ken

Anonymous said...

Do like I do when planning a trip in our fifth wheeler. Make list, then go off and forget something. There are no super markets in the Pacific so lets hope you have covered all of your bases. Sounds like it. Have a wonderful trip. Your Dad really envies you. If he were ten years younger he would hitch a ride. Love, Mom

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

We were just looking at these same lights at Wal-Mart and thinking of using them on our sailboat as well! Forget using them around the house - we're trying to sell it. Great ideas in the comments above too.

Steve and Lulu said...

I agree, Mid-Life. Ken had some great suggestions. I especially like the bicycle reflector idea since you don't have t go to a marine store to get 'em. Thanks, Ken.

-Steve