This little layover is turning into a nice opportunity to check some stuff out.
The first thing is the solar panels. So far we are really happy with our setup. We have two 80 watt panels and they have had no trouble replacing the amp-hours we use from our battery bank every day. Granted, we haven't done any SSB boradcasting and we haven't run the watermaker at anchor yet. But we've used pretty much everything else that we would normally use at anchor, including the watt-gobbling incandescent anchor light and our refrigerator, and yet our battery bank is always topped off by mid-afternoon. As we change out some of our lights (anchor, running, nav station) with LEDs we should be in even better shape. Our living area is already LED-equipped.
We were both feeling a little grungy today and decided that washing our hair would help. We'd left the solar shower out on deck but, even though the sun's been shining brightly, the wind stole the heat away from the shower bag almost as fast as the sun could warm it. So, we boiled up a pot of water on the stove and added it to the bag. Came out just the right temperature. We donned our swimming suits and washed our hair while sitting on the cabin top. One bag of water (maybe 3 gallons max) was plenty for both of us to get a thorough hair-scrubbing and rinsing. We both felt much better afterwards.
Although I haven't had any luck transmitting e-mails from our SSB radio, I was able to connect to the National Weather Service's weather radiofacsimile service via SSB. I actually downloaded a couple of satellite images of the eastern and northeastern Pacific this evening. Later tonight I'll download some 96-hour predictions about winds and waves, etc. Not sure yet what will be useful to us so we're just getting a sample of everything to help us decide. The computer-SSB-Airmail system is really pretty darn cool. In Airmail (a free application for doing e-mail, weatherfaxes, etc), I open the "Get Fax" module. With the computer plugged in to the SSB, I can pick my station (in this case Pt. Reyes, CA), choose an appropriate frequency and then, with a click of a button the computer dials the SSB to the right frequency and correct upper or lower sideband. Then, upon hearing a fax alert signal, it starts recording the incoming fax and saves it for me in my inbox. It's all very cool and a little bit magic.
We're also learning a little bit about the composting toilet although I'm not sure what yet. All I know is that it kinda stinks a bit right now. But I have faith that that'll go away.
Lulu is continuing to practice tatting so she can make cool little covers for our portholes that will make seeing in difficult but not obstruct the view from inside much at all. Turns out it's not near as easy as it looks.
Haven't listened to the weather yet today so not sure when we might be leaving.