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graynorth
Waiting for the storm!
overcast and getting darker
01/12/2009, GTC, Bahamas

Well, with some difficulties the watermaker has been completely installed and we await our initial test results.

Our plan was to leave tomorrow, but another damn Canadian cold front is due to arrive overnight with gale force winds (45 mph+) so we'll probably just relax on our mooring and wait for it to blow through and then continue our voyage of discovery.

The fresh fish from the locals is remarkable, and apparently is caught at 500' of water just off the ocean reef. When the sea is rough the locals stay home, so one needs to buy the fish whenever it's available. The local shops don't sell it, and most goes directly to the two fancy restaurants on the island. Today we were lucky and cycled over to the dock just as they returned home.

Dinner should be wonderful!

glen

01/12/2009 | Hanny and Andre
Having fun hè. Keep on enjoying and take care of yourselves.
Visited Pauline and J.C. today. They are doing great. WE had lunch together and csaught up on the news. Love, Hanny and Andre.
Solar Energy
Not a cloud in the sky!
01/11/2009, GTC, Bahamas

Another great day!

After a wonderful breakfast of eggs poached in grits (a recent habit), we spent a couple of hours beachcombing for glass and shells, and visiting a local cottage which has been rented by some folks from Vancouver whom we met on the ferry ride over from Treasure Cay. The are LOTS of rental cottages available here and the occupancy is very low, so there is lots to chose from.

This afternoon was spent installing the new watermaker, with great results! I'll pick up a couple of additional fittings tomorrow when the shops open, and we'll be ready for an initial trial. I had to remove the floorboards to run all of the electrical wiring and plumbing, but everything is back together again, and the entire system almost disappears.

The solar panels ( 4 x 130 = 520watts) work until about 4:30pm and due to the flat installation ( they are not tilted towards the sun) they generate about 18amps (200 watts) maximum at high noon. The result is that by 3:30pm all of the batteries are fully charged, and the system indicates that everything that went out has been restored.

We also changed ALL of the lights on the boat to LEDs this year, but with over 30 lights (inside and out) they still use a fair bit of power.

The Xantrex solar charger/controller seems to work extremely well preventing the batteries from being over-charged.

Louise is so excited about the solar energy, she used her 110V toaster at lunch (via the inverter) to toast our sandwiches!

Tonight is another lobster feast with cold white wine and a fresh salad thanks to the Nassau shopping expedition.

If the weather holds, we'll finalize the watermaker installation tomorrow and head out on Tuesday morning to explore some deserted islands.

Bye for now!

glen

01/13/2009 | Derek
I didn't relize that the pannels were that large(in watts). Ths for the picture, You have a beautiful s/v and an envious Canadian reader.
Working Again!
lots of sun and 78F
01/11/2009, Green Turtle Cay

An interesting day.
We are moored in a wonderful safe harbour, protected from winds in every direction. The only problem is that this harbour is only accessible at high tide due to a sand bar at the entrance. High tide is currently at 7am so the only time to enter or leave is 7am. One needs to plan ahead when scheduling travelling.

Today is a lovely sunday with all the local shops closed, so I have a perfect excuse to relax and do nothing.

Yesterday I reconfigured the wiring on the solar panels so that I can now see exactly how effective they are. Absolutely fascinating!

On the boat, the world revolves around 12V batteries which power everything from this computer, to refrigerator, freezer, water pumps, lighting, etc. Over the day the solar panels not only provide energy for current use, but also recharge the batteries for the times when the sun is down. The biggest energy pig is the freezer/refrigerator and lights.

At the current time (8:20am) the sun is low on the horizon, and the refrigerator is running (as is the computer) and I am watching the instruments tell me that the panels are almost keeping up with the current demand for energy. By 9am we'll be self-sufficient and by noon we'll be storing 10-15amps back into the batteries. By dusk, the batteries will be fully recharged and the cycle will begin again.

It's a pity we don't use this same technology in our homes. Burning fossil fuels seems almost criminal when we have an infinite amount of free clean solar energy available.

Gaston, my friend, we should talk about your cottage on the island. This is definitely the solution!

I'm going to enjoy playing with these solar panels for the next three months and discover ways to improve efficiencies.

The fresh red snapper available from the local boats is almost impossible to beat!

Until the next time!

glen

01/11/2009 | Derek Dunstan
what size in watts are your panles and how many of them. Can you post a pic of them or have you already? I just changed our boat over to LED lights(every light including nav and mast) With every light on I use a total of 14 watts. I hope your enjoying the warmth, It's -14C or 6F here.
All the best Derek

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