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Sunshine and Blue Skies!
Wonderful sunshine!
01/18/2009, GTC

After three days of cool northern winds, the sunshine has returned, and we're swimming off of the boat and the cleaning and polishing continues.

Our friends Bill and Ginny arrived on schedule via the water taxi, having spent an interesting time in downtown Nassau at the Towne Hotel, a well known tourist hotel catering to relaxed backpackers, and within easy walking distance of the entire downtown core.

We spent yesterday walking the beach, swimming, and buying another wonderful dinner of lobster tails.

Bill and Ginny brought a wonderful selection of cheese, chariso, olives, stuffed grape leaves, roasted red peppers, etc.etc.etc. We'll have trouble find a place to put all of this wonderful new food.

Today is a good day for the solar panels, so we'll see how much energy we can recover. We've lost about 100Ah over the past three cloudy days. Louise is making bread today, and between the grain mill and the kitchenaid dough mixer, a lot of 110V energy is used. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to start up the watermaker again.

Heavy winds expected tomorrow (50kph+) so we'll relax here a couple of more days and then head south to explore Man-of-war and Marsh Harbour (the third largest city in the Bahamas with 5000 people).


01/18/2009 | Derek Dunstan
Hi Glen
I am interested in reading about how your pannels are proforming and I think that I have drooled on my keyboard reading about all the great foods you've been enjoying. If you would like to reply, I've seen other people do so in the same comment section for that days blog.
Oh btw I snowplowed the driveway twice today!
Crab Claws!
overcast and cool... strong north winds
01/15/2009, GTC, Bahamas

The harbour is slowly filling up with sailboats avoiding the strong north winds, and waiting for better sailing weather before moving on.

We noticed a sign at the local grocery store (Sid's) offering Crab claws, and asked about there availability because we really enjoyed them last year in southern florida and the keys.

Like in Florida, they are caught in large crab traps (off the Cays in deep water) and when hauled up, the crabber simply breaks off one claw and returns the live crab to the water where it can grow another claw. Sustainable fishing!

I hope they taste as good as they look!


Solar Update
overcast and cool, only 17C
01/14/2009, GTC, Bahamas

Our first cloudy day in over 5 weeks!

Louise has been busy polishing the stainless steel on the boat, and I've attacked the port side toe rail with scrapper and sandpaper.

We've decided to eliminate ALL varnish on the exterior of the boat and treat the exposed teak with tung oil. Hopefully we'll never have to scrap again!

Great work for a cloudy day.

The solar panels are struggling to keep up the batteries, and we'll start to fall behind if the weather doesn't improve (or I'll start the generator and recharge everything).

At noon the 520 Watt panels are generating 75 watts due to the clouds (14%efficiency) so it's a good thing we've got lots of big batteries on board. For that matter, I've never gotten more than 240 watts out of them on the full sun days. I suspect the "rating" on the panel is optimistic and/or measure in deep space.

We decided to try out the BBQ with our lobster dinner last night, and discovered that our full spare tank of propane was completely empty. Getting propane involves delivering the empty tank to Sid's Grocery store, who in turn, ships them to Marsh Harbour on Thursday's freight boat, to be returned the following Thursday. Let's hope we can last that long on the current tank.

Never a dull moment!


01/14/2009 | Tom

If you are only getting 240 watts max out of 520 watts worth of panels, something is wrong.

We have 480 w(120 x 4) panels on our catamaran and we regularly see 22 or 23 amps (400+w) during direct overhead sunlight.

These panels are hard mounted and do not track the sun, not to mention they are 6 years old, so I would think your panels should be doing at least as well.

You may want to break out the multimeter and start testing individual panels to see what's going on.

01/15/2009 | Hanny and Andre
Louise, if you have anything important to say in our short satelite conversations, you better say it right in the beginning. We do not seem to last very long.
You could also download Skype on your computer, and we can communicate by internet, computer to computer. That doesn't cost anything, except energy.
Yes, very cold here, but still fine.
Love, Hanny and Andre.

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