Wednesday, January 28, 2015

One Half Magic …

… is so much better than no magic. We know people who have magic boats. Sitting quietly at anchor or on the mooring they suck all the energy they need directly out of the passing light of the sun or the gently moving currents of Mother Earth's atmosphere. It is all very cool and futuristic.

4:00 in the afternoon, sun almost down, still 4.8 amps going in!
Kintala makes her magic the old fashioned, internal combustion, way. Kind of stone aged, but it keeps the lights on. Or she did, right up until 1211 this afternoon. At 1211 a breaker was closed that allowed 200 watts worth of magic to flow. Two-hundred watts is probably not enough to carry the boat without an occasional jolt of internal combustion juice, but one half the magic is still pretty amazing. Truth to tell I wanted to just sit and stare at the amp meter for a while, mostly to convince myself that this project is finally done. I'm not sure what it was about the solar panel install that made it such a relentless grind. The salon table took much longer and was much more work. Rudder repair, keel joint repair, wind vane install, work bench / tool storage, not to mention the original blowed-up V-drive disaster; there have been so many serious projects that one would think something like installing solar panels is just another in a long line. But it wasn't. The solar panels were tied up with the summer of The Bear. The Bear crossed time lines with the Thing in PA. Somewhere in my subconscious little brain this project was more of the same, another bruising bit there was no avoiding.

At 1211 this afternoon it felt like 50 pounds slipped from my shoulders and disappeared into the bay. The sun shown brighter (On newly installed solar panels!), the air was cleaner, the wind blew gently, and the boat rode easy. For the first time in weeks, maybe months, maybe many months, life feels like life fits again.

With the solar panels doing their thing, Old Friend Alex of Yacht-a-Fun (newly met just today) offered a ride to the LPG tanks topped. Routine. But it is something one must do when getting ready to head to the Islands. Indeed, the only thing standing between Kintala and Island Places East Of Here is some provisioning and a weather window. It feels like we have caught up with the tribe, taken our place with the others “waiting to cross”.

Kintala's electrical system may be just half magic now, and maybe she is carrying just a half store of cruising magic. After all, the magic is mysterious stuff, impossible to measure, and doesn't often hang around long. But it has been a while since the crew of Kintala has felt its touch at all, so tonight is a good, good night.


S/V Island Bound said...

Glad you got the solar install done! I would also sit and just watch those amps roll in. Pretty cool stuff. Now, on to da islands mon.

Unknown said...

Life gets a whole lot easier when the solar juice starts flowing. Congrats and really enjoy the blog.