Thursday, June 5, 2014

Equipment Corner

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We bought and installed a lot of equipment for our boat in preparation for cruising. From time to time I will review some of the systems that we have installed – hopefully someone will find this information useful.

As I have said in the past, we very much prefer being at anchor over being tied to a dock. That being said, there is one comfort that we really miss when at anchor – hot water! There is nothing like a good hot shower in the morning to get the old bones working again. We can pretty much fill all other needs without too much trouble, but hot water is pretty tough. So, one day while in the shower, I had a moment of clarity. What about a solar shower? As it turns out, we LOVE our solar showers! We currently have 2 but plan to pick up a few more before we head offshore. Here is what we bought:

They work fantastic for showers. They also work great for making hot water for washing dishes. The water gets hot enough for a great shower in about an hour with good sun. I use a line tied to the boom to hang the bag right outside the shower window. Then route the hose inside the window for a shower with privacy. Jan and I are both in love with these things!!! They obviously work best with direct sun, but they even work well with a thin overcast. It just takes longer to get the water hot We wouldn't want to live without them.

I found 2 basic types when I was shopping – one was all black and the other is clear on one side. We went with the clear on one side type. They work by magnifying the sun as it passes through the clear side and absorbs the heat into the black liner below the water. I am not sure if the all black units will work as well, better, or not as well, but these work great.

When we were packing up our home to move onto the boat we almost didn't bring our electric toothbrushes. But in the end decided to bring them along to see what kind of use we could get out of them. As it turns out, we are so glad we brought them. We weren't sure how well the batteries would do without constant charge, but as it turns out, they have worked great. We generally watch a little TV at the end of the day to unwind so we run the inverter for the television which seems to be more than enough to keep them fully charged. Another win!!

We are currently anchored in Hunter Bay. It is on the east side of Lopez Island. We like to sit in the cockpit in the morning while we have our morning coffee. One day last week I was looking out at the view and thought I should share it. So here is a view of our “backyard”.

One morning we woke to a pretty good fog layer. It burned off over us pretty fast, but was hanging on through Rosario straight. The fog looked like a river running through the small islands. The pictures really don't do it justice because you can't see the motion. It was really stunning.

I must say, after the past few weeks it is going to be difficult to head south come August. This is truly a beautiful place to be a sailor. But then I will just think about the cold and rain of last January and point the bow south!

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