Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Evanston: charge; a little bit off; SNAFU

        When solar charging was capricious during the passage from St. Helena to St. Lucia, I realized that the most important use of electricity on GANNET is to charge my iPhone.  Second is to charge my 12” MacBook; third the masthead tricolor; and maybe fourth a tiller pilot, although that might rank lower than charging rechargeable batteries.
        My cabin lights are LuminAids, which are solar charged.   I have one flashlight that can be charged both by solar power and a built-in hand crank.  The Raymarine wind unit is solar powered.
        My iPhone is my chartplotter, e-reader and source of music.  
        Little GANNET has in fact an embarrassment of chart-plotters, four in total.  In addition to the iPhone, I have the charts and apps in an iPad mini, a full-size iPad, and different world charts in my MacBook.
        I have three small power cells on GANNET, each of which could charge the iPhone several times.
        The new Torqeedo battery comes with an accessory that plugs into the charging port and enables you to charge devices via USB.  That battery could probably charge a phone hundreds of times.
        However I happened across and bought the above Anker compact solar phone charger.  It folds into a third of the open size, weighs 12.5 ounces, costs $50 from Amazon, and actually works.  Mine arrived a couple of days ago.  I took it out to our balcony and when I plugged in my phone, the phone gave that satisfying ‘I am charging’ bing. 
        Earlier today I telephoned One Planet Energy to inquire about Solbian solar panels.  I will be buying two SP50Ls to replace the failed Aurincos.  They will go on the sides of the foredeck, leaving the area around the mast clear, and bring GANNET’s solar power to 200 watts, 50 more than she has ever had before.  I will be getting the Solbians with adhesive backing, textured surface and rear wiring.  It should be a clean installation.
        One way or the other, I think I’ll be able to keep my iPhone charged.


        When I said that water is 11 times denser than air, I was just a little bit off.  Dave, who was kind enough to offer what he called ‘a minor correction’, calculated the water is 772 times denser than air.  On the Internet  you may find the number as 784.  I don’t recall why I thought the number was 11, but then I’m old.
        I thank Dave for his minor correction of my major error.
        No wonder boats on foils go fast.


        This is the Moore 24, SNAFU, being towed into Morro Bay after being dismasted two nights ago during a race along the California coast.  She was being sailed by Karl Robrock and Gilles Combrisson, who were air lifted off by the Coast Guard and managed to return when conditions moderated and have SNAFU towed safely into the harbor.
        I have met Karl, who bought GANNET’s trailer, perhaps as an act of charity, and have corresponded with Gilles, whose firm made the pod that transformed GANNET’s cockpit.
        I expect more details will be known in time.
        I am very glad that Karl and Gilles are reportedly uninjured and SNAFU saved.