Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Back on the hook

 Its seems like an eternity since we last spent  more than a night or two in one place on the anchor and we had been looking forward to doing it again for quite some time. It’s a whole different existence and requires us to settle in to an alternative rhythm. We are not totally confined but neither are we connected to a dock instead we are bobbing about and swinging around on the anchor at the mercy of the weather but normally with amazing vistas. We use the dinghy to get about and we have the kayaks to explore the coastline. So with much anticipation we did a quick food shop and left the dock and traveled just 9 miles to a Bahia Balandra where we spent the next 5 days having a wonderful time swimming in the clear waters, kayaking, exploring the beaches, snorkeling and generally lazing about taking in the beautiful scenery..

Great light at sunset

Jude and Katya kayaking

Jude reading in the hammock
This was the first time that I have had the chance to see how the solar panels perform since being moved from the side rails and up on to the arch. There is now less ability to tilt the panels but still some ability in their new place. With 5 days of readings we have been using about 90 amp hours over a 24 hour period at 24v (equivalent to 180 amp hours at 12v). With one panel tilted charging starts pretty much as soon as the sun comes up and stops when the sun sets and we seem to have the batteries fully charged by midday or before assuming we are about 40amp hours down just before dawn. So there is an effective 8 hours of additional charging capacity at this time of year in this latitude.

Profile with the new arch and solar panels
We don’t tend to use too much power when we are at anchor so the real test is when we are sailing as the autopilot is a big amp guzzler along with the electric winches, which we use if we are lazy, which mostly we are. We reckon our 24 hour AMP usage when sailing 24 hrs a day is about 210 amp hours at 24v so we would need to average about 18 amps / hours charging at 24v which might be a bit of a stretch on especially on a cloudy day. So we are going to have to work out some strategy for our long distance cruising, we either use the generator to top up the batteries, which we need to do occasionally at the moment to run the 40 gal/ hour water maker or hand steer for a while each day  - errrr no thanks – or look at other methods of generating electricity during long passages, such as a water-driven generator. Watch this space for more info if you are bored enough to be reading this and are still interested…       

1 comment:

  1. Excellent use of the arch! Hammock is in the shade too!