September 26, 2012 by Last Star blog
As usual we’ve been very busy getting the last details done to depart. The other day I had Patricia up the mast again to replace the light bulb that illuminates the deck at night from the spreader. The task was a bit more difficult as when removing the bulb she took down the entire fixture. She had to re-wire the fixture and use an electrical wire stripping and crimping tool; she now understands the differences in 16, 14, and 12 AWG wire. I asked if she wanted to go to the top and get the details on the anchor light so we could get a spare in case it ever went out…..she said no for now, odd.
It felt like she had put on some extra weight since last time up, we’ll have to discuss proper weight management for the crew here aboard the Last Star and the responsibilities of a “bosun”.
Yesterday we finally finished getting the solar panels mounted. Dave the Ace mechanic and technician here at the marina was key in getting this job done. The photo below is me drilling the necessary hole’s to get the 4 AWG wires up the arch to the panels and then into the boat and to the charge monitor and attached to the batteries. Patricia and I spent the first part of the day getting the wires routed and Dave came in late in the day to help with the final connections. Special tools are needed to work with this heavy type of copper wire; it’s as heavy as battery cable but needed to get ALL the energy from the panels to the batteries, We should be energy independent now on a sunny day(s).
Today was a trip to get the stickers from Maryland to register the boat through 2013, we are still waiting for the USCG documentation as they have a long backlog. A late stop was to get some staples for the boat that we could store long term and provide meals when we can’t get fresh veggies or meat. This was not our usual haul from the grocery store for us. We found ourselves in parts of the store we have never bought food from. One unexpected find was Organic Milk needing no refrigeration until opened! Huge for us, we have one in the fridge to see what it tastes like when cold. I’ve had milk like this in Europe and the Middle East many times but it was never very good though, hope for better taste this time.
We hope to leave this weekend and will head south down the Chesapeake hoping to log about 40-50 miles per day. We’ll have south breezes in our faces before the cool fronts pass through and then hopefully north winds to push us south quickly and quietly.
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