Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


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Port Angeles, Part Two

Installing solar panels, varnishing hand rails

Installing solar panels, varnishing hand rails

The ten days following our hoped-for launch date of June 10 were dominated by installing equipment. Once all the paint and varnish had dried, Seth mounted and wired our new solar panels: two on the forward end of the cabin top, two aft where the old Dorade vent was, and one on a swivel mount on the stern pulpit. (There had been a large one there, but it didn’t seem to be producing much—if any—power, so we replaced it.) Meanwhile, I was hard at work back in our hotel room putting together our Jordan Series Drogue.

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Katadyn solves our water issues

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In need of an emergency manual watermaker and wishing for a 12V one, we approached Katadyn for sponsorship.  We only work with companies whose products we would use regardless of sponsorship.

After 4 years of filling our water tanks like this, a desalinator was on our wishlist!

After 4 years of filling our water tanks like this, a desalinator was on our wishlist!

After four years of hefting water in buckets from the shore (and sometimes rather bad tasting water at that) and after four years of knowing our life-raft was not fully equipped, we’re thrilled to have Katadyn watermakers on board.  Their most energy-conserving watermaker—the PowerSurvivor40E, drawing only 4 amps—will allow us to be completely self-sufficient aboard CelesteWe’ll no longer have to depend solely on water from shore or on rain catchment, and we’ll still be able to generate the electricity we need with our solar panels.  While preparing for the Arctic, Seth and I originally worried about our water solutions.  On our circumnavigation we carried over 150 gallons aboard the heavy-displacement Heretic, which lasted us about 6 weeks without rationing.  We never use potable water for anything other than drinking or cooking (and often use half seawater for cooking), but we drink a lot of water to stave off seasickness. Unlike Heretic, however, Celeste is a medium-displacement boat and weight makes more of a difference to her sailing and trim.  So she only carries 100 gallons in her water tanks.  This might be fine for some cruises, but water is scarce and expensive in the Arctic.
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