February 2016: Chris arrived back on MOKEN on February 1st and immediately set to work to finish up a few projects and get the boat ready for our first cruising adventure of 2016.
We’ve already reported on all the work we did last year to get ready for installation of our four new 200 watt solar panels. First there was the new stainless frame (read about it here), then the hard bimini cover and running wires through tight spaces to connect the controller and the panels to the battery bank (more on that here).
Chris had meant to get the panels up and connected before we left for Azerbaijan in December. But delays in getting the new hard top combined with the arrival of rain and wind from yet another typhoon conspired against us. But they are now up and running.
As luck would have it, it has been overcast ever since, and we’re lucky if we’re getting somewhere between 2 and 16 amps. We have no idea what the maximum will be as we haven’t had enough sun to thoroughly test it yet. Bring on the sun!
In other projects, Chris replaced the wheel at the helm station with a new sleek Edson wheel and added a Coastal Marine wifi system to pirate wifi hotspots up to five kilometres away. The nice thing about this antenna, which is located between the solar panels on the bimini roof, is that it can be folded down when not in use. A new VHF antenna was also installed on the rear davit system for future installation of a second, redundant VHF radio, which is still in the box.
It took Chris a couple of days to get these projects completed and for me to look after provisioning. By Friday afternoon we were ready to go cruising and see how everything works.