We're back on Red Ranger; done vacationing in New York and Texas. No more blogging from my mother's basement.
How do we feel about leaving friends and family? How do we feel about returning to the boat?
It's mixed. We can talk about space and organization. We can talk about who we'll miss most.
During the drive down, we had 9 hours to wonder about how we would feel. Previous home visits were brief: a week or two at most. This was a full month off the boat.
Would we begin to regret this decision to move aboard Red Ranger?
Was this quote still true?
It's great to be back on our own again. In our own little space. My mother's house is nice, but. It's my mother's house. There are places for things that don't make sense to me. And there's this question of which lights she uses for what purpose: I'm sure it makes sense to her. But she's happy to swish into a room, turn off the light I'm using and turn on another light. Which chairs she uses. While it's a small two bedroom, two bathroom house, it has all those cupboards and closets.
As we've seen, people are quite adaptable. For example, we've moved from house to apartment to boat. It's simply new habits for where to reach for something. After a month, I could find stuff in my mother's kitchen. I adapted.
But it's not our galley. Our galley reflects CA's organization and optimization. While I did adapt, it's much nicer to live in a place that's more familiar.
Beside organization, there's the issue of space. A 20′×20′ room has become vast beyond our ability to comprehend. It's fun to walk around in a big house. But it's also extravagant.
We've become accustomed to a much smaller space with a much bigger view.
Yes, we'll miss the Schenectady tribe.
But last night we hung out with Tony and Liza on the porch here at the marina. And Sunday morning, we spent an hour talking with Bev and Gail at Cafe by the Bay. Tony and Liza will be here for another week more-or-less. We'll probably see them daily until they shove off. Other folks come and go: we look forward to meeting even more new people this summer.
Our YouTube Channel is slott56. We've got a few bits of video there.
I posted two "trailers" using the iMove templates. The templates make anything look brilliant.
Plus, I assembled a few short videos from our footage. I plan to make one more from the Exuma Cays footage.
The GoPro Hero3 camera shoots incredibly good video. Surprisingly, most of these can be watched in full-screen mode and seem to look pretty good.
Solar Panels, Part 1
CA said that Saturday was a down day. But.
Some of our solar panel electrical parts had arrived.
I gleefully redid the on-deck wiring connections for our existing panels. This involved a little bit of cutting and crimping to replace old connectors (and old interior-grade wire) with new waterproof MC-4 connectors and new UV-proof outdoor electrical wire.
It's a small change to pull out a long coil of 14-2 wire and replace it with 10 gauge wire. But it sets the stage, electrically, for adding the new panels.
The MC-4 connectors are easy to crimp together without buying a special-purpose crimp tool. They're easy to screw together without buying a special MC-4 "wrench".
The one with the red O-ring is "female" and is often positive. The one without the O-ring is "male" and is usually negative. I had to go slowly and measure frequently to be sure that I had the wiring done consistently for the two solar panels on deck with their sketchy connectors.
Now I have watertight Y connectors that are a bit more trustworthy.
Also, the MC-4 Y connectors have mounting holes so that they can be secured. This step has to wait until all of the wiring is done.
The other thing I should do sooner rather than later is replace the old SunForce 7A controller with a new higher-amp controller. We have almost 4A of panels right now. Adding two 10A panels pushes us close to a 30A controller. Stanley from Green Eyes donated a controller that could be a Xantrex-Trace TC8 or TC12. If it's the TC12, it's useful. Otherwise, it's a thoughtful gift that we'll take to Nauti-Nell's to sell.