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Energy Management - So Far, So Good

January 10, 2014

The reader may recall that one of the records I am after is to be the first to complete a circumnavigation without the use of any hydrocarbons - no diesel, gasoline, propane or butane - not even a butane lighter which would be helpful in sealing the end of ropes. No one has done this. I need power principally for the autopilot which steers the boat, instruments of navigation and communication, refrigerator/freezer, and lighting, so I can be seen at night.  The solar panels do not give a lot of power, very little on a gray day and none at all when the shadow of the sails fall across them. The wind generators give even less at times, especially when traveling down wind. It’s the hydro generators and their powerful turbines that create most of my power. When we sail at less than 9 knots, I am not making enough power to keep the batteries charged.  As a result, I sometimes head off in a direction that allows me to sail faster, although it might not be such a good direction to get me to where I want to go - but I must have the power. I think I have perhaps lost two days already in this pursuit. With two hydro generators in the water and doing 9 or more knots of boat speed, events are positive and best of all is when I hear their high pitched whine when they hit their limits - oh what joy. Such is happening right now as I type on this bouncy ocean - I will be able to have a hot meal tonight for I need power to cook.

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