Saturday, December 14, 2013

Solar Panels & Boat Cards

We are now officially proud owners of solar panels! What does that mean? Almost constant refrigeration-which is a giant step forward from zero refrigeration. You really don't appreciate refrigeration that much until you don't have it. And these days it's been pretty hot, and the warm water I have been drinking has not been doing the trick, I'm pretty sure inside our fridge was hotter than outside. I would go into a restaurant just to ask for a cold glass of water. John found a guy on eBay and bought two 100 watts panels (making 200 watts) which Jean-Pierre on the boat rafted up next to us helped John instal it on top of the bimini since (unfortunately) we don't have davits (which are things you raise your dinghy in and out of the water with at the back of your boat). It is amazing how stressful grocery shopping and meal planning can be when you can't keep things cold. Hooray for cold things!
Hard at work
We're currently in Fort Lauderdale, which is apparently the yachting capital of the world. And you can definitely see it. There's over 45 marinas here, the water is covered in boats, everyone has a boat in front of their house, not just a boat, a giant yacht. The boats here a huge and beautiful. There's also a lot of cruise ships here.

Ft. Lauderdale is also the place to get anything you might need to buy or have fixed on your boat. If you can't find what you're looking for, it means you haven't looked hard enough. They have the biggest West Marine in America, and everything is geared towards boaters. So we're trying to get anything and everything done here to be prepared to leave. We really enjoyed the store Sailorman, which buys and sells used marine equipment, where we found all the things we had been looking for along this entire trip! But it was pretty chaotic in there!
In Sailorman

We also got boat cards made! What's a boat card you ask? It's like a business card, but the business you're promoting is you and your boat, and it won't actually bring you business or money, but it will make it easier for people to remember you and have your contact information. I wanted to do these a long time ago, but John tried to convince me that nobody does this anymore. After we kept receiving people's card and people kept asking for ours, I finally set out to do ours. We didn't have a great picture of Topanga under sail (since we're generally on her when that happens and not in the position to take an action shot) so I drew one and got it put onto a card. At least it makes us a little different!