Spring Break this year was going to be a week-long shake down cruise to Catalina Island, Ca onboard our Aleutian 51 sailboat with kids, grandparents and Quincy the Great Dane, but things don’t always pan out the way you think they will. Two weeks ago when we were up on San Francisco for the Pacific Sail and Power Show I was offered a chance to crew on a delivery from San Diego, Ca to La Paz, MX. After altering Spring Break plans I jumped at the chance to go along…even breaking down and buying foulies at the boat show. Skip forward a week and the delivery didn’t happen due to legal paperwork; so we called an audible and took the boat to Glorietta Bay here in San Diego for 3 days. But the time has allowed us to take the proverbial deep breath, work through some of our minor repairs and test our new solar panel setup to see how it does. We spent 3 days on the hook with no generator and without turning on the engine; but we also didn’t have hot water, couldn’t have run a water maker or sewing machine and seemed to squeeze as much juice out of the panels as possible. I’m glad we put in the MPPT Controllers from Blue Sky; they worked very well even with a couple of days of semi-overcast weather. I’m pretty convinced that with a wind generator, another battery or two and a larger inverter we could go without a generator, but that’s a future discussion. Arriving back at our slip we were welcomed by packages at the office; our new water maker (Rainman) and our second Air Head Head has arrived. I’m stoked, can’t wait to get our last pumpout tomorrow and stop paying for that service. So excited in fact, I’ve already worked on the electrical for the tiny fan and put in the entire vent hose system. Gotta wait on the rest till the tank gets sucked dry and cleaned with some fresh water tomorrow.
But, a few quick notes so far about our experiences with both the water maker and the composting head. Rainman Watermaker came in by freight and we hauled it back to the boat. Great packing, lots of spares and high quality workmanship. But…it’s ALOT heavier than the ads made it look and we didn’t pick it up at the show. Again, if you’re gonna buy one, make sure you know how much these things weigh and make sure you can handle it.
Air Head Head after two weeks of having it operational: I still love it, but we’ve noticed that the girls occasionally get toilet paper forward of the spring loaded clamshell when they’re going #1. When this happens, the toilet paper can go forward into the funnel on top of the liquids bottle and create a cork like bundle of wet toilet paper. If you don’t know the obstruction is there, piss starts to accumulate and SMELL. This has already happened and we’re now on the lookout for it. Also, the 2-gallon bottle easily fills up when two little kids and two adult guests use it…like in less than 24 hours. Especially when the adults add wine or beer or rum to the mix. I didn’t read ALL the fine print in the directions, you’re supposed to empty the liquids bottle when it reaches the sight glass. If you empty it when it’s completely full, it WILL slosh all over you, erasing any lingering doubts of your own superiority.
Ok people, Baja Ha-Ha 2019 sign-up is next month and we’re about 6 months from casting off our lines. I’m ready. Don’t forget about our Pinterest, Patreon and YouTube Pages-
Gotta finish the second Air Head install tomorrow. Friday my Dad’s gonna get to destroy some metal with a grinder and I’m gonna go up the mast to put the check-stays back on, depending on the wind.