Weather Windows

I’ve not got a really good, paid for, type of weather application. I’m doing my weather the old fashioned way, watching it, smelling it, looking at the clouds, and reading several sites for weather information.

Everything I am seeing says we’ll have a decent weather window Monday to head south. Winds are promising to be relatively light 8-15 mph it looks like (depending on who you look at) and the winds will primarily be from the west giving us winds on the beam. Nice for us!

We spoke to two other cruisers and they are confirming what I think, one has programs (I think) and the other was using someone else’s data from a weather service (paid for). One, a lady, said she would be going over the weather tonight on her computer and figure it out.

The other said he’s leaving very early Monday morning. I think we’re also going to bail out of here as early as we can, at first light, depending on the sea conditions then.

We turned around yesterday and I felt crappy for doing it. I thought I chickened out. Turns out it was a pretty wise decision. JoAnne and I think we made the best decision for us. So did others who watched us go out and come back in, lol.

I changed several lights inside – think I mentioned this already – but I took some car head lamps, LED replacements, and rewired the sockets for the LEDs set to Bright. Made a SIGNIFICANT difference on power usage.

Right now we only have two high amp hour batteries in series. I want to add two more in parallel (the two I have in there are 6v golf cart batteries at 215 AH). If I duplicate that, and parallel them I’ll have 430 Amp hours of energy. Plus we bought a nice little generator set. So we’re ok on power for now. I still have not connected the solar panel up, but it’s on the small side. It will only supplement the generator, and not replace everything we use over a day.

I’m looking over at another boat who has a neat little wind generator. It makes a “swishhhhhhh” sound as it spins, but I think I can deal with that noise knowing it is giving us power. I need to find one that will supplement the engine alternator and generator. Once I do that, add batteries we can get the refrigeration working and have cold food in the ice box. Right now, we’re on a no-refrigeration diet, lol.

Today we got up early and took the day off. We only took the dinghy into the docks, hiked to town (about 2 miles there and 2 back), went to the grocery, hardware store and stopped for coffee and a sandwich along the waterfront.

Then we came back and JoAnne unpacked the food, marked it, put it away while I cleaned up the dinghy and put away the propane cylinders, bag and other stuff I keep in there, and cleaned up the deck, stowed lines, set up the generator and ran it for an hour to charge the system, put everything away when I was done, Not bad for a day off, huh?

For those wanting to know our location, we’re at Atlantic Highlands (still, one week today) in an anchorage near the marina. We’re about 10 or 11 NM south of NY city and can just make out the Verazano Bridge at night, and the city when it’s not hazy, at least the tall buildings.

When we leave we have to sail north, tack right and head east, go off the coast a ways (3 miles maybe) and turn south and then we have about a 100 mile trip in front of us – perhaps a 20 hour sail, unless we can hit hull speed – which I doubt.

On a good note, I got the chart plotter working again, cleaned the connectors very well and got the green corrosion off the pins. I really don’t know how to use it well, which is ok, we can read/use charts, and really it will just help verify our position and nothing more. I can use the autohelm, which I can set to a course and let the boat drive us where we’re going so I have have to tend the wheel constantly. Unfortunately, the autohelm and gps/plotter uses a bit of power, so we’ll be motor sailing on and off too, to charge batteries as necessary.

My nav lights are incandescent lamps so at some point I’ll be changing those over to LEDs when I can find something that meets Coast Guard requirements. Energy saving….

That’s all for the update for now.

One thought on “Weather Windows

  1. Have a good sail Monday. Also, a Solar/Wind gen config is the way to go. 4 yrs underway in carib and never used shore power, but did have a back-up gas gen.

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