So, I fell asleep last night to the relaxing sounds of rain and distant thunder. Around 01:00, I was awakened by the sudden, violent movement of the boat in her slip as she was brought up hard against her mooring lines and rolled about 15 degrees to port. There were the sounds of things crashing - both inside and outside the boat - and dock lines squeaking and moaning under the sudden strain. I was instantly out of bed, turning on lights and looking out on deck to see what was going on.
I woke early this morning, made coffee, and went up on deck to enjoy the sunrise. As I was sipping my coffee, watching the ducks swim by and the geese land noisily out on the creek, I looked down and discovered that I was being invaded by Cnidarians - a.k.a. Jellyfish. So, I grabbed the GoPro and started shooting ;-). I don't have a monitor for my action camera as it was not purchased for "point and shoot" use. To get these photos without immersing myself in the 8°C (46°F) water, the GoPro was mounted on the end of a long pole allowing me to stand on the dock.
In the blogpost, Sérénité: Winter Preparations 1, I discussed one of the steps I had taken to minimize heat loss. Now that it's officially Winter, the big battle is shaping up to be managing humidity onboard. The thing to understand is that most sailing yachts are not intended for year-round use and, as such, are not insulated to any great extent. So, the hull gets very cold and the moisture in the warm inside air condenses on the cold surfaces.
Answered nature's call this morning before sunrise and got a surprise when I flushed - the water glowed! Marine heads flush into holding tanks using water from the ocean, or in my case the Chesapeake Bay. When I pumped the handle the water entering the bowl lit up like a christmas tree. I tried to photograph my glowing bowl, but alas the glow was to faint to be recorded by my camera. After doing a little research I discovered the culprit was the bioluminescent microorganism Noctiluca (latin "Night Light") native to our waters.
After getting the heating system on the boat working with the help of a professional, my attention has turned to minimizing heat loss. The front door of a sailboat is the companionway - a complicated entryway that is designed to keep water out of the boat in rough weather. Unfortunately, it's not really designed with cold weather and energy efficiency in mind. What's needed is a insulated curtain to create a small entry foyer to keep the heated air inside and cold air outside when the companionway is open. So, I pulled out the sewing machine and got busy!
Sérénité has both AC and DC power systems. The AC system is powered when we're in port connected to shore power, the DC system is connected to the battery bank that is charged by the engine, wind generator and shore power. Currently, the primary means of charging the battery bank is the shore power connection via the battery charger. Someday soon I'll be installing a solar array that will take over this job, but for now I'm reliant on the power grid. Many of Sérénités's primary systems such as navigation, refrigeration, lights, heat, water, etc.
I mentioned in a previous post that buying sailboat - at least one large enough to use as a home - is a similar process to that of buying a house on land. Before I launch into that discussion in part 2, a little background is in order.