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! See the photo sequence below.
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.
Today was the haul-out, survey and sea trial of my soon-to-be home. During this process the boat is hauled-out of the water (see the slide sequence at the bottom of the page) by means of a Travel Lift, then she's power washed to remove "critters" from the hull and the surveyor begins his work.
After much deliberation, training, planning and over 2 years of looking at boats, thinking about requirements, looking at more boats, adjusting requirements, etc. my moving-aboard project is nearing completion. I am happy to announce that - if there are no hiccups with the inspection and closing - Serenity will be a French-built, Jeanneau Sun Fizz sloop, built in Les Herbiers, France in 1984 and designed by world renowned Naval Architect, Philippe Briand.
Last week I took a deep breath, gave the email a final look and pressed "send." Thus notifying my broker†, Dave, that I was ready to begin the search for my boat. I took this step with a mixture of excitement (over the anticipated joys of living aboard), trepidation (over the anticipated rigors of living aboard), and a dash of "Susanne are you nuts!?!"