We’ve been hanging out on the hook in Nantucket, a bit to the north of the summer mob scene. In spite of dreadfully slow internet service on both AT&T and Verizon, this is a lovely spot. The sunrises, as you can see above, have been wondrous. And by getting up at 0445 for the start of the morning twilight show, internet bandwidth is available.
Between bouts of relaxation, we have had a chance to test a few items, including our new Rigid LED bow lights, here in rain. They put out less light than the huge AC unit we removed, but the minimal current drain makes it a lot easier to use at anchor for keeping an eye on sea state when required. But to equal the previous unit’s output we are guessing four to six more Rigid spots will be necessary.
What we like best about cruising is the people we meet. In Nantucket we caught up with old friend Gary Jobson at a book signing he was having, and had dinner with another friend last seen in Svalbard at 78 degrees North. Then there was a third whom we’d met in Auckland, New Zealand in 2005. And a new pair of friends, anchored nearby in this handsome stinkpot.
The weather has been overcast, cool, and damp. We’ve been wearing heavy shirts and there is an extra blanket on the bunk. In this thick overcast–cloud base being less than 3000 feet/900 meters–the solar array puts out between two and two and a half kWh. Overcast can be dull photographically, but in black and white it sometimes pops.
But as cold as it is, this hardy boardsailor is out for his early AM constitutional.
Yesterday turned clear, and after dinner ashore with old friends, we were astonished to see a lovely moon and a few stars. Thinking it probably wasn’t clear enough for a good shot, we almost didn’t drag out the big glass. However, being out of practice at shooting 800mm of lens on deck, we decided to get in a few shots.
We were astonished to find amazing clarity, and this from the deck of a gently moving yacht in a tidal harbor at anchor. A look at the solar array output meter in the engine room informed that 7.8kWh were accumulated during an almost cloudless day.
We were up this AM at first light, to get to the whaling grounds off Cape Cod in time for a few photos with hopefully decent light.
Over the years we have learned to shut down the engines, turn off electronics, and float. The whales will come a-calling. And as you can see here, they are a-calling close!
We have been observers of bubble feeding–at a respectful distance–but having these cousins chowing down adjacent to our topsides is a new experience. Incidentally, the photos above and below are barely cropped.
We performed a propulsion test between Nantucket and Cape Cod, burning 25 US gallons of diesel over 4.5 hours, running at 1650 RPM, doing ten knots through the water, at full load, with alternators putting out 150 amps between them (or ten HP). This works out to roughly five US gallons per hour for propulsion at ten knots, which sounds reasonable to us. We’ve dropped the hook at Provincetown, Cape Cod, to get connected for the weekly conference call with New Zealand (today with Todd in Seoul, Korea). Weather permitting–it is blowing and raining right now–we’ll be off on a jaunt to blueberry country in the AM (that’s Maine for those of you who only think in terms of lobstah).
And now a query. These are the largest photos we have ever posted. Some feedback on load experience – good or bad – would be mightily appreciated.
Post Script: Thanks for all the feedback. We are wondering if anyone is having problems with really slow connections?