Our Slog (Ships Log) with a Satelite View
Google Map loading...
Eric & Sherrell
Google Map loading...
Posted on Monday Nov 22, 2010
LEDs are problematic when it comes to using them inside. The color is often a bit harsh and the light can be very focused. They are very tough however and work for years until something corrodes on them. Traditionally pre-packaged solutions are way over priced and replacement solutions are marginal with brightness and color. So we've been waiting for something good to come along.
While we were in Seattle we played around with a large light display in Fisheries Supply. One of the lights really caught our attention was the Imta's design (IMT ILSPG4-10W) with 10 LEDs, a linear current controller and a claim to be "warm white". The color of the light was nice on the display and it seemed bright in the store, so we bought one. Paying $20 for 10 LEDs with a PCB and a controller seemed like an ok price, even if the parts run about $5. It looks like this:
Fast forward months later back on the boat where I had forgotten about it until I was digging around in the bag with engine parts and found it. So we pulled the socket out of one of our lights and wired it in place with solder and some heat shrink.
Oh wow. When we turned it on I almost blinded myself and the color is very similar to nice incandescent glow. The best part is it doesn't get hot and only uses about 0.2 amps. Now I wished I had sprung for a few more. As long as it holds up in the marine environment I'd say we've finally found a winner.
Posted on Friday Nov 19, 2010
Posted on Monday Nov 15, 2010
If you are reading this blog with a feed reader (and there seems to be a lot of you doing this) then you'll need to update your links.
I've written my own tool for generating RSS and ATOM feeds because I didn't like blogger.com's. Now all the links will be correct and I've removed some of the non-compliant stuff so maybe it will work better. If you see any problems please let me know because I don't really read my own site :)
Atom feed: http://www.sailsarana.com/atom.xml
RSS Feed: http://www.sailsarana.com/rss.xml
Posted on Wednesday Nov 10, 2010
After what seemed like an eternity, we finally made it back to the boat. You might wonder what took us so long to post something about it since we've been back at the boat for about 10 days now. As you can imagine we had a lot of dirt and mold to clean up and piles of â??stuffâ? from the RV to sort out. Then once the space was livable again we started fixing things that were broken, cleaning and filling the water tanks and taking care of the engines.
Despite the serious construction going on around us in the canal things seem quiet and relaxed. The humidity has spiked and backed down again to the point where we have to use blankets at night (i.e. less than 70F).
We still have a few serious issues on the boat to fix before we can get back on the water, but just being back here with our simpler lives with no car and no television or obnoxious news is revitalizing. The cats literally collapsed in happiness when they returned. Jordan saw the boat and struggled out of my arms to leap on board. In fact Jordan probably can best describe how we felt without using any words:
Posted on Wednesday Nov 10, 2010
We've spent about a week now working on the boat and replacing parts that mysteriously broke in strange ways. There's been more steps forward than backwards so far and we're hopeful to get back out on the water by the end of the month.
In the meantime Sherrell had the opportunity to experience the Day of the Dead (Nov 2) in classic Oaxaca style. Several cruisers who have been in this area for a while have learned about a small town nearby called Santa Maria de Huatulco which has large chaotic graveyard. Any other description besides chaotic wouldn't fit this place. Graves are haphazardly placed forcing visitors to twist, wind and step on many sites just to try to pass through the yard. Some were elaborate and some were just piles of dirt.
The Day of the Dead is a day to celebrate the lives of the dead and not necessarily their death. Family and friends come from all over to gather, have some food and light some candles. Often graves are elaborately decorated. Everyone hangs out at the grave surrounded by marigolds, candles, and other ornaments and talk about all the good times they had together. To elevate the festive atmosphere there was even a wondering Mariachi band willing to play on demand for a little coin.
Posted on Saturday Oct 23, 2010
We've been in Mazatlan for almost a week now and already had the pleasure of going to a dock party (our first in about 5 years as docks are few and far between). Now we are gearing up to store the RV, load everything into a TINY car (cats too!) and drive ourselves to Guadalajara to meet friends and do Sherrell's 5 year milestone checkup (and celebrate her b-day). After that we're continuing to drive our little rental car another 800 miles down to the boat and get it back into shape.
It's great to be back in Mexico and we're excited to see our friends and return to the boat!
I promise to sort through our photos from Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Arizona soon and post them. Really we'll get to it, what else are we busy doing?
Here's a teaser photo of us on a cliff in Zion. You can dangle your feet off the edge and watch the dots of buses straight below drive underneath them 1000's of feet down.
Posted on Saturday Oct 2, 2010
Since internet access is almost impossible to find, I'll have to just give a brief update.
We toured Kuna, Idaho. All I can say is I have seen the future and it is grim. Can you say sprawl? The tiny town I grew up in now has a 4 lane road leading to it and the town is overrun with development communities. It's a mess. Strip malls are everywhere for as far as the eye can see in Boise.
Well, anyway, we went to Craters of the moon, where it SNOWED on us. Our heater and solar panel broke. If that wasn't enough the window which I've tried to fix twice now, leaked onto my side of the bed again. So there we were with low batteries, no heater and a wet bed in below freezing temperatures. Good times! Oh to top it off at the same time, the fridge decided to konk out for 3 days allowing everything to slowly melt before I discovered the problem caused by dust in one of the jets.
The heater turned out to be related to having a low battery because the free solar panel (it was damaged by lightening) someone gave me finally quit working. It was so cold that we were immediately thinking of canceling the rest of the trip and heading back to Mexico. Fortunately I patched everything back together and we were underway again but relying on the engine only for charging the battery (which sucks).
We hiked like mad in Yellow Stone! We went everywhere looking for elusive wolfs, bears and moose. I think we saw just about every other animal in Yellow Stone except those three....
The Tetons where fabulous and we discovered a trail off Jenny lake which was probably one of the best hikes we've done! Again no moose....
We also went to Wasatch mountain in Utah where the fall colors where mind boggling.
Then we went to Escalante, Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon, Vermilion Cliffs, and now Sedona. Pretty soon we'll be in Phoenix and then Mexico.
In total after leaving Seattle we've probably hiked about 150 miles of trails and taken almost 700 photos. We'll post some when we have time to sort them out. Right now internet access is very scarce and so we probably won't post again until we are in Mexico.
Posted on Thursday Sep 2, 2010
We had a great time seeing family and friends here in Seattle. There's no doubt we ate the WTM's weight in food during this past month. There are so many good places to eat: South Indian, Vietnamese, Thai, Mediterranean, Ethiopian, Italian... I think I'm making myself hungry.
Anyway it was great being here again seeing everyone and trying to stay warm in the 45F nights. However we're off to the next leg of our trip and headed East to Idaho, Yellow Stone, and the Tetons.
We are going to miss everyone. Thanks for all the good times and good food! Don't forget you're welcome to come see us too.
Posted on Thursday Aug 12, 2010
I know it has been a while. But there is just so much good stuff to sort through, edit and post. Life has been very busy seeing friends and family. You'll have to forgive me if these videos are a bit rough. I slapped them together with duct tape and swear words. Unfortunately I still haven't had time to go through all the Yosemite and Tahoe material, which creates a large 3 week gap in this little on-line show. Nonetheless, I will try to bring part of our trip to life for you.
On our trip north from Tahoe we went to Lassen. While we only spent 4 days there, it was magical place with volcanoes, hydrothermal vents and TONS of snow.
After hiking Lassen we spent a night at Crater Lake, which was like a refugee camp. The snow covered campground had Fourth of July hopefuls screaming at each other, swatting large mosquitoes, draining mud from their sites with sticks, shivering inside their cars and trying to heat food over flames that had the life sucked out of them by the cold. We of course were warm and dry in the WTM.
We worked our way up the coast to the Olympic National Rain Forest. Exploring the southern end of the park is something we had never done and the trails, rivers, and mountains were breathtaking. And I mean that in the cheesy sense of the word as well as tough to climb in places. Our photos don't do it justice. This video shows some of the sites along the way.
Last but not least: Mount Baker. Skiing is the only time I've been in this park, and we both thought it would be a good time to see more and take Sherrell's mom with us. She did great hiking around and again we saw lots of snow and ice. This time we even had classic lightening squalls complete with tropical style downpours.
I hope you enjoy the videos. I hope perl jam, foo fighters and underground don't mind me using some of their tunes either....
I will post some stuff from Tahoe and Yosemite, but even I don't know when that will happen.
Posted on Thursday Jul 8, 2010
Internet access in the US is a little harder to find on a regular basis because everyone has it in their house.... Anyway let's recap.
Tahoe was a blast. Then we spent 4 days in Lassen National park. We tried to get to the summit, but the road was still closed. There was probably 20' of snow still up there in many places. We hiked up the road to where the road crews were still clearing the peak. It was an amazing place with some FANTASTIC volcanoes. This park had everything and we were entranced. So we decided to check out the other parts of the park: Devil's Kitchen full of hydrothermal vents, Boiling Springs Lake, a HUGE volcanic cinder cone, "Fantastic Lava Fields", and on and on.
After hiking there we went to Crater Lake where the lake was fogged in, the campsites were still under 2 feet of snow and the private company running the camp ground in the public park (a bad idea) was charging $26/night almost double the norm. It probably costs a lot to rename the crapper a "Comfort Station".
From there we went to hike at WATSON FALLS, which was beautiful NW-style hiking. Green mosses and ferns and waterfalls dominated the trail. And from there we visited our friends in Salem and Tualitan where we did more hiking, beer tasting and watched the Timbers play soccer. Did I mention vegan donuts?
So where are we now? Well we are on the Oregon coast where we camped at Cape Lookout and toured the area around Tillamook including Sand Lake a bizarre place.
Now we are on the road to Long Beach and the Olympic Forest. We literally have 10,000 pictures from our trip but no time to post them right now...sorry! Stay tuned.