Today was a great day for rowing – or would have been, if I’d been able to spend more time at the oars. As it was, I spent much of the early afternoon poking around behind the control panel with a screwdriver, trying to get my electrical system working again.
I checked the battery monitor around lunchtime, in preparation for running the watermaker, and my heart sank when I saw that there was no charge going from the solar panels to the batteries. I opened up the control panel (maybe I should call it the out-of-control panel, as that is what it does to my emotions whenever I have to open it up), and saw that the Sunsaver Duo LED was blinking its red evil eye at me, signifying an error.
You know in the film “Terminator” (or was it “Robocop”? Terminator, I think) how Arnie’s eye glows ominously red? That’s what this LED looks like, and to me it is about as terrifying. It means I have to do something with electrical stuff, and you will know by now that this is not my forte.
Long story short, after two rather stressful hours, I now have a functioning electrical system. But my level of confidence that it will remain functioning is low. It took quite a lot of chocolate and a satphone chat with my mother before my spirits were fully restored.
This is one of the problems with attempting to combine a spiritual retreat with a major expedition. It is difficult to focus on the meaning of life, the universe and everything, when I am challenged just to stay alive.
That last sentence was said more for dramatic effect than because it is literally true. Complete failure of the electrical system is, of course, one of the “what if” scenarios that we prepare for. I have a portable solar panel to recharge my gadgets, and a manual watermaker to produce drinking water, but life would be very inconvenient indeed. I would be in survival mode rather than expedition mode. Blogs would most likely cease. So let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
UncaDoug – I have just read your comments about your father’s passing, and about your encounter with Tim Ray’s parents. Thank you so much for sharing both experiences with us. It is good to hear that Tim very much lives on in the memories of many, and that his passion and dedication are inspiring them to greater heights in working for the future of our world. He has most certainly not died in vain.
Quote for the day, in an attempt to console myself for my dodgy electrical system: “I learned that the richness of life is found in adventure. . . . It develops self-reliance and independence. Life then teems with excitement. There is stagnation only in security.” (William Orville Douglas)
Photo: The out-of-control panel. The panel is folded down – this is the cabling behind it. This is actually an old picture, from 2006, but it isn’t much better these days. Note to self to simplify, simplify…
Sponsored Miles: Grateful thanks to: Stephen Borchert, Monica Wilcox, Thomas Huddle, Cyndie Blake, Carol Page Potter, Shannon Fogg, James Borleis, Megan Lutz. Having passed the one thousand mile waypoint makes a difference!