Control Panel

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.

Other Stuff:

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!

14 Comments

  • As a ‘sailing’ gadget lover myself, I sympathize with having to deal with staying with simplicity and enjoying the technology which makes life aboard  comfortable and even a bit safer. Keep at it.

  • Wow, I take my hat off to you Roz. A technical challenge thrown at you and you still have the energy (emotional, spiritual & physical) to type a blog for us. High fives for you. Yeah for chocolate!
    I am surrounded by techno nerds & find it so much easier to de-clutter my brain by palming techfix stuff off on them. I have been known to demand a bottle of red wine for fixing phones & printer problems though!
    I’m hope for a techno-problem-free-zone for you for the rest of the journey… lets get back to spirtual awakening instead!

  • Good On You Roz….! Your determination and persistence is what propels your successes. Liked the quote from William O. Douglas, former Supreme Court Justice (Hailed from Oregon, (my home state) and he climbed in the Cascade Mountains…lived a long life, and quite liberal)  Tonight we attended a wonderful lecture by Dame Dr. Jane Goodall, at the University of Otago.  Celebrating 50 years of her work in Gombe. Her messages were many regarding the environment,,,but she does hold out positive hope that people on this planet … will finally make the changes for ‘sustainable’ futures. My quote of the day: “Leap and the net will appear.” Annon, 

  • To begin with , 42. Don’t mix a spiritual retreat with a major expedition? Where’s the adventure in that? Lol, have to remember that one to use in the future. I can see where running an expedition leaves little time for spirituality. Do you find that the amount of time for reflection is sort of concentrated when out on the ocean, as if being in danger concentrates your thinking. Or is there just too much bloody work to do?

  • As a friend of mine once told me, “It was Nietzsche that said, ‘That which does not kill us makes us stronger.’ of course, he’s dead now.”

    Hang in there Roz, you are strong enough to make it through these electrical trials and tribulations!

  • Hard to imagine you have rowed a thousand miles, Roz. I remember when Nicole asked us guess when you would hit 1,000 miles from Hawaii.  That was almost exactly two years ago … June 24th at about 11:23 PM wasn’t it?  How time flies!

    Good work, Roz!

  • Roz, I’ve been thinking about what it is about people like Tim Ray that sets them apart and amplifies their influence.

    My friend Marshall Saunders who earlier this week dedicated this year’s second annual conference of CitizensClimateLobby.org to Tim once concluded an email to me with “BE OUTRAGEOUS, IT’S THE ONLY PLACE THAT ISN’T CROWDED.”  I think that expresses the essence of what Tim and you exemplify.  I think it is within each of us, but some realize it sooner and more fervently that others — we have our own timetable. Until about five years ago I mostly kept a “low profile” and went along with the flow. But circumstances caused me to realize that was no longer an option. I am becoming more and more outrageous with the encouragement of people like you!

    People like Tim and Marshall and you and others express their passion LOUDLY … your decision a few years ago is surely awakening and amplifying that uninhibited honest expression of whatever it is that each of us believe in — us Rozlings.

    Thank you for sharing your passions honestly, sincerely!

    Keep rowing passionately, Roz — in Tim’s memory.

  • Roz, I’ve been thinking about what it is about people like Tim Ray that sets them apart and amplifies their influence.

    My friend Marshall Saunders who earlier this week dedicated this year’s second annual conference of CitizensClimateLobby.org to Tim once concluded an email to me with “BE OUTRAGEOUS, IT’S THE ONLY PLACE THAT ISN’T CROWDED.”  I think that expresses the essence of what Tim and you exemplify.  I think it is within each of us, but some realize it sooner and more fervently that others — we have our own timetable. Until about five years ago I mostly kept a “low profile” and went along with the flow. But circumstances caused me to realize that was no longer an option. I am becoming more and more outrageous with the encouragement of people like you!

    People like Tim and Marshall and you and others express their passion LOUDLY … your decision a few years ago is surely awakening and amplifying that uninhibited honest expression of whatever it is that each of us believe in — us Rozlings.

    Thank you for sharing your passions honestly, sincerely!

    Keep rowing passionately, Roz — in Tim’s memory.

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