Friday, September 7, 2018

See You Next Summer!

No, our ranger job does NOT involve wrangling Burmese pythons. But if it did, we'd be ready
We completed our tour of Canada's historic canals on Aug. 25, 2018.

Dragonfly, our 14-ton solar canal boat, is "up on the hard" for the winter. The SlowBoat blog will be on hiatus till summer 2019.

From Nov. 1 till the end of April 2019, the Captain and crew of Dragonfly will be living in a different tiny home made of metal. 

Our Airstream trailer will be our home base while we serve as volunteer ranger-naturalists in Everglades National Park.

We'll be at the Everglades City station on the Gulf Coast. Come visit!

To read about the Little Loop Cruise from the beginning, start here.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Solar Truck

Check out that snowy roof!
So we're back in our home port of Macedon.

We've scraped and sanded Dragonfly's rust-pocked roof and it's now a sparkling expanse of white.

We winterized the water tanks. Put away the perishables.

Good Night, Canal Boat

Today she got hauled out of the water, to spend the winter up on stilts, wrapped in plastic till we resume our boat adventures next summer. But that doesn't mean goodbye to solar technology.
Lift her gently there! Don't hurt my baby!

Nuh uh!  At the end of October we head to Florida for a six-month stint as volunteer park rangers at Everglades National Park.  So . . .

Hello, Camper!

Can your truck do THIS?
While we're there,we'll be living in our Airstream trailer. And Cap's been thinking, "How can we make sure we have plenty o' power when boondocking?" ("Boondocking" being trailer speak for, "camping in a place without electrical outlets.")

The answer? Solar truck.

Giving New Meaning to the Term "Ford EcoBoost"

Batteries in the truck bed, and still some room for cargo.
(Alas, we can't help you move your furniture)
OK, full disclosure, our truck does not actually run on solar power. But it IS equipped with a solar panel. 

Normal trucks have a cap or a tonneau cover over the bed. We have nicely sized power-generating solar panel covering OUR truck bed.

And a couple honkin' big storage batteries in a metal box inside the bed. With a solar controller.

All in all, this system is a lot like the one on Dragonfly. Cap's own original design

So now, when we're boondocking, we'll just park in the camper in the shade. Park the truck in the sun. Erect the panel. Run the power cord from the battery bank to the trailer. 

And voila! Laptops and phones charged, fridge nice and cold, and we can leave the light on for ya at night.

Because when we get home from a hard day of rangering (which will involve, among other things, leading canoe trips in the swamp) you know we'll want to open a well-chilled beer and say, "High five! We didn't sink any tourists today!"