Friday, July 5, 2019

We Can Do It!

Rosie the Spider Remover
There’s a lot to do before you start a voyage. Cap has a checklist for the boat’s propulsion systems: Bolts secure? Wires connected? Batteries watered? And so on.

My checklist addresses other boating essentials: Fridge stocked? Laundry done? Bird poop scrubbed from windows? Boat exterior hosed off and sparkling? Spiders evicted? Check and double check!

After all, a clean boat is a happy boat!  

Great Journeys Start with a Single Step (or Four Locks)

Departure day: July 4th 2019. At 7:00 AM the air was still cool. We gently motored out from our home dock in Macedon, headed east.

The sun was unimpeded by clouds (OK, great for solar panels), and soon our indoor-outdoor thermometer read 94 degrees inside the boat.

We touched at some familiar ports. In Newark I put ashore to bike the towpath for a few miles. In Lyons we plugged in to sip some extra electricity.

Amusing sighting: Did one boat have engine trouble, requiring a tow? Or did these two captains
simply decide they wanted to have a coffee and a nice chat while they piloted?
All in all, after 11 hours, 32 miles, four locks, and several gallons of sweat, we docked in Clyde.

Appearances Matter

The master painter wishes you
a glorious Fourth!
Before we started this voyage, solar canal boat Dragonfly got a complete makeover. Cap painted her topsides white (OK, to be technical, “Hatteras Cream.” Doesn’t that sound nautical?).

The goal was to keep her a little cooler in the sun. (Dark colors absorb heat, light colors reflect, and all that.)

Testing with his infrared thermometer after the paint dried, he found that his strategy worked: the surface temperature on the light surfaces was 20 degrees lower than the surface temp on dark blue surfaces.

Just image how hot we would have been if he hadn’t changed the paint color!

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