Log – 28 April to 1 May, 2017
We’re three days into our adventure. Actually, to call it an adventure is to undersell it a bit. We’ve completely changed our lives. On Friday we stuffed our trusty car to the gunwales, and made the last journey down to Falmouth from Manchester. We couldn’t fit another item into the back – there was barely a square inch to spare.
Now, three days later, we’re sat in the cabin on a rainy morning in Cornwall, reflecting on our first steps into our new lifestyle.
Since we moved aboard, we’ve already developed new routines – in the morning, Elena gets up and puts the kettle on the burner to warm up the main cabin. Then we each have a quick wash in the heads (the loo) and make breakfast. The rest of the morning is spent either working freelance on the laptops or doing DIY projects on Kittiwake.
We usually have lunch on the go – so we can keep going with the boat works. In the evening, we have a sundowner around 6pm, then make dinner, play board games or watch a movie, and finally we prep our hot water bottles to warm up the bed.
We’re savouring every moment. We feel very happy and lucky to be finally living our dream. Kittiwake feels more and more like home – we’re slowly transforming it and cannot wait to show you the results.
Being unplugged from Netflix and YouTube really made a big difference – our evenings are much longer and we spend more quality time together.
When we arrived, the boat was on a beach. Being a catamaran, we can store it easily out of the water as it ‘takes the hard’ (i.e. it can rest on the ground, rather than float in the water) nicely on its two hulls.
But boats belong on the water, and we were itching to get out onto a mooring, so that we could come and go as we please, less constrained by the tides. We moved the boat out this morning, in driving rain and howling winds, but the boat took it all in its stride, sitting comfortably as the water streamed past her two hulls.
Before moving her off the beach, we fitted two of our four solar panels. These are 100 watts each, and wired into an MPPT charge controller for maximum efficiency. They’ve topped up our batteries by lunchtime, even on cloudy days.
We also installed two 6 volt Trojan T105 batteries. Originally designed to power golf carts, these batteries have been adopted by many sail cruisers, as you can run them down nearly flat many times before they’ll start to give up, unlike a typical car battery which would be ruined after a couple of discharges.
But this extra weight has taken its toll, and now our weight sensitive catamaran has its nacelle touching the water, so we’ll try to lighten the load a bit and discard anything not completely essential.
Our toolbox is extensive, and once the majority of the refit works are done, we should be able to slim this down a bit.
We’re also carrying quite a lot of clothes, equipped for all that the North Atlantic weather systems can throw at us. As we move south, hopefully we can trim this down to the shorts and t-shirts that will suit the weather.
The forecast for the rest of the week is for wall to wall sunshine, so we hope to slip our mooring and take Kittiwake out into the sea – we need to give our new rigging a stretch and dust off the sails. We might put out a couple of lines out for mackerel, which, given the recent sightings of swallows, should be back around the coastline for the summer.