You know, during all this time I have been here in Ireland working with my boat I have always felt a bit chased. Even if I have taken my time, I have always felt like time has been of the essence.
My initial plan, get here and fix up the boat enough to get her to Spain, was shattered by the pandemic and that set a different plan in motion. Mainly to do a lot of what was planned for Spain here.
It has not become the outcome, none the less, because plans tend to change as soon as they meet reality. But non the less, I have done many of the things that I had planned for Spain and some is in an in-between state, like switching my batteries to lithium, and others, like replacing my keel bolts, was added to the list of projects.
It has all been good, a lot of learning on my behalf and trying to figure out how to do things, which I enjoy. Like today, when I figured out how to get the auto pilot to work again. All it needed was a calibration by letting the boat run in circles for a few minutes. So that was one more system working as expected that has been a blocker for me to leave.
But during all this time I have never really felt.. I don’t know.. centered? Here and now. Constantly chasing for the next thing to fix or inspect. But today I had a day when nothing popped up that needed a fix, a new thing that I have to put on the blocker list. It was a day of cleaning up a bit in the boat, finding places for everything that is lying around (and as the picture shows there is still a lot to handle!) and during that cleanup it just happened. A great feeling came over me. I felt very pleased in my situation and could really feel centered.
Maybe it was because I yesterday had a “land day” – a day when I’m mainly on land and fixing whatever I need. I picked up a couple of packages in the boat yard that had arrived earlier, went to Cork to get gas for the stove and went by Woody’s to get some tools (and more hooks for the rest of the cabins in the boat, it was what they were missing!), did laundry and topped up my food reserves.
Being on the boat not having an urgent issue to handle was what I needed to sink into this feeling of living aboard. Really living aboard. It might sound silly, but just putting up the hooks was also adding to that feeling. Building a home. Not just work and the absolute necessities, but something else.
And it is a great feeling!
The projects that I have incoming is to add a solar panel to the boat, mainly because I don’t think it is a good thing to run the engine for nearly three hours every day just to charge the batteries, a solar panel does that much better, and also I will not have three hours I have to listen to it running, which isn’t anything I want to do. And to that the cost of fuel, which probably is my largest daily expense now.
I will get other solar panels later and I have been hesitant to get any at the moment, since I already have invested heavily in the solar I will get later. But it is inevitable, since I’m not connected to shore power the electric energy has become a luxury. Which it shouldn’t be at this stage.
The panel I have ordered is a ECO-WORTHY 120W monochrystalline[affiliate link] and of course I needed some tools as well to install it (no, not really but for future electrical installations that I know will come they will be really useful), so I got a Preciva Crimper Plier Set[affiliate link] that is used to crimp on ferrules. They are really great to make sure that screw connectors actually get contact with the entire cable, instead of just squishing it, and thus the cable can cope with the energy they are rated for. I also got a Preciva Insulated Ratcheting Wire Terminals Crimping Tool Kit[affiliate link] and a Stanley Fatmax Automatic Wire Stripper[affiliate link], so now I should be set for rewiring my boat electrics in the future.
While I was at it I also ordered tools to be able to finish polishing the boat. I got the cutting compound and wax from the boat store but I was so set at using my grinder for the cutting, but realized that it has way to high rpm even at its lowest setting, so my brain locked up entirely. I was thinking of getting a corded machine to do the job as soon as I get the inverter up and running (which meant I had to rush that install, or jury rig something up) . For some reason I didn’t realize that I can use my orbital sander just as well. So I ordered some Silverline 107968 Hook and Loop Lambswool Bonnet[affiliate link] to use with the cutting compound (that will remove the wax and any minor blemishes in the gelcoat) and KKmoon 5Pcs Polishing Pads[affiliate link] to polish the wax after I have applied it.
[let me know in a comment below what you think of me using affiliate links and if I should mark them in any way or not]