We have been silent for some time now and we apologize for that. Life has gotten in the way, and as a result of unexpected health challenges we find ourselves forced to make a difficult decision. Soltara is for sale.
In the winter of 2018 we set sail from the beautiful island of Grenada and made our way up-island. After spending time in Grenadines, we decided to sail to the island of St. Vincent. We had read about the island’s tall mountains, winding roads, adventurous hikes, black sand beaches, and lush tropical landscape.
Since Friday, 9 April, we have been watching and reading of the horrors that La Soufriere volcano has been spewing out on the small Caribbean island of St. Vincent. After months of monitored activity, and a rather large lava dome measuring over 105 meters high, 243 meters wide and 921 meters long, disaster struck.
Quarantine was over in a flash, and before we knew it we could set foot on the beautiful land that we had been gazing at for days. We were surprised to discover that the land around Salinas is flat, despite the picturesque mountains in the distance.
Where does your power come from? When you plug in your phone, computer, your refrigerator, is it a thoughtless action or do you stop to consider where the electricity is coming from and how much of it you are using?
Before I moved onto a boat, I never gave too much thought about power generation, other than paying the power bill that was sent to me each month. Now, it’s a different ball game.
Since we spend all of our time off-grid, that means that we have to generate and maintain our own power. Gone are the days of mindlessly plugging in the laptop or phone whenever the mood strikes. Now, we must actively watch how much power we are generating and how much we are using.
How do we generate power?
We promised you a post on our power generation and battery set up on Soltara–I promise it’s coming! First, we thought you would be interested in an update on where we are and upcoming plans.
The last update we gave you had us still in the boatyard, waiting on parts and ticking off boat projects.
You will be relieved to know that we are no longer in the boatyard!
Before the final purchase of our Tayana 37, we hired an experienced surveyor to survey her inside and out. Just like when buying a house, we wanted to know of any potential problems that would need to be addressed or that could help in adjusting the purchase price.
We were aware from the start that most of the electronics onboard were more than 10 years old and that we would likely need to replace and upgrade some of them. During the survey, we discovered that many of the electronics did not function at all—the wind instrument, depth sounder, speed log, SSB radio, autopilot display, amongst other instruments.
In our last post we left you with the understanding that we were in search of a local buyer for our catamaran, since borders were still closed on island. We knew we would have to be much more flexible with our asking price, and we also knew that finding a local buyer would be challenging.
Then L. J. had a brilliant thought…
You know that halting sound a car makes when someone suddenly slams on breaks? That’s kind of what happened the last week of March 2020, which just so happened to be the week our buyer (the second one, now) was scheduled to travel and have Snowflake surveyed.
We had been following Covid-19 news for a couple of weeks, grimly noticing that it appeared to be slowly spinning out of control. When Grenada confirmed their first case, they locked the island down like Fort Knox. Who was in stayed in, and who was out stayed out.
Once we had our new to us Tayana 37 in the same bay as our catamaran, it was time to get to work. We had only a few days to move our belongings from Snowflake (our catamaran) onto Soltara (our monohull) and to prepare Snowflake for what sounded like a very keen buyer. We weren’t too concerned, after all, we didn’t have very many things to move over. Right?