Sailing Luna 2013-2014 Statistics
Nautical miles traveled 3947
Latitude at departure N 44 deg 16.38 min
Latitude at furthest point south N 23 deg 31.04 min
Latitude Tropic of Cancer N 23 deg 30 minutes
Engine hours 811.4
Diesel fuel consumed 305 gal.
Average fuel consumption .375 gal/hr
Nights at anchor or mooring 157
Nights at marinas 85
Nights at sea 5
Most consecutive days on anchor or mooring 44
Number of off shore ocean passages 9
Number out of sight of land 5
Longest passage 175 nautical miles
First dolphin sighted: Albermarle Sound, N Carolina 10/19/13
Last dolphin sighted Off New Jersey shore 5/11/14
Number of books from book exchanges read by the commander 31
Number of items dropped overboard: 8
Average monthly expense 7 months of voyage
as a percentage of the previous 7 months 92%
Sailing Luna 2013-2014. Suggestions for the future
Considering the time and distance traveled, our journey was amazingly trouble free. Some of the problems we had anticipated turned out not to be problems. For example:
1. Water. We carried 6 seven gallon water jugs along with Luna’s 28 gallon water tank. We found water freely available in the Bahamas for at most a nominal charge. We never emptied all the jugs.
2. Anchoring: we carried a Rocna anchor with 20 feet of chain and 180 feet of nylon
rode. We never had trouble anchoring in the Bahamas and dragged anchor only once—in the current in Georgia—in the U.S.
3. Food: We were able to find bread, milk, yogurt, rice, canned goods, fruit juice, fish, Romain lettuce and (on boat days) other fresh produce in the Bahamas. We didn’t find the cost excessive.
There were aspects of Luna that we would improve, were we to make the trip again.
1. Autopilot. Having made the trip without one, we can see the value in a functioning autopilot. Especially for making long passages out of sight of land and at night. Steering by compass and GPS is quite tiring.
2. Communications 1; A WIFI booster is necessary. Often at marinas and at anchor, there are wifi sources available, but the signal reaching the boat is too weak.
3. Communications 2: Verizon coverage for some of the remote areas down the Waterway is quite spotty. A cell phone amplifier would be a useful addition
4. Communications 3. For overseas use, the Verizon cell phone and data service is prohibitively expensive. We did buy an inexpensive Bahamas telephone in Bimini along with a prepaid card. Cell coverage in the Bahamas is excellent. A 3G I pad would be good to have. At the Bahamas Telephone Co. office (most settlements have them), the staff can remove the SIMM card from the Ipad and replace it with their own card. A Bahamas data plan is reasonably priced. Internet access is important, because weather and wind information is available on line.
5. Cockpit enclosure. For cool weather passages, especially overnight, we would have liked a warm enclosed cockpit. We will upgrade Luna’s bimini and dodger and include side curtains.
6. Long dock lines. We carry 30 foot dock lines. There were situations, particularly when trying to dock short handed where 50 foot dock lines would have been useful.
7. Dinghy and motor. Trying to reach remote places with our slow dinghy was often a wet and frustrating experience. We would prefer a hard bottom dinghy (RIB) with a 10hp engine. The advantage of our current set up is light weight. We could lift the 2.5 hp engine easily and could also hoist the light Achilles inflatable dinghy up to the foredeck. Heavier equipment would require dinghy davits.
8. Generator. Our solar system does not keep pace with our electrical usage, particularly on cloudy days and in the winter when the sun is further away. Too often, we found it necessary to run the diesel engine. A wind generator might have been a helpful addition. A portable gasoline generator would have been useful. Doubling the 90W solar capacity might have helped.
9. Radio. Next time, we will check the VHF radio and antenna before we set out. In the Bahamas, a single sideband shortwave receiver might have been useful to hear weather forecasts, though from neighboring boats and local nets, we were always aware of coming changes in the weather.
10. Spare propane tank. Sooner or later, everyone runs out. Propane, while sold in many places, is not conveniently available everywhere. A second propane tank, like the emergency fuel tanks of the old VW bug, is good to have.
|Luna, mast removed, rests at her home mooring|