Recently, I saw a documentary about alternative energies. It was very interesting, although a lot of it wasn’t totally new to me.
I mean we all know, that oil, gas and coal won’t be available forever. And nuclear power isn’t a satisfying solution either, since we still don’t know what to do with the highly toxic waste.
Therefore, alternative sources are needed. Many things are found, or so we believe, like e-cars, solar panels, wind and water energy.
It dawned on me already a while ago that – like everything else – these alternatives have another side of the coin too. And what I learned now, it’s much worse than I thought!
Of course, I was aware that by using electrical cars, we still have the problem with the batteries. Or by using the wind, these huge wind parks kill countless birds. The back side of water energy are the turbines, who kill millions of fish each year. Especially eel and salmon, who need to return to their place of birth , in order to spawn.
But I had no idea, what exact resources are needed to satisfy this new growing, “clean” industry. The most sought-after raw materials are the so called “rare-earth metals”. Apparently, China has worldwide most occurrence of these precious materials.
Sadly, as so often, the environment pays the high price for humans endless greed.
The pictures where shocking! Huge mines are destroying the nature. Water is needed in unimaginable quantities, which gets contaminated and generates toxic lakes. The air around is loaded with poisonous particles. Not only does it kill the workers in these mines and factories, but it turns hundreds of square kilometres around it into a hostile dead area.
It doesn’t look better than coal mines or oil rigs. In order to salve one’s conscience, we want clean energy by using solar panels and by buying lithium batteries. Of course to the best of one’s knowledge, don’t get me wrong!
Patrik and I wanted the same! We constantly search for ways to keep our ecological impact on this planet as little as possible. A few years ago we threw out our 20+ old oil-heating in our house and replaced it by an air heat pump. Now we are customizing our yacht and bought 5 solar panels in order to produce our own power. We want to buy an electric motor, and sell the Mercury we have now for the dinghy. In the future we also want to replace the existing board batteries by lithium batteries. Installing LED lights throughout the boat is also our aim…. and so on.
So, the million dollar question is, do we harm our environment more by buying these new, “green” things? Are we just soothing our remorse?
It looks like we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place!
Well, in two weeks Easter is just around the corner and, therefore, we’ll enjoy a long weekend!
Which is lovely of course. Patrik I were planning to spend those days in Loano, working on Luna Azzura. We even wanted to take off the 01st of April to have one extra day.
It looks like it won’t be more than a plan. Because Italy announced to change the whole country into a red zone, which means the highest risk zone. The purpose of this is to prevent local people from travelling, visiting friends and family.
This also means that it will be almost impossible for us to travel to the Mediterranean coast. Since the 08th of March the Ligurian Coast is listed in Switzerland as a high risk region, which means 10 days quarantine after returning home. But in Italy it was still yellow. The Lombardy and Piedmont – regions we have to drive through – were even white.
But the whole country becoming a red zone during the Easter weekend changes the situation.
We are, to put it mildly, quite pissed off with these perspective! Since we would drive directly to Loano and stay on board Luna Azzurra, the risk of infecting someone – or getting infected – with the Corona virus is equal zero.
But of course, it’s Patrik and I who know that. How should we be able to proof that to the public authorities?
Let’s face it, without a miracle we’ll stay at home. Reduced to the joy of watching our yacht through the webcam. Fantastic! ☹
Well, the windows and our winter garden needs to be cleaned. Our short trip simply wasn’t meant to be!
Or finish up the helmsman seat for Luna Azzurra with glassfiber.
Hello my furiends! I hope you’re all doing fine and are healthy!
Me too! And I know because I’ve had a check-up not long ago. My mum drove me to my vet (without asking me though) and after a short waiting time it was our turn.
It was the usual as every year: It startet with me refusing to leave the transport box. As always I didn’t stand a chance against the vet and his assistant. Mum was sitting in a corner, looking all innocent and sorry for me *yeah-yeah*.
After that fight I had to sit on a white slippery dish and they took my weight….apparently it’s 100 gram more than last time. Not good, according to all three of them. I hope that doesn’t mean I have to go on a stupid diet now! …….erm, how much I weigh now? 4.6……… 6.4kg….. so what, I’m a big cat, right?!
Anyway, they weren’t finished torturing me, far from it! Next was checking my mouth and my teeth (yes, I still have ALL of them). I’ll never get used to these disgusting rubber gloves *YUCK*.
Still not finished, because now the vet listened to my heart and whatever else is inside me. Then he thoroughly felt me down (I wonder what he was searching for?!).
At least I received some goodies in between this whole procedure!
Well, the best is yet to come! As if all this wasn’t enough, my check-up ended with a sharp prick into my side. If my transport box wasn’t waiting there for me with an open door, the vets hand would have turned into minced meet, no shit!
Boy, was I happy when my traitor mum carried me to the car and we drove home again. Of course I was grumpy for a while – cat honour! Until dinner time arrived….
Yeah well, I suppose all this has a reason. Usually, my mum and dad are very nice to me and only want my best. So they are forgiven =^.^=
The reason for the trip was that I had to change some blocks for the sails.
Installing Victron MPPT’s (solar panel chargers) and a BMV-712 smart. The 712 is for monitoring power consumption or charging our batteries. To get this working I had to pull a lot of cables around the boat. Everyone who have a boat, knows very well that this can be a challenge. As the room is tight and to get the cables trough from compartment to compartment is tricky. That is one reason why no post came out last week. Was to occupied with jobs onboard (sorry for this).
On Thursday the 25th RS-INOX who produced our new solar arch came onboard in order to mount it . We never worked with this company before, both Diana and I were a little nervous how it should fit etc. When they arrived I could see directly that they knew what they were doing. The audience from the bird families agreed to that.
After RS-INOX had lifted the arch onboard. It was fitting on the millimeter as it should. My worries were definitely gone.
Diana was also watching from home via the webcam and sent WhatsApp after WhatsApp asking how it was going. It was quite nice to tell her that this is not a steel constructing company…. They are artists!
The end result was as a Rolls Royce of solar pannel / dinghy arch.
The day after I mounted 5 monocristal solar panels from Victron Energy with the effect of 115 Wh / panel. Now we will have 575 Wh of power production to our batteries. So we will not be forced to run the engine anymore when laying for anchor to keep some power in our batteries.
The panels are not yet connected as I need to install a fuse box between the panels and the MPPT’s. When I left for Italy I had not received this fuse box yet. This will be done during eastern when we plan our next trip to Luna Azzurra.
Now we can charge our batteries and we can as well hoist our dinghy on the arch. Finally getting rid of the dinghy on deck which will be much easier to use it in the future.
We had as well a company on board who is doing upholstery for boats. As our upholstery is 16 years of age it is time to change. Now we are waiting for a quotation from them. Later we can take the decision if we change the upholstery before or after the summer season (or this year at all). When we change, we want to have a alcantara-like fabric. Because it has a wonderful feeling, is robust and not so sensitive with stains.
Let’s see what the future tells.
I attach among with the pictures a video of the installation of the arch and how it looks after the panels are mounted. We are really proud of it!
The day after the whole marine talked about Luna Azzurra and how good and clean RS-INOX worked and the beautiful result it ended up with.