• 6th January 2010 - By greg

    I started discussions with Ken Fortney a year ago about the possibilities of coming to work for me to build the most awesome, ocean going human powered craft on this planet. To Ken’s credit, he recognized the opportunity to expand his expertise and to be a part of this expedition. To say that he did an amazing job would be the understatement of the new decade.

    Ken Fortney in WiTHiN during sea trials

    Ken Fortney in WiTHiN during sea trials

    I can’t believe that I can finally say that we are very quickly approaching the end of this boat building project. The final list of final items to finally cross the final finish line is finally within a few final days of finishing! By Friday, I will finally be able to say that WiTHiN is finished. Done. Ready to take on the Pacific ocean – and the world.

    Both water makers (the electric pump – Katadyn Power Survivor E40 and the manual – Katadyn Power Surviver 35) are installed and I have been running them every couple of days. I have a huge bottle of water sitting beside WiTHiN, and when I am training in the cockpit, I can throw a single bundle of water filter lines through the open portlight and into the water jug. The three tubes consist of one large input tube with a filter mounted on the end that is shared between both the manual and power desalinators, and two brine output tubes – one for each water maker.

    View inside the seat-back compartment. Battery, water lines, meters, etc

    View inside the seat-back compartment. Battery, water lines, meters, etc

    Then I turn a valve which routes the incoming sea water through a larger pre-filter mounted in the seat-back compartment to either the electric water maker or the manual one depending on if I have enough power or not. If I’m running the electric unit, I throw a switch on my panel and fresh water is produced through one tube that I have mounted in the seat back bulkhead.

    Since both water makers use the same input and output lines, all I need to do is plug in my “Source” quick-connect water bag tube to the fresh water output fitting in the bulkhead and it will eventually fill up with drinking water. When I’m ready to drink the water, I just un-plug the quick-connect fitting and plug in the suck-tube. So far, the system works pretty slick. The Source water bags have a really nifty tube connecting system, so changing tubes, and filling bags won’t result in any water leaking or spilling.

    Source water bag with quick-connect fittings

    Source water bag with quick-connect fittings

    Using the manual unit is just as easy. After the input tubes are dropped into the ocean, I just turn the main valve to the manual unit and start pumping. I have enough water line length to pump the Survivor 35 from either the sleeping cabin or the cockpit while pedaling.

    The fresh water output line with quick-connect tube fitting

    The fresh water output line with quick-connect tube fitting

    The electric E40 will make almost 5.7 liters an hour, and the manual 35 makes 4.5 liters per hour. I figure I’ll need about 8 liters a day.

    The Rutland wind turbine is installed. Shown below are the 3 “watts-up” power meters showing watts coming in from both solar and the turbine as well as watts being consumed. The meters display voltage, amps, watts and watt-hours. I received many comments about windage and weight of the wind turbine. I need to stress that this unit is easily removable and I can stow it in the bow compartment if winds are blowing me back. Also, the prevailing trade wind direction over most of my route will be pushing me to Hawaii and the wind generator will act as a bit of a sail. If the winds are blowing me backward, then I can set my sea anchor out, and just leave the turbine up until the batteries are topped-off.

    P1050028

    I’ve been concerned about where to stow, and how to deal with the 150 feet of sea anchor rode (rope that holds the sea anchor). After looking at some photos of what other ocean rowers have done, it occurred to me that I needed some cleats on the top deck to hold the wet rode, so Ken added two large plastic cleats. This makes it very easy for me to stand up through the forward hatch and either deploy this line or pull it in, and wind it around the cleats. The actual sea anchor packs into a stuff bag and will be stowed in the bow compartment or seat back compartment.

    Since WiTHiN is pretty small, Jordan thought that 150 feet of rope would be sufficient – mostly because I just don’t have room to store the standard 300 feet of line that Para-anchor suggests for a 30′ long yacht. I’m also NOT going to deploy a 150′ trip line. I figure that WiTHiN is so easy to move forward, that I could easily pull the 150 feet of sea anchor rode in by hand. I’m not actually pulling the large, water-filled parachute toward me, I’m pulling WiTHiN toward the parachute. Once I get to the chute, I can collapse it, and haul it up and pack it away in it’s stuff sack.

    Sea anchor rode line and plastic cleat

    Sea anchor rode line and plastic cleat

    the stainless steel cleat on the top deck

    the stainless steel cleat on the top deck

    150 feet of sea anchor rode all wrapped up nice and neat on the cleats

    150 feet of sea anchor rode all wrapped up nice and neat on the cleats

    I won’t know if this will all work out to plan until my over-night sea trials in April. You can view the schedule of events here.

    ——–

    My Christmas holidays were great! My son Cody headed back to the states for his winter training camp at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs . I got a text from him yesterday and he was lifting weights with Michael Phelps! Helen, Krista and I headed to our cabin on Big Mountain in Montana. Joining us this year was my brother in law Tom Short, my sister Carol, my nephew Ryan who broke his wrist snow boarding, and our good friends Val and Gary Erickson. Helen and I did what we like – hiking the 2000 feet up big mountain! I skied most afternoons which is more than enough skiing for me.

    Me climbing Big Mountain

    Me climbing Big Mountain

    Tom Short, Helen and my sis Carol climbing the mountain

    Tom Short, Helen and my sis Carol climbing the mountain

    It was great taking a week off my bike training, but I was happy to get back on as soon as we got home. The goal is to ramp up the volume as much as I can between now and the first sea trials with Bryon Howard. Our goal will be to navigate the east coast of Vancouver island from the north to the south – non stop, 24-7. We figure it could take 5 days or so. We start on Feb 1. And of course, this is all easier said than done. I know from first hand experience that you never know what will happen to derail my plans (ie: our last attempt at circumnavigating the island), but I’m ready for it. That’s how we learn isn’t it? Bring it on!

    Helen near the top

    Helen near the top

  • 6 Comments to “We’ve come a LONG WAY!”

    • nick dwyer on January 6, 2010

      Hi Greg,

      I have just completed a sail from Portugal to New Zealand all of which was solo apart from Tahiti to New Zealand because I gave two blokes a lift. I’ve had one hell of an experience. I had a lucky escape from pirates, experienced a tsunami, nearly been run over by a super tanker, seen my first volcanic eruption 30 miles out to sea and weathered 60 mile an hour winds.

      I admire you for your attempt to make Hawaii. It will not be an easy task. If you have not already done so I would encourage you to get a ham radio license. I found this invaluable, not only for safety reasons but for the company during long periods alone.

      Anyway all the best.

      Nick

    • anth on January 6, 2010

      how many watts of solar panels do you have should have space for about 175 watts

    • DD on January 6, 2010

      It all sounds good.
      Make a list of all the things (including yourself) that could be accidentally dropped into the water (at night or during storm), make a check-off column:
      Floatable | x |
      Sinkable | x |
      Tieable | x |
      Expendable | x |

      Consider if it is worth changing anything.

    • greg on January 7, 2010

      anth: no where even close to 175 watts. WiTHiN in small – not like the luxury yacht size of an ocean rowing boat. I’ve got 7 x 7 watt panels only for a total of 47 watts (even that is doubtfull – prolly more like a total of 35 – 40 in peak sunny times). Thus, the wind turbine. But hey – this expedition is about human power and being more EFFICIENT with energy. I’ll make due with what I have and old-school it.

      Cheers
      greg

    • Dave on January 13, 2010

      Nick that is horrible, glad you made it through though. You bring up a good point about being run over by a supertanker or something. Will your craft have a proximity alarm during sleep Greg?

    • greg on January 13, 2010

      I have AIS with an alarm, so if the tanker is using an AIS transponder, I will be notified. I think most of the large container ships and tankers do have AIS, but the fishing boats, and etc dont


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