A couple of weeks ago my solar panel stopped working. Since then I have replaced the solar controller (a device that takes the power from the panel and converts it before sending it to the battery), cleaned the wire plugs, did some rewiring, and measured the input and output of power at various points.

I still have failed to get the system working again and am set back by frustration.

Today, sitting in my cockpit locker fiddling with wire, beads of sweat dripping off me, listening to my friends laugh and chatter on deck in the sunshine, I was overwhelmed by my task and seriously perturbed that after all this work I had still made so little progress. What is even more infuriating is that it’s not something that I have the option of giving up on.

When functioning, I can preform all my daily electricity related activities with only the power from the sun. With my solar panel working the cost of living is cheaper and I can sleep better at night knowing I am powering my home sustainably.

Other necessary jobs that I have to do before crossing out of U.S. waters and into the Bahamas (which I will hopefully do in about two weeks, weather depending) are stacking up. The Bahamas are notorious for their high cost of food and propane, both of which I require. The propane powers my stove, and therefore, coffee. And the food powers me.

I also want to touch up my paint job for appearances sake and have some engine work involving the wiring to an alarm to take care of. I must make sure all my paperwork – whether human, sailboat, or dog – is in order.

Getting Elli across the border into the islands should be fairly simple. A couple of months ago I contacted the Department of Agriculture in the Bahamas and requested a pet passport folder for a $15 fee. It came after weeks of waiting and contained paperwork that must be filled out 10 days prior to our departure and signed by a veterinarian.

All of the preparation work, although stressful, excites me. Here I am, on the brink of my crossing, working hard, enjoying the sunshine, and – despite the frustrations – feeling pretty fulfilled.

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