I have given up trying to play catchup for now, but here is an update:
I reached Middletown, California only to find the Vanagon having some problems (ended up being the harmonic balancer, which caused other issues as well). Fortunately I was heading there to meet with a friend, so I spent a couple weeks with a place to stay and way more money than was in my budget getting things fixed. Some I managed to do myself, but some I simply did not have the tools or parts to do. The folks at unique auto were great; I slept in my van in their lot at night, and by day was able to work with the mechanics Chris and Rob to get the Vanagon running again. The harmonic balancer proved hard to find, but I tracked it down thanks to the folks at Rocky Mountain Westy (http://www.rockymountainwesty.com). Chris had to do some creative thinking/welding/grinding for some pieces, and even had to weld a very unique wrench to get the balancer on; I really can’t thank him enough for his ingenuity and dedication to getting me back on the road. He knew I was on a big trip with limited budget and really went out of his way to help and keep costs as low as possible.
Once the van was fixed, my friend from Middletown (Travis) and I were ready for a very specific adventure….
…that of going to be crew on a solar boat traversing the Great Loop of North America; a journey that, once completed, will have our boat “Ra” being the first solar boat to complete the Great Loop.
We jumped in the van and drove to Oswego, New York in 3 1/2 days… taking time to stop and enjoy various points along the way. And yes, taking lots of photos that I’ll begin flooding you with when this trip is done, or possibly before.
When we arrived, the boat was still waiting on a few batteries, so we explored Oswego for a few days; really quite a lovely town.
The batteries arrived and July 20th, we set sail across Lake Ontario. Since then we have traversed the Canadian lock system (during its 150 year anniversary) and are now making our way through the Georgian Bay; we should reach Mackinaw Island and Us waters in about a week.
Part of the reason I’ve not had time to blog here is because I am the photo/video/media/tech and crew guy for our group… they found out I have skills and oh how said skills are being utilized.
So even when I can’t blog about my personal experiences, I am posting daily updates and pictures for our group, The Pirates of the Sun, and the journey of our solar boat “Ra” (named after the Egyptian sun god)? The website (www.piratesofthesun.com) is still slowly forming, but we are very active on Facebook and Instagram, and can be found here:
You can also track where our boat is at any time on the website, at:
I am still wondering how I am fortunate enough to be a part of such a worthy venture, but just accepting and helping all I can….
…all while taking sooooo many pictures, that you will see eventually (I am fairly up to date on my sorting, thankfully!)
If you don’t hear from me soon, you know where to find me; we are the Pirates of the Sun, and we move entirely from the power of the sun.