I had been looking for it for weeks and finally It showed up! A favorable weather window, quite short but so enjoyable which made it possible to go back to sea and navigate on board the Solarboat Icade. The main reason for this navigation was to validate the latest modifications made on the prototype and make sure solar panels were working properly. What a pleasure to be rewarded for our efforts! The sun was missing, but despite this, the 4 Torqeedo batteries (fully charged the day before) did a great job and I enjoyed myself beyond imagination. The following pictures provide evidence.
I reached a peak velocity of 8 knots but that was just out of curiosity, and to ensure the Solarboat Icade was responding as expected. I was far from the 12 knots registered on my GPS when kiting solo across the Pacific Ocean, but nevertheless, that was fun. Considering the energy used at such a speed, I’ll certainly be moving at a more moderate pace across the Northwest Passage.
Back at the shipyard this week as there is still room for improvement on the prototype, the insulation of the connections between solar panels and batteries, for example. It is time to think of all the little details that will make my life easier when in the Arctic. Problems and issues may be unavoidable but anticipating them,Â may help identify and solve them as they emerge.
Remember, slow and steady wins the race. This is one of the keys of an extreme journey. In my case, there is no use starting fast and running wild if some thick ice is still around. But no need either on waiting for the ideal weather windows as it never happens. It is a matter of balance, of compromise.
Meanwhile, here’s a footage of that day