Monday, September 3, 2012
Same Time Next Year To Resume Solar Canoe Voyage
The 22-foot hand-built solar trimaran Calypsol performed almost flawlessly for more than 300 miles said Crystal Lake explorer Ray Christie. At least until the daytime temp hit 102. "The batteries lock out at (internal temp) 113," he said.
The trip had to be cut short when Algonquin navigator Larry Kozak's doctor forbade him to join up. "'I don't want you out on a sandbar if you need a hospital'", Kozak reported were his instructions.
There was a problem with the river, too. It was so low the Corps of Engineers shut it down to barges. That wasn't a problem for the shallow-draft Calypsol but, "If they opened the river again we'd be dodging barges," said Kozak. "We make 4 knots per hour," said Christie. "They go eight."
So now the Calypsol plan is to resume the voyage to New Orleans, same time, same place, but next year.
"There were some days there were no signs of civilization," said Christie. "Just a hum from the motor and the water and the trees. It was almost like the river belonged to us."
In the pic: Engineers Ray Christie (left) and Larry Kozak (right) prepping their solar canoe, Calypsol, for a long Winter's nap.