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January 25, 2009

Brookings / Harbor, Or
By Marcelo;

Here comes the rain, here comes the sun, here comes the rain, wait, here comes the sun again, rain, sun, rain,...

Hey, what a morning, until about 08:00am it was raining a lot, it didn't look like it was going to stop anytime soon. Fortunate the solar car was kept inside the West Coast shop overnight. Its Sunday, so we got to sleep in a bit, Marty opened the shop at 10:00am by the time we got there (just two doors over) it was already 11:00am. The rain stopped, bright spots in the sky. The day started to look promising.

The first thing we did was to move the car outside to take advantage of any light to charge the batteries. Allen and I got to work on installing the turn signals and running lights, minutes later started to rain. We brought the car back inside the shop. Murphys law, the rain stopped. We continued to work inside for a bit more. Got a head start on adjusting the front latches. Well, near 11,000 miles later, opening and closing many times a day started to loosen things a little. Thinking there was no more rain on the way, we ventured taking the solar car outside again. Ah-ha, the rain descent on us again "run Forest, run..." gathering tools and moving the car inside the shop again. Deja-vu the rain ceased, I had the look of a "dear in the head light", decided to take the car outside to capitalize on he occasional bright spots in the sky, not much energy, just a mediocre .07Ah but better than "0" but I felt compelled to leave the car inside, call the quits, Marty was going to close the shop by 02:00pm. I was going to use the rest of the day to catch up on updates and emails (never ending backlog) but there was a tread of optimism lingering. So, one more time, we took the car outside. Yeah, can you guess what happened? a light drizzle quickly changed to rain ,and, pouring rain...we took the array down, closed the car getting ready to bring it inside for the last time. After a "should I go, should I stay" moment we left the car outside in the rain, the top was down. Allen went off to do his own thing , I stayed by the car doing a mental sundance while Marty closed the shop. Marty kindly offered to come back later to open the shop, so the car could be stored inside overnight. I guess the mental sundance worked, the rain stopped, the sky slowly started to clear with the occasional cloud playing hide and seek with the sun but eventually the blue sky prevailed. Solar juice at its best, seeing brief peak of 5.5Ah was quite remarkable for this time of the year and being late afternoon, I guess the wet pavement helped reflect a bit more light into the array.

Life is good, it was nice to have a bit of solitude time, a quiet Sunday afternoon, the sun was shining, batteries charging, the weather was comfortable, sipping lemon tea, between looking at the computer screen and watching the sunset over the pacific I was listening to a mix of David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and Queen.

By the end of the afternoon. Yeah baby, the batteries are finally full :)

Got the trailer organized a bit, put tools away. Marty arrived just in time, we stored the car inside. Soon after, Sheri, Steve and Allen arrived from drive to Chetco river, exploring the area. Everyone took off, heading back to the house. The van battery was dead, nothing that a small generator and transformer couldn't fix.

Its bed time, we are in Steve's leaving room, I am doing updates, Allen is editing photos, Steve is browsing the internet for information on XOF1. He is quite impressed by what he has been finding. Steve was questioning my sanity on taking such a project. Allen interjected on his comments in compliance. Well, I agree too. I just haven't come to terms of when to quit. For now, go solar go!!!

Mission Statement:
To fulfill a dream and inspire others to accomplish their dreams in a positive way to benefit mankind and the environment.

I am excited about tomorrow, I'll get to drive XOF1 will all fairings, looking at its best. We'll be taking the solar car to the local school before heading to California. Looking forward to driving the solar car under a giant Redwood tree on the Avenue of Giants. The terrain will be challenging 1000 feet climbs, up and down, shaded by tall trees. The car will be running only on bottled sunshine. Nothing new, it has been the case since arriving on the west coast. We'll be making a quick stop in Crescent City, doubtfully we'll make as far as Arcata tomorrow but it will be fun trying.

Hey, I just got a link to a video on the solar car tour, I guess the pressure is now on to see the governor in California. Hope it will happen.

Stay beautiful.

Allen and Marcelo installing the running light and turn signal
Finally a break in the weather, the sky cleared. Except by a few clouds playing hide and seek with the solar array.
By late afternoon, the sky was clear
Batteries charged.

A video about the solar car journey by Jim and Laurie Flarity-White