This weekend was a repeat visit to Half Moon Bay. Last time we were here, we got a not so great a site on a very packed weekend. This was much better.
In the days leading up to departure, we made a little purchase. After having experienced some pretty “non-solar” sites in the redwoods, and knowing that next week we will likely also be in non solar situations for more than two days, we wanted to have some kind of backup plan for the battery. Cutting to the chase, the two currently viable options are: get a generator, or get a spare battery. I’ll leave the generator discussion for future posts, because we decided to go the second route, at least for now. The spare battery idea sounded a whole lot more reasonable before I went and picked up our new one. Although, I didn’t actually pick it up. The big golf cart store guy with the heavy duty dolly picked it up and put it in the back of the car for me, causing the whole back of the car to sink a little. *Batteries are really heavy. Our thinking here was this: we’d upgrade the trailer battery to one that is slightly bigger and has slightly more storage capacity, but does not require altering anything about the trailer and does not add significantly more tongue weight. Then, our thinking went, once we were getting low on that battery, we could “just swap it out” for the old battery and we’d be good to go for another two days. *See previous note.
So just a little bit of messing around with this plan convinced us we will not be “just swapping” anything out. However, we do think we can fairly easily disconnect from the main battery and run leads to a backup battery sitting on the ground without too much heavy lifting. That will be our next step project. In the meantime, we got everything hooked back up and we now have a whopping 130 amp hours and a battery that a highly respected Altoiste has vouched for and that Richard says is “really good”. The Trimetric battery monitor wiring makes installation just a bit more tricky, but not prohibitively so. I’m not saying *I* could wire it up. In fact, most of my attempts to “help” caused something to spark. But Richard did it with minimal additional expenditures and it seems to be working (lights go on when switch is flipped, that’s how I know). If this plan works, our thought is that we could carry a fully charged backup battery in the car when we go on longer trips where solar recharging is questionable. If we were going to do this over a longer period of time, we’d still need occasional hookups to recharge the backup battery, but we have to do that anyway in order to keep the coffee machine up and running. We already have a plug-in charger that can handle the job. This is really an attempt to get us from two days to four days, in deep shade, without having to turn the fridge off or not shower daily.
So we pulled out Friday afternoon and I dropped Richard and his bike in Pacifica, like we’ve done before. I had a nice drive down to the park and got set up before Richard pulled in. I decided to spin Dory and aim for the ocean view and that was awesome. I could see the ocean from inside in my comfortable couch spot. Pity my hearing aides filter out the ocean sound unless I’m outside. Richard said he could hear the gentle background sound of waves on the shore as he was drifting off to sleep.
Friday we had grilled pizza and continued with Season 3 of GoT. Fun. Saturday I made french toast with cinnamon raisin bread and that was fabulous. We called it pain perdu though, because we’ve been watching the cooking channel a lot lately, and that obviously makes it taste better. As I was eating, I looked out the window and saw two huge somethings coming out of the water. It could only have been whales, but I’d never seen anything like that, except on TV. Without explaining what I’d seen to Richard, I just went, “Oh my God. What the hell was that??” and walked outside directly to the beach. I thought whale season would be over by now, but a whole bunch of them, a pod I guess you’d say, was hanging out in the bay. Every so often, a giant head would come up out of the water, sometimes two or three together! They looked like those graboid things from “Tremors”, where they just shoot straight up, I guess getting fishies on their way? It was wild. So we watched that all day. We also talked about needing to buy binoculars until I remembered that I had stored binoculars in Dory. Richard wants a second pair however and told me things about magnification and light, but it involved random numbers, so I don’t remember any of it.
Saturday night we tried grilling premade Trader Joe’s Fettuccini Alfredo in aluminum foil bags. I wasn’t sure this was going to work, but it really did. I grilled some shrimp next to the foil packets as they heated and mixed them in with the pasta when it was done. We like pasta, but find that for camping, the logistics are not great. You always end up with a lot of hot waste water and Richard is not crazy about putting that into the grey water tank. Whatever. But I still like pasta. So this is a very low clean up way to achieve that and it means I could do the same with any of the heat and serve pasta meals in the frozen section. I’m excited.
We tried to see if we could extend our stay through Sunday night, but the campground was full. So we pulled out around noon and headed home. The only other tidbit to report is that I decided it is now time to lose the “Finding Dory” promotional decal and go with something a little more subtle. I hope you all have seen the movie by now. It is a gem. With the beginning of a new school year looming large on the horizon, we will soon be bidding adieu to the summer. We have one more trip to sneak in, then it’s back to “normal” life. We both agree however, that full time life in Dory would be a pretty wicked normal. Perhaps some day…
Total miles: 51.2, 16.2 mpg, 1 hour 45 min. Site 32 (see previous HMB post for list of good sites)