|Carambola Botanical Gardens is a popular destination just a few miles outside of West End and one of the tours of choice for the flocks of cruise ship visitors to the island. I met Vanessa, one of the tour guides who works at the park one day back in December when I was travelling by collectiva into Coxen's Hole to try to Christmas shop for John. I was full of questions about the flora along the bus route because I'm try to learn to identify all the plants and trees, a daunting task because there are countless species in the rain forest and the jungles.
Vanessa remembered me when John and I showed up at the park one day this week. We browsed through the huge garden and hiked the jungle and mountain trails, amazed how cool it was in the shade despite the heat of the day. The view from the top of Anthony's Cay below was spectacular.
Back at the boat the Captain built a frame for the 75 watt solar panel and a small 10 watt panel that he picked up for next to nothing. The 75 watt panel gives us 4.7 amps of power. Our fridge used 3.2 amps, leaving only 1.5. The small 10 watt panel gives us an additional .5 watts or approx 30% more power over and above the fridge. It wasn't easy lifting it up on to the top of the flybridge and I was shocked when John, with his fear of heights told me he planned to climb on to a two by four wedged behind the spotlight so that I could hand the unit up to him. Then I ran up into the flybridge and guided it as he passed it up. This new location will give us several additional hours of sunlight on the panels vs the temporary location on the deck which was in shade by about 2:30-3 pm when the sun is shining on the back of the boat. Except for rare occasions when a storm comes, the predominant winds blow from the east and since we are on an anchor we also face east, with the back deck facing west, perfect for watching the sun set in the evening.