I am called Grandma Prepares, aka Grandma Debbie and I have a confession to make. My life is unusual and I’d like to tell you a bit about it.
I’ve downsized my life. I no longer am connected to the power grid for electricity. I have no well or a convenient water supply to easily draw water from. I don’t have a refrigerator. I have very few modern kitchen conveniences. And I rarely sleep in the same spot two nights in a row. But don’t feel sorry for me, there’s a very good reason behind it all.
About a year ago, we bought an old sailboat in need of restoration. In early July it was ready and we moved aboard to begin a journey of exploration along the southeastern coastline of the United States and beyond. Remember the windstorm of early July of 2012? That was our second night out and it blew us partially up on the bank of the river we were on. I think I shall always remember the power of that storm that caused our anchor to drag and swept us up out of the water. We managed to refloat our boat when the next high tide reached it’s full height with a lot of work. The power of nature is something often not fully appreciated when living on land; on the water, nature’s fury is always a factor to be reckoned with. Winds come, seemingly, out of nowhere, whipping the water into waves when just a few minutes before all was calm and peaceful.
People look at us with admiration and envy when we tell them we are cruising full-time on our sailboat. And I understand it. It seems like such a simple life of leisure. Floating around with the wind in our sails, living the good life on the water, how difficult could it be? How difficult, indeed!
Producing Your Own Electricity
Have you thought about how much you depend upon electricity everyday? Our kitchens are powered by the flow into our homes of that all powerful 110 current we call electricity. It powers everything from the simplest coffee maker, toaster, dishwasher, blenders, refrigerators, stoves and a multitude of other appliances. How would you function if suddenly you had to actually produce any and all the electricity you could use to power these things? Moving onto a sailboat, not connected to shore power but afloat, living life “on-the-hook”, I had to figure out just how to do this. Oh, not for anything as fancy as an automatic dishwasher but for a coffee maker (couldn’t give that up) and a two burner electric hotplate. Someday, I plan to acquire a propane stove with an oven but for now I am content with my little stove. In coming posts, I will discuss exactly how this electricity is being generated because it will become important to you in the future.
I saw a news story in 2012 that made a big impact on me, it was Obama’s war on coal hits your electric bill. Go read the article for yourself, nobody I’ve talked to saw it, it seems. In short, our electricity rates are going to “necessarily skyrocket” by 2015 going from the 2012 rate of $16 per megawatt to $136 per megawatt. Granted this is for a thirteen state area but can the rest of the country be far behind this rate increase? My math tells me a 2012 electric bill of $100 will increase to $850. I don’t know about you but I can’t afford that! It’s time to begin to explore other ways to generate electricity.
Continue to page 2 for 12 Volt and 11o Electricity Production!