I do not enjoy spending money, something that pairs very well with the fact that I do not have very much money to spend.
I did earn some money earlier this summer, working nights and weekends, so for once I did have a few dollars to spend. The transactions always left me feeling queasy. I do believe I invested well. None of the purchases were impulse buys - all were items I had researched for several months, if not a year or more. If you were to check my bank account you would see that all of my summer earnings have been spent.
The Honda 2.3 hp four-stroke was something I needed. The old Nissan 3.5 hp two-stroke, while an excellent outboard, was beginning to show its age. I need to know I have a reliable source of power if the wind dies or if I have a long canal to transit (which will be the case this fall). I had been concerned that the power unit would be too large for the well, and too large visually for the cockpit ("image is everything" according to a tennis player whose name I can no longer remember). But it is not too large for Spartina, in either sense. The fact that the outboard is environmentally cleaner is a huge plus. I am still adjusting the centifugal clutch, but that is no big deal. I do need to buy a spare spark plug, plus change the oil before the trip.
The Fujifilm X20 has been a delight. It has lived up to all my expectations. I will not go into detail about the camera, but you can find an excellent review here. I love the size, form factor (I can't look at it without seeming my old Leica M3), optical viewfinder, control dials and - most importantly - the images it produces. It can shoot 12 frames a second - yes, count them, 12 frames a second. It can shoot in low light and at night. And it can shoot close-ups to the point that the subject is nearly touching the lens. I had been concerned about the batteries until I found the menu option to turn off the battery-eating LCD viewfinder. With the LCD viewfinder the camera is expected to shoot 250 images on a single battery charge. With the LCD turned off, the frame count increases considerably. This is, in my opinion, a very nice camera.
Even with camera settings set for minimal battery use, there will still be issues with battery power on a two-week trip. Which explains the last purchase of a Goal Zero Sherpa 50 solar charging kit. I've been testing its battery charging ability and finding that it takes less than 20% of the power pack's charge to charge a battery for a camera. As I mentioned in a recent post, in a matter of hours the kit can recharge a battery plus restore the power pack to 100%. I've only done the one full test on Spartina, I hope it proves to be accurate. My concerns will be keeping the gear dry - the solar panel is weather resistant, the power pack has to be kept dry. How this will work on a small boat remains to be seen.
I saw these clouds leaving the office this evening. They were spectacular. I watched them as I drove home, seeing lightning on the backside of the storm as I crossed the bridge of the ICW. I was glad to be watching the storm cell from a distance, not from a small boat on the water.