A Foundation and Lights
We enjoy the infinitely rich variety of our lives, but a few daily routines help maintain the direction of flow. On most days we rise with the sun. I make my way to the stove and ignite the flame under the teapot, then flip on the radio to listen to morning news and commentary while waiting for the water to boil. Marion and I discuss the headlines as we sip the first cup of coffee and decide on breakfast. During the previous summer months, the daily commute was either by pedal or sail. Then, on most weekends, our routine included the journey to the land in Tunbridge where we continued the work on Gypsy Rose in preparation for the coming of winter.
There will be no shortage of wood for our winter heat. Above, I split up a maple that had blown down in a storm the previous year. It will be plenty to keep us warm until spring.
We wanted to put Gypsy on firmer footing – a foundation that will remain stable through freeze and thaw. Six columns at four feet deep and 8 inches in diameter required 1,200 pounds of bagged concrete mix to fill.
I was very happy that no rocks lay waiting as we dug the holes to set the tubes. The soil was dark and rich to the bottom of the four-foot depth. We look forward to turning the soil for a garden next year.
We’ve received many requests for photos of Gypsy’s interior. I’ve been reluctant however, as much of the finish work is yet to be completed. We take on the projects as time allows. This summer the lighting took a big step forward after we found a solution that was not limited to products found at either yachting or RV suppliers.
We knew that we wanted to use LED technology but our choices had been limited to either small brass fixtures suitable for a boat’s cabin (at typically expensive “marine” prices), or boxy-looking plastic light housings designed to be recessed into an RV’s interior (plastic) ceilings and walls.
Another LED characteristic that we didn’t like was the tendency for the light to be glaringly white. We wanted illumination with a warm glow, closer to that of an incandescent bulb. After persistent research I finally found a source for LED bulbs with a “warm white” color temperature with the added advantage of being set in a diffusing globe attached to an Edison screw-type base (the same base as a traditional incandescent bulb).
With that find, the range of lighting fixtures extended to home lighting suppliers everywhere. We purchased swing-out lights for the walls above the couch and a dual light fixture to illuminate the kitchen sink. Drawing less than two and a half watts per bulb, our entire house is lighted with a fraction of the energy required by even a single compact florescent bulb.
The biggest use of electric power in both Gypsy Rose and Raven is for running our laptop computers. In the photo above, the headlines from the New York Times are delivered to the table to be read while enjoying a cup of morning coffee. (The table is temporary, as I remind Marion, to be replaced by the dining table and booths that are part of the final design.)
Brass yacht-style cabin lights do have their place in Gypsy. We installed reading lights at either end of the sleeping loft. Each LED bulb draws about one tenth of an amp of electrical energy per hour – 10% of that required by the older fixtures we use (and hope to replace soon) aboard Raven.