Solar boat has sailed more than 20,000 miles

planetsolar-hongkongAfter nearly a year on the water, the PlanetSolar team has traveled over 22,118 miles and is currently off the coast of Malaysia.

PlanetSolar, as its website states, is “a project for the benefit of our planet.” The effort centers around the worldwide trip of an entirely solar-powered ship, called the TÛRANOR. The trip, they believe, will ultimately demonstrate the capacity of solar energy and will help to bring alternative energy to the world’s attention.

Throughout the expedition (which started in September 2010) a crew of six people has worked to maintain the ship as it aims to sail around the world.

Though hampered by a damaged second module during the first few weeks of September, the crew was able to fight torrential downpours and foggy conditions in order to reach the coast of Vietnam.

Dangerous weather conditions
On Sept. 10, however, weather conditions forced the crew to make a risky attempt at anchoring in the protected Mekong River area. According to the crew’s log, “Thanks to our carrier and the understanding nature of local authorities, we were given the green light [to anchor.]”

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The crew faced more challenges as they tried to find a safe spot to stay, however.

“We brought the sea pilot on board and drove very carefully, because the maps of the region were out of date,” the crew wrote on their blog. “By late afternoon we were able to anchor in this protected site.”

The change of plans soon proved to be an opportunity for the crew, however.

“As soon as we arrived, there were many food boats coming toward us and offering their products,” the crew noted. “We took the opportunity to buy some fruit and sweets.”

After experiencing some ideal solar conditions following the bad weather, the crew said it hopes to anchor on the coast of Malaysia shortly.

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