FROM 1-10. South Atlantic-Going up

Apr 02, 2005 - 1800hrs UTC

1800hrs 02 Apr 2005 UTC 40’40”S 047’24”W Map Ref 142 857nm (2675nm to Equator)

Small speculative update as we sit and wait for the messy bits of the next storm to get to us.

 I’ve been involved for a lot of my life with people who do clever and skilful things often at some risk to themselves – Naval aviators, test pilots, a world champ motorcyclist who was also a superb pilot,  and more recently search and rescue people who drop into the sea from choppers to fish out other people like me who get into trouble, as well as a lot of the people who race impossibly fast sailing boats around the world.

But I never ever thought the list would one day include a NASA astronaut actually at work – so far away from the imaginable that it would have seemed foolish even a couple of months ago in the middle of the South Pacific when I was whimsying on about isolation and close neighbours. 

Yet Leroy Chiao was interested enough to talk to us, send us photos and perhaps even give us a wave one day soon as we light up a bit of ocean for him. He too could see the point, I guess, in terms of the  similarity between the things we all four us us are doing – and, of course, the obvious differences. So I’m now passionately involved  with what the ISS is all about and I will certainly follow Leroy’s future travels with intense interest. I hope that, if his schedule allows him to look down through the refected starlight at the top of our storm in the next few days, he will feel just a bit involved with a couple of geriatrics toiling through it.

We’ll be thinking of him and rather wishing, I think, that we could see his apartment block flying past up there instead of the murk we’ll actually see. Go, Leroy.!

[ed: resuming normal transmissions – we hope!]

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