FROM 1-16. Lymington

Aug 04, 2005 - 1000hrs UTC │Lymington

1000hrs 04 Aug 2005 UTC Lymington

Briefing the day after tomorrow. Very close – we leave for Cowes on Saturday morning and the briefing is at 1800.

So another phase of this saga seems to be coming to an end. We will see just how much we have got right or wrong after 1100 local on Sunday. Lots of advice about how to fumble our way around – short tacking inshore, inside or outside at Portland, go via Alderney (which is how Nicorette won a few years ago, but we dont have the speed…), but my favourite 50/50 fallback is the straight line between the Needles and Start Point with a tack in on the flood and out on the ebb. We’ll see when we get to the Needles.

Had huge problems getting the laptop to talk to the new AIS software and hardware gizmo but, thanks to David Norbury who, like all the nerds I’ve ever met, loves a snarly problem and who very generously volunteered to drive down from the very nice hotel he runs (The Woodlands Lodge Hotel) and spend the afternoon sorting out the mess and getting the thing running – thanks David – we now have all the ships automatically plotted on the laptop, with 9 digit MMSI (unique identifier) numbers, speed and direction, closest point of approach and lots of other goodies. There’s a simple work-around for the problem too – see the website below. And the VHF DSC upgrade allows us to make a digital selective call to a specific ship via its MMSI. Berri’s MMSI, for anyone who may be interested, is 503039300. And I gave you the wrong link for DigiBoat and SoB software (A freebie and very clever) in an earlier update – sorry everyone – the correct one is Worth a look and you dont need expensive gear to get AIS working – just a laptop and a $200 ‘engine’ that collects the signals and converts them for the laptop. Brian and Jen – thanks for email and have a look – it’s brilliant. The DSC VHF is a nice add on and not super expensive. And I think they will soon be essential around Australia too.

We are holding our breath for the Shuttle crew – amazing how knowing Leroy makes it all very personal – and we still hope to talk to John Phillips the ISS when we set off again for Oz. Onya everyone and all the very best. We’ll be at sea on monday when the Shuttle is due to return but the BBC will be on.

Tomorrow, we are going to the 60th birthday party of a very special friend – I nearly said ‘old friend’ but I can’t get away with that any more – and then an early night, maybe an early and final run around the Salterns on Saturday morning and we’re off. Just beginning to get my running legs back – but not yet my runners feet…

Probably back to sailmail from here – please send all emails via the website. Ta.

[ed: Some little piccies here]


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