FROM 1-24. Closing on the Barn Door

Oct 18, 2005 - 0430hrs UTC

0430hrs 18 Oct 2005 UTC ??’??”S ???’??”E Ref 451

[ed: as you can see, we are down to satcom transmissions only. Very expensive, so unless someone knows someone who knows someone who can get some sponsorship for the satcom we are stuffed. Sorry all]

1. divert to 4 new generator would add at least 12 days to journey snd slmost certainly kill any chance of making start line.

2. continue, in strict conserve mode and aim for fremantle to refuel. we are about 42 days from freo and should have enough fuel to charge battery daily and supplement with solar when available. a 5 cape circ would still – just – be possible if we make good time, start line certainly possible via bass st. no choice really. we will have to assess our power consumption, fuel etc over next few days. meantime, 1 satcom update daily – steve, pse suggest best time for you so that we can collect short mail call at same time. use satcom 4 time being – will assess hf as we go. pse check whether jg getting these.

from damp wet cold gloom to brilliant, sparkling almost full moon. cold. poled, 1 + 2, just moving. ampair still putting in some wigglies but too slow to assess fully. sounds as if bearings dry and about to collapse. serves me right for single point of failure – altho we do have some backup. we’ll see. may be a bit short on whimsy for a few days. malcom, any chance of diesel from french? pete grad unsw 1969 bsc dip ed.

[Ed: Don Price asked a fair and reasonable question about the power issue.

How much does the Satcom cost? Is connection cost the only issue, or is power going to be a problem if it’s used more? (Apologies for my ignorance about these things).

My response explains it a bit more:

The laptop and HF transmission gear consume much wattage. The Satcom is a handheld unit and hence quite low power consumption. The generator kept input comfortably in front of output, but with lousy sunshine for the solar panels and limited diesel for the motor, the output required o run laptop and HF will kill the batteries pretty quickly. Priority has to be given to the nav and running gear, so Satcom it is.

Satcomm cost is about 1c per character! It adds up awfully quickly.]

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