FROM 1-22. Still heading south south east

Sep 29, 2005 - 2200hrs UTC

2200hrs 29 Sep 2005 UTC 20’14”S 026’26”W Ref 395

To the Cookie Crumbler – buckle on those angel’s wings and get over here with the kit, kiddo – I haven’t had a haircut since the one you gave me way back when. It’s not a pretty sight. We are about 2500 miles north east of you and about as close as we will get – with a bit of luck. Please pass on our congratulations and best wishes to C & H if you can, and greetings to Suzanna. Did you ever find out who lives under the table?

 From David McK

How have you found the performance of Sailmail? Do the time constraints limit your access to Grib files etc? Are you using the satellite systems at all at  the moment? Which Satcom C hardware do you have. My quick research into this area suggested a terminal would be around $13,000-00 without installation. (Gulp)

David M – sailmail is fantastic as long as you understand its limitations and have the patience to work within them. It is cheap (once you’ve bought the radio and the modem and the laptop) and it works. As you can see, we can feed a website with it from anywhere in the world and that’s only half the traffic – Steve sends us a couple of downloads of your mail each day and I get a new grib file every couple of days – about a 4k download each time and that’s our weather. You do need a bit of practice with interpreting grib – mostly to do with matching scale and speed and reading the movement between each snapshot. For SatCom C, I have a Thrane & Thrane TT 3022-D Capsat which was supplied by Telstra as a Sydney Hobart tracking device about 10 years ago and then offered to us at a reduced price. I’m sure there are second hand ones at a couple of thousand dollars or less if you ask – try calling Marty Andersen at RPA, 02 9979 6160 who did our Sailmail installation – he had one in his hovel up there at the time, about june last year. It is very expensive to use for email – a cent per keystroke – so we only use it as backup, but it is fantastic for free weather forecasts and safety messages all over the world. It is important that you get hold of charts of Met areas in the places you plan to go and you register and log on with the Land Earth Station (LES) etc. Talk to Electrotech inMelbourneabout this – 03 9646 0555 was their number some years ago. Technically, you need to get your operators’ certificate endorsed before you can use it, but as there are no courses available, this seems to be applied mostly in the breach. You will need an account with Xantic – a Telstra outfit – to use it for email plus an application called Easymail (Electrotech again) and you have to pay for the messages you receive as well so you must nominate email addresses that are authorised to send to you. Alternatively, anyone who has a Xantic or other account can use that.  I hope that answers your questions – but check it out for yourself.

From Trev, Ireland

have just discovered about you both,have sailed 40 yrs, but nothing like what you boys are doing, i think its utterly amazing what you are doing, my total admiration and deepest and most sincere wishes to you both, wishing you fair winds, keep at it, if you ever get to ireland call in and it will be my privilage to the home of the doctor and give you a very long consultation with him.

Trev inIreland, great to hear from you and we’ll come a’knockin next time we’re close.

From Ross McD

I hope Peter is going to try out for the Olympic swimming team. They may have a new event, the flick dive & 50 metre spint with an underwater start. How is Berri holding up? Does she creak and groan more or has she weathered the journey well.

Ross – Berri is developing some new squeaks and creaks but holding up really well. The next bout with the southern ocean will be the real test, in a month or so. Still can’t see the Southern Cross because of the cloud.

From Malcom C.

 You guys are nautical giants relative to Chris Columbus.  In Chris’s first trip of discovery he left Spain on 3 August 1492 stopped at the Canaries for a few weeks (I guess that is when R&R was invented), left the Canaries on 6 September and arrived at Bahamas on 12 October.  Hence longest leg was 36 days, shorter than summer holidays in Germany.

 On the return he left Hispaniola on 16 January sighted the Azores and arrived Lisbon on 4 March, a mere 47 days at sea.  A walk in the park!

 The durations of your port to port legs leaves young Chris for dead.  Also a GPS unit would have been no use to him because there were no satellites until 500 centuries later.  Likewise sat phone, VHF, UHF are useless if no one else has one.

 Take heart oldtimers you are more hardy then the great navigators.

Malcom – interesting. But 35 days in theSanta Mariawould not have been a pleasant outing, I suspect.

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