FROM 2-1. Sydney-Equator

Comms 0411.26 16250.25

A Rubaiyat night. Fluffies, 1st mag stars, halfish moon, dinos going off with abandon. Sooooo nice to be free of the freckleclenching anticipation of the next joust with Vlad the Impaler – for a short time anyway.

A word or two of explanation to reinforce McQ. We do not use satellite communications from the boat for this blog. Way way beyond my tiny budget. Instead we use a fantastic, almost free system called sailmail – and worth a look – that uses stone age technology (HF radio)and some sophisticated digitals to transmit to and from earth stations, which then put our messages into the email system on the internet. At the ranges we are working, transmissions can be desperately desperately slow – 200 characters per minute sometimes – and we are only allowed 10 minutes connect time each day as it is a shared system. If we time transmissions to the best radio propagation times we can just manage the volumes we need to send and receive but, of course, other people are trying to use the same frequencies at the same time and it’s not always easy. Our last download took me 4 tries and used almost all our daily allowance. Fortunately, it is averaged.

The purpose of the exercise is to get our stuff on to the website. Receiving your stuff is a privilege but not essential. Both depend absolutely on a clever and gentle soul called David Speed, our web dude as McQ calls him. He volunteered to do what he is doing, which he does as well as having to feed his cat, run a business, cut his lawn and get harassed by his bank manager, so we have to look after him too. Among other things, he edits and pastes your stuff into a single message that he sends us each day.

So – the golden rules – please keep it short, about 5 lines max, and not every day – around once or twice a week as a guide. I know that’s a dismally long time for facebookers, but hey, that’s how this thing works. If you must go longer, Speedy will be the arbiter of what we actually get to see. At this end, we have to limit what we write as well – about half a screen is our guide at the mo.

All of which said, it’s always great to get your messages.

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