elp! I've become a Satellite Junkie!
This distressing news was pointed out to me today and it's a good
thing we are only two days from finishing or they would have to
check me into a Satellites Anonymous clinic.
It all starts when I get up from a restless nap needing a satellite
fix. I sneak into the navigatorium and check our position on the
GPS, which is triangulating our exact position from multiple
satellites and tells me we have 557 miles to go and have been
making good a course of 66°mag at 11.5 knots.
Then I check the Satelllite C receiver to see what messages have
come in. They range from weather bulletens to position reports to
news from home. It uses a geo-stationary satellite and has a built-in GPS as backup. It showed the fleet 500 miles astern, gaining
slightly, with better breeze. I am sending this to you on SAT C.
Now, we're just warming up. To be able to get a bird's-eye view of
what's going on around us, there are NOAA satellites in polar orbit
that send us "real-time" infrared and visible images on our
satellite imagery receiver. We can view these on the computer and
zoom and color to help interpret them. I see a weak front behind us,
which has been giving us some good running wind, and I can see
there are no high- or low-pressure systems nearby.
You would think one would have enough by now, but there is the
"Big Gun" up forward still: The Sat B system. The Sat B is also
using another geo-stationary satellite, but has the big dish up in
the bow with the big computer in the media station. With Big B we
can send and receive audio/visual signal at high speed. For me
this means I get from the race office the latest weather models
from different sources, the daily news, and weather routing "grib"
files for optimum route calculations.
Today's models and gribs
indicate wind shifting around from south to east and building,
allowing us to reach in sometime Monday night. It is what we use
to send you live video footage. This one is hard for me sneak a
session with because it makes a lot of noise and no one is
supposed to be forward of the mast because of microwave emmisions.
It draws a lot of power, too, so I mostly get it in small doses.
I'm a little concerned how I'm going to "come down" from this
addiction when the race is over. If any of you have any ideas
please e-mail to: email@example.com.
Maybe my wife will have sympathy on me and let me subscribe to
satellite TV to ease me down.