Lost contact with Pinta, but we’re on the BBC

13/09/2010 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Pinta is supposed to send us a message via Iridium every hour. Its now been over 2 hours since the last message.

We had a message during the night to say the Gumstix had rebooted. The Gumstix isn’t supposed to reboot so this could be a sign of a loose power cable or water in the electronics box.

So it looks like we only got about 49 hours of autonomous sailing and only covered about 87km. This is still further than our previous record (17 hours and about 25km) and we think its further and longer than anyone else has sailed autonomously before but are not 100% certain of this. Also despite this sailing being “autonomous” we have completely failed to reach waypoint that was only 28km away at the time Pinta was released.

We will have to wait to see if we get any messages from the SPOT tracker to let us know if she’s still afloat or not. Unfortunately since we launched the SPOT hasn’t been very reliable, we’ve lost 4 out of 10 messages from it. We suspect that by mounting it near to the metal frame which houses the solar panels we’ve partially blocked its view of the sky. The large waves we’ve been experiencing may not be helping either as swaying about and having walls of water blocking the satellite view might not help. If Pinta is still afloat it will be interesting to see how long she lasts without any control. It is also possible that the tiller pilot could still be operational despite the rest of the system failing.

In good news there’s an article about us just gone up on the BBC website plus a news item Pinta will be shown tomorrow BBC Wales News and we’re getting a mention on Radio 5 live and on Radio Wales.


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