Day Eleven: GoPro, VHF, Weather Station

26 January 2014 (Sunday)

I was up at 0230 to check the weather outside and check the buoy online. The energy had dissipated significantly and was of no concern. The I-Buoy was initially out but then read 12 feet.

Awoke at 0730. Batteries were at 23.6, not too bad for overnight. I fill the generator with fuel and start it up. Since the oil change it has run perfectly.

I make coffee and Tanya makes some cream of wheat for breakfast.

After 45 minutes or so the sun is shining bright so I stop the generator and let the solar take over.

IMG_6948IMG_6950

The sea state is not as big as yesterday but is somehow more blustery. The temperature was back down to 15 degrees and the wind has come around to the west with peak gusts to 52 kts, higher than yesterday. The waves are very steep and streaking. Because the sun is out today the colors are much more vivid – striking blues and whites mixed with the green of curling waves crashing over the island. It is all very impressive and beautiful.

Kerry gives me all of the GoPro footage from yesterday to copy to my hard drive. We watch a bit of it and are pretty satisfied with the result. We have great footage from the

Tower is looking quite science-y these days

Tower is looking quite science-y these days

SW side of the lighthouse and from the SE porch looking over the seal ledges and boat ramp. The western cove is the most impressive, where waves seem as high as the metal spire at times (30 feet or so).

Tanya and I go out to dump the bucket in gale force winds. I find a good lee on the North side of the island and it is not so dramatic as I thought it might be.

The seals are hauled up high, not far from the house today. We are careful not too flush them, though a few did move when I started the generator.

After lunch I have Tanya help me set up the VHF radio antenna on the SE corner of the house. When I try the radio it is not working and find the coaxial connector to be loose, eventually breaking off. I scavenge a new connector from the old VHF antenna and re-solder everything together. This time the weather channel broadcasts clearly. I ask Tanya to walk to the south side of the island as a quick test. Two of the three desktop radios are working, but the mic on the best one is shot. Content for now I mount the radio to the table and call it good.

Kathy, Kerry and I have a conversation about the weather station. I mention that I would like to get the specs of the station for a potential future buy. Kathy suggests that they just leave their station at the island as it was purchased for this project. We had talked about that possibility early on, but the reality of this idea is exciting. We speculate on ways to

Tanya spotted a branded seal from the tower today- can't tell from the picture but she was also spraypainted hot pink

Tanya spotted a branded seal from the tower today- can’t tell from the picture but she was also spraypainted hot pink

mount the station better and how to get data to shore. I do a bit of research and think that a dropbox setup on a computer attached to the MDR internet card is a viable option. I get in touch with people at COA and there is some interest in having it hosted on the webpage. Local mariners do rely on MDR weather and this would be a great service to offer the community and get internet traffic to the COA site. There is no telling when NOAA might get their station back online, and even when they do the maintenance schedule is difficult to predict. Having our own station to maintain is a great solution.

My netbook computer is now giving me an error upon startup and I cannot get past the boot page. It is not looking good. Luckily I have my iPad to work on.

Tanya and I watch a little of the BBC show “The Moaning of Life” starring one of my favorite characters, Karl Pilkington. Highly recommended.

I check the weather and Thursday is looking like a good logistics day. It is a bit earlier than our planned date but I wonder if Chris Candage is available and we should give that a try. I call his house and leave a messge.

Kerry makes pasta with red sauce and salad for dinner.

We will test the weather station computer and RF link overnight to see what the power draw is like in preparation for leaving it on the island while we are gone.

Bed by 2100.

-Chris

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