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June 8, 2000

Tarawa to Solomon Islands voyage, Update #10

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Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2000 00:01:33 -0700
Day 9
Wind ENE 5 knots
Heading 225 Magnetic
Barely a breath of wind today which is causing some problems. For one, it's like an oven around the pedal seat. Even the little $20 fan we bought from the US is barely keeping our body temperatures in check. And second, with the added factor of a thin layer of hazy cloud overhead, we're having difficulty producing enough power from the solar panels and wind generator to fulfill all of the electrical needs for the day. These include (in priority): water making, communicating our position to base camp via Inmarsat-C, Ocean Sentry (early warning radar detector), DC fan (on the face of the pedaler), all round white light (if we're both asleep at night) and lastly the non essential communications like the Mini-M satellite phone for sending back the daily update to the website and for family and media to call for interviews. The last of these - writing the daily update - also involves charging the battery for the ruggedized PC laptop, so I'll have to be brief here.

A few days ago there was a coup in Honiara, our next port of call. At this time details are scant, but we do know that the international airport has been closed, presenting us with a dilemma. Chris is due to fly back to the UK around the 7th July, replaced by April from Colorado in the US who is scheduled to fly into Honiara the 20th of this month and accompany me for the remaining 1,100 miles to Cairns, Australia. At present however, neither of them are going anywhere due to Honiara being the only international airport allowing access in and out of the Solomon Islands. The current game plan is to make for one of the more peaceful neighbouring islands, anchor up for a while and see how the situation progresses. We've also heard that the island of Tulaghi in the Florida group of islands just 20 miles north of Honiara (see point of pencil in photos) might be a good place to find protection from the trade winds and wait for the situation in Honiara to play itself out. An added advantage of being here is the ability to act quickly to get April in and Chris out if the airport suddenly reopens.

One thing is for sure; this part of the world cannot be accused of being boring. Coups seem really 'in' at the moment.

Jason & Chris,
The Moksha motors

Posted on June 8, 2000 6:11 AM