Robin’s Blog Eight?
Thank you for the music, the sea she tech no prisoners.
When embarking on a challenge like this you need to ensure you have the right tech with you to hopefully cover most eventualities. The crew of ‘No Great Shakes’ Row the Indian Ocean 2018 were extremely fortunate with finding our second hand boat, she is now probably one of the most technically advanced ocean rowing boats around. You could say fully loaded with the tech to bring live footage back to you where ever you were world wide. At least that was our plan.
The sea can be cruel, saline solution is corrosive it causes our skin to degrade and break up, salt crystals cause sores, inflammation and pain and the only way to really recover from them is to rest and stop the activity that caused them. Not easy when it’s the challenge that causes the issues. Metal corrodes, oxides form, electrical contacts fail, condensation kills and fills voids. Every electrical item we have on board is at risk of sudden death as very few enjoy a dip in the salty blue, no mater how short.
In this day and age where would we be without our tech? So much info is at our finger tips. Wait a minute, that’s not right, that’s old hat, today, if you need an answer to a question, all you have to do is shout out ‘Hey Google’ or ‘Lexa’ or ‘Siri’ and like the genie in the bottle they magically give us an answer, is it right? Who cares, we are all too busy to check so for now they hold the often accepted answer to quite literally everything (now that’s power). I wonder what response I would have got to ‘Hey Google, should I row the Indian Ocean?’ Or ‘Hey Google, what tech should I take on an Ocean row with me?’ Or ‘Hey Google, would you like to come on an Ocean row with me?’ Would Google realise certain death awaited, such an expedition? I doubt it.
So what tech had we got on board with us? Are you ready for this?
Garmin GPS plotter/navigation system
Auto helm (hydraulic)
Ray marine AIS (Automatic Identification System)
Hand held GPS
Fixed VHF radio
Hand held VHF radio
Intellian Satellite communications system
Hand held emergency SAT phone
Yellow brick tracker
PLB Personal Locator Beacons
EPIRB Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon
Efoy fuel cell
Flexible Solar Panels
Shenker Water Maker
Hand held/hand pumped water maker
Getech bomb proof laptop
Fixed high def video cameras
Six or more GoPros
Nickon SLR camera
High def drone video/stills camera
Seven or eight mobile phones for writing blogs on, photos and music.
Masses of headphones some blue tooth
Blue tooth speakers
Rechargeable USB battery banks
Lots of data storage capabilities
Masses of USB charging cables
I guess that’s about it. Can you guess how much is still working?
Not as much as we would like, what’s incredible and I will say this very quietly, is how much of today’s modern world tech you can manage without. I can be used as living proof that social media while interesting/informative and fun is not actually an essential part of modern life. Shush really. The first big thing to go was our SAT coms no longer could we send footage and posts back home to be uploaded on to the social media platforms. Or at least not easily, this blog will be sent by SAT phone as a message then posted by the wonderful Hannah, Tracy or Nicola thanks for all your hard work. I haven’t seen Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or our website in months is their still life, I’m ok, I just wondered about you?
One thing I hadn’t given much thought to was iPod’s and downloadable music. In the past I would upload my music using a desktop computer and my library of CD’s (a silver coaster sized disk that can hold data or music on). For this challenge I decided to join the new tech age and download my tunes, what could possibly go wrong? Well should you ever go without internet signal for more than one month, I will tell you what. (infact that reminds me I need to write a strongly worded letter to apple) I know, no internet! For some of you that would be an extreme challenge in itself but here’s the thing, you could try it. You might even like it.
What did go wrong is,
While your provider will still be billing you every month for your music subscription, if your phone/iPod/device doesn’t ping with them after a month you loose your ability to play anything. Added frustration, your device will still block all of that memory for you unless you delete individual or all of the downloads from it.
So one month in, my Birthday, the day we fried our SAT communications was also ….
‘The day the music died.’
So bye bye Apple iPod I cried,
With no music, I feel sick,
Can’t runaway or hide,
Damn you iTunes,
And the SAT coms we fried,
Guess we don’t have technology on our side,
No technology its not on our side.
To be continued.