After four months of preparation for what will be a fantastic trip (we hope) from Australia to New Zealand (approx. 1200nms) I can now say that Pendana is 100% ready to make the crossing with the final outstanding item being re-installed and tested only a few short hours ago.
Pendana’s communication system comprises of a number of different methods for both voice and data with the heart of this being our much loved KVH V7 Fleet Broadband system. It is this system that two weeks ago to the day unfortunately failed. Not having an electrical bone in my body I was at a loss and still am at a loss to explain what happened but I am pleased to report that KVH in the USA replaced our faulty modem with a new one as we were only just out of the warranty period. It is fantastic to have this backup and service available and kudos to KVH for acting with the speed and in the manner they did.
KVH Modem and CPU Box.
So with new KVH Modem and CPU in hand it was off to the Marina this morning to install and test. Once all cables were connected the moment of truth came and it was time to turn the system on. The system went from searching for the 172E Satellite (remember we are in Australia) to tracking it, to within a few minutes going on line. A quick test of a few web pages and a few phone calls made to ensure the MTA (MTA is basically a VOIP coder used with the KVH systems to allow you to plug in analog phones, faxes, PABX systems etc) was working I am pleased to report that all worked beautifully and Pendana’s communication heart has be restored! What a huge relief as we are only days away from setting off for New Zealand and this system is required so that emails can be sent to customs notifying them of our arrival, FleetWeather forecasts can be received and acted upon and more importantly so that I can post my daily blog from sea!
Basic layout of a V7 KVH system.
As it stands right now we are looking at departing Sydney on December 12th which can’t come soon enough for me. This is still dependent on the weather but it would appear that a window is opening and one that Pendana will take if becomes available. That said, there will be no heroics as the reality of being in uncomfortable sea conditions is not something one soon forgets.
If departure does occur on the 12th (fingers, toes and everything else crossed) then we will make our way to Sydney Harbour on the 11th as we need to have our hull cleaned by divers to comply with New Zealand biosecurity rules and regulations. One can always take the risk and not have their hull cleaned but the threat of being hauled out of the water in NZ and the associated costs is simply not worth thinking about. Also, with long trips I always try and make sure we have a clean hull as it does reduce our fuel consumption by approx. one gallon to a gallon and half per hour which in real terms is a considerable saving on fuel burn. With hull cleaned on the 11th this will leave the 12th free to simply clear customs, load on approx. 8,000ltrs of fuel and head out to sea as early as possible.
For those new to the blog there is loads of information on Pendana’s main website www.pendana.net available and in particular everything we have done to prepare for this trip is listed on the New Zealand Trip page http://pendana.net/new_zealand_trip . The plan now is not to post anymore blogs until we are on board Pendana and starting the trip.
Until next time, safe travels