Out of Office Reply: Gone Cruising

29 Feb

I am off for 3-1/2 weeks on The Clipperton Project, a scientific/artistic expedition to an atoll in the middle of nowhere, and not on the way to anywhere…or I might be the unwitting participant in some bizarre social experiment or new reality show. At any rate, about twenty of us are off on three boats, leaving from La Paz, with the goal of having eight days on the island to carry out various studies on the island, the lagoon, and the surrounding reefs. Clipperton is a French possession, but closer to Mexico/Central America.

I arrived at about 10 p.m. to see the pandemonium of not one, but three boats in the midst of last minute preparations for an ocean voyage: sorting onions, stowing gear, topping fuel, and trying to keep the new arrivals out of the way. One boat left at midnight, on the falling tide.

Blogging activity may be reduced, or stop altogether, because all communication will be via a couple of Iridium phones with data connections, of which I brought three in my suitcase. I spent most of last weekend trying to get my computer to talk to its COM port, to talk to the USB to serial port converter (with proper drivers) to talk to the Iridium phone, to talk to the satellite network, to talk to the Internet, via some email software I've never used before. With myself as network administrator, I have little faith, but it seems to work…sort of.

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