Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Atlantic Crossing 2nd Leg Day 2 - Propagation Sucks

Every day we get on the single side band (SSB) radio and try to talk with Herb about the weather. Herb is located in Ontario, Canada, and we are only 880 miles from Lisbon, Portugal. This is a long distance radio conversation. To accomplish this feat of radio technology we have to rely on the ionosphere to reflect the radio waves back to earth. This is radio wave propagation. The ability for the ionosphere to bounce the radio waves comes from the solar wind ionizing the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere. Currently the sun is not putting out, so we get little or no radio wave propagation. It has been difficult at best to chat with Herb, but we are managing to get the few key words we all need to communicate.

Today was a sunny day with 12 knots of SE wind in the morning. During the afternoon the wind has backed to the east and eased to 5 knots. Currently we are motor-sailing in to get up to 45 degrees north where there are westerly winds that should take us directly to the English Channel.

All is well aboard Solstice.

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