Well, I am now getting pretty bored of taking pictures of reflections of the Greenbird, even if some of the sunsets and sunrises are magnificent.
Water is steadily drying, but regardless of the water situation, there is no real sign of wind on the horizon, which is a real change compared to the conditions I experienced last year, when we had a front (strong wind event) pass through every 2 or 3 days. This year, the jet stream is keeping the low pressure systems well below Australia and we are experiencing record High pressures with sun and light winds. Take a look at this site for a better explanation of current conditions www.weatherzone.com.au/synoptic.jsp Finding the right weather has always been a big part of the equation and for sure we have missed some great winds by a very small time margin. On the flip side we have also sat for months in deserts around the world in windless conditions. some of the comments refer to bad luck, but I don’t see it like this at all. To me, it is all part of the challenge and the harder the record is, the greater value I attach to it and the harder I try to break it.
I have had many questions asking for more detailed explanation of how the vehicle actually works, so for the technical amongst you, I will do my best to put up a better description, here, shortly.
The Greenbird is currently sitting on blocks, to keep the mechanics dry, in about 2 inches of water.
Greenbird on the lake
Greenbird reflected in the lake.
Greenbird on the rippling water
Greenbird under an orange sky.
Some photos showing how localized the surface conditions are!
Spotting for dry patches!
Moving Greenbird out of flooded patch...
Note how much salt on tyres - still need to watch conditions.
Each day really does give a new outlook on the ‘water on the surface situation’. Yesterday it all looked bad (wet!) but today was looking very encouraging, with much more area revealed from under the waves!
We did some experiments with salty and pure water to check evaporation rates and it looks like we are loosing 3-5 mm per day in these conditions, which is great news. If this continues at the same rate we should have a mainly dry surface in under a week. Fingers crossed! In the meantime we are finishing the last few technical details on the craft, electronics, etc.
This is not meant to be a professional video release, but should hopefully give you a few seconds of background stuff today, in advance of our proper film crew who arrive next week. No shots of craft running as yet as the water on the lake is still giving us hassle. The Greenbird team back in UK tell me that this clip made the rounds on Sky News and BBC!
The remaining water on the lake surface is causing quite serious concern. Although probably only 30% of the lake surface is covered, it blows around depending on the wind direction. Last night we received the first signs of wind approaching with a cold shift and a southerly wind at about 15 mph, gusting 20.
I awoke to find the area that had been wet yesterday was now dry, but the larger body of the lake that was dry, was now wet as lots of water has obviously blown up from the south end of the lake. With such a large area (10 miles by 6 miles) it is impossible to survey the entire area and know how much of the surface is covered, and of that area, how deep the water is. (more…)
Very long drive to the lake 950k, with a very heavy load. Poor car took a beating. 9 hrs one day, blew the head gasket at about midnight and from then on had to refill the water system every 50-100k, running a ‘bit rough’ on only 4 or 5 of the 6 cylinders! Nursed it to the lake the next morning and after another 4 hrs arrived about 11 am, only to find a flooded lake. Very depressing. The water (one inch in one day) last month is still around. However on detailed inspection not that bad. The locals have been sailing on a dry lake for the last 2 weeks, so gave me the nod that it was dry and ready to go, but during my drive, the wind changed direction and all the water that was piled up on the far side of the lake (10 miles away), washed across to this side. This means we can’t currently sail from the base out to the dry part of the lake, but hopefully as soon as the wind changes back to its prevailing direction, it will push the water back smoothing the surface as it goes.
Ready to go!
Finally in Western Australia!