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03 December 2007

West Coast Expedition

Day 2 - Monday 3/12/07

Only a sketchy report from Matt today when he rang at 9.05pm due to the appalling coverage by his globalstar satellite phone.
He is at The Shank, about 35 kms SE of Point Hibbs. He left Point Hibbs at 9am after packing and leaving his food parcel for the walk later. He left a second food parcel at Hartwell Cove, about 20 kms SE of Point Hibbs. It had been raining heavily during the paddle and he sheltered in Hartwell Cove for a while waiting for things to improve but after a while he left because he decided he may as well be wet and get warm paddling rather than stand around getting cold and wet.
As well as the rain, it was very misty with only about 2km visibility, so he followed the coast as closely as the large breaking waves would allow.
Yesterday it took him over an hour to get a satellite phone signal before he was able to get through to report progress. Today it was over 2 hours and then the signal dropped out after 2 minutes due to a lost signal. "Thankyou Globalstar." You are improving Telstra/Iridium's business by the day! Even Globalstar Australia's website lists in the coverage details the optimum times of the day that you will get coverage for the location that you enter - maybe once every 45 mins or so in some areas for a minute or two. It is a shame that there satellites are failing (see media reports that they may not be working by 2008)

Even though he is well equipped, with a solar panel to charge batteries, if the sun's not shining when he stops paddling then there isn't much chance to re-charge any batteries. When he landed at the Shank he cleared the braken ferns from an old fishermen's campsite and watched the waves breaking on all of the reefs that make this area sheltered.