*** Totem has made landfall, but didn't get our daily blog updates posted after our radio stopped working. here is the first of our last few written-but-not-posted updates from sea. ***
position: 3*2.5' S, 130*6.5' W
24 hour run: 170 miles
Total miles: 2360
Distance to go to Hiva Oa: 590
Jamie has gone to great lengths to troubleshoot our SSB. The bottom line is that we have no power for our transmission. This seems to point to a problem with a connection or with the ground plane. It might also be a problem with the tuner. We have gone through almost all the alternatives we have available to us on board, from swapping out cables to testing signal strength.
What is truly remarkable is that despite the supremely weak signal, we can still be picked up by Pacific Seafarer's net control, Randy (KH6RC). He can't hear us in any detail- in fact, he can barely make us out. It is enough, however, for him to verify that all is well on board. I believe he'll be able to update our data on the roll call to note that although our position could not be taken, we were in no danger.
Meanwhile, we are just screaming along and making great progress. We're definitely in the trades now and doing better every day.
Thinking about that shellback tattoo now…