21 Oct World Solar Challenge: Day Four
Since we’ve been traveling south, the daylight hours are longer, which means earlier wakeup times for array standing. The morning of Day Four brought our earliest sunrise yet, around 5:54am, so we were up at 5:20 to get ready to take full advantage of the early morning rays. By now we are comfortable maneuvering the car in the blue light before dawn.
This morning’s breakfast was scrambled eggs courtesy of the parent chefs, along with more great coffee brought all the way from California. We set off for the day at 8:10am, ten minutes past official start time since we stopped ten minutes late last night, and arrived in Coober Pedy around 11am. It was windy and sunny but not too hot, and the flies weren’t as bad as we expected. The further south we go, the more pleasant the desert temperature is, but the more flies we encounter.
Yesterday Anna T had a morning shift and a late afternoon shift with a break shift in between, so today Anna O has the double shift. Both drivers are still on top of it and handling the gusty weather very well. The region from the South Australia border to Glendambo seems the windiest of anywhere we’ve been, but we have a lot of experience driving here since it’s where we did all of our test driving. Due to the headwinds and crosswinds, however, we had to set a lower cruise speed to compensate.
Later in the day we cruised through the long, straight, flat stretches of the southern Outback towards Port Augusta. We camped about 100km north of the last control stop — our first campsite with cell service! Tomorrow is the last leg, but it’s a crucial and tricky one. See you in Adelaide!