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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Whale Song

We were sitting down below, both working on our computers, when we heard a strange sound.  As boats are noisy, Melissa barely registered it.  But Dave said, "Hey, I think that was a whale!"  Melissa looked up and the sound she had just heard finally registered.  And indeed, it sounded just like the recorded whale songs we have heard.  Must have been a close humpback but when we ran up on deck there was no sign of it.  Not unusual as they can swim for 30 minutes underwater without coming up.  This is the first time we've ever heard one though so it was super cool.

Dave has been worried about our water pump for a while.  It tends to come on about every minute or so for a few seconds.  It shouldn't come on unless we are using water at the sink or shower.  So either we had a small water leak somewhere, or the pump one-way valve that prevents back flow was failing.  Sure enough,MacGyver connected the pump intake to a small container of water.  The pump would cycle then shut off, and then slowly water would back flow from the pump back into the bucket (i.e. water going the wrong way) and then the pump would come on, sucking back into the system the water that had flowed backwards till it pressurized the system again.  So the water would flow back out of the pump, the pump would turn on and pump the water back into the system, over and over again.  MacGyver tried cleaning out the old pump, and that improved things a bit, but didn't fix it.  So he replaced the pump with the spare we bought 18 months ago before leaving Seattle.  No fun since the pump is located inside one of the couches in the main cabin - so he spent most of the day inside a small cupboard sweating like crazy.  Melissa ordered another spare pump to replenish the spares kit.  Melissa's job is way easier than MacGyver's.  Melissa also replaced the broken part on the anchor chain winch that she broke some months ago.  Took about 10 minutes.  Yep, Melissa has it easy compared to MacGyver .

Melissa has been struggling to keep our Carbonite backup's up to date.  We love Carbonite - its a cloud backup system that seamlessly ensures that our data is backed up in such a way that even if the boat were to sink, we would be able to very easily restore our laptops even if they go down with the ship.  It runs in the background and automagically keeps the computer backed up whenever we have a good internet connection.  Problem is that in the past month while traveling, we've not had good internet, and now where we are in Panama we only have a cellular data connection - that limits us to 3 GB's of high speed data per month.  And in the past month, we've gotten 35 GB behind in backup of pictures and videos from the trip to Peru and the Galapagos.  Its not clear when we will be able to catch up that much data.  So yesterday Melissa went and purchased a new 1 Terrabyte external hard drive ($89).  We will back up the pictures and video to the new drive so at least there is some type of backup of everything whenever we can't connect to Carbonite or whenever we get this far behind in data backups that we know we will be at risk for a while.  Yes, if the ship goes down we will be at risk of losing pictures and video, but if the ship goes down, that will probably be the least of our worries.

Go Back

I have had terrible luck with external HD's. They seem to die a lot more quickly than what they put into laptops. But I make sure that Backblaze--my Internet backup source--also backs up my external drive.

Spinning rust for data storage? It sounds archaic to even say it. Despite having their own issues, solid state is the way to go and the reliability keeps improving. When you can buy a Flash based external 1 TB drive for under $100, that will be the real win. For now, I just plan for my next HD failure.



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