Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Weather Station on the Island

Atauro Installation

Yesterday, I went to the island of Atauro to install an Automatic Weather Station.  Its been a bit stormy lately so launching the boat was particularly dicey with a decent shore dump.  The trip over was best described as “wet” or “adventurous” or, depending on your perspective, “prayer-worthy”.  But don’t worry, we wore life jackets and I even chucked in a couple of flares.  The boat is technically unsinkable but I’m not sure what that means if its loaded with cement, steel poles and mesh.  It conjures images of an underwater off-loading attempt as the boat sinks into the 3km deep ocean ravine that separates the island from the mainland.  Did you know that once the human body goes deeper than around 15m it becomes negatively buoyant and you just keep sinking?  Those thoughts aside, we happily made it to the lee of the island absolutely soaked including my phone which I fear has gone the way of numerous phones and cameras that stay by my side till they reach an untimely salty end.  Raimundo on Atauro

The main job was to install a new automatic weather station that uploads data to a satellite system so we can access it via the internet.  This is a pilot project to test the application of the system to the government meteorological unit.  Its just a small but essential piece of the puzzle to assisting the nation in improving the people’s living conditions.  For us in agriculture, its about collecting data for research to improve crop yields and help us to prepare for droughts.


We also got to make some connections regarding the local school on the island which an Australian school wants to help.

Unfortunately, the ocean was too rough to get around to Atekru to discuss a new small business project making tourist cabins to improve the village economy.

Cynthia’s got a couple of weeks to go before giving birth so I hope to not go into the mountains for a while now.

Our annual report for 2012 should soon be available.

Dolphins with Atauro

Heaps and heaps of dolphins on the way back (much calmer seas).  Atauro is in the background

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