Distance Covered: 62 lys
Visited Systems: 0
Highlights: Hutton Orbital and the Mug, Back Home
Well, this is it. Got The Mug. It was a bit of a drag to fly out there and my ship does not have room to fit one of those modern auto pilots for super cruise. Didn't need it though. I've done enough flying to make out it there on Manual. ;-)
That leaves only the closing words for the expedition. I consider the journey to Colonia as my first expedition. That's how it felt to me anyways and I sure did not take the short route (in fact it was over 60,000 lys travel before I arrived there). But there were always stations somewhat close by providing a safety net, even though a rather thin one, but still. This second expedition with Sag A* as the main target and return to the bubble afterwards, had only three major stops. The first one, Explorer's Anchorage, I reached after 25,000 lys and about three weeks scouting the core region. From there I went straight south to visit the Conflux Abandoned Settlements and afterwards stopped at Eudaemon Anchorage not far from there. I reached it end of June and added another 23,000 lightyears to the distance meter. And then finally south-south-east towards the Sadr Logistics Deport which I reached only four days later with a daily clip of about 2,500 lys. From there the bubble is reachable within a day.
And now, exactly one month after I left Colonia, I am back home. Safe and without any serious incident. I will take a break from exploring for a while, do something different. But I have read already about a big expedition starting in autumn. A full circumnavigation of the galaxy, not alone, but in a group of dedicated explorers, which can help each other and provide company. Which is dearly needed, because there will be no stations at all once we head towards the rim. I think I'll sign up tomorrow, even though it doesn't start for a few months. Until then I'll relax and enjoy life and have coffee out of that famous mug. In time I will prepare for the big one. I am sure looking forward to it, because the exploration bug has definitely bitten me. And it feels perfectly alright.
And finally here the dry stats of my journey. See you out there in the black, commanders.
Start System Kojeara Start Date 04/06/3305 End Date 04/07/3305 End System Shinrarta Dezhra Trip Totals Start End Difference --------------------------------------------------------- Distance Covered 77,852 136,181 58,329 Hyperspace Jumps 2,892 3,946 1,054 System Visited 2,415 3,458 1,043 Days Passed 04/06/3305 04/07/3305 30
Distance Covered: 2,534 lys
Visited Systems: 47
Highlights: 67 bodies system, Notable Canyon, Ringed Water Moon, W Ursae Majoris
My journey slowly comes to an end. I've reached the bubble today, but before I arrived there I had a few more minor highlights. I found another system with 67 bodies tying my previous record. Unfortunately that was the only thing remarkable about.
In another system I noticed an interesting planet in the FSS and decided to verify what I had seen. On close-up inspection it turned out to be quite the sight. The whole planet was covered in canyons, but one of the really stood out in size and width and length. Took some nice picture of it.
I also found another Water Moon, which are not super rare, but unusual nonetheless, since Water Worlds are normally full blown planets on their own. This one was circling a gas giant and had its own rings on top of it.
And finally, the first of two PoIs I wanted to check out before heading home, the famous binary system W Ursae Majoris. Quite impressive, both stars are almost identical, however, if you have been out in the black as much as I have been by now, such binaries become a regular sight, many of the even much closer together. I took some photographs, but there was nothing else in the system worth staying, so I made some quick three jumps to Alpha Centauri. I flew to al-Din Prospect, the nearest outpost to stay for the night. Tomorrow, it will be Proxima Centauri, Hutton Orbital and The Mug!
Distance Covered: 3,693 lys
Visited Systems: 67
Highlights: Sadr Logistics Depot, Sadr Region Nebula
Again a day with little noteworthy from an exploration point of view. The increasing number of systems that have been visited already shows that I am closing in on the bubble (though there are at least another 1,000 lys to go).
But the little interruption also meant I made good way and managed to reach Sadr Logistics Depot (Sadr Region Sector GW-W c1-22) in good time. Like most deep space outposts it is situated in a nebula, this one simply named Sadr Region Nebula. And like most nebulae it looks best when viewed from a distance and the penultimate system of my route provided that view. In fact, the view not only shows the colourful Sadr Region Nebula, but also the nearby Pelican and North America nebulae as well. And to top it off, NGC 7822 has also become big enough to be clearly visible. It is known for its shape, a highly distinctive string of luminous O-class stars.
Sadr Logistics Depot is an Asteroid Base like many other deep space outposts and thus located in the rings of the sole planet in the system, a Gas Giant harbouring Water-based Life. Tomorrow I'll set course for the bubble, probably not aiming directly at Shinrarta Dehzra. There are a couple of PoIs on my list that I want to visit, and this seems to be a good point in time to do it. They are W Ursae Majoris and Hutton Orbital Station in the Alpha Centauri System. I'll guess I start with the first one and then hunt for the infamous souvenir, The Hutton Mug.
Distance Covered: 1,327 lys
Visited Systems: 23
Highlights: Couple of Ammonia Worlds
A very unexciting day with slow progress. I did find two systems with one Ammonia World each plus several Water Worlds along the way. When scanning the first Ammonia World the FSS indicated an Earth-like World. I guess it needs re-calibration, which is not surprising since it is in use now for well over 100,000 lightyears of travel. The equipment holds up really well, but wear and tear and some misalignment over time is to be expected. Insofar it is well that tomorrow I might be able to reach the Sadr Logistics Depot if everything goes alright. There are 50 jumps left, which can be done on a good day.
Distance Covered: 2,079 lys
Visited Systems: 36
Highlights: Scary Moment, 1 Ammonia World, 1 Ringed Water World, 67 Bodies
Not much happening today, except for some minor things. It started off with a bang though when I arrived in a system with a close binary and I dropped out of witch space right outside of the exclusion zone of one of them. Wedged in between this one and the other one right in front of me (4 ls) my ship immediately started taking heat damage. Ignoring the fuel scooping I put the throttle at maximum and headed towards the lower edge of the second star to get away, at the same time ejecting a heatsink to mitigate further damage.
Once I was safe I slowed down and checked what modules had been affected. The heatsink seemed to have paid off, because only thrusters and sensors were affected at all and even those were still at 99%. Still I decided to drop out of supercruise to initiate the repairs using my smaller AFMU. After all that is why I am carrying these modules around. Soon everything was back in order and I first checked what the next system had as arrival star. It turned out to be scoopable, so no need for me to go back to the binary to fill her up. I scanned the system which had nothing of interest and went on my way again.
The remainder of the day brought an Ammonia World and a ringed Water World which provided for a nice view. And finally I pushed my personal record of most bodies found to 67, two up from the previous mark. And that was the day.
Distance Covered: 1,057 lys
Visited Systems: 18
Highlights: Purpureum Metallic Crystals, Eudaemon Anchorage
The main point for today was to reach the Rohini system, which was only a few systems away. But before I got there I hit another system with metallic crystals, this time of the Purpureum kind. And again they were located within the rings of a gas planet. This is only the second time for me to find them in such a location, but I may have been mistaken about the rarity of such a location.
From there it was only two hops to Rohini and Eudaemon Anchorage. The familiar sight of the station and the close-by Earth-like World were a refreshing change of sight. Although my route from Sag A* was a rather straight line it had been almost 20,000 lightyears from there. Fortunately the docking procedure is ingrained so deep into my brain that even after eleven days in deep space I docked without problems, even though it was one of those landing pads right at the front of the station. The exploration data netted me a nice amount of 400 hundred odd million credits. The ship's integrity had been down to 51%, which was easily repaired. No other repairs or restocks were needed.
The final part of my journey is essentially about getting back to the bubble somehow. I studied the map, thought about going directly to Mammon, yet was hesitant to retrace my steps even with respect to stations (Rohini was just a convenient stop-over coming from Sag A*). In the end I decided to stay off course a bit by heading towards Sadr Logistics Depot, an outpost to the west of the bubble in similar distance to it as is Mammon to the north. From there it was easy to get home, but I would avoid the much travelled Colonia Highway that way. Satisfied with my planning I checked my ship one final time and then hit the launch button.
Distance Covered: 789 lys
Visited Systems: 15
Highlights: Flavum Metallic Crystals, Gamma Site, Worlds Triplet
The day started of with investigating the Notable Stellar Phenomenon. It turned out to be Flavum Metallic Crystals, however, this time they were located in the rings of a gas giant, a rather unusual locations. All others before have been located at Lagrange Points of an orbit. One crystal stood out in particular because it seemed to glow greenish in the centre. I could not determine whether it was just the surface reflecting light in a prismatic way or whether it actually came from the crystal itself. Considering the metallic nature I would presume the former.
After recording their presence I headed on to the remaining site of the Conflux Abandoned Settlements, Gamma Site (even though this one did not have a gate with a label on it). Again some mission logs that were in line with the others found so far. A very secretive endeavor had been taken place with no obvious motivation. The visit to other such places might shed some more light on this. I have heard that one such place is in Hawking's Gap, whereas another one can be found in the Formidine Rift. Both places are way outside of the bubble, just as this one in the Conflux is, which however has become more accessible with the establishment of the Colonia Highway.
With that I finally entered Eudaemon Anchorage as my next target into the navigation computer. I didn't quite make it there, progress was slow due to planetary landing and the scanning of numerous bodies later. And although, as I get closer, more and more systems have been visited already, I did make a new discovery of a system holding three valuable planets. One Earth-like, one Water and one Ammonia World were a nice find indeed. It has been some time since the last Earth-like World so I was quite happy to map it.
I soon stopped afterwards for the night. A few jumps tomorrow until the Rohini system to sell the exploration data and make the necessary repairs. And then final leg towards Shinrarta Dehzra will begin, bringing the very big loop to an end.
Distance Covered: 2,337 lys
Visited Systems: 41
Highlights: Confluence Abandoned Settlements
I finally arrived at the settlement systems. This log is not the place of re-telling the story about these settlements, not the least because one could fill pages about it. Let me instead quote the EDSM entry, which is a dry summary of what can be found here:
"In late 3302, Alessia Verdi, a commander associated with the enigmatic CMDR Salomé, set up an exploration community goal on behalf of the Children of Raxxla. The goal was to retrieve and analyze as much survey data as possible from three specific regions. Those regions being the Formidine Rift, The Scutum-Sagittarii Conflux, and Hawking's Gap (Lin-Shu Hollow). On analysis of the data, CoR Intel discovered the location of several navigational beacons in each region, that in turn provided the planetary location of several settlements. These settlements turned out to be staging posts for a mysterious 'Dynasty Expedition' that had traversed the location three decades earlier and had set up bases there."
There are four settlements altogether in the Scutum-Sagittarii Conflux:
Mission logs can be found at each site which provide some background information. I've managed to visit three of the sites, then it got really late since the system hosting the Delta Site also has a Notable Stellar Phenomenon, but some 50,000 ls away. In fact I will check that one out first thing in the morning and then visit the fourth site, which will be Gamma Site.
Distance Covered: 3,081 lys
Visited Systems: 54
Leaving the Wolf-Rayets behind I once again set my course for the Abandoned Settlements. All in all it was a rather quiet exploration day, the main reason why I was able to cover an above average distance. Nevertheless there were some minor interruptions of the usual routine. In particular:
Once more I spent the night in the blueish light of Wolf-Rayet stars. But I am now close enough to reach the Settlements by tomorrow. This will provide for an interesting change of pace and I am excitedly looking forward to it.
Distance Covered: 2,459 lys
Visited Systems: 43
Highlights: Biggest System, Terraformable Moons, Wolf-Rayet Stars
As I continued with my journey I found today my biggest system yet. It contained 65 bodies, surpassing my previous record of 62. Unfortunately none of them stood really out, so it was just routine scanning in that system. I did find two systems with a terraformable Water World each which in turn had a terraformable Rocky Body as moon, something that is not seen very often. And with respect to my special interest into ringed Icy Bodies I found one example worth flying there to take pictures of it.
I also discovered a system with Herbig binaries, though the rest of the system was rather mundane. Still Herbig stars are rare, so it was a good find. Triggered by that I studied the galaxy map a bit more closely and eventually noticed a system with a Wolf-Rayet star nearby (a measly 300 lys away). I'll figured I could afford a small detour. When I arrived there I not only found one Wolf-Rayet but two and they were accompanied by another Herbig star. Sadly it turned out that the system had been tagged by somebody else first. So my truly first discovery of such a star still needs to wait. I stayed for the night. Tomorrow I will pick up my trail towards the Settlements again.