Unfortunately, I had barely started when I had to stop for the night due to IRL issues. The local star had just set anyway, so it would have been a dark and boring drive.
Starting again today (Day 34), the site was well lit, so it was time to go!
The Run started out well lit.
It was a fairly easy 23 minute drive along some relatively flat canyon bottoms to Checkpoint 1.
Then a sharp left up a canyon, turning right when reaching the top plateau and cutting across to the next canyon. This was Checkpoint 2.
To get down into the canyon was a slow and bumpy drive taking about 10 minutes. The next flat-ish part of the canyon was nice, but it quickly turned into horribly slow and bumpy terrain. It took me an hour to work my way to the "Misty Canyon".
That canyon run lasted for a good while, then there was another chunk of really rough terrain. It was another half hour before I got to Checkpoint 3 "Abysmal Plain".
This part of the run was the largest section of pretty much flat terrain. Half an hour got me to Checkpoint 4 "Rarity Pass".
Now the terrain became rough again. I could see the shadows were starting to lengthen. After about 25 minutes I reached Checkpoint 5 "Twilight Pass".
This was the final checkpoint. The terrain was mostly flat until near the end, where I suspect I cut a few corners and ended up on some very steep slopes. Soon I could see the glow of the Silicate Magma Lava Spouts.
By this time, the bottom of the canyon was in darkness. The only light was the glow of the spouts.
Many thanks to Cmdr Parabolus for the route.
Next was Prua Phoe TK-M d8-361 (Octopus Nebula).
I could finally turn for the last leg to WP4. After 16 or so jumps, I arrived at "Shepard Shallows" at Geological #16 on Clooku EW-Y c3-197 5 g a.
The Water Ice Geysers were quite active.
Tomorrow I'll be doing the Rusty Run. I hope it's not dark...
I arrived at the Skaudai Guardian Ruins last night. Started tonight by trying to fill my Guardian Data buckets, but started getting sleepy by the time I had filled everything except the Epsilon types. I've been pulling far too many late nights...
I decided I could make it as far as Sacaqawea Space Port before calling it quits and going to bed.
I sold my exploration data, repaired the Beluga and refilled the one heatsink I'd accidentally used. Then I donated to both factions until I allied with them and called it a night.
First stop today was the Flyiedgai Nebula. It was nice, but I really wanted to keep moving.
For the last stop tonight I decided to fly across to the Hammer Nebula.
I also discovered tonight that if I keep my EDSM Dashboard open that EDSM will automatically suggest mapping high-value planets that are in my current system. So this is how you make money exploring...
First stop was Plaa Aescs KI-K d8-116 where I was hoping to find two moons in almost identical orbits close enough to maybe collide. Sadly, I couldn't find anything like that. The closest I got was a pair of moons ("4 b" and "4 b a") orbiting a gas giant ("4").
Next was the WP3 Geological Field Trip. The first system was Pru Aescs OX-L d7-297. This system has two Notable Stellar Phenomena. The first one I dropped into was a Proto-Lagrange Cloud - the last Lagrange Cloud type I had yet to confirm in the Inner Orion Spur, so that was nice. There were lots of Purpureum Metallic Crystals.
The first POI on the field trip was Geological #4 on Pru Aescs OX-L d7-297 1 d. This was Sulphur Dioxide Fumaroles, but unfortunately they were not active while I was there and didn't have any materials to pick up.
I landed my Beluga on the higher plateau, then drove down to the main group. It was very steep and a bit of a struggle to get back up.
The second POI was Geological #6 on Pru Aescs DL-W c15-48 1 a. This time it was active Iron Magma Lava Spouts, which looked really nice in the dark.
There were also lots of material pickups: Antimony, Zirconium, and Tungsten among others.
The third POI was Geological #32 on Pru Aescs EL-W c15-25 4 a. I'd never seen so many POIs on a planet before - there were 47!
These were Water Ice Fumeroles, so what is the yellow glow?
The fumeroles are down in a valley, somewhat hiding the parent gas giant on the horizon.
The Silicate Magma Lava Spouts at Geological #7 on Pru Aescs NC-M d7-71 2 a were the location of the fourth POI of the field trip. The moon is paired in a close orbit with Pru Aescs NC-M d7-71 2 a, although the site of Geological #7 is on the side facing away from that moon. I arrived just before sunset.
The final POI of the field trip was Geological #37 on Pru Aescs NC-M d7-201 9 a. Here I found Water Ice Geysers, although sadly it was night time and hard to see in the dark.
I had heard that you could ride the geysers and launch your SRV several km up. I would have tried that if it was light and I could judge the landing more easily, but as it was dark I thought better of it.
Now that I had finished the Geological Field Trip, the last thing to do here was visit WP3 at the Conflux Abandoned Settlements Delta Site on Pru Aescs NC-M d7-192 A 3 a. I was last out here 3 October 3303, about 16 months ago.
When I left for a meal break, all was in darkness, just like the last time I visited. When I got back, the star had risen - it looks much less spooky in bright starlight!
How big is that Beluga compared to the settlement?
Next, to start the journey to WP4. First stop, the Rusty Net Nebula. The bright spot just in front of the Beluga's nose is the entry Neutron star, a bit over 1000Ls away.
I decided that since I was a week behind and going to miss the WP4 meetup, I might as well do some sightseeing. So I turned for the Fish Eye Nebula.
That was a big day! Lots of sightseeing and lots of travelling too.
It took me eight days, but I finally finished my first circumnavigation of a planet - Quantum World!
I started at the north pole, +90° latitude and set off down the +90° line of longitude.
I crossed the south pole at -90° latitude where the line of longitude flipped over to become -90°, ending my trek back at the north pole. I found it interesting how the gravity changed from 0.04g to 0.03g part way through, then back again. One more Elite activity to tick off my to-do list.
I wish the lighting was brighter. It was very difficult at times to drive and even the new night vision mode wasn't too helpful. It was almost always pitch black, which made for boring driving.
There were several days where I was unable to play, which contributed to the time taken. Regardless, I'm now many days behind the fleet which should be at WP4 now, and I still have WP3 sightseeing to do.
In particular, before I go to WP3 I'm going to visit Plaa Aescs KI-K d8-116 which is rumored to have two moons that share almost the same orbit and may even 'collide' like the moons in Kyloasly DA-A f69 (or used to, I think Frontier 'fixed' them).
Day 17: I tried to climb to the top of The Arkgamanon Mountain Range, but was unsuccessful - the sides are practically vertical! I got a little bit further up than -21.6953/-128.0598 before I lost grip and tumbled a long way down. I decided to call it quits before I lost an SRV.
Day 18: I flew to Eudaemon Anchorage in Rohini. No sightseeing. When I arrived I transferred my mining equipment from Omega Mining Operation - it will make it a bit quicker to transfer to the forthcoming core station-building mining CG.
Day 19: Before I left Rohini I visited Orange Vista Incorporated, a tourist installation orbiting very close to the main system star:
My Beluga got up to 87% heat when leaving - good thing I've got a G5 low-emissions power plant.
I parked for the night at the north pole of Quantum World, the smallest landable planet discovered in the game so far at a radius of 137km.
There is a planned meetup to circumnavigate this world tomorrow at 13:00. The plan is to leave on longitude +90.0. The total distance is expected to be about 860km and take about 7 hours. I'm thinking about doing it, but it will have to be by myself, as I will be off socialising (!) at that time.
I didn't fly at all on Day 15 due to IRL commitments.
Day 16 started at the WP2 meetup site. I made a quick visit to the Rock of Isolation.
It's a prison vessel where you go if you commit a crime nearby.
The first stop on the way to WP3 was CD-28 14266 (NGC 6565):
The Wolf-Rayet really makes for bright colours, especially filtered through the dust in the rocky rings.
Last stop was The Arkgamanon Mountain Range:
The mountains rise up spectacularly from the plains below.
I might try driving the SRV to the top tomorrow...