One of the more obscure "to-do" things while on the Distant Worlds 2 trip was to find at least one Helium-Rich Gas Giant. It was the only planetary body type on my EDSM Exploration dashboard that was "first discovery: 0".
I searched EDSM for helium-rich gas giants and located Eok Greau HS-R d5-64 a little over 1,000Ly from me that had nine, so I headed there on the reasonable assumption that other helium-rich gas giants might be in nearby systems.
As it turned out, the second system I visited had 2. The first one had a rocky moon orbiting quite close to the rings. What a nice view of my first EDSM discovered helium-rich gas giant:
When I then checked my exploration dashboard to confirm, I found out that G-class super-giants have been added to the list of stellar bodies - and I haven't been first to discover any of those!
Sigh, one step forward, one step back.
I'm now making my way to Colonia. I've travelled thousands of light years since Erikson's Star and the stars are still rather sparse.
While exploring this system I found Oushaing PT-O d7-1 A 5, a High Metal Content World with an unusual Metallic Ring:
It's been a long time since I've seen such large gaps in a ring!
I hadn't quite topped up all my FSD boost materials - some Niobium was still required. Against my better judgement that icy planets are just too risky, I landed on Pheia Bra YM-W c1-0 4 a at Geological #1 on a ledge about half way down the canyon wall (8.9176/155.9802).
Of course, while trying to get to some of the materials I got just a bit too close to the edge and slid most of the rest of the way down to the bottom.
On a rocky world I would have no problem working my way back up. The SRV is surprisingly 'sticky' on rocky worlds. Icy worlds are another thing entirely.
After spending about an hour trying to jump my way up, including trying to ride some of the geysers up, I gave up and tried dismissing and recalling my ship.
Another bad decision! I knew it was possible for the ship to have trouble landing in canyons, and that proved to be the case. Luckily, it got down to 'only' 35% hull before I was able to successfully dismiss it.
I knew I couldn't recall my ship until I was sure it was safe to do so. The only way to do that was to get out of the canyon. I tried another geyser - this time it shot me up past the ledge where I had landed my ship. I was able to drive my SRV back down to the ledge where I had originally landed. If I hadn't dismissed it, it would have still been there! Arrrggghhh!
Beyond the ledge the canyon walls opened out a little and became less steep. I decided to try 'crabbing' my way up the side. This turned out to be the answer! I drove backwards at a shallow angle, barely ascending the sides of the canyon. This works because the weight of the SRV is directed to the 'downhill' wheels - and if you drive backward there are four of those, rather than just two. After several minutes I could tell the canyon walls were becoming less steep and I felt I was approaching the top. Another minute or so and I made it! Safely at the top.
With my hands shaking, I recalled my ship. This time it reappeared - with fully restored shields, but still 35% hull. It landed safely and I boarded it and took off as quick as I could - so quickly I forgot to take pictures. I could not get off that planet fast enough.
Once safe in deep space, I stopped and repaired my hull. Four limpets later and it was back to 100%. Phew!
I still need some Niobium, and now some SRV refuelling and repair materials, but it's going to be rocky or HMC worlds from now on! I'm also happy that my record of never losing an SRV on an expedition has remained intact.
I returned to the scene to make a diagram:
I've been jumping almost exclusively on boost synthesis, so when I entered a part of the galaxy with slightly higher star densities and I didn't need to boost, I decided to top up my synthesis materials.
Pheia Bra LG-Y d1 AB 4 a a is a moon that orbits very close to a much larger landable moon.
Some very nice views can be had at the various geological POIs.
Finally made my way out to Erikson's Star, the 'western-most' system in the galaxy.
It's been boosted jumps almost exclusively for the last two or three play sessions. The good thing is that the last system before getting here, and therefore the first system back, Sphiesi DR-N d6-0, is a 'green' system where all the jump boost synthesis materials can be gathered.
I'll stop there and top off before I start making my way to Colonia, 36,000Ly away.
Blue In The Black is the name given to the system Footie AA-A g0.
On the left are two class-B stars, on the right are two class-O stars, seen from about 140Ls. The entry star is the bottom right.
There are also two Herbig-Ae/Be stars in the system, 15,000 and 210,000 Ls respectively from the entry star.
I'm in a sparse part of the galaxy, and it seems that every jump for the last two days has needed to be a boosted jump.
So when I noticed that Footia NX-K d8-0 was a "green" (has all the jump boost materials) system, I decided to take the opportunity to top up my stocks.
I started on 5 c a since it had Polonium (notoriously difficult to find) and volcanism (which makes materials much easier to find).
It's been a few weeks and I've made my way across the "north west" of the galaxy to Rimor Captionem.
Nothing particularly special here, just a system with a black hole that a commander got stuck in one time.
It does make for a different view of the galaxy, though.
The next POI is going to be Blue In The Black, which will bring me back into the Scutum-Centaurus Arm and I will be able to easily make my way further south-west.
In Cliewoae DS-H d11-0 I found some Rubellem Aster Pods and Rubellum Aster Trees.
Put one next to the Beluga and you realise how big they are!
To get to Cliewoae UF-L d9-0 I had to do probably my biggest ever jump in my Beluga: 102.34Ly. In that system I found a Notable Stellar Phenomena at a Lagrange Point of a landable Rocky Moon orbiting the Earth-Like World in the system.
There were Prasinum Aster Trees and Pods.
The last system was Cliewoae VA-L d9-0. One of the NSPs had Flavum Silicate Crystals, Albidum Ice Crystals and Lindigoticum Aster Pods. The other had Purpureum and Rubeum Ice Crystals and more Lindigoticum Aster Pods.
That completes my tour of the Abyssinial Hidden Paradise. Just about every jump for the last three days has been a boosted jump. I'm going to be spending some time topping up my materials once I get back to more dense stars in The Galactic Aphelion.
First stop tonight was the Pyrooe Dryiae ZQ-C d0 system.
There were three Notable Stellar Phenomena POIs in the rings of a gas giant. In the first I found some Puniceum Aster Pods:
Flavum Ice Crystals, Prasinum Silicate Crystals and more Puniceum Aster Pods were in the second POI:
Lindigoticum Ice Crystals, Roseum Silicate Crystals and more Puniceum Aster Pods were in the third POI: