You think your connection is bad?

How trying to stay in touch with the digital world wrecks your nerves on an expedition

Fog is an awful condition. Not only is it slightly depressing and dark and grey - it also is a real issue when you are on a ship, in the middle of nowhere and have a (anyway slow) satellite connection to communicate with the world. In a nutshell: the more fog, the slower the connection.

We started the journey with communications in Whatsapp, but as we were also exchanging video files, we noticed that they compress video quite a lot. We tried things then. An internal box delivered too low upload speeds, email was obviously not an option - so we ended up with Telegram. It delivered us solid speed and good quality. With the caveat that the transfer of files might simply abort after five hours and you would have to start all over again.

"Are you kidding me, that's 7 Megabytes, that will take hours". Most of us have heard that sentence for the last time years ago, but in expedition terms, this is a normal conversation between the boat and those that stayed back. So, today I requested four images in high resolution from the crew - and it needed full commitment from Povel, the expedition leader, to actually get these through.

Check the times in this conversation.


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