At The Port, Waiting For The Ferry

This post was written yesterday, but we didn’t have time (or Wifi access) to post it, so we’re publishing from the hotel at the finish in Missor after the first day. It’s been non-stop since we boarded the ferry, and importing all our video and photos drained the battery on the Mac, so we haven’t been able to prepare any posts. Posts will be delayed by at least 24 hours.

Sunday was a day spent waiting at the port in Alméria. We arrived in mid-morning and the parking lot was already filled with motorcycles, cars, trailers and heavy trucks. Each little group seemed to be speaking a different language. In an area not much larger than 50m wide there were participants from Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, and Sweden, but also Austria, the Czech Republic, and Lithuania.

We didn’t get to the registration desk early enough so the line was long, and for the first 30 minutes it moved quite slowly. When it was our turn, we had to notify the organization of some changes in the teams. Olivier and Philippe were not able to come, and Edouard is taking their place, so he had to complete all the registration on site. Florian and Yvan are driving a Jeep Cherokee in the race, not a Tomcat, and Pascal accompanied them to provide assistance. Sylvain has a new co-pilot, also named Pascal; Cécile will take the role of co-pilot in the rapid assistance car that Raoul is driving.

After registration, Sylvain asked for help configuring his ToughBook GPS and navigation software to correctly display the position on the map. It took over thirty minutes to find the parameters that worked. It’s not enough just to have a mechanic anymore, with all the technology onboard these cars, someone with computer experience can always come in handy. Someday soon it’ll be mandatory to have Tech Support to take care of the car too.

Later in the afternoon, the organization came by for the scrutineering (a check of the vehicles to make sure they comply with all the rules and safety regulations).

It was after 2pm before we had a chance to eat something for lunch. Since we had a little time to wait before the briefing, we dumped all the video from the onboard cameras and the photos we had taken on the way to Alméria onto our 500 Gb external hard drive and wiped the memory so the cards would be ready for tomorrow. As soon as we have a good Wifi connection, we’ll try publish some of them.

The briefing didn’t start until around 5:30pm. We split the group since everyone needed help getting the GPS points into their onboard navigation systems. A few people went to the briefing while the rest worked on the GPS problem. At the briefing the organizers went over the general rules and procedures in addition to providing more detailed information about the ferries. The Tuareg Rally has so many participants this year that the organizers had to arrange for two ferries. The competitors will take the ferry to Nador, while the service vehicles will arrive in the Spanish enclave of Meililla.

The Rally starts directly after disembarkment from the ferry. We’ll drive almost 400km south to Missor where we’ll spend the night before continuing on to Merzouga. We won’t see our racing teams until everyone is at the finish, that is, unless someone needs assistance along the way, but we hope that won’t happen! There are two assistance/photo points along the course where we’ll try to get some pictures from the race.

Update: We’ve added two photos from the photo album on the iPhone.

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3 Responses to At The Port, Waiting For The Ferry

  1. Nicole Schmid says:

    Hello les fous du dessert ! Je suis vous remercie pour les messages et les info. Je regarde tous les jours l’évolution grâce à votre GPS. Embrassez fort Raoul de ma part, nous fêtons nos 10 ans de couple aujourd’hui! Bonne route à vous tous et que la vie du dessert veille sur vous tous! Bonne route, gros bisous.
    Nicole et Léa Schmid

    • ergmachine says:

      C’est assez sport aussi pour l’èquipe service. On est en retard pour le départ, Raoul à sans doute déjà parti. On essayera de le retrouver en route aux points photos. Il y aura des photos sur le site ce soir.

  2. Pingback: Photo Album: On The Way To The Tuareg Rally 2012 « Erg Machine

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