Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Guesstimate Positioning System?

As Mark's GPS tracker is still 'down', I am having to resort to a variety of strategies to work out where he might be? I think at the end of today (21.11.07) he could be around here....
So how have I worked that out? Well, I know the intended route (from the Artemis website) and I know that Mark was roughly around the Head of the Bight yesterday. In Google Earth, there is a facility which allows you to measure distance along a 'path' (see above) so I plotted a path in stages along the A1 road towards Ceduna until I got to around 100 miles and popped in a placemark. It will be interesting eventually to find out how close I am! What follows assumes that this is indeed the route that Mark has taken today.....
It would seem that the first settlement of any size along the route today would have been at Yalata Roadhouse. The Yalata Lands surrounding the Roadhouse are now occupied by the Anangu Aboriginal people. You can something of their history and distribution here.

The coastline near Yalata (which I'm certain Mark will not have taken a detour to see!) is fringed with long expanses of sand dunes and battered by waves and surf which have rolled in without interruption from the Southern Ocean. This stretch of coastline is renowned for surf fishing and Mulloway seems to be the prize catch...

By this afternoon Mark will have reached a significant location as shown by the image on the right. This would seem to be the first sign of cultivation after crossing the Nullarbor. The last time Mark saw fields was in the wheatlands of West Australia south of Norseman. You can see them here in the posting for the 14th November.

Incidentally, it is perhaps now worth noting that Mark is in what is called the Eyre peninsula. As the map below shows, the peninsula is not only the triangular area of land with Port Lincoln at its tip but also includes the coastal lands west as far as the border with Western Australia. The Eyre peninsula and the Eyre Highway which Mark has been travelling across the Nullarbor take their name from Edward John Eyre who in 1841 became the first European to traverse the coastline of the Great Australian Bight and the Nullarbor Plain.

I wrote a draft of this posting earlier today when I still had no clue as to Mark's whereabouts. However, I have just read the web diary and can now get a 'fix' on his location. It seems that after a day of strong south east headwinds, Mark did less than 100 miles today and finished the day at Nundroo. Still..... I was only about 24 miles out, which is not bad when you consider we are talking about the outback!


Anonymous said...

Come On Mark You Are Doing Brilliant
Gareth Clark

Anonymous said...

I started this journey at Norseman while looking up where a friend was working and have really enjoyed the trip across the Nullabor and the very informative geographical information. I will leave you now and come back at a later date to complete the journey.

Well done.