SUNSHINE! Finally. The sun broke through today, topping off our battery pack after yesterday's hold at Tennant Creek. That meant we had a completely full battery pack starting this morning, along with abundant sunshine.
We upped our speed to 60-70 kph, finally allowing Chopper to strut its stuff. Let me introduce you to our drivers, Lauren and Kelly. They have been at the helm of Chopper, cruising down the highway for extremely long shifts. A solar car driver shift lasts around 4-5 hours (the time between checkpoints). Lauren (a senior mechanical engineer) is pictured below, rockin some team-issued aviators before her driving shift.
Kelly (a senior electrical engineer) took the earlier shift, driving 5 hours in the heat and humidity to make it to the next checkpoint. They honestly do have the most exhausting job on the team. Below, tired driver is tired.
One terrifying moment was when we were run off the road by an oversize load trucking the other way. Our scout warned us via radio a large truck was coming, and when we responded "ok well move over to the edge of the lane" they told us "NO GET THE HELL OFF THE ROAD". We wisely followed their advice.
We still had some clouds in the afternoon, but we at least got some awesome pics out of it. At the end of day 4, we made it to the Tropic of Capricorn, juts north of Alice Springs. Our evening charge also gave us a beautiful sunset, its reflection captured here off the solar array.
Tonight, were staying just a few meters from the Tropic of Capricorn landmark. After some good food and hanging out with Durham University (also at our campsite). Below is a pic from our campsite. Another day tomorrow - right now we've got to catch some sleep for our morning charge.