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GPS Guided Trans-Atlantic Robot Boat
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robot boat to cross Atlantic from UK to USA

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Blog9: Snoopy Sloop Robot Boat 2022 Trans-Atlantic Attempt.
(Under Construction - relevant information, as available)

"I always wanted to be an engineer, and now I are one !"
Newsflash: pictures and video near end of Snoopy's return after 6 weeks away ! :-)

Updated 2015 BST UK Time ( Also 1915 Z/GMT/UT/GPS Time ) Saturday 29th October 2022.

You probably reached this "Blog9" page from the Snoopy page, or the Design of Snoopy Sloop page . If not, click on a link to know more.
Each "blog" page describes detailed work preparing for the next Atlantic Attempt. i.e. covering a period in the region of a year: less if more than one attempt is made. The Blog pages were started after the first 2012 Attempt, where Snoopy's boat was lost. All later attempts were with the same boat, sometimes after major repairs. The blogs provide online "Engineering Notebooks", providing a day-by-day account of repairs, changes, and testing: mostly testing.

Origin of wheels for Snoopy's trolley click here for more on the Horse who snatched Snoopy These blog pages are mostly about numerous repairs to the boat, results from "BRAY LAKE TESTS", or 24/7 reliability testing on Bray Lake. i.e. Snoopy sailing back and forth over a 24/7 waypoint in "Snoopy Corner". This is typically for several weeks, in all weather, including gale force winds. Sometimes, a few things happened which resulted in amusing pictures or stories, such as countering human-intervention, or testing the wheels for Snoopy's trolly. Click on the pictures either side for larger versions, or visit earlier blogs above. BlogX, the "blog of experiments", shows ideas and products, some of which may appear in future boats.

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Snoopy's August 2022 attempt to cross the Atlantic and earlier Camper Recce ...

1. Introduction from Robin Lovelock in Sunninghill ...

Snoopy's August 2022 Atlantic Attempt and Camper Trip A major "tidy-up" is in progress, so that this "Blog9" page can offload information cluttering the Snoopy page - but it may take me some time :-)

Play the video on the right, made after we returned home, on Thursday 1st September, from Snoopy's launch from Boscombe, on Tuesday 30th August. It includes those nice days in the West Country. This video includes our discovery that Snoopy's last position report was on that morning that we made our journey home. He had gone "Missing in Action".

This "Blog9" page lists events in the order they happened, so the latest will be near the end, including our search for Snoopy.

It follows on from Blog8 that details repairs and testing after Snoopy's 2019 Attempt - that "Trip to France and Back" :-) white strip white strip

2. Snoopy's Camper Trip to Recce Cornwall : Sunday 7th until Tuesday 16th August ...

June and Robin took 10 days holiday in that August 2022 Heatwave, and took Snoopy on his Robot Boat :-)

Tap or Click on the pictures to expand or play videos, to see what we did. The Attempt was expected on Tuesday 30th August 2022 on or before 1200 BST UK time.

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* Winds were NOT expected suitable until much later in week, so the day and launch spot might have been different. e.g. further west such as Dorset, Devon, or Cornwall.

Tap or Click to expand pictures below. Problem: Campers not allowed near beach on Undercliff Drive; Solution: Park above Zig-Zag steps on Overcliff Drive and use a sack truck to wheel Snoopy down to the beach and his launch spot. Overcliff Drive seems a better observation point after Snoopy's launch ! ;-)

Zig Zag steps Sack Truck Sack Truck white strip

High Tide at Boscombe is at about 1300 BST UK time ( midday GMT/UT/GPS Time ). These TotalTide predictions of tidal current are for Monday 8th August: Tap or Click on pictures to expand and read details. These help us predict any boats's behaviour - certainly Snoopy's ! :-) On left is maximum at about 0900 GMT ( 1000 BST local UK time ), centre is 1230 GMT ( 1330 BST ), right is at 1600 GMT ( 1700 BST UK ).

TotalTide prediction TotalTide prediction TotalTide prediction white strip

Tap or Click on pictures below to expand. We planned to travel further west, so those south-western facing bits of coast might be suitable alternative launch sites ;-)
Sunday 7th August 2022: Robin's "Cunning Plan": from Sunninghill to Boscombe for a recce', then on the West Bay for first night. Launch of Snoopy maybe Friday 12th ??? :-)
As each day went by, the predicted winds changed, and were not suitable for an Atlantic Attempt. It would not have been convenient for other Team-Joker guys anyway.

West of Boscombe Planned start of trip: Boscombe Toft Zig Zag then West Bay white strip

3. Sunday 28th August 2022: Revised Plan made for a launch next Tuesday 30th August 2022 ...

video plan for August 2022 launch Monday 29th August: Play that video on right, to see the revised plan made yesterday, on Sunday 28th August 2022. Today it's about preperation for tomorrow ! :-)

Tap or Click on the Total Tide pictures below, to expand and see detail. Note that these are in GMT/UT so add 1 hour for local BST UK time.

Total Tide photos Total Tide photos Total Tide photos Total Tide photos

4. Tuesday 30th August 2022: Snoopy's Launch from Boscombe on Sea ...

Snoopy's August 2022 Atlantic Attempt and Camper Trip

Play the video on the right, made after we returned home, on Thursday 1st September, from Snoopy's launch from Boscombe, on Tuesday 30th August. It includes those nice days in the West Country. This video includes our discovery that Snoopy's last position report was on that morning that we made our journey home. He had gone "Missing in Action".

You need only play the first part of the video :-)

I'll use this opportunity to add three pictures from the Microtransat web site, managed by Colin Sauze. They show brilliantly the complete track of Snoopy's boat, from just after launch, until the last report received. For some reason, the Spot website has been removing the earlier positions.

Tap or Click on the pictures below to expand and read detail. Remember that times are in z/GMT/UT/GPS Time, and that one hour must be added for local UK British Summer Time (BST).

Snoopy's August 2022 Atlantic Attempt track Snoopy's August 2022 Atlantic Attempt track Snoopy's August 2022 Atlantic Attempt track white strip

5. Thursday 1st September 2022: Snoopy went "Missing in Action"

Snoopy on front lawn Snoopy's August 2022 Atlantic Attempt and Camper Trip It was only after June & Robin Lovelock got home, in Sunninghill, from their Camper Trip to launch Snoopy, that they saw that Snoopy was no longer reporting his position on the Spot Satcomms tracker. He had gone "Missing in Action" !

Snoopy had made his Atlantic Attempt on Tuesday 30th August, from his usual launch spot, west of Boscombe Pier, at 1200 BST Midday ( 1100z /GMT/UT/GPS Time ).

These links had been used ... See Winds Expected. e.g. offshore / westward wind needed. Track Snoopy's boat on the SpotT map. e.g. in Sunninghill ? See spare SpotT2 tracker. e.g. within Robin's car or Camper .

BUT there were no more position reports from Snoopy's Spot tracker above after that on Thursday morning at 0846 GMT = 0946 UK time. Many things could have happened.

Robin's Best Guess at Snoopy's track on Saturday 3rd September 2022 Robin's best guess is that Snoopy will hit the southern England coast, in next few days, somewhere between Weymouth and Lands End.

Tap or Click on that map on right to expand, if you need.

If it is only the SPOT Satcomms tracker system that has failed, and Snoopy's Autopilot, including GPS, Computer, and Rudder, is still working, Snoopy might be between the Weymouth and Prawle Waypoints, at midday on Saturday 3rd September. See track coloured pink.

Winds near Torquay If Snoopy's Autopilot is not working, such as if all power lost, then the wind and (averaged) tidal current might have carried him not far east of Torquay.

The shift of wind after Friday, towards the north, would then make Snoopy hit land somewhere between Selsey Bill, Weymouth, and Torquay. e.g. Chesil Beach.

Tap or Click on these expected winds for near Torquay, to expand and read. You can see the updated forcast on Winds Expected near Torquay .

Of course, Snoopy might have been taken by someone at sea - it has happened before. Tap or Click below for details of 2012, 2015, and 2019 Attempts. Thanks Guys :-)

Snoopy Taken in 2012 Snoopy Taken in 2015 Snoopy Taken in 2019 RM LCU on horizon

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For those considering a "recce" for Snoopy, on foot, by boat, by car, or in the air, this map below may help. The weather may be more suitable soon, for beach-combing, fishing, sailing, and flying. One "Tool for the job" is a drone - but there are legal restrictions. See Robin's Drone page . Remember - Robin did NOT encourage you :-)

Recce Map west Torquay

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6. Friday 16th September 2022: Need AIS of shipping near Snoopy on Tuesday 30 August at 1240 GMT = 1340 BST.

Thankfully Colin's Snoopy track is still there, despite the SPOT system deciding to "Forget" it. Tap or Click on the pictures below to expand. Especially the middle one ! white strip Microtransat Snoopy Track Microtransat Snoopy Track Microtransat Snoopy Track white strip

The middle map shows Snoopy sailing in a perfect straight line, compensating for the tidal current, until 1239 GMT on Tuesday 30th August. BUT see below !

Microtransat Snoopy Track and Tidal Current For those using translation flags, the words say ...
Snoopy leaves straight course 1240. then swept by tidal current, increasing. Probably "normal". i.e. above boat speed. OR - perhaps after collision with boat ? Damage might make autopilot fail immediately, but water ingress might take time to make the SPOT Satcomms tracker fail ? (days later).
THEREFORE check historical AIS picture for vessels near this position at that time ? Tidal current on Tuesday 30 August at 1240 GMT = 1340 BST.

from Robin: I must admit that I was surprised that Snoopy seemed to start drifting when the tidal current had only reached 0.5 knots or less. His sailing speed would normally be faster than this. Also, what a coincidence that this happened on that path taken by some ships between Poole Harbour and Portsmouth. e.g. Royal Marine Landing Craft Utilities :-) white strip

Dick's Youtube video of AIS tracks near Snoopy when his SPOT failed Here on the left is the Youtube video that Dick sent to Peter and Robin some days ago.

It shows the AIS tracks of shipping near where Snoopy's SPOT tracker failed on Thursday 1st September 2022. This seems to rule out this SPOT failure being directly due to a colission or close approach at that time.

HOWEVER, it remains to be seen if there was any close approach in the days earlier - particularly Tuesday 30th August, near 1240 GMT. The "Jury is still out" on that one ! :-)

Snoopy's Marine Traffic page For those interested, there is Snoopy's Marine Traffic page , set up in 2015. Or just Tap or Click on that image to the right. white strip

Extract from "Snoopy" page - to be updated in due course ...

Snoopy went "Missing in Action" on 1st September, but returned on Saturday 22nd Octrober 2022 ! see Blog9 for background, and more information and videos when available - 32 minute video now below ! :-)
Tap or Click on pictures below to expand picture or play video ...

Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt white strip Snoopy returns video Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt white strip Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt white strip Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt white strip Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt white strip Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt Snoopy's August 2022 Attempt

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Photos from Amanda of Snoopy sailing in onto Rottingdean Beach ...

Many thanks Amanda for these smartphone photos of Snoopy's arrival at 1030 BST Saturday morning, and then Robin, Snoopy, Patrick. Tap or Click to expand :-)

white strip Snoopy's arrival Snoopy's arrival Snoopy's arrival Snoopy's arrival white strip

Later extract from "Snoopy" page on 29th October - to be updated in due course ...

Snoopy returns video

Snoopy went "Missing in Action" on 1st September near Weymouth, but, 6 weeks later, on Saturday 22nd October 2022, sailed into Rottingdean Beach, east of Brighton !

It may take days, weeks, or months to know what happened - and learn from Snoopy's Mission, to prepare for the 2023 Atlantic Attempt :-) BUT Robin is now sure that Snoopy failed because he forgot to file a flat on the steel rod fixed to the rudder. Stupid boy Robin ! :-)

This is needed so that the grub screw, in the rudder lever, can prevent it working loose. The result, in rough seas, would have been the rudder working loose, sliding out of the boat, allowing some sea water to come into the waterproof box at the back. The result of even a small amount of salt water, is electrical leakage and loss of battery power. Hence the SPOT Trace Satcoms failing - and probably everything else ! Dick's alternative use of split pin to hold rudder on Thanks Dick for the photo on the right, showing another conventional means of securing the rudder. Before seeing Robin's photos tucked away on very recent videos, on

Of course - it's still amazing how far east Snoopy "sailed", and what a great time and place to sail into ! These pages need to be updated, but for now, there is a lot of more recent and detailed information in the most Robin's Youtube channel above. white strip

Other stuff ...

See "BlogX", describing background experimental work from 2008 until now.

See the Recce, Compass , Software , and many Blog pages, for details of the vast ammount of experiments and testing, done over the years. Yes, there is a lot there, and you need a wide screen to scroll through it. I wish I'd written the blogs tidier, but they are better than nothing, and my time is precious. Now WHERE are the details of the autoplots in Boat6 and Boat10 used for that race in July 2014 ?

Play the video to see how well Snoopy's 2014 boat 10 did against the smaller experimental boat 6 on 11th July 2014. The speech from the autopilot of Boat6 implies it was using experimental compass-based steering. i.e. "ahead, ahead, left, ahead", etc. Boat 10 used our old, trusted, GPS-Only steering. Why did Boat6 win ? Much less weight: see the Blog for Boats 11 and 12 having a race with identical autopilots on Thursday 6th July 2017, three years later. We can learn a lot from what we did in earlier years, if we write it down - or better still, film it :-) white strip

Snoopy's Bray Lake Test ... sail 530 metres automatically, through 5 waypoints ...

Bray Lake used for testing of the robot boats

Who has visited this page ?

Robin Lovelock From Robin: It's very convenient for me, that there are so few visitors to this page: just those given the link. See map and words near end of my Home page ;-)

Visit Counter after reply to Microtransat Group The visit counters may give a rough indication on who else is visiting, or has visited, this page. I don't hide or disguise my visits, but they may appear as "Ascot", or miles away, like "Lightwater" or even "Southend-on-Sea, England" (on my Lounge PC), or "High Wycombe" or "West-Drayton, England" ( on the Study PC). Positions may not be accurate, but times are. These may change at any time, without control by me. e.g. if we have a power cut, or I reboot a router. So, you may see if I'm "working" in the Study, or "relaxing" in Lounge :-)

Not all visits are seen, and some browsers hide location, but you may find Revolvermaps livestats for this "Blog9" page of interest.

The video on the right shows several guys visiting my Covid19 page , shortly after I posted the link to the Microtransat forum, linked from the Snoopy Robot Boat page.

That's right - Hobby activity and Charitable Causes, rather than earning money. Us Grumpy old men sometimes find that, "there are just not enough hours in the day" ;-)

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