Home Back Forward June 24, 1998: Technology at Kambalnoe

Chico drinking snow melt

Sending email to James

(Remember, you can click on an image to see an enlarged version)


I was out filming on my Hi-8 video camera a sequence for the audio/video component of my up-coming art exhibition from one of my favourite bear's nests above the east end of the lake on what is now called "Biscuit Mountain". Paradise was back at Kambalnoe with no wind. It was one of those perfect clear sunny days I dream of during the days of fog and wind. I looked into "Chico Basin" behind me and saw 5 bears. At first I thought it was a mating pair with another younger male and a couple of the female's cubs hanging around. I hiked up into the basin, after inviting Charlie to join me, to see all these bears close up and gather more footage. We hiked in behind some pine with the wind exactly right to carry our smell up slope and not towards the bears. It was our 3 cubs and two other young bears - this time two year olds. The pair looked like they had recently been weaned and we guessed it had been Chico who decided to make friends. Our cubs have figured out that young bears can be fun but the older ones are to be avoided. We have not seen Pedrusky for two weeks now and wondered if we were going to have another two strays . When they smelled us when the wind changed they ran up the hill only to look down in amazement as our 3 came over to us to eat sedge by our feet and slurp up the snow melt. We didn't see these two cubs again.

Technology hits camp and us!! Up until six weeks ago I didn't even know how to turn on a computer. Charlie decided to buy the lap-top to learn to type and start his 2nd book, typing it this time (He wrote Spirit Bear long hand!!). Our good friends Barb Gosling and her husband Derek Small and Barb's brother James Gosling talked me into the idea of a story live by E-mail for the web site. Charlie was already in Kamchatka at this time. I naively said yes, bought a STRATOS Satellite phone and a digital camera. James volunteered to manage the site, with sponsorship from Sun Microsystems and Barb had the unlucky task of teaching me everything I needed to know to send images and photos by E-mail. 3 weeks of total immersion followed and I was off to Kamchatka with all the stuff. I set up the SAT Phone on the balcony of a friend in Petropavlovsk to send my first report with a photo of the PK waterfront. The wind was blowing but I got a signal but it felt pretty shakey. Grisha yelled at me to come in. I was so up-tight about doing it all right I had transmitted my first message during the worst earthquake for a month in PK

We are more comfortable with the bits and pieces now. The Pacific Ocean Region satellite brings in a clear signal. It is slow transmitting the pictures as Inmarsat can only handle 2.4K baud (at least, the low cost version that was all we could afford). You folks with 28.8K modems are living in luxury!

© Lenticular Productions Ltd. 1998