During the afternoon drive today WE noticed some unusual analog interference on the video. So the team in Final Control began to search out what was causing this interference. In the process they moved a cabinet and this caused the splices on the main fiber optic cable to snap. It took us a good while to find the fault, because the fibers are only a few microns wide. However, when Herman, the director tonight, realised that he had lost both waterhole cameras, the game drive picture and sound, the Internet and the connection to the video server, he knew something ‘very uncool’ was going on …
Immediately I got on to our friends from Ruantel and after some fast juggling and shifting things around they have put an emergency splicing team together. Lead by the intrepid Steve Marais, that will leave Johannesburg at noon tomorrow, after they have assembled all the gear they will need. You see splicing fiber optic cables in the middle of the bush is even harder than it sounds. The team will only arrive in Djuma after sundown, and they will work into the night to resolve this problem. WE can always count on Ruantel when the chips are down.
However, WE have a plan to get back on air in the morning. The team sat around the fire, some of us were hundreds of miles away, but we have come up with a short term work around. At dawn the crew will move the core elements of the Final Control to the router in Jurie and Pippa’s house, which is right under the mast. Tonight these parts will be packed and labeled and as the sun comes up the move will be orchestrated by our new technical genius, Pete Braat. If all goes according to plan, WE will be back LIVE by 09h00 CAT in time for the WEwalk.
Because we will not have all our final control functionality, and because the crew are now working stupid hours to get back on top of this dragon, we call LIVE wildlife broadcasting, there will be no WEchat tomorrow. There will be, if all goes well, be a drive tomorrow afternoon, and after the drive, and after the spicing is done, WE will shut down for an hour or two while we haul the equipment back to the proper final control and be back where we started.
So in short, WE will be back on air at 09h00 in the morning for the WEwalk, there will be drive in the afternoon but not the morning, and in 24 hours WE will be 100% back at you.
Sorry for all of this, but what can I tell you … it’s in the nature of what WE do, but at least WE are the best at it, because … it’s in our nature.