On Saturday 27 February 3302, I visited the Treehouse. Early in the morning, after spending the night in orbit around one of Beagle’s Point planets, I started up my impatient conda “Starbuck Angel”, she was all ready and anxious to take us to the Treehouse. If you want to know how we did on this unique trip then continue reading…

After the normal cockpit procedures, I started plotting a route from Beagle to the Treehouse. The plotting computer was not able to complete the plot all the 400-ish ly way to the entry of the Tree, and I had to split up the route in several parts, but  it finally took us near the entry.

On my first attempt to enter the Tree, we did not approach the right way, and we could not make the final jumps. The jumps exceeded Starbucks 41.07 ly jump range… So we backtracked some tens of lightyears and made a slightly different approach. With success this time :-) !

The Treehouse is a historical landmark on the other side of our galaxy. You must know that the Treehouse is a system that is located on a branch of the “Tree”,  and that jumping from the Tree to the Treehouse takes a 40.7 ly jump…  It looks like this: tree.

The Tree and Treehouse (click image to enlarge)

The Treehouse was discovered by the famous explorer Marlon Blake and its existence is mentioned on the website of “The 65000 LY from Sol Club”. I fitted out Starbuck with this visit in my mind, and it wasn’t easy: you can take almost nothing with you, and certainly nothing with mass. So, no shields, no weapons, no heat sinks, no SRV buggy, etc, you get the picture.

So we were at the entrance of the Tree and ready to go in. Now, there is something you need to know: entering the Tree cannot be done with your fuel tanks filled up. To get to the optimal jump range, I must exactly have between 7.5 and 12 tons of fuel: if you have more than this, you will be to heavy to make the jump, to little fuel will not get you the distance. Since there is no fuel dump option on my ship, the first task was making enough jumps forth and back to a nearby system 30 ly away until we got under 12 tons of fuel. After a few attempts we were ready: my jump range was around 40 ly (out of 41.07 max) and I was ready to enter the Tree.

But then, I didn’t get it to work! Did I forget something, did I make a bad configuration what was the problem? Well, I went to the galaxy map, and selected the first system of it, and there were no lines to the Tree, no “economical” ones, no “fastest” one, none. And when I asked to calculate a route (one jump in fact), it told me “Route unavailable”. Time for help: I asked the Triadius members what they taught about it, I contacted the Fuel Rats about it, I posted on the “65k from Sol” forum, and as nobody had an answer I even opened a ticket at FD. Hereafter I went to my holodeck for a 10km run to clear my head. Still it didn’t help me to see the problem.

After a quick lunch, I went back to the forums, and I found two remarks of experienced explorers that made sense to me! The plotting computer tries to calculate routes and it uses your jump range with full fuel tanks for these calculations, even if they are not full at the moment of the calculation. But there was a solution: select the system in the map, and simply hit the jump button, it’s as stupidly easy as this. The problem was not in my jump capabilities, it was purely a map plotting issue. With this one solved, on my way I was!

One has to travel over a few systems to get to the branch split, and getting there was no problem. I was ready the final part: jumping from the Tree to the Treehouse. Here the fuel level is at its most delicate. A ton too much or less gets you out of the jump range. Checking my jump range told me I was good for 39.6, but I needed 40.7 ly. So it is just a matter of getting some more fuel , or to loose some. I choose for the first: scooping is easier than loosing fuel. So I scooped as gently as I could just to take in one extra ton using the 7A scoop. Bad luck, my range went down to 39.35 ly. So I had to make extra jumps to the top and bottom of the tree. But after several jumps and a final very gently scoop I was at 41.06 ly range, almost max. Super! Then the “Great Moment”, the thing I had travelled so far for: the jump into the Treehouse. 3, 2, 1… jump and… we’re in !!! I was as happy to do this with Starbuck Angel as I was to reach the core with Core Vette MJW. Triadius members that were following the event were happy too and congratulated me, and the Fuel Rats that were online also gave me the “well-done”.

Treehouse planet explored

System composition

Normally I don’t scan and leave no tags on my exploration trips (well, maybe once in a while), but here I checked the system map and I discovered that only two people had tagged. So I took the liberty of scanning two planets just as the others had done, and leaving the rest for future explorers. But great was my surprise when I saw the names of these two persons: Marlon Blake, the discoverer, and Alot, one of my friend Fuel Rats. And guess, you’ll never believe it, it were exactly those two persons that helped me on the forum with the jump plotting issue! I went back to the Fuel Rats IRC to thank Alot again and to tell him I had joined him with a Treehouse visit.

treehouse leaving

Leaving the system, look at the fuel meter !

After my visit I returned to Beagle Point to meet up with some commanders of the Distant Worlds Expidition, but as they were all at the planet surfce, I took off again and started the second part of my voyage: the way home, making a complete 360 degree tour around the galaxy.

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