The news of delays to the carriers due in December came as a bit of a surprise this week. Most of my work around the bubble has been focussed on raising cash to potentially purchase my own carrier. With carriers not arriving until 3306, it frees me up to look elsewhere in the galaxy.

While the delay was disappointing, I've always believed in taking something good from a setback. In this case, it was to totally change what I was doing in the bubble and head out into the black. I decided to make a return to exploration and see what was out there.

Mammon Monitoring Facility, Mammon System

My destination was to be Colonia. It was an area of space I'd never visited before but had my eye on visiting for a while. My last exploration trip was in August 3302 when I was going for my final Elite ranking in exploration. So much has changed since then. It seems such a long time ago.

After a quick stop in outfitting the Imperial Cutter ‘Rannoch Moor’ left the Alioth system bound for Colonia. The Cutter has not been heavily modified for exploration. Apart from the removal of cargo modules and the addition of an Auto Field-Maintenance Unit, the ship’s loadout remains much the same.

Views on the second leg to Hillary Depot in Blu Thua AI-A c14–10 system
Observation Post Epsilon, Trifid Sector IR-W d1–52 system
Docked at Sacaqawea Space Port in the Skaudai CH-B d14–34 system.

Fortunately, the Colonia Connection Highway provides a safe route for commanders to make their way out. I managed to do the route in four days stopping off at specific asteroid bases, space stations and ports on the way. For commanders looking to explore deeper into the galaxy, the Colonia highway provides a good introduction with a lower amount of risk. You can also sell your exploration along the way at each stop!

Arriving at Colonia was an emotional experience. It’s a long journey but one that is well rewarded with views when you arrive. I’d wanted to make the trip for such a long time but had always been distracted by the chase for credits, materials or something else. Maybe I need to stop chasing.

Caravanserai in the Gandharvi system along with a trip to a nearby cargo carrier
Vihara Gate in the Kashyapa system

At the time of writing, I’m three days into being a resident of Colonia. I’m settled into Jaques Station and making Colonia my new home. It's all new and fresh at the moment with the first steps being the purchase of some new ships — a Cobra MkIII, a Krait MkII and an Asp Explorer. I’ve recently had a lot of flight time in the Cutter and a change was needed.

Over the next few weeks and months, the plan is to unlock some engineers, maybe some mining and then start looking towards more exploration at the beginning of 3306. A trip to Sagittarius A* is almost certainly on the cards. Even a trip further out to Beagle point might be a tempting challenge too.

Arrived at Jaques Station, Colonia

As I made the journey through to Colonia I realised how much I’d missed the exploration. The freedom of taking a spaceship wherever you like. It makes you feel like anything is possible.

Anyway, over the next few weeks and months, I'll be adding occasional posts to the ship’s log. I have no idea what’s around the corner. Nothing is written in stone. I do want to push the boundaries of what I can do as an explorer.

I kinda like the idea of that :)

A ship's log recording the observations and adventures of a freelance pilot in Elite Dangerous - CMDR Richard Campbell.