You would figure that once would be enough but I guess I am a slow learner. I got two toons stuck on the wrong side of a hole closing this weekend, and yet again my Orca was among them. To make matters worse I was in a hurry and didn't make sure that my prober was back in the ship maintennacne bay, so I was royally hosed. Disgusted I went to bed thinking of how I was going to come up with the 600M ISK to get another Orca, Abby and implants.
How I ended up in this situation (again) is by foolishly believeing the 2Bkg meant 2Bkg. The first time this happened I just assumed someone had used the wormhole before me and my mass calcs were off by a BS or two. This time I have learned the hard way that nothing in EVE is ever exact.
I closed the D382 static in an effort to find a Hi Sec entrance to bring in the Corp's Large POS. Found the new one, scanned down the WH's and found a null sec and Class 5 wormholes. No good, so started to close this hole. Thinking I had the routine down I was using Orca, Abby and Hulk to close the hole. Mass ticked over to the second mass message right on que at the 4th Orca passing. Cruising along just fine until through shear stupidity and overconfidence I ended up on "wrong side" with all three ships and a "mass critical" message. I rechecked all my calcs and was sure I was only at 1.78Bkg. I also checked my supplies and saw no prober. My thought was to jump the hulk back through (being the smallest, get my prober, jump it back through, jump the orca and find a way out with the prober and abby. Jump the Hulk through and the hole closed. Final tally put the total mass at 1.82Bkg. Well short of the 2Bkg I have always used. I guess I have proven at least a 10% variance. (In hindsight, I should have stored the Hulk in the Orca and jumped through in my pod, but in heat of the moment at 1am that thought did not enter my mind.)
So stuck and dreading a 600M ISK setback I went to bed. Got up next morning and figuring I had nothing to lose, started throwing Jet Cans and lableing the "Lost, Need Help" along with my toons contact. Well damned if it didn't work first try. I logged in again an hour later and had a message. Instantly got a PM from a guy in a probber looking for Hi Sec exit for his Class 5 corp. He had a route out and we quickly were able to come to an agreement on a fee to get me out. It was most reasonable and again I am convinced that most people in W-Space are extremely helpful.
So from now on I am assuming that 2B does not mean 2B, but most likely between 1.8 and 2.2Bkg. In addition, if the critical message is 5%, then it could mean as little as 90Mkg. Given these facts, the Hulk seems to be the safest ship to use past 1.7BKg, but how do you quickly close a hole and avoid repeated Hulk runs and the 4minute timeout, if you could have to repeat the Hulk run up to 4 or 5 times to mass critical the hole before jumping the Orca back through and closing it? I would love to hear how others are doing it as I am now gun shy about mass closing holes and I know it is something I need to be able to do.
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