I am an explorer. Always have been, always will be. But a man’s gotta eat, and more importantly, a man’s gotta upgrade his ship.
Exploration data doesn’t pay very well.
With a view towards a future out in the deep Black, I decided to sell the Blue Sun, my trusty Asp Explorer, and purchase a (slightly used) Lakon Type-7 Transporter. It’s ugly, it’s uncomfortable, but it can fit a decent amount of cargo.
I am currently hauling marine equipment and Palladium, Gold and Machinery. I now know what it feels like being dead inside, but the prospect of a bigger and better exploration ship (it doesn’t have to be bigger) keeps me going.
Talking to other traders, I heard of rare trade goods that are being peddled on the so-called Lave Loop. Some Commanders I talked to had big Credit signs in their eyes. “A thousand percent profit,” one exclaimed. “More like 1500%,” another chimed in. They all nodded with agreement that this was the way to go, if you are new and have enough assets to move up from a Sidewinder.
And doesn’t that describe my situation perfectly well?
I am more than skeptical about the profits claimed by these old spacers, but there’s really only one thing to do about wild rumors: Find out the truth myself!
The Start: Coquim
As I type this, I am docked in Oliver Enterprise, Lwen system. I did a few short loops – selling Resonating Separators to Xingait and Silver back to Lwen – for about 90,000 credits profit per loop. Lave is just under 149 light-years away; Coquim is just over 104 light-years away. I’ll therefore start the loop at Coquim.
The voayage was long and mostly uneventful. Burning through 800 Credits worth of fuel, I arrived at Hirayama Installation. I did spend some time scanning the systems en route, so I actually turned a tidy profit on the voyage.
In the commodities market, 11 tons of Coquim Spongiform Victuals were available for sale, at 255 Credits each. I picked them up – filling 30% of my cargo hold already. A good start!
For some reason, the route to Lave goes through CD-75, with a landing at Kirk Dock to buy Kitten Brand Coffee, which is supposed to be sold on Coquim. For my first leg, I decided to ignore Kirk Dock – I did not want to haul Coffee all the way to Lave and back.
En Route: Khaka
I was attacked by a pirate as I approached Ford Hub in Khaka. I was able to fend her off, but my ship took quite some damage. Unfortunately Ford Hub does not offer Repair facilities. Ammunition ran at 1243 Credits, Fuel at 635. On the plus side, I earned 64780 Credits from the bounty. I also took the opportunity to sell 26831 Credits’ worth of exploration data, before continuing my voyage.
Finally arrived in Lave – a beautiful sight after a long voyage.
The haul took me 57.5 minutes, but of course that includes the action at Khaka. There is some Lavian Brandy for sale here: 7 tons at 3500 each, which I purchased. The value of the Songiform Victuals was 15536 per ton, for a profit of 168,091 Credit. Very nice, indeed, but in itself nothing too awesome considering the long distances involved. It is the return trip that will have to pay for itself.
The next section of the Lave Loop consisted of flying to several systems to pick up additional local specialty wares.
From Lesti to Diso
If you follow the loop, be aware that Leestian Evil Juice is considered Illegal on Guest Installation in Uszaa. Luckily, I got away without a fine.
At Sharon Lee Free Market, in Oreere, my hold reached 33 of 36 tons. I decide to still land on Diso, where 11 tons of Diso Ma Corn were on offer. Naturally, I bought 3t.
I spent about 35 minutes collecting everything – This number is a bit unreliable because I botched stopping the time.
Return to Coquim
With my cargo hold full, I decided to skip CD-75 again and fly directly to Coquim. The voyage was uneventful, except for two interdiction attempts, which I avoided. I had to refuel twice, and so the return voyage took 51 minutes.
Profits were indeed excellent. I sold my rare goods for 600,000 Credits! Here is a list of income and expenses:
Coquim Spongiform Victuals
Leestian Evil Juice
Uszaian Tree Grub
Orrerian Vicious Brew
Diso Ma Corn
Fuel, Repairs, Ammo
As you can see, the Lave Loop is absolutely worth it. I could have made about half that with more local trade in about the same time, I reckon, but the longer trip was more fun. As a bonus, I earned 96,728 Credits from exploration data and the pirate’s bounty – but that’s of course not inherently part of the Lave Loop.
The Lave Loop does, indeed, offer a 1500% profit on the cost of the trade goods – the rumors were true.
If you go on the Loop, I recommend having circa 50 tons of free cargo space – as you can see, I did a somewhat incomplete Loop due to having only 36t of cargo capacity. As an aside, my Cobra is only somewhat upgraded, and a better ship will probably shave quite some time off the round trip.
Finally, be aware of the illegal nature of Leestian Evil Juice in Uszaa, and switch your destinations around so that you purchase from Uszaa before Leesti, to avoid any fines.