Paul,I updated the post(turned smileys off).
for(i; i<8; i++)Serial1.print(READ_DATA);
I am using Arduino 1.0.
Yes, I did an independent test at 38400 sending / receiving to the mega serial port, seemed to work fine.
It looks to me the Serial1.flush is not discarding the remaining 76 00 32 00 00.
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via Egeo 16