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Old 27-03-2016, 13:45   #1
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Satellite Communicators

Products such as In Reach and SPOT provide a very affordable way of keeping in touch. Typically they’ll send a position (and some text) every, say 12 hours. I’ve recently been on a couple of offshore trips where the skipper has organised the person back home receiving the positions to then post the position on a Facebook page. This way friends/family can monitor the voyage. And that’s great so long as all goes well. And I see many sailing people doing something similar. And of course sites such as pangolin.co.nz have been providing the YOTREPS service for years.

I tried very hard to explain to my family that we’re going to be well offshore for at least a couple of weeks and that electronics fail at sea, so if positions stop coming in don’t worry. Most found this difficult to understand or appreciate. They’re so used to being in touch with the world at every moment of the day. The idea that there are places/reasons that a cell phone won’t work, let alone a satellite phone or communicator stops functioning seems to be quite unfathomable to some people (especially under 30).

But the question I couldn’t give my wife an answer to was “well, OK that's understood, but after how many days of zero contact do I start to worry and report you as missing?”

Any thoughts/suggestions?
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Old 27-03-2016, 13:58   #2
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Re: Satellite Communicators

Hire, borrow or buy a backup sat phone.

Keeps all at home happy.
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Old 27-03-2016, 15:08   #3
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Re: Satellite Communicators

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulajayne View Post
Hire, borrow or buy a backup sat phone.
Keeps all at home happy.
Same issues: gets wet, dropped over the side, breaks for whatever reason.
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Old 27-03-2016, 15:46   #4
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Re: Satellite Communicators

If all your electronics go overboard at once, there's probably a good reason for them to get concerned.
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Old 27-03-2016, 15:52   #5
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Re: Satellite Communicators

Do you have an EPIRB?

Delorme stops working but no EPIRB = I'm good
Delorme stops working and the Coast Guard gets a phone call = Oh crap
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Old 28-03-2016, 06:26   #6
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Re: Satellite Communicators

I would tell them not to expect to hear from you until you reach your destination. Give them an outside estimate for when that might be. Let them know that if they get ANY updates along the way, that is just a lucky happenstance, and if those updates stop at any point they should not worry or call anyone. Only if you are significantly overdue at your destination should they start to worry.
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Old 28-03-2016, 09:14   #7
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Re: Satellite Communicators

Wrong on the inreach. It sends a position report each ten minutes. Plotted to a web page set up for you on the delorme website. Our family is all following our trip. And we can text with it 24/7, linked to an iPad. I also get spotcast ocens weather and wave reports every four hours for the next 72 hours. The weather service is less than $10 per month. The inreach has several plans. We are on unlimited texting on a month by month contract. It stops when we do. No annual fee.
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