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Old 16-01-2011, 07:30   #1
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pirate Spot Messenger

Have recently purchased a Spot Messenger whilst attending the London Boatshow. The idea is to enable friends & family to keep an eye on what we are doing whilst cruising the Mediterrean. Anybody on the Forum have any experience of this piece of kit.
Any observations would be very much appreciated.
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Old 16-01-2011, 07:57   #2
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Let's hope they launch those extra sats
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Old 16-01-2011, 08:09   #3
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Take a look at the Sittononthebeach.com blog. The Sittons left Tx and are now in the Bahamas. Their Spot plots can be viewed through the link at the bottom of their blog. Pretty nice for folks wishing to follow their travels. Seems to work well at least in this part of the World, although I don't know the full area covered by Spot.
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Old 16-01-2011, 10:43   #4
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Ian--

Take a look at the "Similar Threads" pane at the very bottom of this page. You will see there are a number of threads and there have been extensive discussions of the SPOT System. It's a good piece of equipment for what it does.

FWIW...
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Old 16-01-2011, 11:50   #5
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when I take my classes on sea kayak expeditions in Baja, I use SPOT to track our progress. My students, at their option, share the link to my SPOT site with parents, boyfriends, whatever. That way they are able to observe our daily progress on Google Earth. It works okay as long as you remember to send the daily "okay" message so as not to create undue anxiety on the other end.
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Old 16-01-2011, 11:57   #6
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It worked great for us from CT to FL. Well worth the money spent...
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Old 16-01-2011, 12:26   #7
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we have used it extensively for 2 seasons so far.

You can save your trips at their website - spotadventures.com

Here is my spotadventures page with all our trips
Spot Adventures

one of our trips as an example
2010 Plymouth and Provincetown Sail - Sailing trip - SpotAdventures

(you may need to 'refresh' the page so the map/chart zooms down to the right level). You can include pictures along the route. It has statistics on your journey..and an area to tell your story about the trip.

We have the spot 1. They now have the spot-2. Very similar. They promote faster time to aquire a signal and better sensitivity. Ours works flawlessly. THe spot 2 takes AAA batteries instead of AA (like the spot 1) so the battery life is a LOT shorter than the older model. Still should get a season out of a set depending on how much you use it.

If offered, get the insurance when you first sign up. It is a LOT more expensive if you decide to buy it later.
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Old 16-01-2011, 12:34   #8
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I have one and like mine!
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Old 16-01-2011, 12:49   #9
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Thank you all for your responses. Looking forward to using our Spot when we leave Almerimar on the Costa del Sol & heading for our Summer cruising area of the Balearic Islands at the end of March.
Ian & Bobbie Streten
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Old 16-01-2011, 17:45   #10
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Generally good stuff but the web interface slow and lacking. I used two pieces of competition stuff and their interfaces were worse yet.

Since you already have one I would say a good buy.

barnie
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Old 18-01-2011, 11:26   #11
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One minor heads up (well one heads up and another tip):

Their tracking page only stores a week (and it's a $ub$cription $ervice, too), so it's only good while you're actually using it - if you leave it on all the time (well, turn it on every 24 hours as is required! - making you have to remember when you set it during a passage in order to keep it continuous), all the next-up spots just layer over each other at anchor (tinyurl.com/flyingpigspot for my current example).

Tip: you can use a Facebook address as one of your "OK message" recipients; FB will put up your location each time you do that, which will lead clickers to a map of where you are.

We really like it because, in the Bahamas, our 7' draft frequently requires a bit of navigation to avoid the shallows, and clicking the "hybrid" in the top right corner will show you a googleearth view overlaid on the map view. Our track shows us avoiding all that white water (sand close to the surface)...

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Old 18-01-2011, 11:46   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
One minor heads up (well one heads up and another tip):

Their tracking page only stores a week (and it's a $ub$cription $ervice, too), so it's only good while you're actually using it - if you leave it on all the time (well, turn it on every 24 hours as is required! - making you have to remember when you set it during a passage in order to keep it continuous), all the next-up spots just layer over each other at anchor (tinyurl.com/flyingpigspot for my current example).

Tip: you can use a Facebook address as one of your "OK message" recipients; FB will put up your location each time you do that, which will lead clickers to a map of where you are.

We really like it because, in the Bahamas, our 7' draft frequently requires a bit of navigation to avoid the shallows, and clicking the "hybrid" in the top right corner will show you a googleearth view overlaid on the map view. Our track shows us avoiding all that white water (sand close to the surface)...

L8R

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One can, of course, set up a SPOT Adventures page (free) where one's tracks are preserved until one deletes them.

FWIW...
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Old 18-01-2011, 11:56   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
One can, of course, set up a SPOT Adventures page (free) where one's tracks are preserved until one deletes them.

FWIW...
link, please? I'd never heard of that...

L8R

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Old 18-01-2011, 12:24   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
One minor heads up (well one heads up and another tip):

Their tracking page only stores a week (and it's a $ub$cription $ervice, too), so it's only good while you're actually using it - if you leave it on all the time (well, turn it on every 24 hours as is required! - making you have to remember when you set it during a passage in order to keep it continuous), all the next-up spots just layer over each other at anchor (tinyurl.com/flyingpigspot for my current example).

Tip: you can use a Facebook address as one of your "OK message" recipients; FB will put up your location each time you do that, which will lead clickers to a map of where you are.

We really like it because, in the Bahamas, our 7' draft frequently requires a bit of navigation to avoid the shallows, and clicking the "hybrid" in the top right corner will show you a googleearth view overlaid on the map view. Our track shows us avoiding all that white water (sand close to the surface)...

L8R

Skip
Actually spot holds the data for 30 days. only the last 7 are shown on your spot home page. You can save the data forever if you move it to spotadventures (free)

Yes you have to reset the tracking every 24 hours. I find that annoying too. But what can ya do!
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Old 18-01-2011, 12:27   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
link, please? I'd never heard of that...

L8R

Skip

Check out my first post above. Here is a link to one of our 'spotadventures' 2010 Plymouth and Provincetown Sail - Sailing trip - SpotAdventures (You may need to 'refresh' the page to get the course track to show up on the page)

It will show the course, trip statistics (speed), overlay pictures on the course (and they lay down automatically), keep a journal of your trip. Very nice service (free, part of your subscription)
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