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Old 08-11-2014, 17:54   #31
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

It is just plain unrealistic to expect all given electronic tools to work perfectly all of the time. They can be very good, but they can also have problems: AND SUCH ARE A NORMAL PART OF SAILING!

What is really wrong here is that people have unrealistic expectations, and do not accept that it is normal for a sailor to not communicate, either due to personal, boat, or electronic issues. And then, people being what they are, do not appear to value this input when someone goes to the effort to try and explain.

Ann
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Old 08-11-2014, 17:55   #32
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Wonder why no one seems to remember threads like this one when the HF radio vs satellite comms issue is discussed?

Neither system is fault free, but the lack of feedback from the satellite systems means one is never sure that the message was sent or received... as in this case.

Jim
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Old 09-11-2014, 00:25   #33
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Well said, Ann & Jim.

Im thankful that the Sailor has appeared and is well.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
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Old 09-11-2014, 00:51   #34
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

We live in a push button of of instant communication. Due to many factors, that is not translated to the marine environment for 100% reliability. I have noticed that sailors see it as part of the sailing world, but for family and friends on shore, the concept of electronics not working reliably has not been grasped. It is not their fault simply because in their world, one can pick up a tablet, a phone, a computer, even a watch and communicate with anyone immediately.

We forget sometimes that "water" plus "boats" plus "distance" is not a natural concept for non sailing family or friends to grasp especially when tide or weather mess with estimations for arrival. or indeed if communications get lost or delayed.

Glad this worked out fine.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:56   #35
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

No way to be sure if there is a correlation but there have been numerous high energy solar flares (not a technical term) for the last 2-3 weeks. There was a fairly rare X class coronal mass ejection a few days ago. Resulting geomagnetic storms are predicted until Nov. 11. There is a huge sunspot pointed more or less toward Earth and it could still send out some really big particle streams. Follow space weather here:

SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids

Over the past month I have fielded more than one query about why different wireless communications systems that had been working perfectly for months have temporarily either stopped working or signal coverage has been altered significantly.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:47   #36
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

If I'm counting right, it seems this boat was incommunicado on Nov. 4, 5, 6, and 7, then restablished comms on Nov. 8. And during that span, our OP sent an SMS to the InReach. So that's 5 different episodes of a message not getting through. 5 out of 5.

Our SPOT, which is pretty primitive tech compared to the inReach, would falsely indicate a sent OK message maybe 1 out of 25 tries. We learned to leave it out exposed to the sky for 15 minutes beyond the flashing green light that indicated "sent," just to be sure all the redundant send attempts had a chance to go out.

So it seems either the solar weather is really overpowering right now, or the InReach may have a problem. Or . . . maybe the sailor forgot to update on a few days?
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:18   #37
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Please do not mix Spot with DeLorme. They are based on different networks. Spot is known to be patchy at the edges. DeLorme should not have blind spots. Pun unintended.

And DeLorme is a two way device (at least the new one). Was it impossible to sms the owner? Does he carry an older model?

On such a short passage, 48 hours delay in scheduled comms is by all means a sound reason get concerned. It was not a false alarm.

There was a period of very rough wx when an older High dissipated and the Westerly one kicked in, we got rain and high winds and all that.

It is a small boat too. Less than perfect for open water.

I already had one hand on the phone.

Just in case, should anybody need action in waters between Gibraltar and Canary Islands:

Web Oficial Salvamento MarĂ*timo

Call them and talk with them, if you ever need. Do not email them. Spain is not an email based culture.

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Old 09-11-2014, 07:07   #38
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
No way to be sure if there is a correlation but there have been numerous high energy solar flares (not a technical term) for the last 2-3 weeks.
I've just spent the past few weeks on baltic /uk delivery with the delivery company using spots for tracking, no problems on that boat , they must have about a dozen of them seeming to all work fine.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:23   #39
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Spot and Inreach use totally different technology (Globalstar vs. Iridium) so one system's performance may not correlate to the other.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:54   #40
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

I'm just glad he is OK. I hope his friends didn't get to many ulcers.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:58   #41
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Quote:
Originally Posted by weavis View Post
We live in a push button of of instant communication. Due to many factors, that is not translated to the marine environment for 100% reliability. I have noticed that sailors see it as part of the sailing world, but for family and friends on shore, the concept of electronics not working reliably has not been grasped. It is not their fault simply because in their world, one can pick up a tablet, a phone, a computer, even a watch and communicate with anyone immediately.

We forget sometimes that "water" plus "boats" plus "distance" is not a natural concept for non sailing family or friends to grasp especially when tide or weather mess with estimations for arrival. or indeed if communications get lost or delayed.

Glad this worked out fine.
Weavis, you're quite right that the non-sailing family and/or friends lack the background to understand, it's been obvious in many threads.

I just wonder how to communicate it to them in a way that will make them understand that it is too soon to panic. Something has happened to our ability to accept that things may be unknown. People used to understand that fishermen might not come back from a voyage, for instance.

Actually, I think we may understand that with soldiers, even now, but don't seem to extend that comprehension to non-extreme sports.

How could such an explanation be framed and have a chance of being taken in? Obviously, kvetching about it is not the way. [Bad me.]

I wonder if your paragraph would do it: "We forget sometimes that "water" plus "boats" plus "distance" is not a natural concept for non sailing family or friends to grasp especially when tide or weather mess with estimations for arrival. or indeed if communications get lost or delayed."

Ann
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Old 09-11-2014, 13:20   #42
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

It is a two edged knife.

Not to panic some say.

But then again, when help is needed, the sooner we "panic" the better for those in the boat!

So I say it is smart not to include on your tracker list people who may actually panic.

For people ashore, waiting: if in doubt, contact Search and Rescue authorities in your country, inform them of the situation and of your concerns.

b.
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Old 09-11-2014, 14:26   #43
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Weavis, you're quite right that the non-sailing family and/or friends lack the background to understand, it's been obvious in many threads.

I just wonder how to communicate it to them in a way that will make them understand that it is too soon to panic. Something has happened to our ability to accept that things may be unknown. People used to understand that fishermen might not come back from a voyage, for instance.

Actually, I think we may understand that with soldiers, even now, but don't seem to extend that comprehension to non-extreme sports.

How could such an explanation be framed and have a chance of being taken in? Obviously, kvetching about it is not the way. [Bad me.]

I wonder if your paragraph would do it: "We forget sometimes that "water" plus "boats" plus "distance" is not a natural concept for non sailing family or friends to grasp especially when tide or weather mess with estimations for arrival. or indeed if communications get lost or delayed."

Ann
Well written!
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:30   #44
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

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Originally Posted by algarveChris View Post
Hi, just joined this forum to seek advice:

I have a friend who is sailing single handed from Portugal (Algarve) and was using Delorme InReach satellite tracking once a day to plot his course. His plot / fix can be viewed by friends over the internet. He made the first two fixes but failed to log in on Tuesday evening and Wednesday. The tracking company Delorme confirm Monday was the last time he succesfully used the device. I left it one day, checked the grin files which showed weather in the are a building to 35 knots over Monday night / Tuesday. Checked with other friends and reported LKP to UK coast guard who can't do a lot though they said the would contact Portugal CG. Now the device may have malfunctioned or he may have gone overboard. Is there any advice out there. Eta in Canary Islands would be another 3+ days. I have spoken and given details to the ARC Rally people in the UK to forward to the ARC people in the Canaries in case a late arrival may be in the vicinity and could keep an eye out on radar and maybe vhf any ships / boats in the area of his Monday night fix, which was 165 miles West of CasaBlanca Morocco. Ref: 35.135060,-10.069570.
Yacht is a 28' Trapper 500 called Sarah white hull and sails on passage from Portimao Algarve to Gomera in the Spanish Canary Islands
Thanks.
Ps is there a better place to post this?
FINAL UPDATE - Thanks for all the comments / help. The skipper is fine having a great solo trip Portugal - Canaries - Cape Verde and recently has now set off across the Pond. The skipper told me that the Delorme in reach was working fine to his knowledge and he was surprised to share of the concern and lack of a fix. Since he found out the device has piloted the fix fine. I can't be sure but I think it is possible that he wasn't using it correctly and I know him to be both diligent and sensible so maybe Delorme need to double check the clarity of their instructions and skippers test run their new toys a bit longer. Anyway its good to know that the CG acted well and I would like to acknowledged and thank all concerned for that. Are these things of use? Yes I think so but as has been said there are teething problems and good instructions and pre trip testing will go a long way to minimising them. As I say my friend is a very capable single handed sailor who was trying to use this device to reassure friends and loved ones. Thanks again
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