A few quick things that should help you...
1) Sailmail (and the Airmail software) already has significant compression
and e-mail protection software
....and should do you well, all by itself....whether using Airmail on HF radio
and PACTOR modem
, or using thru Iridium...
I doubt you will find anything else is needed...
2) Remember that depending on what weather
info/forecasts you're after, you need to remember that much of what "everyone" downloads (whether from Iridium or Sailmail/PACTOR), are the raw computer model data (aka GRIB files), rather than the synoptic charts
/ weather forecasts prepared by humans (aka "wefax charts", etc.)...
So, whatever weather info/forecasts you choose to use, please remember that GRIB files / GRIB charts
are just the raw computer model data...and that you do have access to real human forecasts (from seasoned marine
meteorologists), either direct from WeFax broadcasts or via saildocs...
Also, Remember to test your HF-DSC capability too....you do have a separate DSC receive antenna, yes??
And, please make sure that your EPIRB is properly registered and in good working order...
VOICE WEATHER BROADCASTS (although not as good as the wefax charts, these are easy to get)
(check NMN, Virginia and NMG, New Orleans
....for wide area High Seas forecasts, and for "tropical N. Atlantic" Offshore
HF WEFAX WEATHER BROADCASTS (NMG, New Orleans
, will be your primary WeFax station)
Marine Radiofax charts
New Orleans WeFax
Radiofax Charts - New Orleans
Radiofax Charts - Boston
USCG HF Voice
3) In 45 years of HF radio
experience (using, installing, troubleshooting, and especially teaching/training), the best approach to HF radio
comms is to learn / perfect your HF radio
operation on Voice communications
first...before even attempting digital comms (whether PACTOR
So, please learn/perfect SSB Voice comms first....and then work
on HF-digital (PACTOR, etc.), and HF-DSC...
Since you're in port and have internet
access, please have a look at these video playlists (and you can of course, download these videos, store 'em in your computer, and play 'em when you need 'em to better understand how-to-use the radio)
HF-DSC and HF-SSB Voice
Maritime HF Comms
M-802 Instruction Videos
4) Make sure your M-802's internal speech compressor
is turned On and your radio, tuner, and antennas are all in good working order, before you head
Have a look at this recent thread here, from another Canary island sailor...
Remember to test your HF-DSC capability too....you do have a separate DSC receive antenna, yes??
And, please have a look at these stickies here, right at the top of the Marine Electronics
5) You may also wish to check into the SSCA Atlantic Radio Net on 12.350mhz, at 2130z, daily...
Also, be sure to tune in to the BBC on 12095 and 6195 (6095?), and a few other freqs....I hear 'em fine here in Florida
, and you get them loud 'n clear there and all across the Atlantic...
And, once you're near and in the Caribbean
, check out the OCC Caribbean
Here are some other HF radio Nets...
East Coast Cruising Nets
SSB Nets & Frequencies
Once again the Caribbean Radio Net - the "Caribbean voice of the OCC" will continue through the Winter season beginning on 1 December. The net will operate with different daily hosts (usually), from Monday to Saturday. The net starts at 0730 local Caribbean time - 1130 GMT- on 6227 kHz USB. After receiving all possible check ins on this frequency the net will then switch to 4027 kHz, this will be on or after approx 0745, when further contact from more distant boats may be possible. The OCC net aims to keep members in touch, share up to date information on Harbours and facilities throughout the Eastern Caribbean.
Simon Julien (OCC Roving RC - Caribbean)
I hope this helps...