Sunday, May 1, 2022

Communication at Sea

Being in the middle of the world's largest ocean makes communication both difficult and necessary. In the days of yore sailors could go months without any news from the outside world. Now in our world of modern connectivity there is the expectation of instant communication, even 1000's of miles at sea. We now use a variation of a satellite phone called the Iridium Go. The Iridium Go is a small, digital, black box attached to an external antenna and we communicate with it through our tablets. It is through this setup that we get regular weather updates (very important) and communicate with the world.
 We can get both short texts and longer emails, when the device is working properly, but this has been a problem recently. Before leaving I send out the address to send us short messages. I did get several messages, and then they stopped. If you have sent me a message and I did not respond to it, it's because I never got it. I was wondering why everyone was being so silent, and then I figured it out. If you sent us a message and we did not respond, please resend it to svrhapsody22 at I am not writing it out fully because of bots searching for addresses and I don't want them filling up my sat phone inbox with car warranty issues. In addition I have lost the ability to add comments to our tracking page: but I believe that our position on this page is still correct.

Currently we have a group of about 8 boats all traveling the 3000 mile journey from the Galapagos to the Marquesas, all exchanging daily emails, sharing our positions, weather reports, and trials and tribulations. These are not boats that are traveling together, they are simply boats that are traveling the same path. Each boat left the Galapagos at a different time and they travel at different speeds and are stretched out over 1000 miles. We believe that the closest one to us is currently about 180 miles away.

This particular group began forming when a call was put out that Blue Beryl, a cruising boat in our group, had been dismasted and was anyone close enough to render assistance? Several boats in our current group had emails for each other, and then other boats were gradually added as we went along. Apparently the news has hit the mainstream media and if you search for 'Blue Beryl', or 'sailing boat dismasted Pacific Ocean' you may be able to find it. If you do find it, let me know whats been reported, as we do not have the internet to search for it.

Several boats have been able to sail close enough to pass supplies over to Blue Beryl. Fuel, medication and warm brownies are among the items that have been delivered to them. They have made a makeshift mast and have fashioned a sail for it. They are moving along at about half speed slowly making their way to the Marquesas. They are currently about 300 miles ahead of us, and north of our line, so we may not intersect their path. We will continue to communicate with them and their spirits seem to be lifting as the days progress and the distance to their destination lessens.

In our group there are also several boats that have had chafing problems with lines, one other also had a sail come down two days before our code zero did. (See last post). Because of this we were in discussion with each other, talking about checking our halyard. Unfortunately we had this discussion too late and our inspection of the line happened at deck level when it had already fallen.

It is nice to have communication with other boats out here, doing the same thing we are doing, facing similar difficulties and sharing similar experiences. Most of the people on these boats have not met each other, but we will. We will all be in the same harbor in the Marquesas all arriving within a week or two of each other. We will seek each other out to continue to exchange stories and put faces to these people we will have been communicating with daily for several weeks. Recently someone in the group referenced "the brotherhood of the sea". While I understand the sentiment behind the saying, we are all out here experiencing similar things and offering help when we can, I still wish there was a more inclusive term. Someone suggested "crazy sailor's support team". I think I like that!

Hoping to hear from you.
1675 nm to go

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

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