Tag Archives | Iridium

catamaran beach bahamas dinghies

Offshore Communications: Satellite or SSB?

Cruisers anchored off a small beach in the Exumas dinghy in for cocktails and chat while the sun sinks behind a distant cay. Most evenings in this idyllic spot new cruisers and old salts alike meet over plans to go fishing in the sound, the best time to avoid day-trippers in the Thunderball grotto, when […]

PW screenshot

Weather and communications on the passage

If you’re following along, you know we left Ascension Island a few day ago. Now, most of passages over time seem to top out around five days. We’ve had a few longer ones (especially in the Indian Ocean), but that’s pretty typical at the high end, and mostly they range closer to about three days. This passage, from […]

PW5

Iridium GO! with PredictWind for weather and more

About one year ago, we purchased an Iridium GO! satellite wifi unit. This was a big decision as it is a significant expense and we had been happy using HF radio for years for all offshore communications. Seeds of doubt about radio connections while crossing the Indian Ocean swayed our decision; we did not want […]

Indian Ocean GE track

Indian Ocean lookback: the best gear over ~7,000 miles

Sailing across the Indian Ocean made 2015 a big year for nautical miles under Totem’s keel:  6,901 of them, in fact, from the time we left Malaysia in February until we arrived in South Africa in October.  It had a little bit of everything: light winds. Big winds. Really big current! Weeks among uninhabited islands, and […]

PW route to RSA

Keeping current: ocean current data for passages

Ocean currents have been a significant factor for our Indian Ocean passages this year, and our upcoming passage to South Africa is no exception. On this morning’s SSB net, one boat after another chimed in about the strong foul current they’re experiencing off the Madagascar coast as they head towards South Africa. Most entered the […]

seychelles sunset

Southbound from Seychelles

Finally (FINALLY) we can leave: all the packages we’ve been waiting for are on board, after 18 bus rides and enough face time to be on a first-name basis with clerks in the post office, officials in the Seychelles Revenue Commission, EVEN a bus driver (total count: 18 bus rides). Clearance could have been done […]

Computer lessons

How use less internet data

Before we went cruising, we took unlimited internet access for granted. Traveling full time means relying on pre-paid plans for internet, which is almost always metered data, and that data can be really expensive sometimes. [above: Jamie gives lessons on a new computer to islanders in Papua New Guinea. Computers and the internet are part of life, even […]

Ch6_11- tablets for reading

The best apps for cruising

What are the best apps for sailing? What apps do cruisers actually use on their ipad / android to make life easier, safer, or more fun? There are a lot of “best apps for sailing” type lists out there (I just looked. Trust me). Honestly? The first thing that strikes me after scanning a few […]

Navadra Fiji

Getting online while cruising

How do you get online as an active cruiser? On one hand, the prospect of cruising means freedom from the always-on, always-connected world. Liberating, right? It can be. But if you’re like me, you might get kind of twitchy. I admit: the first year was hard. It was used to instant gratification for simple tasks. Before long, […]

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On-board communication: satellite phone or SSB?

Debating satellite vs SSB? Times change: this post has been superseded by an update in May 2017. Spoiler: a few years and a couple of oceans later, I can’t imagine not having our Iridium GO on board…and most cruisers now are skewing the same way, diminishing the 1:many value of radio. What’s better on board: […]

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