Monday, May 7, 2012

Logistics of Communication

We are now all checked out of the States! Of course, Chris has "one last project" as we've found our new charge controller interferes with our HF radio (we have put magnets and wired an on/off switch and will have to test it while underway) and Shawn is writing up this "one last internet based blog post". The integrated VHS, AIS, GPS, and winlink connections (including Shawn's new call sign and weather GRIB file downloads) have all been tested. Sea berths are set up, navigation station is clear for use (it has been a while since we have been this organized). Still to do: final freshwater top off, fresh water spray down and scrub topsides and ourselves, put away Hawaiian charts and pull out South Pacific charts, start cooking planned passage food, final diesel top off at the fuel dock. Weather check, again. We continue to see the alluring calmer winds over a week away toward the end of the forecast period. We could head out to anchor tonight and see what tomorrow brings, but the closest acceptable sand patch that we know, Kealakekua, is nearly 15-nm away, Rocky is currently nestled in the lazarette with our teak plug tight in our haus pipe and daylight is drawing to a close. So, we will wait here in the security of Honokohau Harbor one more night still finishing our tasks, dining at the Harbor House, and snuggling down early. Assuming the weather forecast holds, tomorrow as the day dawns, we will bring the docklines aboard, top off our diesel tank at the harbor fuel dock and unplug from land life once again.

Once we are more than a few miles off shore we will no longer have cell service and therefore, we have set our phone plan to be suspended and we will be out of range from internet as well. However, this does not mean that we have no means of communication... We are very grateful to have an HF radio aboard.

(1) You can connect with us by e-mailing our address. To be safe, cc one of our land e-mails in case it doesn't get through to our shipboard address, and we'll get it when we next have internet. Remember that this is coming to us via HF radio waves, so please, no attachments and also, erase the original message if sending a reply to shorten the message that we have to download (remember how slow the old modems were? It is similar and often slower). That said, please feel free to write as much as you want, text downloads quickly, and we love to hear from you while under way. You are our connection to the world outside of our sailing bubble!

(2) We will be checking in each day on the PacSea Net. This is a HAM radio net that meets every day on 14.300 MHz at 0300 Zulu and runs at least an hour often two checking in boats all over the Pacific Ocean. If you don’t happen to have an HF radio or receiver, you can still follow along by checking their most updated roll call and see the conditions we reported when we last checked in (look for KI6MTD near the end of the list). Or if you are really adventurous you might try to listen through your computer. We haven’t tested this, but their website gives this option, let us know if it works.

(3) You can also see our position on a map by checking our Winlink position reports or our Yotreps position reports, both of which we have put links to on Our Current Track page.

(4) We will attempt to upload a daily blog post while underway, but that depends on conditions at sea, so no promises, but look forward to it as a pleasant surprise if we manage it.

Next planned stop, 965-nm, is Fanning Island, Kiribati! Much love to you all, keep in touch!


  1. Fair winds and following seas - we will be following your adventures. Hope to catch up with you again someday somewhere!