With a few hours to go before we set off across the Atlantic, I thought that I should post a few words on how anyone ashore can follow our progress. And how we can be contacted. But first, I feel I need to add a word of caution regarding the reliability of electronic equipment in harsh environments and also maybe a word of comfort to anyone that may worry about us as we embark on what we hope will be an epic adventure.
Crossing the Atlantic is a serious undertaking and not something that anyone should attempt without preparation. In fact, I feel that I have prepared myself for this for most of my life. Saoirse also well prepared. She is in excellent condition and has been equipped with an extensive list of spare parts and safety equipment. Most of which we never expect to find a need for.
I also want to add that whilst this indeed is our first Atlantic crossing, we are in no way unique. In fact, there are many boats in this marina that will complete the same crossing this year. Many of them much smaller and less prepared than Saoirse. There are probably well over a thousand pleasure boats a year that cross the Atlantic in the same direction. And not so long ago, this was the only way to get to the New World.
Recent technical development also allow us to stay in touch anywhere on the planet. Even if we are far from any cell phone networks. Saoirse is equipped with an IridiumGo satellite router that allows us to stay in contact via Iridium’s 66 different satellites that orbit the globe. Granted, the network is a lot slower than the ones that most of us are use to from home but it allows us to download weather information, communicate via text and make emergency calls. Our contract includes unlimited data use but I want to emphasise the word ’emergency’ when it comes to voice calls. We only get 150 minutes per month and this can not be extended at sea.
The router also has a tracking function that sends our position to the website below. With two hour intervals as long as the system is activated and connected. It also allows us to send messages updating you on how we are doing. Something that we hope to do every day. But here I want to appeal to anyone that may worry if we disappear for a while. A lot of things can go wrong with the device, the subscription and the network. Please do not assume the worst just because we lose connection. I know many cruisers that worry about people at home just because they have problems connecting.
You will also be able to send us messages via the link below. It is free of charge but has a limitation on the amount of characters that you can send. You enter the number of our satellite phone and your email address. Please note that ALL FOUR OF US WILL BE ABLE TO READ THE MESSAGE. Also, please check your JUNK MAIL for responses as they tend to end up there.
Our satellite phone number is 881651403156.
With that, we will cast off soon. See you on the other side…