Communications

Day 7 Saturday, Sept 12 @ 09:28 40.20 N, 130.31 W

Glenn is experiencing challenges with his communications systems which means that his updates via email have been sparse. We are working on helping him sort out the issues and hopefully he will be able to provide regular updates soon.

He has a handheld GPS device on board which, when working, gives his latest position. Click here to see Glenn’s position on a map or visit the WHERE IS GLENN NOW? section of the home page.

The square miles of smoke in the image above totals 963,269. That estimate has been computed using the measurement tool within the NASA Worldview application. Credits: NASA Worldview

Visit the Earth Nullschool website to see an animated weather map.

On-board communications

Communication is a very important element of all my voyages. The first voyage in 1997 in our 26 foot Haida Sannu II started with a single-handed leg of 4500 nautical miles to the Marquesas. My only form of communication was a VHF radio with visual range of about 20 nautical miles. I spoke with one ship – the USS Force 6. After several attempts to connect and being buzzed by a helicopter from the Force 6, which I could only just see on the distant horizon, the captain came on the air and kindly relayed a phone message to MaryLou back in Victoria. She was at work and through a land line at her desk she received this surprise message from the captain who reported my position and that all was well. She didn’t hear from me again for four weeks when I arrived in Nuku Hiva when I rowed ashore and used a landline. That experience set the scene for future voyages. I definitely needed a better way to communicate with home if I was going to be away for long periods of time. Ham radio was my choice.

The initial outlay for the radio and installation communication was inexpensive and I could send and receive email through a program known as Winlink to anyone in the world. For my upcoming voyage I am still using ham radio with an upgraded Winlink connection. The upgrade required a password and online reregistration. Although this should have been very simple, it has proved to be beyond my technical skills. My daughter Claire kindly volunteered to come to my rescue. We spent several hours changing passwords and trying to go from one screen to the next and used several “help” options. In the end I called my ham instructor Ron for help. He is one of those people you have on speed dial. He waded in with that keen analytical mind and after many sessions on the phone and me going back and forth to the boat we called upon Loring Kutchins, a fellow ham operator and with his experience the problem is very close to being solved. This small glitch has caused a delay in my planned departure. It’s important for me to feel confident my radio works before I leave.

I motored around to the Oak Bay marina and topped up my fuel tanks yesterday. I will have 45 gallons of diesel on board, 35 in my main tank and two five gallon jerry cans. I also filled up my water tanks the other day and after I noticed my bilge pump coming on every half hour or so and realized I had a leak. This will require me to open up the two settees on either of the main saloon and see what I can find. All this takes time and makes it a little difficult to answer that so often asked question on the wharf “When is departure day Glenn?” My usual reply is, “When I’m ready”. Tomorrow is our 38th wedding anniversary so I won’t be leaving tomorrow!

My 12 dozen eggs arrive Friday, so not till I get those either.  But probably early next week provided there are no more surprises. Stay tuned.

Cheers, Glenn     

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