Day 95 My ham radio network 5/12/13

Dec 5, 2013 Position: 35.51 S, 111.47 E

My first day in the Indian ocean is drawing to a close. Just finished my dinner, ham stew with rice, very tasty and easy to prepare. I am always hungry at the end of the day and dinner is a highlight. For dessert I had some of my mom’s Christmas cake with marzipan icing. Miles Davis is on the iPod keeping it mellow. It’s been a very good day. A large flying fish landed at my feet early this morning so I cleaned it and cooked it up for breakfast. Lots of sunshine drying us out all afternoon. This morning was very special being able to talk to Marylou for an unusually long  time without losing the sat phone connection. However short our sat phone connection, the connection through our hearts is always very strong and it is what keeps us going over the thousands of miles separating us.

I had a heavenly morning snooze for about 3/4 of an hour. The sound of water rushing past our hull lulled me to sleep. I woke with a burst of energy that I used to get many small jobs done. I gybed the main around noon and took the main down as the wind had filled in nicely and we were doing 6 knots under the jib alone. A couple of the slides at the top of the main needed to be reconnected to the the main sail so I did that as well. I had a very nice radio sked at 08:00 Zulu (4:30 local) on 14.140 mhz with a QSY up to 14.150 to escape some foreign invaders. Cliff ZL4AS is my main contact in NZ and I usually talk to Harvey ZL2HN whose granddaughter Jessica is pictured with him on blog, and Peter ZL2MS who is the first NZ ham I spoke to on my first voyage in 2007. Ron ZL4RMF is another operator from my first voyage as well. Talking to these men is like talking to old friends and their matter of fact, down to earth conversations about every day occurrences bring some normalcy to my everyday life. It is only for 15 to 30 minutes depending on how much power I have, but they are always there for me and I am very grateful for their company and conversation.

After talking to NZ, I gave my 73s to the group and QSY’ed to 7.070 lsb and connected with Alek in Binningup on the coast in Western Australia. Alek VK6APK along with Barry VK6WF were my original Australian ham contacts back in 2007 and as with the NZ group it is wonderful to talk to them again. Alek is a wonderful character and a great supporter as is Barry. Both these gentlemen kid me mercilessly in their very unique Australian way. Alek takes his car down to the beach and points the headlights out to sea and asks me on the radio if I can see him. I am of course a thousand miles away but nevertheless I ask him to put his high beams on and encourage him by telling him that of course I can see him. Barry is an absolute marvel as he is a white cane operator and was the first volunteer operator who stepped up when I was asking for support as I passed Australia on my last voyage in 07. As I sail further west, I gradually sail out of range of the NZ operators and the Australians Alek and Barry pick me up and pass on my daily report to MaryLou and Ron Kolody VE7BGK. Ron is responsible for organizing my ham network for my last voyage.

Ron is always there, working behind the scenes and keeping the network humming from his base in Vancouver. He was my instructor and helped me a great deal to become a qualified ham operator. I am blessed by the number of people who have volunteered to support me on my voyage and I am very grateful to all of them. One day MaryLou and I would very much like to meet them all in person and thank them for their loyalty and support. The sun is setting. It was a very good first day in the Indian Ocean. 

Note: On this day, to mark the passing of Nelson Mandela, I want to add these words to Glenn’s post tonight. Fitting, I thought.  

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” 

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” 

Course 275 T Speed 7 knots Wind S 20 knots Waves S 3-4 m  Cloud 70% Temp 17 C Baro 1011 Miles in last 24 hours: 137 nm Volts 13.80


  1. Hi Glenn,
    It’s Sunday night here …very cold, about -3. For Victoria, that is nippy.
    I got out on my mountain bike today…icy, but so nice to be in the woods….Mom, Babs, Hugh and Alex are here for dinner tonight. We have the fire lit, so its nice and cozy…

  2. Pat and Fred Lark says

    Hi Glenn,

    It is -34 C BUT feels like -43 C. Just saying. Happy sailing. Keeping an eye on you as always. Sending a big hug to Marylou and so happy she can connect via sat phone.

    Pat and Fred

  3. Susan Bassett says

    Wonderful Post! So glad the radio is there to keep you connected!
    Sending fair winds your way!

  4. Dama Hanks says

    Nice tribute to Mandela, Marylou; and wonderful words for Glenn on this journey. Mandela’s passing will be especially poignant as Glenn nears South Africa and the Cape of Good Hope. God speed!

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