11 March 2018
We probably rival a nuclear submarine of five years ago with the technology we have on Uproar. I don't think we are unique among cruising boats. Years ago, cruisers exchanged recipes, sailing strategies, bottom paint suggestions or favorite anchorages. Now, we exchange technology. One would think with a Purdue degree in Mechanical Engineering I would be up-to-date with technology. No f&W)Eing way! I am a Ludite compared to my cruising friends and especially my wife, Lisa.
We spent the afternoon and evening on Skabenga with Chris and Karen. We both have initiated Iridium Go (dubed by Mac Magazine as Iridium No!) This is a satellite system to send and receive Emails and important weather information. Predictwind is the website that broadcasts its magic on Iridium Go. With a substantial donation, we will be able to receive weather information that is particular to Uproar. Here's what they offer. We plug in the polar diagrams (specific performance data for our boat) and the will custom tailor a route that we can sail for optimum speed toward our destination.
Remember, the rhum line is the dumb line! Rhum line is the straight distance between point A and point B. Why not sail this simple rhum line? Predictwind has the answer. Wind strength, direction and current play a part in our passage. They will tell us, "Just point your boat a bit south, when you hit the equator, turn right a bit and then you will sail directly to Galapagos." If it were only that simple. Iridium Go clearly states, "Set up your account at least four days before departure." Why? When you plug everything in, you have little chance of it working! That's why!
Lisa, Karen and Chris have struggled over three pitchers of Pain Killers (don't ask) and the debate about Apple or PC. I am blissfully ignorant. The result is that we spent an two hours downloading movies from Skabenga, Zensation and some other boats. Lisa did sort out our Iridium Go account but it is not password protected. Perhaps that will be rectified tomorrow. She believes we have the proper files for Open CPN navigation software.
OK, here is a rundown of our technology:
Surface Pro 3
HP laptop with 1 terabyte drive (new)
Ipad basic (new)
Two Dual GPS receivers (high tech aircraft grade)
Project FI Google phone
5 or 6 portable drives of 1 to 3 terabytes
Open quad band phone
Garmin handheld GPS
Garmin chartplotter (backup without current chart software, it does give position though)
Raymarine E7 chartplotters 2 with new backup. With Cmap charting software for every area we sail.
Open CPN software with charts as backup chartplotter.
Navionics software on Ipad backup chartplotter
Four Kindles (God forbid we should be without a Kindle)
OK, it all mostly works. Cruisers used to meet on the beach to exchange paperbacks. Then they would exchange DVDs. Now we trade hard drives and download movies and Ebooks. I bet we have 50 years of movies, series, and books to read. But that's not enough. I still crave MotoGP racing. Last year in the Caribbean, I learned how to download MotoGP races, hours after completion. Just find the race on Youtube. Insert "ss" after the "." after www. This takes you to a site where you can download Youtube content. I did! I was able to enjoy all MotoGP races. Well, in the middle of the South Pacific our Iridium Go will only download small weather files and simple emails.
Weather info is perhaps more than simple. We can input the polar diagrams for Uproar (specific performance data for First 42s7). The Predictwind program will look at our boat's sailing capability and tell us exactly where we should point her for optimum speed toward our destination. Sure, it may tell me where to steer but will I listen? We shall see. I have a Davis model 15 sextant. I know a bit about trigonometry and where to point it.