|Everyone should cruise with at least one|
kid, the skinnier the better. Exhibit A:
Here Eleanor runs cable for me so
I can install our VHF remote in the
cockpit. She squeezed through one
of those drawer cut-outs to get back
where I needed the cable.
But these past couple weeks, after admiring the way Kyra was able to post a report on the Nyon blog every day of their passage across the Pacific, I urged Windy to finally get fluent with our radio so we could do the same on our trip north this summer. After all, I imagine there will be lots of time when we won’t have internet connectivity.
And what she did today is very cool.
She plugged our laptop into the mic jack of the SSB, tuned to a broadcast being sent from Hawaii, and our cabin filled with the beeping, static-noise of an office fax machine.“Watch,” she said.
Soon, a beautiful satellite image of Vancouver Island and northern Washington state was rendered on the glowing screen, line-by-line. We all stared, holding our breath. Then maps of forecast weather and waves were slowly--miraculously--reproduced before us.“Whoa,” I whispered, much like when Nemo first reached the edge of the reef.
Now even though this is like black magic to the crew of Del Viento, I totally acknowledge that receiving weather faxes via short-wave radio is absolutely nothing to most other cruisers--basic, basic stuff.But there’s more.
In a flash of genius that reminds me why I married her, she downloaded some app on the iPad, set a pair of ear buds next to the mic jack on the iPad, and reproduced the same thing there.She says that somewhere in our lockers is a different sound card she needs to dig out and play with before we can send and receive email via her PC, but I think she’s caught her groove and it’s clear sailing from here. Soon we'll be equipped for getting and sending the info we need when we’re off the beaten track. You'll know we've reached that nirvana when you see one of those TESTING, DOES THIS WORK? posts, a milestone indeed.
|Here's my wife, the magician, at her nav station.|
"How have you gotten weather info previously?" some
might ask. The answer is that since we started, we've
nearly always had internet access available, at least
prior to beginning a passage, and we've simply come this
far by the grace of www.passageweather.com, and
the buoy data at http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/--we've
infrequently relied exclusively on VHF-broadcast
weather, even when available.