Monday, August 4, 2014

Christmas in August!

As so it begins, the time in our cruising transition where we've decided to invest and purchase a few electronic conveniences. While not everyone chooses to have the same equipment (the options are many!), the list below is a great start to having extensive safety equipment aboard:
Equipment shipment to Vermont!
We've gotten advice on what instruments are ideal to have onboard, so here they are in no particular order:

Automatic Identification System (AIS) - this digital tracking system will help us track the current location, speed and direction of any surrounding vessel (that also carries an AIS system) and allows us to transmit/exchange our positioning on the water at any given moment to other AIS-equipped ships. We will sync the AIS with our digital nautical charts in order to change our course based on the position of larger ships (otherwise known as the "Tonnage Rule"). We are not required to own an AIS by the USCG, but it helps us to be more aware and competent cruisers in any busy channel and entering/exiting a harbor. It turns out we need an FCC license to operate this system internationally (in Canada). We received the AIS within a miraculous 3-day ship time from New Zealand. Next, we'll get the paperwork submitted to the FCC in order to operate the AIS system legally with our unique-MMSI Number.

Bad Elf GPS Pro - this is a really cool GPS Receiver that fits in the palm of my hand. Like any GPS device (like the one on your phone, but more accurate), it gives a precise Long/Lat of our location that can be synced with a bluetooth device. In our case, we'll link our Bad Elf GPS location with our digital nautical charts to locate our positioning and create a course. Once we get moving it will also measure our speed (in knots). Wonder if I can use it to go running?!

PowerGen Dual USB charger - this little DC charger packs a punch, housing 2 USB outlets that can charge any device under the sun. We'll charge our handheld GPS, laptop, phones (and if I'm lucky, a blender for smoothies!) on our housebank batteries. What a great little tool to have on hand! 

Iridium SatPhone (2nd hand) - a "Zack Morris"-like cell phone we can use while offshore to call mom and dad using a phone card! We wouldn't use this phone to make an emergency call. We bought this used phone from Rupp's mom - where Rupp used the phone during his sailing trip in 2006-07. Thanks Joanne!

I am no expert on electronics, charts or radios, but these devices will support our navigation skills, know-how and whereabouts. By no means will we rely solely on electronics to get by, but these new-age devices will be a wonderful addition to paper charts, Mother Nature and where we wish to float about.

Also, a shout out to Nate's dad for being a delivery and holding site for our non-immediate possessions that will be stored aboard mid-September. All packages have arrived safely!

For now,


  1. I love Boat Christmases at anytime of year, well, getting the packages...the bills/charges I don't really care for!

  2. Enjoying your updates, from Denver! Love, The Lisseks

  3. Beverly StrombergAugust 5, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    Hi there...It's so nice to read your updates! How cool to have "technology" help guide you. Looking forward to your arrival at your "new home"..Happy trails and sails to you.....Love Aunt Bev