FROM 1-28. How Low To Go? Towards 45°S

Nov 05, 2005 - 0700hrs UTC │Salute to the people who run Sailmail

0700hrs 05 Nov 2005 UTC 40’13”S 039’05”E Ref 521

This week’s Salute.

Imagine, please, how this venture might have progressed. Berrimilla finishes the S2H on New Year’s Day, 2005, 4 of the crew go home and Pete and Alex spend 10 days stocking the boat, have a farewell drink with some friends at Bellerive, clear Customs, phone their families and disappear for 9 days, to reappear, battered and bruised in Dunedin. They stay there for a few days and set off again, to reappear inPort Stanley56 odd days later. A few days more and away, to reappear inFalmouth71 days later, whence they phone Janet Grosvenor at RORC for the Fastnet entry kit. I wonder what she would have said and thought. But no word of the NZ knockdown, no International Space Station, no meeting with Leroy and Karen, no storms,Cape Hornrounding, drifting liferaft – no Fastnet light piccy on the web – no story. Just a static bus shelter and a couple of diffident old farts doing their thing in the studio and I wouldn’t have found a voice I certainly never knew I had.

Instead, I have a fragile USB cable linking my laptop to an ICOM M802 HF radio and a Pactor PTC IIPro digital HF controller and modem. Lots of loverly blinking red and green lights – no idea what they all mean! Beyond those two boxes are Steve and Malcolm and the website, the World, all y’all, and you know the rest. The link that made it all possible is called Sail Mail and this is a huge Salute to the people who conceived it and run it and make it work. To Jim and Sue Corenman and their team, to Stan and Sally Honey (Stan, I think is navigating ABN AMRO in the Volvo) and all the station managers around the world – thanks for your competence, your generosity, your willingness to help and for a great service. Without you, we would have been unable to share this adventure and send and receive the 4000 or so emails that have crossed the worlds oceans between us all. It’s a subscription service, there are strict usage rules to give everyone a fair go, but beyond that it’s open slather and amazing value for your money. Jim and Sue are in Sail Mail HQ inFriday Harbour,Washington and you can see the other stations on their website. I have sent messages throughChile,Panama, Daytona, Rock Hill S. Carolina,Lunenburg,Belgium, Red Sea,Maputo (Hi Justice!) and Firefly, NSW, run by Derek and Jeanine Barnard at Penta Comstat. We may yet talk toBrunei. Pete and I dips our lids to you all.

And special thanks to Marc Robinson who put me on to it, sold me the equipment, spent a lot of his time helping me to learn how to use it – and if I can use it, anyone can – you can find him via the Penta Comstat website or – if he approves, we can put his email address on the Berri website.

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