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Interesting situation

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Have read the thread with interest. Just a comment on third parties that call authorities (such as Wheels friend watching  the facebook page). Recently had a similar experience because the wife (still at home) of one of the crew hadn't received the usual daily phone call. We were cruising slowly around the north west of D'Urville Island and no cell coverage at all. After 2 or 3 days of no contact she became worried and called Coastguard who in turn contacted Police. Much to our surprise, crew of the Lady Liz IV knocked on our cabin door at the entrance to Port Hardy. Whilst they weren't specifically searching for us they still found us.


Cell phone coverage is crap in many places not so far away. For most of Cook Strait, for example, I don't get Vodafone coverage. But back to topic. My point is that people back at home (especially when they're not really aware of how difficult it can be to make contact can become worried). I think devices such as GPS trackers will result in far more such calls from worried people 'watching' at home.


Last year I did an international trip and one of the crew had a Spot Tracker. Cool I thought and I passed on the details so my family could all watch the trip as it proceeded. And twice a day a new position popped up on their maps. But when I returned home I wondered what might have happened if updates stopped occurring. If it were me watching at home, and one of my family were sailing in the wide open ocean, and no updates arrived then after within a couple of days I would be tearing my hair out with worry. And yet I well know there are many reasons why the updates might stop; flat battery, dropped in the sea, forget to enable it to send, operator error, run out of credit cos the bill wasn't paid. Is out of range still valid? I've no idea. 

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Once heard a TR being lodged for someone leaving Issie Bay, bound for Motuihe Island.

A couple of years back we were on a mooring and there was big forecast (Predict Wind had run out of colours). There was a little fizzy in the bay too, nice couple. They decided to tie up to a jetty and they tied it and tied it and tied it - a sky crane could've ripped the jetty out of the ground by pulling on the boat.


After the blow they eventually got themselves untied and left the bay. Then we heard them make a TR - they were towing the boat from Picton to Havelock, by road :-)

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the endless racket of pointless TRs on ch80/82 is mind-numbing and spoils a nice sail. 


This is why I got a DSC VHF and programmed my MMSI number and those for my friends - I can turn the volume down to zero and still be alerted when a friend is trying to get me (poor cell phone coverage areas). They've selected the channel they want to talk on, so the radio has switched to that channel and sounds a call alarm - that way we don't even add to the noise on the calling channel/s (like 16, 63, etc)

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on my last week away I did trs for the simple fact,cell phone coverage by 2 degrees is rubbish in the gulf,my thought being if wife needs to know where are c/g can give them our position. having a 15/13 yr old boys onboard who can sail/start motor etc but really have no idea where we are,still teaching how to read a chart,should anything unexpected happen to me,stroke/heart attack at least c/g know we left position A heading C via B,gives them a starting point.

after lodging tr always tell them listening 16 to cut out chatter.

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On coastal trips TR with Maritime radio at pre planned times - 30 minutes later wife phones op center at Maritime Radio and speaks with the (often same person that took TR update) to confirm up date has been made. Simple.

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for brand new 


these appearer hard to beat at $315


$31.50 a year over the 10 years of the battery 




i went for a smaller




2nd hand unit, at great price


for boat to boat portability, (even climbing?) and being able to clip on the top of the vest etc


but reduced transmit time once activated


perhaps if ever used it in fear


it'd be best to cycle it off after 5? hours


then on for 5? hrs etc

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