Thursday, December 19, 2013

Spot Messenger - The New Toy

We have a new toy. It's called a Spot Messenger. The Spot Messenger has a few functions. When we are on the move it transmits our GPS location to a satellite network and our movement is plotted on a map in real time. In addition, we can send two pre-programmed email messages via the same satellites to a list of email addresses. The two we have chosen are "we are OK and still traveling" to let our family know that although we are delayed, everything is fine. The other messsage is "We have made it to our destination OK". We make sure to provide our itinerary to our family each time we make an extended crossing just so folks know our plans. The Spot Messenger can be used for sailing, hiking, roadside assistance etc. In addition to real time plotting of our position, the Spot Messenger acts as an emergency device. If we are in trouble we can press the S.O.S. button and it will alert an emergency center that we are in trouble and tell it our GPS location. They will then call our on shore contacts who can notify the coast guard or other emergency service of our whereabouts. Our SSB and VHF radios on board are our primary way to call for help, but this is another tool to use as well. It's better to have several ways to get help instead of none.

If you know we are on the move, you can follow our travels in real time on this site. Here is what you would have seen during our recent trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Bimini, Bahamas.


By the way, the sag north in the middle is due to the effect of the north flowing Gulf Stream. Our trips are kept for 30 days after our arrival on the Spot site.

I am currently trying to figure out how to have the Spot information automatically update to a Google Map and be held there forever. If anyone knows how to do this please let me know.

Our next passage will probably be on Sunday and/or Monday. Follow us here.

4 comments:

  1. Where are you headed on Sun/Mon?!

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    1. We hope to start our way east towards Nassau. Depending on the winds we may stop at Chub Cay or Frazer's Hog Cay before the final crossing down to Nassau. Right now the wind direction is not cooperating fully but we will watch it over the next 48 hours.

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  2. Where are you headed on Sun/Mon?!

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  3. Hi guys - your new device is an excellent idea, you can't have too much safety. A while back I bought a Bushnell backtrack for hiking, at the time it seemed it seemed really useful, but it was always off about 15 degrees. Enjoy your stay in the Bahamas & Merry Christmas. - Mel & Jim

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