Originally Posted by JonEisberg
With the sailing you do between Key West and Guanaja, I'm surprised you haven't sprung for AIS... It's the single biggest boon for the singlehanded offshore sailor today, IMHO, especially sailing a route you do with a pretty heavy concentration of cruise ship and merchant traffic being funneled through the Yucatan Channel...
Standard Horizon makes a very nice VHF with fully integrated AIS for a few hundred bucks... It's a very capable little unit. Of course it has to be integrated to a GPS, so you might have to go with a fixed mount GPS of some sort as well, but I'd still rate that as money very well spent, for the voyaging you do...
Ya, I probably will. I'm slow to adapt to technology. When I sail to Guanaja, I point a little to the east of south when I round the west end of Cuba, staying out of the Yucatan channel and it's currents and heavy traffic, and then due south to Guanaja and see maybe one ship heading to the Caymans. The tuff part of that trip is the straits and running down the north coast line of Cuba. I cross the straights at night and heave to 10 miles off the reef and sleep till around noon waking every hour....sail till 1600..cat nap till sun set.. repeat till i'm around the west end. Reaching out into the Caribbean is like falling into a cumfy bed at the end of a long work week, as soon as I round that corner and the sun comes up I pass out on a broad reach and wake up at sun set. When I nap at night I try and stay in the cockpit, something happens to me at 4 in the morning that no ammount of coffee can counter act. I nod off. I wake every time my head falls so it's like an hour and a half of 5 second sleeps. I bet if I wore a neck brace I would sleep sitting up and steering with my leg!