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Old 06-13-2010
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Renting Sat Phone

I am leaving on an offshore passage from the Bahamas to North Carolina. Right now I have an SSB reciever which I have used to listen to the weather and download weather faxes but it is not very reliable.

During this time of the year I want a very reliable way to get the weather and I would also like to get a weather routing service for the trip. I have been looking into renting a Sat phone to hook up to my laptop and download weather and an emailed weather route, but I am not sure if this is possible.

Does anyone have a suggestion for what to rent and which weather routing service?
Chad Gleason
s/v Sabbatical Pearson 365 Hull #32

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Old 06-14-2010
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What is not reliable about your SSB receiver? I've found weather faxes to be a great way to get weather information.

Marsh Harbour to Beaufort NC is only 3 or 4 days. If you have good weather info when you leave you should be fine -- you can't really move fast enough to miss anything big, but other than afternoon thunderstorms you won't often see something big that wasn't apparent a couple of days earlier when you left.

Your choice of course.

There aren't any good portable solutions other than sat phones. Google "rent satellite phone" for sources. You should be able to get an Iridium phone (Globalstar stills has connection issues that can be horribly frustrating) for about $100 / week including data kit. Most ship with a reusable box to return the phone. Airtime is $1.50 - $2.00 / minute.

No experience renting one to ship to the Bahamas. Good luck with that part!

I'm not sure if that helps you much. I do my own weather routing so I can't help there.
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Old 06-14-2010
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weather routing

I used Commander's Weather for a similar "short" passage (~500 nm) from Cape Cod to Cape Bretton, NS, and recommend them highly (have no affiliation with them). They helped me time the passage to wait out about a week of untimely north easterlies mid summer (not supposed to happen?).

Even after arriving (service theoretically over), they called me a few days later to warn me about a gale in the next 24 hrs with no additional charge.

Although you can do this yourself, I think having an expert watching your specific weather situation can be "confidence enhancing" if nothing else.

Good luck on your trip.
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Old 06-14-2010
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I have no connection to this company other than renting an Iridium phone from them when we did a TransPac crossing USA to New Zealand a little over two years ago.

Satellite Phone Rentals at All Road Communications

I would recommend them to anyone and would definitely use them again myself.

I collected a phone from them, did the trip and couriered the phone back when done. Absolutely trouble free, excellent service.

But I'm not sure about internet on Iridium - hope you have decent savings.

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