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  #1  
Old 12-19-2007
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Communications Schedules

When I read about missing boats, you often see mentions of "There was no set communications schedule." What is a realistic schedule? Every two days? Three? Four? More?
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Old 12-19-2007
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Well, it depends on what kind of communications equipment you have and what kind of budget you have. If you have an SSB, then a daily sched with one of the regular marine nets might make sense... If you're using a satellite phone, it might make sense to talk every two or three days, to keep the costs down. If you're using Sailmail or e-mail, every day wouldn't be a bad idea.
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Old 12-20-2007
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I go back and forth on this one. Obvioulsy, keeping someone apprised of your whereabouts has benefits in the event you go missing or have difficulties requiring assistance.

But I also wonder if doing so might cause loved ones undue stress and anxiety throughout the course of your voyage. Especially if your COM equipment malfunctions. Is there such thing as too much information and details about your rate of progress or lack thereof?

Might it be better to simply tell them your anticipated arrival time, +/- a week, promise to check in when you arrive, and tell them not to worry while assuring them that you are prepared for virtually any contingency?

From a SAR standpoint, probably the best thing you can do is make sure you have at least one EPIRB, which will give a better position to the SAR folks than an old fix from the COM schedule. I'm not sure what else beyond that you get from the COM schedule?

I go back to the amercan family that was run down by the feighter off NZ (which I mentioned here: This is so tragic ). To me, this is about the worst case scenario, and I don't see how a COM schedule would have changed that outcome.

Then again, most of the organized off-shore rallies and races require a COM schedule....But it seems like the purpose is to tell people that "all is well", when we ought to be saying "assume all is well until you hear otherwise". That "otherwise" can come via the same COM link as the scheduled calls would have, or via EPIRB.

Just some random thoughts.
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