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I have no interest in returning to the wild west, where your family left for years, with zero communication, and returned married and with a family. We don't sail wooden square riggers on passage anymore either.

Modern communications equipment is extraordinarily inexpensive, compared to the price of the bloody boat. Stay in touch. Not only to prevent unnecessary SARs, but to respect the feelings of those that are concerned for your safety.

For that matter, an EPRIB tells SAR nothing but the fact that it's been activated. SAR can't even tell if it's a false alarm, let alone the nature of the emergency. You may have lost propulsion. There may be a crew member having a heart attack or you're sinking. Do you know how long they take to try to figure it out? Could be longer than you have. Sure, trigger the EPIRB for an emergency, it's the most reliable. Getting a satellite text or phone message to SAR to explain that it's real and exactly the resources you require will get them on scene quickly.
 
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My point wasn't to leave without any communication - it was to manage shore-side expectations. We have almost weekly BOLA's issued for boats that are a day late daysailing a 500nm trip. We have them for boats whose Delorme didn't transmit one 6hr interval. We have them for boats who simply chose a different anchorage than they originally intended and hadn't yet put the boat away to call home. It has gotten downright silly, and all cases have been false alarms due to shoreside hysterics.

If people are filing float plans, with instructions to call help under over-strict rules of communication, then that is on the them, but it's wrong. Sailors have a responsibility to manage time expectations on shore. After all, these people are generally unfamiliar with passagemaking and all it involves - bad weather to them just means their flight is delayed an hour.

A heart attack, sinking, or similar could not involve the shoreside at all, because they don't have real-time information. I agree that an EPIRB doesn't help time-wise here, but you seemed to willfully ignore the rest of my sentence in that post where I stated "and rugged communication gear like SSB or Satphone". I assumed cellphone as a given, but maybe I should have also made that explicit.

Mark
 

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Know I’ve been catching static on the AIS thread but coastal and passage have AIS on ALWAYS. Another reason for transceivers. They are more helpful coastal as you may disappear offshore on AIS. Send an email daily and leave breadcrumbs from the spot or Go. Have more excess phone minutes than bytes usually and cellphone coverage is surprisingly good on on east coast so that’s an option we use as well. Coast guard vhf goes out a long way.
Have two grown daughters who track us. They know to try to contact us before reaching out to anyone else. They are use (over 30 years) to sailing trips so have good judgment as to when there’s a real probability we are in trouble. I’ve been called overdue once. We were really in trouble then. SAR never found us but fortunately it all sorted out.
Thank the lord these people are safe. Hindsight is 20/20. Hope they learned and change their protocol.
 

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Know I’ve been catching static on the AIS thread but coastal and passage have AIS on ALWAYS.
But few small pleasure craft owners have an AIS transponder, they just have the receiver, so no position is broadcast.

This sounds like he said to his paramour, Beth, "Yeah,...we'll likely pull into Norfolk on Saturday. I'll call you." It's like when I go off to run errands at the hardware store, the grocery store, and the auto parts store and, as I'm heading out the door, I tell my wife, "I'll be back in a couple of hours". Some women actually ascribe meaning to the sounds and grunts we make as we walk out the door.

But. like I said, "Ryan, Beth appears to be one of those women who, apparently, expects to hear from you when you say that you're going to call. Save the tax payers a lot of money,... and call Beth.

Ha, if I was ever lost at sea, I shudder to think how long it would be before my wife would think to call, because of my history. The kids would say, "Mom, shouldn't we call out a search for Dad?" She'd say, "Oh, you know your father, he probably changed his mind and went somewhere else".
 

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Know I’ve been catching static on the AIS thread but coastal and passage have AIS on ALWAYS. Another reason for transceivers. They are more helpful coastal as you may disappear offshore on AIS. Send an email daily and leave breadcrumbs from the spot or Go. Have more excess phone minutes than bytes usually and cellphone coverage is surprisingly good on on east coast so that’s an option we use as well. Coast guard vhf goes out a long way.
Have two grown daughters who track us. They know to try to contact us before reaching out to anyone else. They are use (over 30 years) to sailing trips so have good judgment as to when there’s a real probability we are in trouble. I’ve been called overdue once. We were really in trouble then. SAR never found us but fortunately it all sorted out.
Thank the lord these people are safe. Hindsight is 20/20. Hope they learned and change their protocol.
This is a good feature and application for AIS . In the other thread we are specifically speaking about a question asked by a Chesapeake Bay sailor

An AIS signature would have shown this vessel making progress.
 

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Some years ago I was cruising solo. I went way outta my way to find a phone and call my wife with my itinerary l. As usual she listens with half an ear and didn’t understand what I was saying. After not hearing from me for a few days freaks and calls the Canadian CG. I was tucked up a fjord with no VHF contact and no other boats. When I eventually got to a small town some guy told me to call the CG , they were looking for me. That’s how I got an Iridium phone. According to a witness the Wife was a basket case, breaking down crying and such, I only heard about this a few years later. She just called me a s*+t head and told me to not do it again. I told her to pay effing attention for once. Such a sensitive and loving couple we are!

More seriously this is something I struggle with a bit. Without going into details we don’t have anyone competent with whom we can file a float plan. I would pay for such a service if one existed. I’ve thought about doing something on Facebook, but I can’t really make that work in my head. For one thing often no internet. Best thing would be someway to do a daily Iridium SMS message with lar/lon to someone with a float plan.

It is troublesome.
 

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Whenever overnight or longer, I set up the InReach webpage with a password and give it to a couple of buddies of mine who could sign on to see every move. One is a sailor, one is not. Whenever I text someone, it automatically attaches our current lat/long. I find myself texting just to pass the time, but it serves a productive purpose. I have the subscription, with unlimited texting that I can turn on and off throughout the year.
 

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If the “Inreach” suggestion was aimed toward me, thanks for the suggestion but I don’t see how it solves my problem.

I already have an Iridium. I don’t have an “awake and aware” landslide presence to send to.
 

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Some years ago I was cruising solo. I went way outta my way to find a phone and call my wife with my itinerary l. As usual she listens with half an ear and didn’t understand what I was saying. After not hearing from me for a few days freaks and calls the Canadian CG. I was tucked up a fjord with no VHF contact and no other boats. When I eventually got to a small town some guy told me to call the CG , they were looking for me. That’s how I got an Iridium phone. According to a witness the Wife was a basket case, breaking down crying and such, I only heard about this a few years later. She just called me a s*+t head and told me to not do it again. I told her to pay effing attention for once. Such a sensitive and loving couple we are!

More seriously this is something I struggle with a bit. Without going into details we don’t have anyone competent with whom we can file a float plan. I would pay for such a service if one existed. I’ve thought about doing something on Facebook, but I can’t really make that work in my head. For one thing often no internet. Best thing would be someway to do a daily Iridium SMS message with lar/lon to someone with a float plan.

It is troublesome.
Reminds me of the winters day I told my girlfriend that I was going to the boatyard to do some work on the boat which was stored for the winter. After a few hours she got concerned and called the Coast Guard who wisely just called the local Police who knocked on the hull to check on me. We had a little discussion about her actions. :)

FYI. The Boat U.S. app allows you to file a float plan on your phone with all your boats information.
 

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If the “Inreach” suggestion was aimed toward me, thanks for the suggestion but I don’t see how it solves my problem.

I already have an Iridium. I don’t have an “awake and aware” landslide presence to send to.
No friend, no family? Very sorry to hear that. A candidate doesn't need any understanding of what's going on, nor monitor 24/7. They just need a phone or computer. I actively check in every 12 hours at a watch change, even though they can view location at any time. Typically 6am and 6pm. On one particularly nasty passage, while a thunderstorm was following (and thankfully went to the west around us), I added mid-night and noon to the check-in. Had a buddy who nearly insisted and set his alarm to get up at midnight. Good friend.

I have heard of local boating organizations that volunteer to hold float plans, but that's pretty inconsistent, I'm sure. Might be worth checking around the home town. Aux or Power Squads maybe.
 

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Well we don’t have a “home town” as such. We spend summers in Newfoundland around family but most are ladies in their late 60’s, I’m not feeling that. The kids are full of their own lives, hard to get them to answer a phone. Most friends hire an electrician to change a light bulb (no I’m NOT joking or exaggerating). We lived in CC Philadelphia for a very long time and most of those folks are “cliff dwellers”, condo rats. Zero common sense.

So yeah, we have lots of “friends and family”, but their physical world, their world view and experience is extremely different from ours. They have no concept of what we do, where the Caribbean is.

We have one couple we might be able to turn to, live aboards, level headed, great folks. But I hate to put that burden on them.
 

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When kids are off traveling and wife’s on the boat with me use a non sailing friend. Wrote out a protocol for him to use (actually his wife is the more reliable so emailed it to both). We send a email daily which just says our position and we’re okay. (Spot is the cheapest way but any device-SSB, satphone, GO etc. is fine). He has our satphone number and satphone/SSB emails. Before leaving also give him the SAR service(s) nearest to where we are traveling. He’s a retired social worker who hates technology. Still has a flip phone but he does check his emails once a day. Was a boyscout troup leader so understands lat/long but otherwise clueless about modern navigation and electronics. Still it works on the rare occasions we needed a fallback. So you’re 60+ crowd should be able to get it right. I hunt and fish with this friend. Give him a dozen woolly buggers and he’s happy to help out.
I took him took him R.I. to chessie once on the outside. We had some squalls. He understands the importance so I’m comfortable with him being backup. Hopefully you can find someone similar. Don’t think that their being non sailors makes it impossible.
 

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Outbound,

Without getting too personal about the group of friends we had and why your guy is a regular Grizzly Adams by comparison.

With all sincerity and with no exaggeration in a combined group of 30 professionals not one could or would reset a normal circuit breaker. Despite me showing them how. More than a few don’t drive, it’s too difficult.

After my last post I reviewed it with my Wife, to make sure I was not exaggerating. She concurred with my opinion.

I don’t know how some people manage to suck air except it’s an involuntary reflex. Economist and statisticians come to mind.

Nice folks, smart in their own way.
 

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I am very fortunate. My Garmin InReach daily position checks go to at least 10 different persons, who are all eager to see where I am currently located. These are close friends and my immediate family members, including my 88 year old mother. I went to great pains to explain that if they don’t hear from me in a couple of days it’s not a reason to worry or call CG as I have several ways to do that myself. The cost for my plan is under $30 per month. Very happy with that device.
 
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