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For us, it’s always all about the weather.

Though both Chuck and I have been sailing for many years, both separately and the past ten years we’ve been together, we’ve never claimed to be experts, preferring instead to say we “know what we don’t know.”  And, one thing we’ve known since we headed out a year ago was that we were sorely lacking in the ability to obtain weather information while at sea.  We subscribe to several weather sites that allow us more than adequate weather forecasts when sitting at the dock, but once we get out of range of either the internet or cell phone service we are on our own.  Understand, we do have a brand new viable state-of-the-art SSB on board but neither one of us are particularly single side band savvy.  We needed and wanted another option.  We also wanted a sat phone.  After much research we found what might be the answer.  The product…is the Iridium GO.   Ours arrived yesterday.

This unit allows one to use e-mail, tracking, iPhone as a satellite phone, and most of all, to access weather from anywhere on the planet.  And, specifically, it supports a weather site we subscribe to called PredictWind

Though we consult and subscribe to somewhere around 12-15 different weather sites prior to making a passage, PredictWind, is our go-to site when it comes to weather.  Since we’ve been using the site their forecast have been right on the money every time.  PredictWind gives routing suggestions, departure forecasts, sea state, wind speeds and directions, currents, passage times, water temperatures, grib files, and a host of other functions.  Having the ability to access this kind of information, via the Iridium GO, while at sea takes a world of worry out of being there.

The unit is not cheap and our plan is $150/month just for the service.  As well, it’s said that is not the most intuitive of electronics to set up.  But those who use it swear by it. 

For us, not particularly fair weather sailors but not foolhardy, caution to the wind types either, we now have two satellite units.  One is the Delorme inReach, recently updated to give local weather forecasts…and now the Iridium GO.  Both are satellite units and work anywhere in the world, certainly anywhere we will be going, we think.

As we speak, Captain Husband, is slowly chugging away at mounting the antenna and running the cable to the navigation station, never a pleasant task.

Will let you all know how it turns out.

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3 Comments

  1. Please do..continue your updates and reviews of these systems. I feel lucky to be able to learn of your experiences. Here’s a somewhat related question/idea that pops up for your stated predictive challenges. Have you considered utilizing any aerial sensor technologies such as drones or perhaps weather balloons? Above all else HAVE FUN Ya’ll.

    • No, have not considered the aerial angle. In general, I don’t much care for drones. The thought of them flying over the boat tends to make me want to buy a shotgun.

  2. Hello. What’s what? Miss your posts.


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