Weather Helmed

an adventure in renewing the spirit and living the dream…on a sailboat

Weather Helmed

The wonders of modern technology (a virtual “HI MOM!”)

January 23rd, 2010 · 4 Comments · Boat Work, On Safety, Preparing for the trip, The beginning

We are on the map!!  The AIS map, that is.  AIS = Automatic Identification System. It’s this super cool technology that’s required for all shipping vessels around the world and optional for little boats like us.  When you have AIS you can transmit and receive signals from all other AIS users and you can find out all kinds of helpful stuff like:

– name of the boat

– its heading

– how far away it is from you

– its final destination

– its “call sign” so you can hail it if necessary

– sometimes even the name of the captain!

We’re very excited to have this for our own safety and so our friends and family (ok, let’s be real – our PARENTS) can go online and find out where we are!  Caveat: running AIS takes power so there may be times when AAAH! now you see us, now you don’t.  It doesn’t mean that we got ran over by a cargo ship or attacked by whales or anything, perhaps we just decided to turn it off so we could watch a movie instead. So, if you are one of the *radically awesome people* who check in on us every once in a while, you might be lucky to catch a glimpse of us on AIS!!

We’re still figuring out how the various websites work, but so far Marine Traffic is working well and Digital-Seas also has us on the map.  From the 3 minutes of online googling I’ve done, it seems that some AIS maps only cover certain areas (i.e. Denmark) so we won’t show up in their signal.  BUT – whenever we figure out where we are and which map we’re on, we’ll try to let everyone (PARENTS) know so you can see our exact position at (almost) all times. On those websites, you can search for us by vessel number (MMSI):  367430820.

How cool is that?!!??!!?!

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