A main question asked is how we'll communicate with the rest of the world while sailing, particularly with home….
First of all, we explored to have a full Satellite based connection, but decided against it. A Satellite random antenna will set you back with 5-7000 USD and another 10 U$ per Megabit transferred data. It’s not just very expensive, we would also be connected 24/7, almost as at work, reading mails daily…so we decided otherwise:
- We have a VHF Radio for short distance calls like to other boats and port authorities.
- We have a SSB Radio which gives us almost world wide radio coverage with other ships and ham networks.
- By adding a Pactor modem (http://www.scs-ptc.com) to our SSB Radio we are capable to receive and send email over short wave radio. As this is very slow (max 10500 bps) it's just for very small emails without any attachments. But it's also great for getting weather information. This has a unique mail address to avoid spam or those huge joke mails.
- With a satellite phone from Inmarsat (http://www.inmarsat.com) we get the capabilitie to have cell phone coverage wherever we are. And we can connect with the laptop for data as well…
- Another nice piece is our on board WiFi system. By adding a Wave WiFi Rouge external antenna we can connect to any free WiFi system within a bay or harbour. This signal is transmitted to the boat's own WIFI router to connect the various laptops and smartphones. The system claims to be able to catch any WiFi hotspot up to 11km! Check it out http://www.landandseawifi.com/
- Last but not least we will buy local SIM cards for our cell phones to make local calls for restaurant reservations and so on…
If all goes well, we will not live in the communication Stone Age, but we may for sure have to change our attitude in being connected. So you can send us private mails and connect through facebook as usual – just give us some time to respond as we are on holiday ;-)