Wednesday, June 13, 2007

MySpace? We don't need no MySpace.

Greetings, friends of Cirrus. The reason we don't need no MySpace is that we have YOTREPS, the ocean navigator's equivalent. Through the miracle of the Internet and ham radio, and a bunch of neat people, you can read about our daily position and other personal details on a web site called YOTREPS. Here's how it works. Every day around 5:00 pm HST (8:00 pm PDT), we run a program called Explorer. It prompts us to fill in a bunch of information in a NOAA standard format. Information like our position, course and speed, plus wind and sea conditions, plus cloud cover and visibility, plus barometric pressure and trend. Then we save the info in a file that includes the UTC date and time.

Later, around 5:25, we turn on the radio and tune to the Pacific Seafarers' Net on 14.300 MHz. It's hard to believe, but there are ham radio operators who monitor this frequency 24 hours a day, ready to help sailors all over the Pacific. But at 5:25, they bring in a few more guys so that they can get radio coverage of the entire Pacific, North and South. The main guy, the net control operator, could be as far away as Minnesota, but they also have stations in California, Hawaii, and various other places, including, I think, Montreal. At about 5:25, net control announces the start of the roll-call of reporting vessels. Since we are the most recent addition to the list, we are last, around number 15. One by one, vessels are called and, if they can respond, they read out their entire formatted position report to the net control operator, or one of the other operators. Then the operator reads it back in its entirety to check for errors. Then the reporting vessel is given the option to talk to other stations, on land or sea, and the net control will help them make their calls. Once the smoke clears, they move on to the next vessel. If you are listening, you will here them call us around 6:15 HST. Our call sign is KG6SKO (kilo golf six sierra kilo oscar). After the last vessel reports, if all goes well, the net operators finish off the daily net activities by emailing every position report to YOTREPS where they appear within a few hours. Note that last year's track is already there. Hopefully there will be no confusion.

By the way, we have lots of cool technology here on the boat, but we do not have normal Internet access, so we can't see our own blog. However, if you write a comment on the blog, the text of your comment is automatically sent to us as a radio email. We can usually access our email account once or twice a day. So, please, feel free.

Last night, we talked to Donna's husband Richard on the radio. He is aboard Addiction, not far from us, and sailing to Long Beach too, but double-handed. He is fine, but extremely sleepy. Later on, we talked to Lou Ickler back in Kaneohe. He was clear as a bell and we gave him our position and news.

Now, it's Wednesday morning, and it's another beautiful day in paradise. According to the GPS, we are sailing at over 6 knots (for some reason, the knotmeter has been hitting 9.5; maybe it was the rain squalls we blasted through last night - woo hoo!). We get the occasional big swell, but mostly it's pretty mellow out here. We are still heading mostly north, heading for the top edge of the Pacific high where she should be able to turn east. It's been really warm at night; we wear foulies on night watch because it can be wet, but no thermal underwear underneath; just shorts and a t-shirt. Sweet.

Current position:
Lat: 24d 52.893' N
Lon: 155d 20.370' W

Miles to go: 1984
By for now.


Anonymous said...

Aloha Cirrus,Its good to hear ur making progress!Big olives 2 Capt. LG ... Big hugs 2 Commodore Donna ... and big wishes of luck 4 bill and chris surviving a trip with not 1 but 2 Austin's in charge!! Mr. Oopu misses u but is doing well, ran n2 Phil @Sandy's on Tues. n he is very well n wishes luck 2 u all ... sorry donna,2 many stabbings 2 report ... stay dry !!! im watchin ur every move !!! Olives Dman

John Bravender said...

Not only will the obs be available for other ships on the net and on the web, but we get them into our computer system (AWIPS) as well. That way we can use them to verify our current forecast, and use them to validate model data for future forecasts. They also help for products like the unified surface analysis that you can get over the weather fax. So keep the obs coming!

Is Mita Kuuluu (WCR4689) still checking in to the Pacific Seafarer's Net? Old neighbors Bill and Jean left Honolulu for Mexico a month ago and are just about to Cabo by now.