Dan Gill of Rockport, TX asks:

Exactly how do your communications work, especially e-mail, and what Brand and Model equipment are you using?

Jim Leishman responds:

We are using an Iridium phone system for voice and data communication. Additionally we have a KVH track phone (satellite phone) which does not have world wide coverage (just North and Central America and the Caribbean). Additionally we have SSB with sailmail (telex type communication - E-mail).

We have been exclusively using the Iridium phone and it is just about as simple as your household system. When we want to make a call we just dial up and it's clear as a bell. For e-mail, we just send it via Microsoft Outlook. It receives and sends at a slow 4,800 baud which is very adequate for text-only e-mails. Air time cost $1.30 per minute and we can send and receive 6 to 8 e-mails per day for about 2 minutes of airtime. Iridium is providing no sponsorship whatsoever yet I still cannot say enough good about the system. We have been able to download attachments and even receive weather GRIB files from Raytech for three day weather forecasts which overlay the Raytech charts on our computer. This will give us 3- or 7-day forecasts and provide detailed wind, barometric pressure, current information and air temperatures over large forecast areas.



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