Voyage of Egret Forums

Kay O'Meara, Portland, OR asks:
Subject: Iridium phone

Hello, We have enjoyed your updates and you have inspired us dirt dwellers to take the step. Presently we are trying to plan ahead for our departure in August. I have a question regarding Iridium phones. We have a Iridium ICHU1000. Haven't used it yet, it came with the boat. You mentioned in an update that you wouldn't be without one. We plan to email, blog and talk to family and friends on a weekly basis. What are the positive, negatives, or other options that you would recommend. We have been following your blog, and you have inspired us to take the step and explore. We cruised Alaska the last couple of years but want to head south to enjoy some warmer weather. In May we are joining the Salty Dawg 55Nordhavn (David and Lowie Bock) in Turkey to help them with the EMYR. Can't wait! Enjoy hearing from you. Bill and Kay O'Meara Thor5725

Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Kay, congratulations on taking The Big Step. I'm not familiar with your particular Iridium phone but I believe it is the model newer than Egret's. It is important to have an external antenna. There is a big difference in reception between the small phone mounted antenna and the amplified external unit. We use ocens software for e-mail and weather. All of Egret's blogs are written in the ocens program then copied and pasted to Yahoo when we have internet access to save Iridium time. Ocens also has a very good weather program (Weathernet). On that we receive 3 day wind and wave reports. This is a simple program where you click and drag a box around the geographic area you wish to view. (www.ocens.com) We buy Iridium time in 3000 minute blocks good for two years from Andy Cool at Explorer Satellite in Ft Lauderdale. acool@explorersatellite.com

You will enjoy the EMYR even though it will be exhausting. Friends who went loved it. The side trip to Petra was a highlight as well as Israel.

You have a lot to look forward to.