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January 2005

Email contact - Be aware, the folks you scare could be your own.

Just because it is possible, and far less expensive than telephone connections, many cruisers now have arranged to receive and send email from on board as they voyage.
A reason given for spending the money and time to set this up is, "I can be in constant contact with my parents and they won't be so worried about this life we've chosen." Sounds good, but a note from Lorraine and Bert Bramble who cruised from New Jersey to Horta this year on board Twist of Fate points out a problem we have seen before with ham radio's. They write "With on board e-mail, family become dependant on daily position reports. Unfortunately corrosion and poor propagation can interfere with transmission, which happened to us. When we got to Horta, we found out there was a boat-watch out for us. Our family reported us missing after three days of no reports."

An interesting note on this subject, We were mistakenly reported as missing many years ago in the Bay of Bengal, after a massive Cyclone passed just to the north of our route from Sri Lanka to Malaysia. We were contentedly cruising through the Langkawi islands for over six weeks while friends and family in the US, Canada and UK read reports of searches under way for us and six other sailors. But one friend in Britain, Leslie Dyball, who had raced around Britain with Larry, remembered that we did our banking with a branch near him. He contacted the bank, showed them the story in the papers and asked if we had withdrawn any funds in the previous few weeks. They told him only that "yes, there has been action on the account originating in Malaysia." Wish Leslie had thought to contact my Mom in California. (We wrote about this incident in Seraffyn's Oriental Adventure, definitely an amazing time in our sailing lives).

Note on folding lifeboat, sailing dinghies

In January 2003 cruising tips we wrote about Steve Callahan's folding lifeboat. A lot of you contacted him for more information. He has written to say that he has some folks who want to start up a company and build the new and improved version - we urge anyone interested to send him a note encouraging this idea. We think it is one whose time has come. But he actually wrote more because the U.S. Patent office warned him that people should be notified that he holds two patents on the folding system for these clever boats.
>>See the Cruising Tip on Steve's Folding Lifeboat

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