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The following are some of the questions that we have been most frequently asked.

 

If your question is not listed below then contact us and we will try to answer it.

What kind of watch system do you use?

  • Click here to find the answer and more about our watch system

What ground tackle do you have onboard?
  • Click here to read about ground tackle used on Long Passages.
What do you do at night when you are at sea?  Do you stop and anchor somewhere?

The ocean is much too deep in which to anchor so we continue to sail with one or the other of us keeping watch for ships at all times while the other one sleeps.  See Watch systems.

So, how do you stay awake and alert?

It is important to keep your night vision clear, so it is not wise to turn on a light to read.  Since we usually have the windvane or autopilot steering the boat we do one or more of the following activities:

  • Listen to music using a CD player and headphones or cockpit speakers
  • Listen to books on tape or CD
  • Listen to news and other programs on either on the satellite radio or SSB radio.
  • Look for shooting stars.
  • Fix a cup of herbal tea or decaf coffee to enable us to be able to sleep when we are off watch.
  • Eat fruit or a mini candy bar
  • Make log entries
  • Contact ships that we see via the VHF radio
  • Follow the course of ships that we see on RADAR to ensure that we will pass them safely.
  • Check compass to ensure that we are on still on course
  • Adjust sails including reefing sails if wind comes up.
  • Watch for weather changes such as lightning in the distance or an increase in clouds and wind

(This has been the most often asked question by our non-cruising friends.)

How do you upload your website?

We have had some difficulty finding ways to update our website and sometimes several weeks go by before we can find a way to publish changes.  The following methods are ones we have used to update our website:

Marina

  • If we are going to be in a marina for a while and they have a connection at the berth, we have the phone connection activated,  purchase and install local ISP (Internet Service Provider) software and publish updates using the FrontPage 'publish' function.  The marina in Marmaris, Turkey has a wireless internet connection so we have been added to the network and use their wireless connection and ISP.
  • If the Marina has internet connections in the office, we ask if we can connect our computer either to their network or use one of their phone lines.  Again, with the latter, we must have local ISP software installed.
  • In Thailand, we were in a hotel room while our boat was being worked on, so we installed software from a local service provider and used the phone in our room to gain access to the internet.

Internet Cafes

  • This is a variation on the methods listed above.  We ask to connect our own computer to the internet cafe network and publish using FrontPage.  Because so many people are "blogging" now, many more internet cafes are set up to let people connect their own computers.  There can sometimes be a small "setup" fee charged for the time it takes the administrator to connect your computer to their network.

It is interesting to note that we have had the most trouble finding an internet cafe which will allow us to connect our computer in the 'developed' countries such as the USA and Britain.  In the less developed places, they are usually set up to allow people to connect their computers, or are more willing to find a way to make it possible to do so.

At Sea

  • While we are at sea, we upload our changes using an Iridium Satellite phone, and FTP (file transfer protocol) software via the ISP our of the phone service (Stratos).

The disadvantages to this method are: 1) cost ($1.50/minute); 2) FrontPage extensions such as hit counters are "broken"; and 3) we must keep track of all changes so that we know which files we need to transfer.

When using the FrontPage 'publish' function, the software keeps track of all changes and publishes only those pages that have been changed, which is why we prefer to publish using FrontPage.

What type of software do you use to create and maintain your website?
  • Microsoft FrontPage
 

 

 

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