For the 2017 winter season, Brenda and I will again be cruising aboard Pandora.
To see Pandora’s current location click on this link which will take you to a map page. The “world” is pretty big so you’ll need to zoom in using the slider on the upper left of the map. Also, click on the “center” button on the left tool bar which will center the map over my last position. I don’t know how often I will have the unit “ping” but probably about once an hour. This is a new unit for me so it may take some time for me to get the bugs out of the system. When we are underway we will activate this unit so that there will be a constant record of our progress and location. My “track” will remain on the map for the entire season so you will know what sort of track I have taken. Let me know what you think of this service.
This year our voyage will take us to the Eastern Caribbean, a first for us. The last time we visited that area was way back when Brenda was pregnant with our now 30 year old son Christopher. That was a long time ago and we never even set foot on a boat during that trip as we flew in and were land based the whole time. Wow, a lot of water over the dam since then. It was another lifetime indeed.
This fall I ran Pandora down to Hampton VA in late October to participate in the run-up festivities for the Salty Dawg Rally and then on to Beaufort NC where she will sit in a slip until early January when I will rejoin her, with crew, for a run to the British Virgin Islands. Brenda will join me there and we will make our way down the island chain.
In the spring I expect to return to New England with Pandora for limited summer cruising. After that? Well that depends on what Brenda thinks of sailing in the eastern Caribbean.
Last year we spent the winter cruising the Bahamas and the south coast of Cuba. If you are curious about Cuba and the time we spent there, check out the March and April posts. I have been speaking to many groups about our remarkable voyage to Cuba. At last count I have presented over a dozen times. It’s been great sharing our experiences. In the September issue of Blue Water Sailing I have an article about our trip that sums things up nicely. Check it out here.
In particular, if you want to read more about the process of getting approval to visit aboard Pandora and the “whole Cuba thing”, I wrote about the “12 reasons” U.S. citizens can visit Cuba. In any event, after much back an forth, and let me tell you there was plenty of “back and forth”, we received approval and went. I expect that the process is different now than it was a year ago but only time will tell if it gets easier or perhaps more difficult with the new administration in DC.
So, now for information on how to see where Pandora is in “sort of” real time. Note that this only applies when we are underway when I am posting our position via the SPOT unit that we keep on board. However, we always leave the AIS transponder on so you can check that way as I leave that unit on most of the time.
AIS too: We have an AIS transponder aboard and if you search for Pandora, MMSI #367600760, you can track us when we are within VHF range. A great app “Marine Traffic” is available in the i-tunes store for your i-phone and when my system is activated, and we are in range, you can see our location in real time, updated every 15 minutes. There is a feature within this app that will allow you to select vessels, such as Pandora and make them part of “your fleet” so that seeing us is that much easier. It’s a pretty nice feature. There is also a feature that will send you an e-mail automatically when we enter or leave a port. Pretty cool, if you ask me.
Anyway, Brenda and I have quite an adventure in store as we make our way from the BVI and south, not to mention getting from SC to there in January.
I do hope that you will be inspired to follow along. Wish us luck.
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