Since I retired in 2012, Brenda and I have spent our winters south including time traveling up and down the Intra Coastal Waterway, several winters exploring the Bahamas and two months cruising the south coast of Cuba in March and April of 2016. In the September 2016 issue of Blue Water Sailing Magazine I had an article about our trip to Cuba that sums things up nicely. Check it out here. For the last two seasons, we have cruised the eastern Caribbean, first the Leeward Islands and for the 2016-2017 winter season. I did a summary of our 2017 cruise to the Leewards in this post. For the 2017/2018 season, we covered the southern islands of the Caribbean, the Windwards from Antigua to the Grenadines. Following that, as in past years, I brought Pandora back north to New England waters.
This coming Fall I will be running Pandora south again, this time from Essex Yacht Club with a likely stop in Bermuda before continuing on to Antigua for a total distance of about 1,650 miles, as part of the Salty Dawg Rally to Antigua.
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 may 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. Generally, when we are underway, I send a position report once every two hours, and every time we move the boat at least once. My “track” will remain on the map for the entire season so you will know where our travels have taken us. Let me know what you think of this service.
Although the tracker isn’t on when we are anchored, we always leave the AIS transponder on so you can check that way and see where we are. To see us on AIS, search for Pandora, MMSI #367600760. This service only works when we are within VHF range so it’s primarily coastal.
A great AIS 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.
Regarding Cuba: If you want to read more about the process we went through to gain US government approval to visit Cuba 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 do hope that you will be inspired to follow along. Wish us luck.
Oh yeah… you can sign up on my home page with your email so you will get a message whenever I post a new entry to my blog.