>Where’s Pandora or any boat for that matter?

>So, how do you keep track of where a boat is these days?  Or, perhaps better stated, how to you let your land-locked friends keep tabs on you when you are cruising?  Of course, the question of “why would anyone care” is perhaps relevant but let’s put that thought aside for now.  Besides, my Mom always wants to keep tabs on me.

As we plan for our first really big trip next fall to Florida and onto the Bahamas, I have been thinking about ways to keep my Mom, Dad and our friends up to date on where we are.  Yes, a phone call works well but having the boat show up on a map is just so much better.  So, I have been on the prowl, or should I say on a “voyage” to identify the best way to have Pandora show up on a map and track our progress along the way.

As you would expect, there are a number of options to choose from.  Some are fairly expensive and utilize the Iridium satellite system to display the location on a map while others utilize the AIS system.  
As an example of how this can work, I was fascinated to learn that there is a website that tracks every AIS equipped vessel in the world in real time.  To illustrate this feature, I looked on a list of sailing yachts and discovered a yacht that I had seen last summer in Maine.  Artemis, a beautiful sailing yacht caught my eye in Southwest Harbor as well as Frenchboro last August.  Here’s a shot that shows just how powerful and sleek she is.   And big, really big.  
In case you are in the market for a charter, here’s her particulars.  Besides, why settle for less when you can have an on-deck Jacuzzi and exercise room.  Not bad at all.  
So, after seeing her in Maine last August, thinking about my own “tracking” plans, I found myself wondering “where’s Artemis?”.   In case you are wondering too, she’s in Martinique where it’s a lot warmer than here in New Jersey.  I discovered this great site where you can look up any AIS equipped boat and see what she is up to right now.  Here’s Artemis.  Perhaps when you look she will have moved.  This is pretty neat but it only shows a current location or track if she is underway.  However, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of historical information on track and distance by date. 
For that there is another, more expensive, option Yellow Brick (how great is that name?), out of England that shows the current location, speed and where they have been over a long period.  This example is pretty neat as it includes an integrated blog showing entries along the historical track.  The Iridium system us a group of satellites that will track an equipped boat, in real time, anywhere in the world.   
I am sure that there are plenty of options and I really want to put something onto Pandora as we head south.  For now, it’s great fun to follow others and I guess that Bob the Armchair sailor is a description that will have to suffice.  
Perhaps you went on a cruise and are wondering where “your boat” is right now.  Try the look-up feature and put in the name of the boat in the upper left box to find out where she is.

So, which system for Pandora?  For that I guess you will be the second to know.

More importantly, where’s Pandora?   For now you will have to take my word that she’s safe and sound but not anywhere interesting at all, for now, anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *