Frequently Asked Questions
Rather than the usual cliches we have instead assembled answers to technical questions that you may have.
1. How are you maintaining the web site? We have a wireless phone account with Verizonwireless with internet access. We use a Motorola Startac phone with the cable and software necessary to run it as a modem from the IBM Thinkpad. This was fine while we were in the U.S. Unfortunately a hacker disabled the original site in December 2000. Later, in the Bahamas, my cell phone opnly worked on the analog side of the Batelco network and my PC hard drive died. To fill in we emailed updates back to a colleague in the U.S.
2. What charts are you using? John Kettlewell produces a chartbook for the ICW. The BBA chartkit for the ICW is also very detailed. For the Bahamas we have the BBA chartkit and the three volumes published by Explorer. The Explorer chart books have become the standard for Bahamas cruisers. In fact we never used the BBA chartkit for the Bahamas. One boat that relied on the NavTech electronic charts to get into Elizabeth Harbor at night wound up on the rocks. Later another boat was using the same resource to leave from George Town at North Channel Rocks and was kept from running aground by another concerned boater watching them.
3. Cruising Guides? The ever popular Cruising Guide to Chesapeake Bay. Jan and Bill Moeller's companion to Kettlewell's chartbook for the ICW. In the past I used some of the Embassy guides so purchased the Atlantic Coast book. For the Bahamas we have Yachtsman's Guide to the Bahamas, On and Off the Beaten Path: The Central and Southern Bahamas Guide by Pavlidis and his guide for the Exumas.
4. Weather? We use a shortwave receiver and tried to use HFFAX software to receive weather maps from the National Weather Service. Once our computer died we relied solely on the voice forecasts from the NWS. Also, there are regular local broadcasts on VHF when in US waters. Herb Hilgenberg can be heard every afternoon on SSB forecasting weather for boaters in the Northwest Atlantic. Finally, there are informal cruisers' nets that keep everyone up to date on the weather.
4. Food. Perhaps optimistically we have fishing rods and pole spears.
5. Laundry. We haven't used laundromats since graduate school so maybe this experience will purify our souls.
6. The Galley includes engine refrigeration, a CNG stove with 3 burners and an oven, and a double SS sink.