There is a website that will show our position in real time. It’s both an app and a website: marine traffic. It displays boat icons for all vessels with an AIS signature. AIS is one of the newer navigation technologies and, IMHO, one of the slickest. It allows ships to see each other, as icons, on their GPS chart plotters, up to 20 miles away. Click on an icon and it displays vessel name, course, speed, closest point of approach (CPA), time to CPA, vessel size and other useful information. A vector line from each vessel shows the forward path, on the chart plotter/chart, based on the current heading (course).
All this graphical info and data allow other vessels to assess the relative danger of a collision. For example, if crossing a shipping lane at 7 knots, its more than nice to know that there’s a 780 ft ship, 8 miles away, traveling at 19 knots. One does NOT cross in front of such a behemoth without at least 2 miles to spare (my standards). There’s enough information to determine what course provides an adequate margin if safety, in front or behind. Or…one can call the ship, by name, on VHF radio. (This is waaay better than trying something like, “Container ship northbound in Haro Strait. Over.” They tend not to answer.) Ship captains are more than happy to discuss relative approaches, to avoid surprises, and, given adequate notice, make course changes. Generally, though, the universal law of tonnage applies…the little boat, being most at risk and being the most maneuverable, makes the adjustment.
Anyway…back to the app. You can see all these boat/GPS icons, worldwide. Or you can look at only certain kinds of boats, say pleasure boats. Or you can specify your own fleet and see only those, which is especially easy with a fleet of one: us. Zoom out to see the entire Atlantic Ocean and you’ll see where we are and where we’ve been. Or zoom in when we’re docked in Bermuda and you can see which dock we’re moored on.
Some directions: either get the app for your mobile device or go to https://www.marinetraffic.com. You’ll have to register to get full functionality, but it’s free. Once you are comfortable with this and that, do a vessel search for Moxie. There’s more than one, so pick the one with MMSI #367570660. Once you find the right Moxie, assign it to your fleet. After that, you can click a view-my-fleet button to get rid of the other icons competing for your attention.
Here’s what it looks like while we’re still in Florida. Once we’re moving, tap the little v-shaped-with arrow button to see our past track.
Also, for more entertainment, there’s a site that shows current weather, world-wide. It’s called Windy. There’s an app for mobile devices and an online site. That address is: https://www.windy.com/. Focus on any area you choose and zoom in/out to suit. It has a menu of Wind, Clouds, Temperature, Rain/Snow, Waves & Atmospheric Pressure. Plus, it shows an animated depiction of 2 different forecasts (US and European models used by NOAA and others) for the next 9 days. It’s very cool.
Here’s a screen shot of May 4th wind:
Shar & I just arrived at the boat. Tomorrow (May 11) is re-fueling and moving Moxie to a more convenient location. Capt. Bob arrives on the 12th. It’s getting close and we’re pretty excited.