Iridium Go: The Facebook of Voyaging

Day 3 out here on the big Pacific. We have had excellent weather and sailing. We are enjoying bathing suit (or underwear) conditions as long as they last. So far we have had consistent speeds in the 5-6 knot range and are very much on course. We haven’t felt like fishing lately because we are moving too fast for it to be pleasant. Maybe today.

We are grateful to have an Iridium Go as it keeps us connected to friends, family, and other boats out here while underway. Every morning we send and receive texts to people important in our lives and catch up with the news headlines and get position reports from other sailboats making the same passage. We like having this small routine of connections and appreciate the time it fills as we have nothing but time out here. With conditions this perfect there isn’t a lot to do to keep the sails filled but the boat motion and heel make doing work below a real challenge. So having a little bit of social media with our morning coffee gives us a little routine. If Mike really wants to irritate me he will sigh deeply while reading the headlines out loud, depriving me of the privilege of discovering for myself what stupid thing has happened this day. When all you have is headlines each word is a precious bundle of possibility.

Why do we even bother with this? I do ask myself this question. I guess we want to be prepared for the culture shock that surely awaits us back in the lower 48. Will we be shot for wearing our facemasks? Will people make fun of us and give us dirty looks for maintaining a respectable distance at the store? Reading the headlines makes us wonder what has happened to people. The same folks who talk about the rule of law, stop at red lights, wear pants in public, submit willingly to TSA invasions of privacy because 9/11 and put on their seatbelts have decided that wearing a mask to protect others during a pandemic is the hill on which they will make their last stand? Wearing a mask is just a bridge too far? Holy cow. What has happened to my country?

I don’t know where we are going to fit in with this new world. I guess if it’s as crazy as the news makes it sound we can put our family on the boat and sail back to Hawaii, where everyone appears to realize they are in this together and they cooperate without feeling unAmerican. On Kauai you will be required to mask up to go into any store, regardless of your opinion about it. You will not ride the public bus without one. They have done a good job of keeping the island virus free and they, as a community, intend it to remain that way. We really hated to leave because of this, if for no other reason. People there thought we were crazy to leave. I hope they were wrong.

My hope is that the reality is less grim than reports would have us believe, as is so often the case. I mean, after all, the purpose of so many headlines is to stir up emotions to get you to click. That is just the way it works now. Even here in the middle of the ocean we have to bear that in mind. As a people we have become a bit addicted to our collective outrage and a good headline can really get us going.

Just like when we have internet, when we have the opportunity to get spun up because of all the stupid posted on social media, our Iridium Go is a mixed blessing. We need it for the communication it provides. But when the crazy gets to be too much we step away and focus on what is most important in the here and now. And for us it’s this lovely sea and making the most of this passage.

Stay safe and sane, people. Take care of yourselves. And please take care of others as well. We look forward to seeing people. From a distance.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

4 thoughts on “Iridium Go: The Facebook of Voyaging

  1. Here in a marina in Ballard. The news makes it much more dramatic than I see it. Most everyone wears a mask or whatever, and all seem very polite so far. The minor riots / demonstrations are easy to avoid, and have seemed to have passed. We all take care of each other as you would expect in marina land. Costs seem normal, and most things are available, with some minor delays on a few items. Safe passage!

  2. I’m currently in what I call a “Facebreak” – a cold-turkey withdrawal from all social media, and most specifically the manipulative, antisocial outlet of cultural and personal angst known as Facebook. For the next month, I’ve removed the app from my device, and that’s it. If anyone there really needs me, they know my email or phone number – and if they have neither of those, whatever they have to say to me can wait until August first.
    As for what you’ll experience when you get back to the States…
    Brace yourselves. It’s going to be a bumpy, surreal ride!

    • Good morning Mellisa and Michael,
      Just wanted to check in and wish you a safe passage back home.
      Roberta and I have been following your adventures for awhile now and in particular since you left Mexico.
      You have been on an awesome roll of good management and we recall and relive the memories that we had doing a very similar route as yourselves back in ’89. You catch more fish…!!!
      We did find three glass balls between Hanalei and Canada and picked them all up using sail alone. (Proud crew, lol)
      I hope you find life in your home land goes well for you.
      We will continue to watch, follow, enjoy and wish you a safe and enjoyable trip home.
      You have a great boat under you. Heh, heh….
      SV Walhachin

  3. You’re coming back to Washington. Specifically, Western Washington. All media, left and right, overblows stuff. If I can say, living in a purple-to red region that’s near a very red area that it’s not too bad, you can relax. Basically, avoid the places you normally avoid and you’ll be fine. You wil need to figure out a vehicle though.

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