Ryan and Kelly,
We have several
choices aboard Cream Puff:
InReach – we love it and have the unlimited
text plan. It works best when synced to a smart-phone or tablet. Texting becomes
much easier then. Friends can track us in real time.
Mail – Once the initial
investment is made into the equipment, this is the least expensive way to get
forecasts and email at sea.
9555 Satellite Phone – This
is a stupid expensive communication device but much easier to use than the SSB.
We use it mostly for data. We keep a plan that is called an emergency plan. We
pay high cost per minute when we use it (which is rarely). This keeps the phone
active withut having to buy pre-paid minutes. In the past we purchased minutes
but they just expired and were wasted. We use it as a modem (no need for
IridiumGo). They have a PC download you can use to set the phone up as a modem.
It is not hard to do. It is mostly connected to the ship’s computer where we
can download weather using our TimeZero navigations software. A complete 7 day
forecast takes about 5 minutes and about $7.50. This setup eliminates the need
for IridiumGo. The 9555 set-up is basically a back up to the SSB.
In addition to
at sea communication devices look into a Google Project Fi phone while you are
still in the USA. It works in 170+ countries. When you land in a port, turn on
the cell phone and you will have instant internet and cell service without have
to visit local cell providers. If you do not use the phone then you do not pay
for the data. We have had this for about 6 months now and love it. Our lowest monthly
bill is about $20. Our highest maximum bill allowed is $80 if we use a ton of
data. They do not throttle you back if you use a lot of data.
Hope this helps
As Kelly and I prepare to go cruising, we're investigating
all the possibilities for communication while at sea. Is there an
alternative to WLO, which has recently gone out of business?
It seems the IridiumGo is the go-to solution for this, but
we'd like to avoid buying more equipment if possible. For weather, we can
probably get by with weatherfax and listening to the forecasts. It would
be nice to have some way to contact folks back home. I'm aware of
SailMail, but it requires a Pactor modem, so if that is the only option we'd go
with the Iridium.