Weems & Plath introduced a new safety device at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis. I think it is pretty creative as it uses Bluetooth connectivity to link a smartphone to a wearable transponder. If the signal is lost, or the unit is immersed in water, the smartphone sounds the alarm with sound, strobe, and vibration.
It is a new application of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.
Carrying an Air Band VHF radio on your next passage might be of value if you need to call for help. Even at high altitude, it is possible to communicate with a passing aircraft to get the word out that you have an emergency and need help.
Susie Goodall had a really close call, but she is safe after losing her Rustler 36 in the Southern Ocean. The 29-year-old was knocked unconscious when her boat pitchpoled end over end in rough seas and high winds.
She was eventually picked up by a cargo ship on its way to Argentina.
If you are an “experienced” cruiser (aka old person) you probably remember the days of Selective Availability (SA) and intentionally reduced GPS accuracy. The military only let us know our location within 100 meters. This continued for years, despite ongoing pleas from the FAA and USCG to provide everyone with the accuracy available from the GPS satellite system.
It took a jetliner being shot down to turn off this reduced-accuracy SA.
Today we could not live without accurate GPS information. At home, on the road, and on the water.
I went along on what will likely be the last sail of the year. Boats that have not gone south are being winterized and properly stored. This past Saturday we brought a Hallberg-Rassy to its winter yard at Herrington Harbour North in Deale, MD.
And today I help bring a Selene 40 trawler over to Jabin Yacht Yard in Annapolis for hauling and shrink wrap. It’s that time of year.