Friday 7th August 2015
When we were planning to go to Raja Ampat, I did have a bit of concern about…the internet. I don’t like to be out of cybercontact for too long. In fact, the place we have had the most problem with internet connection this far in our travel has been – Australia!
Consider, for instance, this tiny dot of an island – Pulau Arborek. It is very small and consists of a reef, a beach, a small village. The people have water from wells, and some sort of electricity source for a few hours a day, to run their lights. They do not have computers! And…the internet signal is consistent – not particular strong and speedy, but it is there!
In fact internet communication has made a huge difference to sailors all over the world. Not many years ago it was impossible to get even a weather forecast, in the Philippines, or the Indonesian archipelago. Now it is at our fingertips, as is connection with friends and family.
My little iPad runs a very efficient Navionics chart. Whether or not we are in reach of an internet communications tower, it tells us where we are and where we are going, and what dangers lurk beneath the sea. It also tells us what the tides are doing – what a godsend!
All of this has made an enormous difference to people like me, who may not ever be able to use a sextant, or astronomic charts to navigate across the sea.
The other huge leap forward has been – solar panels! Most boats are now almost entirely powered by the sun (well…not the engines, but everything else.) This makes it possible to run computers, fridges, (small…) fans. I am very lucky to be on the sea in a time when life has been simplified in these major ways!
Today’s birthday – another decade!! – Claire Cook!!