Refreshed Home Page

Good morning! After getting some feedback from blog followers and thinking about the number of satellite posts that I hope to be making to my PredictWind satellite tracker during my transatlantic attempt, I put my nose to the grindstone and figured out how to embed the satellite tracker into the hjsailing home page.

Please check it out, bookmark it, and—when I start the transatlantic attempt—check frequently for updates. It’s pretty cool if I may say so.

Full internet access is required to make regular blog posts, complete with pictures, email notifications, etc. (this post you are reading is a “regular” blog post). However, when I’m sailing without full internet access, the best I can do is make “micro posts” via a satellite connection to the satellite tracker. Unfortunately, email notifications are not available when I make micro posts via satellite.

For those interested in the technical details, Iridium is the satellite connectivity service I use and PredictWind is one of the weather forecasting services I use and it overlays Iridium. PredictWind also provides the satellite tracker (thus its logo on the tracker).

Navigating the Tracker

Given that navigation is important, regardless of whether sailing the ocean or surfing the web, here are some tips for navigating the embedded tracker in the refreshed home page (it’s not complex but it’s a little different than on the native tracker page):

  • Double tap on the tracker to zoom in.
  • Pinch with two fingers to zoom back out.
  • Use two fingers to move or pan across the map.
  • The lower left of the tracking window shows when the last satellite update was made, and Hazel’s latitude and longitude position, and speed at last update (I think satellite updates are made hourly, I know it’s not real-time).
  • The white boxes in the lower center and lower right of the tracker show the couple most recent satellite micro posts. Scroll to the right to see older posts.

As I say on the home page, please remember that satellites are not foolproof and I generally shut down the tracker when I’m in port for more than a few days. Bottom line, don’t freak out if Hazel James appears to ”disappear.” If I do find myself in an emergency situation, I have other communications channels that I will be using.

Also as I say on the home page, if the embed breaks or otherwise gets funky, you can always go to the native PredictWind page for HJ to see updates.

I have a few last minute items to take care of and, otherwise, am waiting for a good weather window to embark. Hopefully within the next week you’ll start seeing the beautiful arc of Hazel’s and my track across the Gulf Stream (between mainland South Florida and The Bahamas), over the Little Bahama Bank and leaving the islands of Grand Bahama the Abacos to starboard and bound for Bermuda!

Intended course to navigate around The Bahamas and bound for Bermuda.

Fair winds and following seas.

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