Link to our Yellow/Brick map position

Click on this link to see Ngahue IV's position, via our Yellow/Brick Tracker

As described elsewhere, we had a serious issue with AST, our Iridium service provider, when their system automatically cut off our Iridium phone 1/3rd way across the Atlantic in November 2017 (and no, the set doesn't come back on line of its own accord as AST reassured us in one e-mail). So we had a hard look for alternative means of communicating with people on land, as we realised that when cut off, our Iridium Pilot was nothing more than an expensive, but totally worthless piece of kit once its SIM-card had been (inadvertently) suspended by our service provider.

Thanks to our ARC-2017 experience, we knew that the Y/B tracker which the WCC had installed on our boat potentially also offered additional communication facilities. So we investigated this and decided to acquire a Yellow/Brick tracker for ourselves. It's a British-designed and engineered product. This link takes you to the Yellow/Brick site, where the producers can explain much better than I can what an interesting set of products and services they offer.

In addition to tracking our daily position, the device also offers a (simple) e-mail service and the possibility to send text messages to terrestrial mobile phones or our boat' Facebook page (a service unavailable at the moment). In case of need, we can therefore contact AST should we again be auto suspended; and request to be brought back on line. We couldn't do this before, because once the SIM-card in your Iridium is cut off, not even an emergency signal goes through. This is quite unlike a terrestrial mobile phone where you can still dial the emergency numbers!!!

By clicking on the link above to Ngahue IV, you can see where the boat is, and what posts Laura has included en route. It's quite nifty, giving her a parallel site to post things about the places we see (and a feature used by many other long-term cruisers).

Nevertheless, we do want to issue a note of caution to people following us via Y/B: electronics on boats and even satellites can and do go wrong, so please do not assume that the absence of an up-to-date position implies that something is wrong with us. When sailing in company of for instance other ARC boats, our Y/B tracker is programmed by the Rally organisers to release a position every 4 hours or so. However, when we are on our own, or in coastal waters (or winter storage), we will typically release a position only every 12 or (in most cases) 24 hours... And during winter months with the boat stored 'inside', our Y/B Tracker may be turned off altogether!

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