“Where are you headed?” “How will we know where you are?” “I wish we could come…”
These are the sorts of questions you hear when you announce your intention to unplug from the ordinary and follow a dream. Friends and family, and sometimes imperfect strangers; all would like to have a way to follow along.
Perhaps it’s to live vicariously through your adventures. Maybe they’d like to reassure themselves that you’re safe – the logic being that if you’re still moving, you must be ok. (Is that really logical?)
Whatever the reason, those questions, combined with the pleasure I’ve had following OTHER people’s adventures through their blogs and trackers, led us to search for some sort of affordable tracking system for our trip, so that we could let interested parties of all sorts know our position and kind of ride along with us.
Sionna does have AIS (Automatic Identification System) aboard, and there are several sites on the web that allow you to check in on all the AIS equipped vessels in a given area and see what they’re up to. (Marine Traffic AIS map is one) The down side of Marine Traffic is that it’s not tracking any specific vessel – just every vessel (with AIS) that’s in range.
There are also paid services, such as that offered by DeLorme with their Inreach system, but given our fetish with frugality, we’re not likely to go there.
However there is another option – it’s called Farkwar.
Ok, I don’t know how he came up with the name. But the basic idea of the service is that you create your own position reports when you have internet capability, add a comment if you like, then post it, and anyone who’s signed up to receive your updates will get an email telling them you’ve updated your position.
If you didn’t click on that Farkwar link already, check it out – that’s Sionna’s page, which shows that she’s currently parked in our yard in Warren, eagerly awaiting spring, and a completion of her pre-cruise refit.
As we all are.
So if you too would be interested in seeing where we get to and how long it takes, head on over to the Farkwar site and sign up to follow the sailing vessel Sionna: we’d be happy to have you along.