Just wanted to take a second to give a shout out to a bunch of mailing lists I’m on as I think they useful to anyone looking to go cruising some day.
Puget Sound Cruising Club – The PSCC holds monthly local meetings (if North Seattle Community College is local to you) with topical speakers and on the water meetups. I find the list is a good source of local knowledge and referrals. Most of the members in PSCC have no long-term cruising plans beyond the Puget Sound, but they love to hear about your plans. When Dawn and I did last go to one of their Friday meetings we felt like a bit of a novelty, being under 40, but we were very warmly received. I’d probably find time for the meetings if they weren’t on Friday nights, but the list is a great resource even without the meetings.
These next set groups are area specific and the membership seems to be people actually cruising or planning to leave shortly. Conversations tend to focus around best cruising guides, entrance requirements changes, and referrals for mechanics, haul outs, marinas and anchorages along the route. I am sure there are groups for other regions but as I am not yet interested in those areas I’m not on those lists.
- Southbound Group – Focusing on the West Coast of the America’s
- Pacific Puddle Jump – This group is affiliated with the Latitude 38 Pacific Puddle Jump Rally, which is not really a rally, but more of a support network of boats leaving southern Mexico and Central Mexico and arriving in French Polynesia.
- Circumnavigation & Ocean Crossing – Going further? Going Everywhere? This is probably the group to look for information not covered in one of the other groups.
There are also several lists oriented towards different technologies you might find of interest;
- Airmail2000 – This list will walk you through setting Airmail using an internet connection so you can at least rule out the SW not working when you go to use it on your SSB Rig
- NavMonPC – NavMonPC is a PC based instrument display that works by displaying the data on your NMEA network. I am experimenting with this on Deep Playa. The guy who writes it is very nice and fixes bugs as you point them out, but it has a ways to go still in terms of usability, modernity of UI and reliability.
- WINMOR – A software based PACTOR hardware modem equivalent. I have a PACTOR so I don’t really follow this group too closely. If you don’t have a PACTOR you should at least give this a try.
- 12VDC_Power – Most members are doing off the grid installations,but they know a lot about 12V DC, solar panels, wind generators, etc.
- Honda_EU2000_Generators – All hail the mighty Honda EU2000, enough said.
How do you handle all of that email?
- I use an email address that I don’t plan to use all that often once we go cruising. That way random people won’t have my email address I plan to use on my SSB.
- DIGEST MODE !!! You can edit your subscription to any Yahoo! Group so it sends you a daily summary email of the posts on the group. For these groups you’ll get one email per group instead of 5 to 10 (or more).
- Stay on Topic – These lists are about getting things done, not social networks (well maybe PSCC is, but it has low email volume) so keep your replies and questions relevant.
Lot of information to glean and by all means don’t just ask for help, try to offer some answers as well these lists only work if people who have information share it.