Saturday, April 20, 2013

testing, testing

I sent out a SPOT "OK" message this morning, one that goes to some family members and friends.  It is a pre-trip ritual where I both try to remember how the SPOT work and also test it to make sure it is working.  The OK message did go out and I'm now receiving confirmation of the emails.  The message includes a link to a map with my location.  Looking at that map just now I see that it is accurate to within about 40 feet.

I do realize some people have had problems with their SPOT devices.  Like all technical devices - let's face it, a gps device receiving locations from multiple satellites, then sending a location back to another satellite, is not that simple - I'm sure there are some out there that don't work properly.  That is exactly why I do this test before each trip.  But also I think some of the problems with SPOT come from the user interface.  I can't speak for the current models, but as for the older models like mine are not intuitive to use.  Some buttons do more than one thing, depending on how long the button is held down.  Flashing lights can mean a couple of different things, depending on the mode the SPOT is set for.  Again, this is another reason for the test - to remember if I know how to use SPOT.  Apparently I do.

Checking my SPOT profile I made the above screen shot for my BoatUS link.  (I just now sent in checks to BoatUS for both my annual membership - which includes on the water assistance, on the water towing and trailer towing - and insurance).  By linking the SPOT to my BoatUS account, a SPOT request for assistance goes directly to BoatUS, and I'm hoping they respond appropriately.  The two times I have used BoatUS services, on the road assistance for the trailer both times, saved me more money than the cost of the annual membership.  It was a pretty good deal.

The photo is at the top was sailing down Chincoteague Bay on day seven of the Over the Top trip.  We'll pick up where we left off on the Delmarva circumnavigation in about two weeks.


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