old sea dog new tricks

The San Diego boating community is dedicated to the cruisers. With over 400 boats passing through enroute to Mexico this time of year, the industry here is set up to service and educate the cruisers. There are seminars almost every night this week for the participants of the Baja Ha Ha and the FUBAR cruises. This is a great source of information plus a nice way to meet fellow cruisers.

I just attended a 3 day course on the SSB given by the ultimate SSB guru, Gordon West, Shea West. and Jim and Sue Goreman. Starting from being an absolute beginner this was an intense lesson given by the real experts– in other words, allot of stuff to learn fast. First thing i discovered is that my “good deal” on the Furuno 1503 radio was a mistake– the whole SSB world revolves around the channel specifications of the Icom 802, buy nothing else. From there things went up hill as Gordo worked overtime to help me get the needed frequencies translated from the Icom channels. A few words about Gordo; he should be a personal growth coach. His level of enthusiasm is usually found on topics a bit juicier than radios and he knows everything about the topic. He brings a level of joy to a usually dull topic.

The third day was a lesson in Sailmail, again from the top experts who manage and wrote the program. I learned the basics and then discovered the vast options in the program from hidden addresses to the ability to access my regular email account. The weather information is really amazing and will certainly come in handy, along with the ability to communicate both with other vessels and with folks at home.