Welcome aboard Bagabonda Sailing Vessel!
Finally an answer to the question: “Where is Bagabonda”
The Sailing Vessel Bagabonda is sailing the oceans and finding cool places to discover. On the above map, you can see where we were last and see the short updates we share. As these short updates are shared via text-message (SMS over Sattelite), you’ll find the longer stories and pictures on the BAGABONDA BLOG.
Bagabonda has several navigation and communication systems on board. One of them is an Iridium satellite communication system. The Iridium Go allows us to download weather and routing information wherever we are in the world, send text messages, and make (limited) phone calls. The system will also transmit our location back to the Predictwind servers every once in a while, allowing the map to display our last known position.
The Iridium go is connected to a satellite antenna on the boat, so the signal might be picked up easier. However, remember that technology can fail, and this position might not always be updated. Besides the Iridium system, we transmit our signal also via AIS over VHF, so other ships can see where we are and where we’re heading when they’re near us. When we’re close to the coast, the AIS signal is picked up by coastal stations and displayed on the ship tracking websites.
But the Iridium signal is sent to our friends at Predictwind (they also provide weather and routing forecast: a pretty important set of information when sailing), who update the map on their servers. We embedded the map here, so you all can have the lastest news.
Bookmark this page if you’d like to have a look at where we are.
Besides the Iridium Go, which primary function is reliable offshore communications, we also have an AIS on board. AIS stands for Automatic Identification System.
AIS is a system used by ships and vessels for identification at sea. AIS helps to resolve the difficulty of identifying ships when not in sight (e.g., at night, in radar blind arcs or shadows, or at a distance) by providing ID, position, course, speed, and other ship data with all other nearby ships and VTS stations. The information that our AIS broadcasts is shown on the chart plotter of vessels in the area.
The AIS is connected to our VHF radio and uses the VHF frequency to broadcast our information. That means only ships (or coastal stations) within broadcast reach of Bagabonda will get the latest updates. That’s a significant difference with the Iridium/Predictwind system: that will send our location via satellite. It should (in theory) continuously be updated on systems connected with their database.
AIS also helps us to identify ship names when we at Bagabonda want to call a ship. Rather than saying, “Tanker on course 270”, we can now call the ship by its name and (hopefully) have a quicker established communication with them.
So, no, the Iridium Go and this tracking page are not the same as the AIS.
MarinTraffic has the latest AIS data for Bagabonda: you can see it here.