A Boatload of Bandwidth

Have you ever contracted the annoying song virus?

You know, you’re minding your own business in the office when someone says to you, "I can’t get this annoying song out of my head."

And proceeds to tell you what is is — or sings it. 

And then you’ve got that thing stuck in your head for the rest of the day?

Well we contracted that virus via the Internet this morning when we saw the photo to the left.

We’ll let you guess the song (we won’t be cruel), but what the heck is that a photo of? 

It’s the Zeeman Ocean Challenge, an attempt to do what no one has ever done before: row across the Pacific Ocean at its widest point with no support at all. (9 people have done it with support.)

That’s 16,000 kilometers, and a pretty amazing thing to attempt. But what really caught our eye was the white umbrella on the stern deck.

We’ve written before about the use of satellite communications to keep in touch on maritime adventures (such as when the Kon-Tiki sailed again). It’s worth taking a moment to look at the marketplace again.

How does one stay in touch while in the middle of the ocean?

First, one needs a good maritime satellite antenna — such as this new C2SAT antenna. Then, if you’re not going to subscribe to Direct to Sailor TV, you’ll need to subscribe to a service for phone and internet connections.

So you can surf while you drift, as it were.

Eutelsat offers always on net capability, whether you’re in a rowboat or something bigger or something bigger still. Their maritime service is available on their W3A satellite (7 East), which is good for the Mediterranean and coastal Europe as well as coastal sub-Saharan Africa, or on Atlantic Bird 1 (12.5 West), which covers the Western European coast, North Sea, and the coastal waters off eastern North America.

But the "King of the Hill" in maritime communications is Inmarsat, which provides flexible pricing plans for the little guy in the rowboat but also the bandwidth to broadcast a rare Marathon in Antarctica.

Now if we could just get that song out of our head.