Aboard S/V DAYBREAK
21 December 2001
Yes, I did have to unsubscribe. This Winlink system works very well. To the shoreside correspondent, it works just like any other email. (That was not always true.) I can even receive any type of attachments of up to 30K. From the boat, however, it is not at all like being "on-line". Traffic is passed to and from the boat and a shoreside ham radio station through a digital protocol called Pactor, which was invented by a couple of German hams. The shore station transfers the traffic to and from the internet. What I do is contact one of these volunteer ham radio sysops. The three stations I use most right now are located in Nova Scotia, Alabama, and Texas. Once the contact is made, the process is fully automatic. If there is traffic for me, it is received and any traffic I have queued up to send goes out. It does take time and atmospheric conditions can slow things down. This is why the sysops discourage users from signing up for various types of "lists". The members of the SWII group seemed to be using it for passing personal traffic rather than items of general interest and I couldn't see cluttering up the Winlink system with it. Too bad, maybe when we move ashore in a couple of years.
There is another system run by volunteer ham radio operators that you might find interesting. If you would like to know where we are at any time, try this:
Thanks again for your help and we will try to stay in touch.
Gil and Judy Steinfort
DAYBREAK, SWII #122