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Published: 2015-09-16 00:00:00
Topics: Caribbean Sea , Communications
A full-time live-aboard for over 30 years, who’s cruised 10 years in remote areas of the Southern and SW Caribbean, spending months at a time at anchor without cellular or Internet access, Glenn realizes the importance of the HF/SSB radio aboard cruising vessels. Although a satellite phone is a great resource, and he used an Iridium phone during his cruising in the Caribbean, it is not a replacement for a HF/SSB radio. This was proven last summer when he was involved in the rescue of two Bahamian fishermen
Glenn suggested to the Board that they establish an SSCA Voice Service (not a formal net) on the HF radio band to assist cruisers in remote locations who are without cellular and Internet access, in order to relay priority and emergency information and to provide any vessels needing assistance with additional resources. The assistance could include radio checks, float plans, telephone contact with family/friends, boat to boat relays, access to medical or mechanical professionals, marinas, Internet searches, or other assistance that he might be able to provide to cruisers in remote locations. All vessels are welcome to participate in this service provided by the SSCA.
However, in order to reach the far corners of the Caribbean and beyond, a land based radio and antenna system is needed, similar to the excellent system used by Chris Parker of the Marine Weather Center. Such a radio station, operating on the marine bands from a land station requires a “Public Coast License” from the FCC. The SSCA is pleased to report the SSCA was successful in obtaining such license, and is now authorized to operate under the call sign “KPK” from Glenn's residence in SW Florida. Glenn has erected a 70’ tower with a rotatable directional beam antenna tuned for the 8 Mhz marine band which will effectively reach the entire Caribbean and beyond.
The SSCA welcome any comments and suggestions from cruisers regarding this proposed service. The FCC license authorizes us to operate on 8.104, 8.137, and 8.152
At this time, KPK are standing by at 0700 hrs Daylight Savings Time & Eastern Standard Time (1100 hrs UTC in the Summer and 1200 hrs UTC in the Winter) on frequency 8.104 for any vessel needing the assistance of land based resources.
KPK are also standing by following both the Cruiseheimers morning net and the Doo Dah evening net, both on 8.152, most days.
KPK are also authorized to operate on 12.350 and are working on expanding the antenna array to include that frequency and monitor at 1800 hrs EDT when Chris Parker has his net for vessels in the Atlantic and beyond.