Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cruiser Nets

That's me running the net!

People on boats love to talk to other people on boats, and the radio nets are a big way for cruisers to keep in contact, get weather information and buy/sell/trade items. Having never checked in with a net before, we used the Southwest Caribbean Net on the SSB on our passage from Providencia to Bocas and found it quite nice. I enjoyed checking in every morning, listening to the weather, getting to report our own weather observations and just generally hearing another person's voice while in the middle of the nowhere.

Down here in Bocas, there's the Southwest Caribbean Net and the local cruisers net on the VHF, which is much more informal and includes a somewhat boisterous jokes and trivia section. Lately, I have been the net controller for the nets one day a week because other - let's be honest here - more qualified people have gone home for the season. The only problem with this is that the nets happen pretty early in the morning for Vlad, our boat's resident sleeping beauty, and he is subjected to me saying "Goooooood Morning, Bocas del Toro" in my best radio announcer voice at 7:45 a.m. He vacillates between being proud of me for talking to people I don't know over the airwaves and being afraid that all the power will go to my head, turning me into some kind of tinpot radio dictator. All in all, it's pretty fun as long as I've had enough coffee.

But enough about being a net controller. There are radio nets all over the world, so as a cruiser if you want to stay in touch with or get to know other cruisers then net it up. Just in case you want more info about the nets, I've included a couple of sites where you can get frequencies and times here and here.


  1. We are still debating Sat phone vs. SSB. I will fully admit my reluctance to go with SSB is because I know absolutely nothing about them and it all seems to be so very foreign and strange. Your delight in becoming a Ham and the fun you seem to be having with the nets is giving me much to consider...

  2. General Hamster and now Dictator Tinpot??? I like it!

  3. You should have a Radio name!

    Attila and Sid in the morning.

    Awesome that you get to talk to so many other cruisers, especially WAY out in the open water.