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June 1, 2012

New Navstation Computer?

I’ve used small netbooks previously (look at the EeePc line for one low-power solution). These have worked well, but this year It looks like we will have a different configuration: The EeeBox and a small 14-inch USB-connected display: The display burns 5W or less, and with keyboard and mouse plugged in, and the […]

June 30, 2009

Google Earth Track – our northbound adventure

Here (attached) is the Google Earth “.kmz” file showing our track up and down the coast. You can also see the ships we were seeing with our AIS system. I have included placemarks for the major weather buoys along the San Francisco to Seattle route. I swear that we can sail better tacking angles than […]

March 31, 2009

More Fun with AIS

Now that our AIS Class-B transponder is fired up, I’m seeing VALIS show up on more ship-monitoring sites. The University of the Agean has a very nice website that aggregates AIS feeds from all over the world, keeps track history, and shows vessel data: They also provide a Google Earth “KMZ” file that lets […]

March 30, 2009

See VALIS via AIS!

Greetings! As you may know, I am working on the nav-electronics aboard VALIS. Previously we had an AIS receive-only unit, but I have now installed a full Class-B transponder, which means that other vessels with AIS receivers can see us too. Yesterday I finished wiring the unit and decided to leave it running. You can […]

February 15, 2009

My NMEA Logging, AIS, (etc) Program

Last year I mentioned my NMEA logger program (Windows), that captures, logs, plays, displays (etc) NMEA 0812 data. It provides dial displays of most data, as well as AIS display/alarm, depth alarm, MOB alarm, stripcharts, etc. I took it to Hawaii and back during the ’08 Pac Cup and have been bugfixing and feature-creeping since […]

June 11, 2008

Fun With AIS

My wife and I were driving south from Jenner towards Bodega Bay on Monday afternoon, and we saw a beautiful tall ship motoring up the coast in some pretty uncomfortable conditions. The 108 ft Bounty Winds (at the Bodega Bay buoy) were in the low to mid 30-kts, and the swells were about 10 ft. […]

April 18, 2008

Communications and Navigation Technology aboard VALIS

I have actually been asked to describe the systems and programs we use on VALIS  for communications and getting our weather forecasts.  Here it is: Any comments or suggestions are most welcome.

April 14, 2008

Offshore Overnight GoogleEarth Trackfile, AIS-monitoring program

Here is a Google Earth trackfile showing VALIS and the AIS-equipped ships in her vicinity: 2008 Apr 12-13.kmz Also, here are some screenshots of the homebrew program I am using to monitor AIS traffic, as well as to monitor all the navsystem data aboard VALIS: AIS Screen, showing “Gas Oriental” and VALIS ducking her stern […]


Offshore Overnight, April 12-13

We have been planning to take VALIS out on an overnight sail for several months, to give the crew a chance to regain (or gain) their sea-legs, and do some open-ocean spinnaker practice. We had agreed on the weekend of April 12-13, and if the weather wasn’t appropriate we would stay in the Bay. As […]


Sailing, Friday April 11

VALIS is getting ready for the Pacific Cup!   On Friday, Apr 11, Daniel T, Alan B, and I met onboard VALIS to review the systems and rigging, and any changes necessary.  We were joined by our rigger J.P. (J.P. Boatworks, Sausalito – whom I highly recommend).  We went over the boat from stem to […]