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Checking the email while underway.

Mid ocean communications are a bit more problematic than shore based communications.   Cell phones of course won't work very far off shore and marine VHF communications are good only for about 20 miles under the most optimal conditions.   If you venture further out, you need something a little more robust than either of those.   A common solution to the problem is a marine grade HF radio, also known as a single side band (SSB) radio.

Ketch 22 is outfitted with an ICOM M710 SSB radio with a automatic antennae tuner.   This is an excellent radio for voice communications, but the rig requires someone at the other end with equivalent capability to receive and respond.   For a few more dollars, you can add a Pactor III modem, which converts digital data to HF, and uses the ICOM M710 to transmit the data.   This of course requires software and a computer in order to create the digital data in the first place.   Thus you have a system that starts with a laptop, an editor and the Pactor III modem to convert the data to an analog frequency, which is the transmitted to remote locations.   It sounds a lot like email, and that's exactly what it is.   I was sending email to Naty at least once a day during the entire 14 day trip to Hawaii, and nearly every day on the 20 day return trip from Hawaii to San Francisco.

As a licensed (KF6IIX) amateur radio operator, often known as ham radio operators, the cost to send the email is $0.00.   Amazingly, that is not a typo.   Volunteer ham radio operators have made the ham email system free.   En-route to and from Hawaii, I was routinely transmitting and receiving from a land based radio in Calgary Canada and paying nothing for the privilege.   Of course the radio and the laptop and the Pactor III modem cost a little more, but once the procurement cost has been expensed the ongoing costs are negligible.   Similar commercial operations are available as well such as Sail Mail , but none as economical as the ham radio system which uses Airmail to manage the email and the Pactor modem.