Monday, July 16, 2007

Once a ham...

Ah, back on the boat.

Thank the stars for air conditioning, cuz it is hottern' the hinges of hell here in Mexico right now. Wimpdom prevails.

Couldn't wait to tune up on the Chubasco Net (7294 at 7:30 am, Arizona time) to hear old friends, catch the weather, and local news worthy of reporting: Unusual bee activity in the northern sea.

Back in '90, when we cruised under the Golden Gate Bridge and turned left, ham radio was our only lifeline back home. We tuned up daily for rather sketchy weather reports and those marvelous guys and gals back home who made phone patches for us.
'Course, we had to make those calls collect, so some relatives and friends preferred to get the occasional letter.

Blissfully cruising the Pacific, ham radio was all we had. Imagine our surprise when we arrived, in January of '91, in Cabo San Lucas and learned we were at war. Happily, it was not with Mexico.

While we cruised, the ham nets' weather reports became more accurate, cellphones began to replace those dear phone patches, but we remained mostly in the dark regarding world events. For example, we were driving up the Baja after nine months in the Sea when I turned on the radio and picked up a San Diego news station.After listening a few minutes, I told my husband, "Gee, it sounds like maybe O.J. Simpson killed someone."
I was the knock-knock joke:
"Knock, knock."
"Who's there?"
"O.J. who?"
"You're on the jury."
Don't I wish!

Now we have wireless Internet on the boat, cell phone service, Skipe to make calls out, voice mail to forward our calls from home. We are infinitely in touch.

And what do I long for? Getting out to sea, with only ham radio to reach out and touch someone. KC6YMJ, in Mexico.

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