Back on Caro Babbo; Purchases start arriving

I wonder whether this annual buying spree will ever end.

In the last few days bunch of things have arrived. Today, a waterproof tablet arrived and graphics for the dinghy and for CaroBabbo.

I knew there was some sort of screwup at boat US when my contact there called to make sure that I had not placed my order twice, intentionally. Apparently, the double order wasn’t caught until after the graphics were cut: Ron didn’t charge me for the double order, and he was nice enough to send me everything.

We arrived back from our road trip this past Friday night, driving pretty much straight through from Denver with a two-hour nap by the side of the road and a wonderful lunch with our friend Larry Brandt. Larry’s pretty much had his world turned upside down, see the coming blog post on

We got to the house around nine or so and slept until about seven in the morning. I somehow thought I would take at least one of the days across the weekend off, but instead we worked quite hard both days on nothing having to do with Caro Babbo. Saturday was unpacking the truck, getting everything stowed in the basement and other things related to the truck. Sunday was spent prepping the dollhouse for painting: we’re having some friends over for dinner Friday night from the sailing community plus my friend and editor Peter Coleman.

The amount of money I’ll spend this year is nothing like what I spent last year when I dropped something on the order of $24,000. But, next year we’ll be dropping cash on all the things I didn’t buy this year, like radar and a new auto helm.

Unopened Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 – designed to be used in the rain and with gloves.
I haven’t opened the new waterproof tablet yet, but we have learned that the replacement phone I bought is defective: microphone doesn’t work.

The number of days that I can work on the boat is shrinking, and replacing the windows is beginning to look doubtful. I do want to give it a try.

Buying a SIM card for the Iridium Go has more shopping involved than I would’ve expected. Or, perhaps I just bumped into the only schnook selling Iridium Go SIM cards on the Internet.

A very nice woman in Point Loma San Diego offered me an unlimited data SIM card for $149 a month with a month twelve month contract, payable up front. When I balked, she said she would write me the contract for $120 a month for eight months, payable up front. I had remembered the SIM card being available for $125 per month on a monthly basis and after thanking her kindly and exchanging life histories, I kept on shopping.

I’ve found a number of companies selling SIMs with unlimited data plans for $125 per month with, seemingly, no contracts and month-to-month.

I’ve written to three companies; only a company in New Zealand has replied. Unexpectedly, the two American companies have not really replied. The people from whom I bought the Iridium Go, sent me a note saying a account rep would contact me… Nobody did. And, the SatPhone company, which has a wonderful website that encourages one to contact them, never responded at all.

The New Zealand company has odd policies, but these may be Iridium policies. A SIM is twenty-five dollars, and will deactivate the moment the contract is terminated. To reactivate a SIM costs $250. Such a bizarre thing.

The SatPhone Company offered a number of very nice add-on products, which I need to investigate. I suspect they can be ordered separately from anyone, perhaps for a lesser price.

The New Zealand company offers routing software. This is the company that Ray Penson dealt with. He felt that the weather routing software was not worth the money, as there is free software available – OpenCPN includes it, as an example.

The new phone and the new tablet are running new versions of Android. This means that software that we could not upgrade, or that would not reload on replacement phones, will run now. I’ve already seen thay the software does now load on the Samsung Galaxy 7 I purchased – the one with the broken microphone.

I took the 3 PM bus from Port Townsend, which, connecting to another bus the ferry and then finally a Seattle bus, got me to CaroBabbo around 6 PM.

Couscous with raisins and vegetable stock was a light dinner followed by desk work and writing. It’s 1016 and sleep is the next order of business.

Author: johnjuliano

One-third owner of Caro Babbo, co-captain and in command whenever Caro Babbo is under sail.

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