Communication at Sea - Ships Nostalgia
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Communication at Sea

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  #1  
Old 31st December 2007, 11:29
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BlythSpirit BlythSpirit is offline  
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Communication at Sea

Can anyone enlighten me on the modern methods of communicating whilst at sea. I presume mobile phones work when within range of a roaming network, but what about the internet?

I can sit here in sunny Blyth and watch Newcastle United playing every weekend live, re-broadcast from the Far East on my laptop. ( You can see I am a masochist!!)

What can modern seamen avail themselves of?
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  #2  
Old 31st December 2007, 11:34
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
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BlythSpirit,
This sight is 'down by the head' with sparkies who will no doubt elaborate. I still have a valid General Operators Certificate but will leave it to the experts.
Bill
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  #3  
Old 31st December 2007, 12:11
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Pat McCardle Pat McCardle is offline  
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Emails, Sat B phone & Fax, Sat C, VHF, MF, HF. Full internet connection coming soon?
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  #4  
Old 31st December 2007, 12:22
Kristjan Elíasson Kristjan Elíasson is offline  
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Telephone over the internet aswell as Irridium, you name it.
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  #5  
Old 31st December 2007, 15:41
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Thanks gents - it must be a great boon to seafarers nowadays.
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  #6  
Old 31st December 2007, 16:01
JoK JoK is offline  
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Broadband satellite with TV, telephone, internet and the ship with it's own fibreoptic network.

A lot better then the 1 month old newspaper we used to fight over!!
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  #7  
Old 31st December 2007, 16:10
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Cor! As recent a newspaper as that!
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  #8  
Old 31st December 2007, 17:28
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All singing bells and whistles nowadays are ok, but there was something special when it was your turn to get hold of the one weeks airmail edition of the Daily Mirror (With the yellow covers - remember ?) No matter how out of date it was !!
Mike
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  #9  
Old 31st December 2007, 20:37
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Internet at sea is very slow and very expensive as I can vouch. My 12 night cruise last month aboard Aurora which I sent reports to SN direct from the ship cost me £100. This is because the signals are received by satellite. Orange, my server is even slower over the satellite than other providers or Hotmail which is much quicker. It took about 7 minutes for my e-mails to come up.

On the Oriana world cruise earlier this year, where I sent longer live reports to SN on my way out to Australia, and to check e-mails, it cost over £300. No broadband at sea. There are also black spots where satellites change from one to another or where countries block the signal.

Mobiles phones at sea are now connected by MCP(Marine Communications Partner)This is very expensive. When at sea, MCP or 901 12 are displayed on the screen if connected. Closer to land and in port the phone switches to the provider of that country. I had Vodaphone passport so only turned the phone on in port. If memory serves me correct, it was something like £10 per minute at sea using MCP.

Far cheaper to use the phone in your cabin. Still expensive, and not sure what system the ship itself uses, but you can ring home whether at sea or in port.

Hope this answers your question BlythSpirit.

David

Last edited by Pompeyfan; 31st December 2007 at 20:44..
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  #10  
Old 1st January 2008, 11:11
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Thanks again gents - as MikeK says - the weeks worth of Daily Mirror in the yellow cover was a pleasure indeed back in the 60s!
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  #11  
Old 1st January 2008, 11:22
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Pompeyfan,
You should remember that you are also paying a premium to the Cruise line for the privilege of using the system.

For the average Joe at sea, the cost is significantly cheaper. A pre-paid calling card costing $10 will buy a seafarer a minimum of 20 minutes call duration for whatever use. Some companies will allow crew free e-mail whilst others will charge relative to the cost of the connection to the satellite system. I have visited ships that have a live satellite TV and internet system and the crew get the use of this for free - or did when I was visiting.
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  #12  
Old 1st January 2008, 12:00
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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I still remember the excited anticipation waiting for mail and the pleasure of receiving it at infrequent intervals. Also the disappointment of not receiving it, but you win some, you lose some - especially if your name is "John".

Of course, it's nice to have the ease of communication today, but the pleasure must have been diluted somewhat compared with the old days.

Pompeyfan, you were robbed - I could have knocked you out an SLT (Ship Letter Telegram) for ten bob!

John T.
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  #13  
Old 1st January 2008, 12:17
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Here you go, John
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  #14  
Old 1st January 2008, 12:29
Peter4447 Peter4447 is offline  
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All these new fangled gadgets!
I spent hours when a school practising semaphore and lamp morse under the watchful eye of an old British India Master who taught seamenship and mathmatics.
I'm not sure but I don't think there is any requirement for Grey Funnel signalmen to learn semaphore anymore.
Baa Humbug!
Peter4447
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  #15  
Old 1st January 2008, 12:36
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Orbitaman

Yes, I know the cruise company is making money, and it is cheaper for crew. But they too moan. It is the slowness of the system which is much slower we found in the southern hemisphere. But mobiles at sea using MCP is the same rate for everybody.

In future I will wait until I get back home before looking at e-mails or writing about the trip. When aboard Oriana I thought it nice to report direct from the ship, and carried on the same with Aurora, but will not do so again.

David
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  #16  
Old 1st January 2008, 12:47
Ian C Ian C is offline  
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I was on Fishery Patrol around Faulklands and used Email via Telstar,Quite expensive as it cost 1cent US per key stroke.
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  #17  
Old 1st January 2008, 13:03
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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I recall making free VHF phone calls to the UK via Port Stanley in 1992 - moral of the story: don't tell the Sparks he's redundant!

John T.

PS Fubar, what don't you have in your garage?
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  #18  
Old 1st January 2008, 13:25
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Used to be able to call the mobile operator on the south coast of France on VHF and get put through to anyone you liked anywhere.
I have no idea who paid for the calls.
Is there a statute of limitations on that sort of thing?

Not a lot John T. Although the tally is reducing as I clear a path to my car.
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  #19  
Old 1st January 2008, 21:03
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is online now  
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there was always a bit of a "perk" with uk coast stations patching r/t phone calls through for the ships radio officer himself.......

i had many 30 minute calls ending with.............

"that will be minimum charge, old man".......... hee he
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  #20  
Old 1st January 2008, 23:04
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter4447 View Post
I'm not sure but I don't think there is any requirement for Grey Funnel signalmen to learn semaphore anymore.
Baa Humbug!
Peter4447
Peter,
As a comms rating (sparks) not (bunts) in the seventies and eighties, semaphore was not taught to the new entrants. However, many of them took it upon themselves to learn it. Often witnessed the RFA and the RN bunts using it on RAS.

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  #21  
Old 1st January 2008, 23:16
JoK JoK is offline  
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17 years ago, we had a sat pay phone and considered ourselves fortunate. I never called without a watch to time it.
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  #22  
Old 2nd January 2008, 00:54
Steve Woodward Steve Woodward is offline  
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Recently berthed a small tanker - 20k or so - all personnel had a broadband connection to their cabins, the by product was a permanently live connection to the shore with HO watching the ships performance.
Even the grottier ships now have a small sat telephone operated by pre-paid cards in a kiosk available to all for direct dialling home.
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  #23  
Old 2nd January 2008, 02:18
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Semephore???...not since the boy scouts. Is'nt that where those cute little sparkie chappies go up on monkey island and play at windmils??... LOL
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  #24  
Old 2nd January 2008, 03:27
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I remember some news agencies used to transmit four-page fax newspapers to ships. Do any still do that?
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  #25  
Old 2nd January 2008, 09:06
hughesy hughesy is offline  
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Always remember listening too a "Coon Ass" skipper trying to get through
Stonehave Radio GND, you needed a degree in linquistics to decipher what they was on about.
Cos its sounded like this guy in GND, was well oiled (every time he come on the air, was working GND a lot) His accent was as broad of a Scotsman (well bevvied) as you could get?.The frustrstation of this "Coon Ass" skipper
was extremley apparent, but he's sound like he had "gob full of french sounding marbles?" QTH BP Forties Field, 90 ml east of Peterhead, 1974
all the best
Hughesy
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