S/V Hello World's Travel Log

VHF - the original facebook

For those of you who want a little glimpse into boat life, here's installment #1.

The VHF radio on our boat is our new communication tool. We canceled our cell phones before we left the country (international roaming = budget breaker), and our replacement is the radio. Cruisers take over a channel in an area (La Paz is known as the two-two, much like Detroit is the three-one-three). Everyone monitors the hailing channel and once you've gotten in touch with your friend, you move your conversation to another channel. If it sounds like a juicy conversation, most of the fleet will go with you and listen in. Old fashioned party line? Yes. Tool for the bored or nosy? You betchya.

Most mornings, you can tune into a "net" in which the net controller hosts a standard rundown of news, announcements, and classified ads. The young cruisers get a taste of retirement home life when they cycle through the weekly activities: knitting club on boat x, dominoes at restaurant y, bridge every day and all day, and my favorite, geriatric yoga every morning in front of the clubhouse. Yeah, there's even a clubhouse.

Of course, the VHF radio has it's assortment of characters: radio nazis that can anonymously reprimand people for talking on the hailing channel or yell at kids for hailing too loud. There's an entire net devoted to news in the US which always devolves into conspiracy theory talk and is hence named the tinfoil hat net. And then there are the people that just say some bizzare and dumb stuff on the radio. I've started a quote log because some of these are just too good to pass up:

"When we lived in England, we also spent a little time in Europe" -La Paz morning net

"Last night, we saw gusts up to 1 knot" -La Paz weather guy

and my personal favorite:

"We're on parallel converging courses!" -Baja Haha radio conversation

Yes, the VHF might be old school, but new dimensions of physics are emerging even here.

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Anonymous said...

"those tacos looked a lot better going in than they did coming out" -ea

stepping stone to tynamara sailing down baja coast:
"so, where are you guys?"
"um... we're the ones with our spinnaker up."
"cool........... don't you have the striped spinnaker?"
"um.... um... yeah i guess..."

"our green running light went out so we just went with an all around red."

"how do you hail a panga here?" (repeat every 10 min)

S/V Sapphire said...

Hysterical! Brilliant! It’s like Bush-isms for cruisers!
Why recreate a masterpiece…I’m linking to this from my blog!

We’re in Chamela on our way down the Gold Coast, wish you were here!

Meg & Luke