The Black Box

July 16th 2018

The little black box is indeed about the size of a pack of cigarettes – a little bigger, maybe – but a marvel, nevertheless.

Bernard Moitessier dreamed about this. In his book: The Long Way, he mused, deep in the Southern Ocean: “Some day we will have tiny walkie-talkies no bigger than packs of cigarettes, with a range of thousands of miles. Then pals cold communicate without going through the ears of others…”

Well, it’s not a walkie-talkie but, being effectively a Satellite phone, the Iridium-Go can get me onto the internet from anywhere in the world. I tried it from the back garden at home and then used it last week to send four blog posts for my son Hugo to upload. It took nearly 40 minutes by the time I worked out how to do it. Now all I need to know is: Does my $40 a month cover 7KB of data or am I paying $1.25 a minute regardless?

This is urgent because, although the wind has veered today and we are charging off in the right direction at five knots, the towed generator spinning like a mad thing and the ETA suddenly shunted forward to next Tuesday, that is still a week away. “Can I survive a week without music? Spotify is on my old phone along with some 200 songs – everything from Van Morrison to Willie Nelson. And  How am I supposed to practice the clarinet without Humphrey Lyttleton’s Bad Penny Blues to play along to?

It seems that I allowed the phone to run down and, when I charged it up again, Spotify expected me to log back in – but how am I supposed to do that from here?