A question for readers - does anyone have the HF frequencies and times for NPR, BBC or CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation)? We would love to tune in for a world news broadcast/summary.
When we first were planning our gear we debated satellite phone, single sideband radio (SSB) or both. Although I think that "both" may still be an option someday for us, I am very glad that we have the SSB for reasons I wasn't considering earlier - the social aspect.
There are two main radio nets that we know of in our area:
1) The Great Northern Boater Net on 3870LSB which opens at 0730PST with a controller in Alaska (Darlene) and switches at 0800 to a controller (Barbara) in our old home port Sidney, BC.
2) The West Coast Boaters Net on 3860LSB which opens at 1800PST with a controller in Port Alberni, BC (Bill).
The nets have become part of our regular schedule and we catch one or the other nets on most days. The check in aspect "for safety" isn't that important to us because we have email so our families know where we are on any given day and plus...by the time we are missing we are best to have figured out our problem on our own. What we love is the chatty aspect, the gossip, learning about other anchorages, hearing what wind and weather conditions people have in other areas, and...just the daily connection with other people.
If I miss an evening I start to wonder what Oliver and Lynn had for dinner (those that listen to the evening net will know what I mean) and I haven't even met them.
We have also enjoyed listening to boats transiting the Pacific via the Pacific Seafarers Net which we only listen to occasionally (14300USB at 2025PST). We are very excited to follow the boats crossing to the Marqueses next Spring now that we have the radio installed.
We do also use the radio regularly for weather and to email. We can hear weather broadcasts on the VHF radio so we do not need the SSB but it gives us another avenue for weather and for types of weather (millibar charts, etc) that we can't get via VHF. Carol said he will post about the weather files later. With his aviation background he is teaching me a lot about how to read weather charts.