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Satellite at Sea, Marine Wifi and SSB Provide Critical Cruising Communication

Satellite at Sea, Marine Wifi and SSB Provide Critical Cruising Communication

Greg and Joan Conover’s beloved 51 Morgan, Growltiger.

With over twenty years of sailing the Atlantic with family, and with earlier years sailing the Puget Sound of Western Washington and Canada, Greg and Joan Conover are familiar with the needs of the cruising sailor for satellite at sea, marine wifi connectivity and SSB for critical data such as weather, tracking, email, web and even social media for fun. As sailors, expertise includes not only sailing, but the requirements or offshore needs, Joan is also the electronic/radio person on board, does the sail repairs with her trusty Sailrite machine, and performs the onboard weather analysis (she does not call herself a ‘router’ or meteorologist). GMN provides the Conover’s access to weather services and emails from both SSB HF and via the RedPort Glow WiFi Terminal and the RedPort Aurora. Greg does all the engine/Genset maintenance, sail sets(with crew) and boat maintenance with the help of son Joshua.

On the family’s beloved 51 Morgan, Growltiger, Joan and Greg have racked up several thousands of miles of offshore nautical experience, and had many more offshore hops to Bermuda, Eastern seaboard, Florida to New England, many offshore trips to and from the Caribbean/tropics, Europe, and in the Pacific Northwest. Greg and Joan have been heavily involved with volunteer efforts to support the SSCA, to include running the SSCA booth at the Annapolis Boat Show for the last several years. For SSCA, Joan serves as the SSCA Cruising Station Coordinator as well as Clean Wake (CW)Chairman. Most recent CW program for SSCA includes a registration capability developed by International Rescue Group’s Ray Thackeray. In conjunction with the YachtAid(Super Yacht Group), this will allow vessels which can transport the ability to link up with supplies from storage areas/donation sites with the hope of automating what has been up to now an email contact system (with its issues and timing). The goal is to roll this out on the SSCA website to the general public in Spring 2018. As part of the Key West’s Conch Republic Navy(CRN) organization, Joan and Greg are proud to be CRN Commander and most recently the CRN Electronics Communications Officer, and Commander of the Northern Territories

With this broad sailing resume, Joan has been the coordinator for SSCA’s Cruising Station (CS) efforts over the past seven years. Her professional background in Information Systems and love of sailing has allowed a very proactive approach to growing a large and proactive network of “CS Hosts” with a focus on family cruising. In 2010, Joan was awarded SSCA Member of the Year Award and had received recognition as for her efforts with the SSCA Cruising Station program. In 2013, she was additionally awarded the Seven Seas Southbound II Award, one of seven cruisers awarded this highest honor from SSCA.

During the past twenty+ years, with SSB/HF radio expertise and as an operator, Growtiger has participated heavily with boats and rallys sailing the east coast of the USA and has help guide vessels to/from the Northern Caribbean via whatever communications mediums needed. Most recently this was assisting the Salty Dawg Rally(now Association) with their several hundred boats, SAILs former ICW Rally (Mark Doyle) and the current Hampton Rendevous(fall 2014-18)— all vessels passaging from Hampton Virginia to points south. During Donna Lange’s history around the world sailing effort of 2016-2017, Growltiger kept in contact daily and acted as a support team as Donna transmitted with the Iridium Aurora for the close to one-year circumnavigation. The family’s efforts have also included SSCA Clean Wake projects in the Caribbean and Pacific, such as helping post-Hurricane Maria(leeward/Dominica), Haiti, OceansWatch, and in the Pacific with tsunami debris/contamination. Most recently the family has been helping in Dominica with Portsmouth Association Yacht Services (PAYS), as well as providing research to University of Southern Mississippi Sargassum Research program and now for the University of South Florida with Dr. C. Hu. Growltiger will be collecting critical seaweed data on the current environment as they travel from Windwards/Leewards to the Bahamas and up the Gulf Stream to USA Spring of 2018. Aurora system is critical for this work. Joan is a published author in several fields, most recently in archeological research in the Americas.

With both liveaboard, and offshore sailing experience, knowledge of both communications and weather, the family freely shares expertise with a goal of safe and fun family cruising. With her husband Greg, Growltiger is now found with her family and boat in the Norfolk VA area or the Caribbean as SSCA Commodores, and as volunteers for disaster relief.

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