When we bought Maunie she came with this SSB (single side band) radio as well as the normal VHF 2-way radio carried by most boats. The advantage of the SSB is that it uses medium and high frequencies which allow the radio waves to bounce off the ionosphere to deliver very long range - we've received transmissions of propaganda news from China - where the VHF only has a range of about 50 miles at most.
Because of this world-girdling range, the SSB requires a special Long Range Radio Certificate so Graham has just completed the course and has passed the exam. Over the summer we'll be practising with the radio and it'll be used for daily radio 'nets' during the ARC transatlantic. The radio allows multiple boats to listen at the same time and, of course, provides another safety channel whilst we're at sea; we'll carry a satellite phone, as well, which will enable us to share emails, photos and, of course, to keep the blog up to date..