The Suitcase Lady

Trackers

November 13, 2012, 9:28 pm

Thanks to my husband, we have become trackers. I am not referring to the deer and goose tracks on the beach or the possum, skunk, raccoon and myriad other tracks in our yard. No, we are now official trackers of ships, and our reporting number is 1080.

Last spring my spouse climbed to the peak of our steep roof and installed his absolutely free ship tracking antennae, thus making us an official reporting site for the University of the Aegean in Greece which maps global shipping.

We  report on ships in Lake Michigan that are in our range and sending out radio signals. Thanks to the Saint Lawrence Seaway which connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, ships registered around the world regularly pass through our “front yard”.

Then my guy had another brilliant inspiration and started writing a computer program. “You’ll love this, Mary,” he beamed. “My cell phone will now ring every time a ship is in front of our house.” Since November is prime boat time in the Great Lakes, the phone started ringing around the clock and the cell phone bill started soaring. The program has subsequently been modified to notify the computer.

Our tracking station has a good record, online 89% of the time. Our cat, Batman, did, however, interrupt our ship reporting for a while. We discovered he was jumping up in the basement rafters where the antennae wire comes into the house and taking us offline. We gave him a lecture on Homeland Security and closed up his access to the wires.

Check out the worldwide Marine site at http://www.marinetraffic.com. Click on the ship icons to get a photo, name, destination, etc.

The Culprit

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