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s/v Code Blue – Sailmail Radio and Antenna October 9, 2014

Posted by steveandjudy in Code Blue 2014.
Another view of the wire antenna in foreground.  Note the tall one in the background

Another view of the wire antenna in foreground. Note the tall one in the background

Sailmail – This email has pictures and such that mostly boaters and radio folks might be interested in.

We checked out of Niue on Thursday 10-3. We were at the Niue Yacht Club and the lady there gave a call to the Customs folks. They arrived about 5 minutes later at the club. Two guys were in a van. We paid our exit fees and they stamped our passport and gave us a clearance sheet of paper.

We then asked if they would take me to the Weather MET station at the airport to see the Sailmail radio and antenna. They didn’t know what I was talking about but they said they’d take me up there. Judy wanted to get dropped off at the gas station on the way. They said, sure no problem.

We got to the gas station and they said we’ll wait for you, then, we understood they would drive us to the Sailmail place and back to the yacht club. So Judy got her coconut bread and some lettuce. We rode to the airport then up to the Niue Meteorological Service building at Hanan Airport.

Only one plane usually flies in or out on Tuesday and Friday to Aukland, NZ, so I get the feeling they don’t have much to do on non-flight days such today being Thursday.

The weather guy at the building directed us to the radio location that had the Sailmail setup. Basically it looked like a box with a radio ICOM IC-78, a Pactor Modem and some other equipment with a Toshiba computer laptop on top. See the pictures. It had a sign on it, “Please Don’t Adjust Settings On HF Radio”. I took some pictures then we went outside to look at the antenna. Basically it was a wire going back and forth to a pole. More pictures then we headed back to the yacht club.

Sailmail was developed with a program called AirMail by Jim Corenman of Friday Harbor, WA and some other folks back in the beginning. It’s a very slow Single SideBand (SSB) radio method of sending emails from say a boat like ours to stations around the world that have been setup of which there are about 20, Niue being one of them, thus giving worldwide coverage pretty much. These stations then connect to the internet. If you have an internet connection you can also use this program over the internet. HAM radio folks have a similar setup on their side called Winlink using the AirMail system. They aren’t allowed to do business transactions for the most part except for the sale of HAM gear. Lots more info can be found at http://sailmail.com/


Steve and Judy
s/v Code Blue

Now in Vava’u, Tonga Trip Miles 12152, EHs 3165.1, Eventually to New Zealand by Nov. 1st to avoid cyclone season in the tropics.

– S / J –



1. Marie & Greg - October 9, 2014

Good to hear from you. We arrived in AZ late yesterday between rain storms from Hurricane Simon. Unbelievable that AZ has had flooding and problems from 3 hurricanes the past 2-3 weeks. I was more worried about you two with weather…but sounds like you are just fine. Stay safe. Marie & Greg

2. pam driscoll - October 9, 2014

How many days will you expect to be in blue waters? I will be praying for your safety! I love you two. Pam

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