The SSCA has established a Single Sideband (SSB) Voice Service on the HF radio. The SSCA has been awarded a Public Coast License by the FCC, call sign KPK, and is licensed to operate on a variety of 4, 6, 8, and 12 MHz frequencies. Broadcasting from a tower in SW Florida, the station utilizes a rotatable directional beam antenna tuned for the 8 Mhz marine band, which will effectively reach the entire Caribbean and beyond.
KPK broadcasts daily at 1215 UTC (0715 Eastern Standard Time or 0815 Eastern Daylight Time) on frequency 8104. Relays are always welcome.
The purpose of this service is to:
- Pass emergency and priority traffic, as well as traffic related to safety and security.
- Provide current news updates of interest to cruisers from such sources as the Caribbean Safety and Security Net, Noonsite, The Salty Southeast Cruisers Net, Caribbean Compass, Bahamas Chatter and various cruising related Facebook sites.
- Provide any vessels needing assistance with land based resources.
Through a partnership with the Caribbean Safety and Security Net (www.safetyandsecuritynet.org), any report of a safety and security nature occurring in the Caribbean will be immediately provided to the CSSN. Likewise, any incident posted on the CSSN website will be announced during this broadcast.
KPK can assist with radio checks, float plans, telephone contact with family and friends, boat to boat relays, access to medical or mechanical professionals, marinas, Internet searches, or any other assistance KPK may be able to provide.
Although KPK is a service provided by the SSCA, all vessels are welcome and encouraged to participate in this service. Any vessel having emergency or priority traffic which we are not copying is advised to try contacting the Cruiseheimers Net which begins in 15 minutes on frequency 8.152 or the Doo Dah Net at 1700 Eastern time on frequency 8.152. Everyone is reminded that in an emergency you may use any frequency including the Maritime Mobile Service Net on frequency 14.300.
Suggestions and comments regarding this service may be sent to KPK@ssca.org.
Trans-Atlantic Radio Net
SSCA's Trans-Atlantic Cruisers' Net (SSCA TACN) is in operation during the traditional Trans-Atlantic crossing seasons of mid-April thru early July and mid-October thru Christmas.
The primary participants are:
Glenn Tuttle, Coastal Station KPK, Punta Gorda, FL
Chris Parker, Coastal Station WCY, Lakeland, FL
Jim West, Coastal Station KJM, Ellijay, GA
Dick Giddings, Coastal Station, KNC, Dover, NC
The morning SSCA HF Radio Service Net will remain with a start time of 1215 hrs UTC year round on frequency 8.104. Please adjust your local time accordingly.
The afternoon net will start at 1700 hrs Eastern Time on frequency 8152 and is called the Doo Dah/SSCA Trans-Atlantic Cruisers' Net. Then when the Doo Dah Net/SSCA TACN concludes (usually 10-15 minutes) all net controllers and relay stations will switch to frequency 12.350 to pick up the vessels farther out at sea.
We invite all cruisers to check into the Doo Dah/SSCA Trans-Atlantic Cruisers' Net. Cruisers do not have to be SSCA members to utilize the service. This service will take position reports, do phone patches to family/friends, medical or mechanical professionals, or conduct Internet searches.
Any vessel desiring filing position reports via voice or directly to PositionDatabase.com must fill out a USCG Auxiliary Float Plan, which can be downloaded at http://floatplancentral.cgaux.org/. It is a simple form to complete and send back to the net controllers, those being
KPK@ssca.org, KJM@ssca.org, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Please let everyone know that we do not send or share this information with the Coast Guard unless there is some type of emergency on their vessel.
SSCA will keep your float plan but your primary emergency contact should be a close friend or family member who is familiar with your boat and cruising plans. They should also have a copy of your float plan. SSCA can not be your primary emergency contact.
In addition, we invite other stations to assist with relays. The more ears we have on the frequency, the more efficient the net will be.
Glenn Tuttle-Net Manager
SSCA HF Radio Service KPK
Jim West (FCC Call Sign KJM) is a partner in the SSCA's HF Radio Service KPK which is on the air daily at 0815 hrs. Eastern Time on SSB Frequency 8.104. The purpose of the net is to broadcast safety and security information reported by the Caribbean Safety and Security Net, (Safetyandsecurity.org) as well as to assist any vessel with our land-based resources, such as phone patches, Internet searches, etc. While the net focuses on the Caribbean, we effectively reach from Nova Scotia to South America.
Jim has developed PositionDatabase.com for SSCA members making long passages. If you are planning a blue water passage and have Sailmail, Winlink or any other Iridium email device, you can send regular position reports via email to PositionDatabase.com. Position reports can also be sent reliably if you have a Garmin InReach Explorer. The advantage of these systems is that they allow boats to send position reports at any time and as often as they’d like.
If you would like to file a Float Plan and send in position reports via SSB Voice, or directly into PositionDatabase.com, we ask you to fill out a USCG Auxiliary Float Plan PDF form which can be downloaded at
http://floatplancentral.cgaux.org/download/USCGFloatPlan.pdf and send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org and to email@example.com.
If anyone is interested in using the email positioning system on PositionDatabase.com, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Jim West will set up an account for you and send you information on how to send position report emails. For additional details on this service, contact email@example.com or see the Commodores’ Bulletin article (pg. 24) in the December 2018 issue.
In addition to running the services of KPK, Glenn Tuttle and his wife Eddie operate and manage BoatWatch.org which is a worldwide network of resources that aids mariners in distress, whether that be a missing or overdue vessel, a stolen vessel or a vessel that needs urgent messages relayed to them. The Tuttles offer to work with family members and friends of missing and overdue vessels serving as a conduit with many governmental agencies around the world responsible for Search and Rescue Operations. To learn more about BoatWach.org, visit their website.