Okay, say the satellite internet connection doesn’t work for a number of days. How do we let the lodge owner know we’re fine and all is well? We are, after all, working with power tools and a powerful vehicle. We have two backup systems.


On the left is the satellite phone. For some reason my pea head fails to comprehend, the satellite phone works more reliably than the satellite dish for the internet. Go figure. We have to go to an open area (it doesn’t usually work from the cabin or from forested areas), but they’re not far away. It’s on the expensive side, but we will call the lodge owner if we can’t reach him by other means. We would, of course, also use it for an emergency.

On the right is the SPOT, the Satellite Personal Tracker. This cool little thing has three buttons: OK, Help, and 911. Again, we have to go to an open area. If we press OK, an e-mail message that says All Is Well goes out to whomever is on our contact list. If we press Help, again an e-mail message goes out to our contact list, but this time our contacts know we want a boat out here ASAP, but the situation isn’t life-threatening. If we press 911, a message goes to the Coast Guard and/or whatever emergency services are appropriate, and they respond as they do to any emergency.

The SPOT can be used to allow friends to track you online while you’re on a hike or sailing around the world. People use it for fun and education as well as safety.

This triple-layer safety plan is more extensive and thorough than we’ve ever had while caretaking in the past. As always, Plan A is to not have an emergency and never need to send more than the occasional All Is Well message.

Categories: Alaska

1 reply »

  1. Fantastic safety plan.

    Thank you for sharing so many wonderful details about your caretaking. I eat them up! I especially enjoyed the photos of you playing in the ice shapes. I think that a great deal of true happiness comes from enjoying things on a child’s level. I hope that you (and I) never lose that sense of wonder.