Catharina Elisabeth’s AIS device reports our position as we travel. If there is a receiver connected to the Internet, then our position is logged into the Marine Traffic database. These internet-connected receivers are run by volunteers and, especially in France, are few and far between. So over a lot of the continent, even though the AIS is working, it does not get logged to the database and Catharina can’t be located. To get over this, we use an app provided by Marine Traffic which takes our GPS position from the phone and sends it to the database over the internet. We generally run this app at the end of each day’s cruising to mark our most recent mooring.
We have had a bit of trouble with this service – a ‘phantom’ boat called Caveman has been appearing instead of us. It’s been fixed twice and we hope that is the end of it but if Caveman appears instead of Catharina Elisabeth, the map is not reliable.