How I Track my Position for Safety and Sharing Adventures with Loved Ones

Embarking on a sailing adventure is an exhilarating experience filled with breathtaking landscapes, the thrill of the open ocean, and the freedom of exploring new horizons. For loved ones, it can be a source of concern and anxiety. Tracking our position in real time is not only reassuring for family and friends, it’s a key part of our safety system on board.

7/25/20234 min read

Our number one priority is safety. Always. When on passage, it’s all about keeping the crew and the boat safe. Everything else comes second. Tracking our position in realtime is not just useful to keep a record of our journey, it’s an essential part of our safety system. In this article, I share the tools we use to track our voyage and share our adventures with family and friends.

Nowadays, most boats embarking on an offshore adventure have AIS (Automatic Identification System). AIS is a tracking system that enables vessels to broadcast their identity, position, and other relevant information to nearby vessels and shore stations. It uses VHF radio signals to exchange data, allowing you to track other vessels and be tracked by them. Services like Marine Traffic push all vessel traffic data to their websites so it’s possible to track vessels with AIS alone (even when offshore thanks to satellite) however the online data is not always complete and/or accurate and too few of my friends or family members know of Marine Traffic or what AIS is for me to use this as our only source. updated via Iridium Go has announced they will shut down the service at the end of 2023. Followingsea was the tracker we set up years ago when we set off on this adventure. Since it has the full track I continued to use it. The setup was very simple once I had Iridium Go and Followingsea set up. I simply configured Iridium Go to send a position fix at a set interval to Followingsea (I have a unique email address that I got when I setup Followingsea).

Our page on

How I embedded the page on our website:

We have Starling, however we choose to keep our Iridium Go subscription for backup and emergency satellite comms at sea. It’s a personal preference. The bandwidth might be limited and the interface is dated but it is reliable. I have calls, SMS, email and access to weather forecasts through PredictWind which I am also a strong advocate of.

Iridium Go data plans are pricey. It’s possible to send position manually via email but it’s really quite the task when you’re busy just focusing on the crew and the boat! Let’s be honest, I just forget! There is one other major source of annoyance is that the external antenna does not have a GPS therefore the device’s antenna has to be used which is inconvenient if you want to keep it powered for frequent intervals. We have it set at 30 minutes but when going around headlands, the resulting track will be incorrect. The other limitation is that the highest frequency for intervals is 5 minutes anyway which feels like the track will never be accurate anyway.

Nebolink - Yay for fully automated voyages!

How I embedded the page on our website:

Followingsea is doing an OK job of tracking my position and recording the full journey but that’s about it as far as tracking and voyage log is concerned. The map is pretty basic and whilst it’s great at showing the bigger picture and the full journey, I don’t see how it would work with boaters and sailors doing shorter trips. I wanted something better to show my current location as well as more accurate tracks for my voyages and a fully digital automated captain’s log (we don’t tend to keep a written one). When I discovered Nebo, I started using it immediately by downloading the app and had to manually start /stop my voyages (the boat's position is determined using the location data from the device's GPS). The Nebo app has lots of other features in addition to the captain’s log mentioned above: community markers, boat chat,“Track Me Plus” (more about this later) and enhanced reporting & stats. I like how it records all my voyages, including the weather and average speed, and sending an advanced report and the statistics by email daily and monthly.

But let’s get back to tracking. Getting Nebolink has changed the experience entirely. With the Nebolink GPS tracking device (installed on board), now all my voyages are automatically recorded thanks to the inbuilt accelerometer which detects when the vessel is moving. Think about it, it’s a great safety feature in so many ways because now I can track my boat even when I am not onboard. Also, it’s going to alert me should the boat get moved without my knowledge (or stolen, which is a real risk for certain categories of vessels). Best of all, I no longer have to start/stop the trip and my position is in realtime (Nebo operates a continuous 30-second logging) resulting in a very accurate track.

With Nebo, I can generate my own tracking link to share with family and friends - this feature called Track Me Plus (Live Share). This link is shareable and resettable at any time so I have complete control over what I share when and can keep my privacy safe. This is the link I have embedded into the page here:

I love watching the Nebo Community grow. It’s great to be able to connect with other boaters within the app. Through the Nebo app, I can see who is at my planned destination and chat with them via the nebo app to ask them about the current conditions and find out if there’s space for one more boat.

Through Nebo, I'm able to identify who is at my planned destination and engage in conversation with them via the app. This lets me ask about the existing conditions and find out if there is capacity for one more boat.

Other apps

Most boating and nav apps I use have the option to share my location with other users. I use a lot of them and always share my location but I find a dedicated tracking app like Nebo is much easier to use, especially for friends and family who don’t have to do anything at all, just visit a web page!

Try for yourself

If you want to try Followingsea (free) or Nebo (free “starter” plan but I recommend the “gold” plan which is the one I have) head to and