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All Hams on Deck

As president, I get a lot of emails from folks who search on Google for the terms “ham radio” and “St. Petersburg.” Recently I received an email from a boat owner who lives in Seminole. He was having VHF radio issues on his sailboat, and was not sure what or where the problem was. Sailors, like hams are resourceful folks, resulting in the email to me. I forwarded the email request for help to the SPARC membership via the SPARC email reflector.

Within hours SPARC member Jack, W4GRJ, was making arrangements to meet with the boat owner. As an experienced ham and licensed charter captain, Jack was the ideal person to respond to this request for help. Jack was able to quickly identify and correct the problem.

Situations like this are familiar to Jack as he often solves similar issues for members of the St. Pete Yacht Club and Coast Guard Auxiliary. Jack noted that many yacht club member’s boats are equipped with marine SSB radios, and thanks to Jack, the owners now have the knowledge to properly operate them. As a result of Jack’s enthusiasm, some of his “customers” have developed an interest in ham radio, and ultimately attended a SPARC VE team test session.

I received a nice email from the boat owner thanking us for relaying his request for help to our membership and for Jack’s timely response. Jack has agreed to be listed on the SPARC web site as an Elmer (mentor) for maritime ham radio. Thanks Jack for all you do for our hobby.


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