The Nitty Gritty:
5 types of signals - SOS, Help, Track, Custom, OK.
• SOS is an SOS message that goes to a GEOS command center where it is relayed to the relevant authorities.
• Help is customizable, meaning I can change what the message says. I currently have a message saying that I need non-urgent help.
• Tracking has been updated this year- You can choose the different intervals-5,10,30, or 60 minutes. There is also an optional 2.5 minute tracking option called "Extreme", but I don't paddle fast enough to justify the cost!
Both the Custom and Ok messages can say whatever you'd like as well.
I have the Ok message linked to both my facebook and blog, so that friends and family can see where I am. The map shows whichever messages you choose (I picked tracking and OK).
The battery life has been surprisingly excellent- during a 40 day expedition, sending tracking every hour and Ok messages every night, I only changed batteries once! Really impressive!
My final thought on the Spot Gen 3 is how easy it is to get a signal. I've been in deep fjords in Norway, and in pouring rain and heavy clouds off of Vancouver Island, and easily sent messages that went through on the first attempt.
I think that for peace of mind of loved ones and safety, this is a device that, if you ever need it, could easily save your life. I don't go boating without it anymore