Read reviews for the Isatphone Pro by Inmarsat as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
It uses a geosynchronous satellite near the equator, so I was concerned about using it in Northern Canada due to the need to point the antenna towards the satellite. However, at 63 degrees latitude (north) in the Northwest Territories I used it daily and had perfect connections in about 45 seconds each time. Then I used it in the rocky mountains at about 53 degrees latitude north, and was pleased that even when in a valley and surrounded by ridges it worked fine and connected quickly. The voicemail feature was useful, and I was able to check for messages daily.
Once you understand the phone, know to point the antenna south and not move around, the phone worked flawlessly. My only minor gripe is that it took some time to receive text messages through the Inmarsat network.