If you are going
over the location of the ship that is carrying your beloved BMW, let me offer you the benefit of my pre-occupation with tracking my E92.
There are two ways that your ship can be tracked on its voyage. When it is close to shore, the AIS (http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/enav/ais/default.htm
) is in use. This an automatic system and is limited to only ships within radio range. When your ship is out in open water, you need to rely on WMO-VOS (http://vos.noaa.gov/vos_scheme.shtml
). The problem with this system is that it is a voluntary one and not all ships participate.
Once you have determined the name of your ship there are various websites that offer you the ability to track your vessel. These sites are free and some only require you to register to get the most current updated information.
While your ship is in the North Sea, which includes the ports of Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Zeebrugge, etc., vesseltracker.com (http://www.vesseltracker.com/en/Home.html
) provides up to a 2 hour delay of your ships position. This is an AIS based website. Free registration is required for this feature.
There is another AIS website, http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/
and it does not require registration.
After your ship leaves the North Sea on her way to the Atlantic Ocean, she passes through the English Channel. You can track her movements at http://www.ais-live.co.uk/
which is another AIS based website. This site is free, information is real-time and does not require registration.
Once through the English Channel, your ship begins her trans-Atlantic crossing. To continue tracking, you must cross your fingers and hope that your ship is one that voluntarily participates in the WMO-VOS program. If she participates, you can track her progress at http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/index.html
. If you enter the ships name and can not pull up any reports, try entering her call sign.
This is a free site, information is usually updated 2 hours after a ship reports their position and registration is not required.
If your ship does not participate, figure that it takes 6-7 days to cross the Atlantic Ocean until you can resume tracking with the following website.
is a global AIS tracking service that provides real-time information. It can be used for ports all over the world. But remember, being an AIS service, your ship needs to be in range of shore to acknowledge it's position.
Enjoy tracking your new baby and if you need any assistance, just let me know.