My first contact with Bill was in 1987 when sailing south to Gibraltar with my wife Di and daughter Lucy. Although I knew of the net, I had never actually heard it. This was because the frequency on which it operated (14.303MHz) is most effective at distances of more than a 600 hundred miles or so from the transmitter. As a result and contrary to what one might expect from the name, the United kingdom is one place where the net is not easily heard. However as we made our way South, signals became clearer and the daily scheds soon became part of our routine. We discovered many new cruising friends, some of whom we are still in contact with, and tapped into information sources that even today would be difficult match by other means.