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Southbounders FAQ

This page contains the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the Southbounders email list.  As new members are always joining the list, I send this FAQ as an email to the list every couple of months.   If you know of someone not on the list who may wish to be, point them to this page at www.sulaadventures.com/southbounders.htm.

Q) What is a southbounder?

A) Southbounder is a term used to refer to cruisers currently heading to, planning to head to or already cruising the West Coast of North and Central America south of San Diego, California including the Galapagos Islands.

Q) Why do we have a list?
A) To make it easy to communicate relevant information between southbound cruisers and to eliminate the need for everyone to mange their own list of boats.  A list also helps reduce message sizes.  With a list, the message you send  to the list (or receive from the list) via winlink or sailmail has only one recipient/sender as opposed to the many addresses on the list (each recipient can add around 30-50 bytes or more to a message).  This drops each message size, for both senders and recipients, by several Kb per message.


Q) How many boats are on the list?

A) About 100 as of February 2006.


Q) What should I send (and not send) to the list?
A) The purpose of the list is to disseminate information other southbounders may find useful.  If you are "ahead of the pack" or off the beaten track, sending information specific to where you went, where you anchored, what was ashore, corrections to the information provided in the cruising guides, changes in policy, prices, facility availability, marina closures, hazards to navigation, etc. is very appropriate.  Factual information on inland trips, where you stayed, how much, what was good or bad, where the best surf or fishing spots are, etc. is also appropriate.  Verbose trip reports, photos or attachments of any sort or any other email other southbound cruisers would most likely not find relevant or useful are best kept to family and friends.  Many people on the list are on limited bandwidth, so do please send your widely-applicable, factual information but please try to keep it brief.  If you do send something lengthy, please break it into multiple parts of less than 5kb to accommodate users with message size restrictions on their Sailmail/Winlink accounts.

Q) How do I send email to the list?
A) Send your email to:

(The address above is formatted as a image instead of text to prevent spam crawlers from finding it on this site.)


Q) When I send to the list, I receive a funny message from an address that looks like this: southbounders-confirm-1138473956.11652.b4dda9@sulaadventures.com.  What is this?

A) For reasons having to do with preventing spam and virus-spawned email from reaching the list, some senders to the list will receive a confirmation message from an address like the above with a unique number in it within a few minutes of sending to the list.  The purpose of this confirmation message is to prove that the sender is human as opposed to a piece of software such as a virus or a spam mailer.   If you receive such a confirmation message, you *must* reply to this address (just hit the reply button - the reply message can be empty) from the same account as you sent the original message for the original message to be sent to the list.  Otherwise, your original message will never make it to the list.


Q) Uh, okay.  Why do only some senders receive this confirmation message?

A) Senders with addresses on low bandwidth satellite or HF radio systems (such as sailmail, winlink, oceans, etc.) that do not support attachments are incapable of sending viruses to the list and are unlikely to originate spam to the list.  Thus, I have configured things such that senders with addresses on these systems do not receive a confirmation message.  Messages they send to the list should fan out to the list directly with no further action.  All other senders must reply to the confirmation message for their message to make it to the list.


Q) I replied to the confirmation message, but my original message didn't get sent to the list.  What's going on?

A) You may be using a different account to reply to the confirmation message (your HF email account for example) than the one you used to send the original message to the list.  You must reply to the confirmation message from the same account as you sent the original message.  Alternatively, you may have waited too long (longer then several days) to reply to the confirmation message.  Try sending your original message to the list again and then timely replying to the new confirmation message you receive from the same account. 

Q) I get non-delivery reports from some addresses when I send to the list.  Should I be concerned?
A) There are many reasons email may get non-delivered to a few members of the list.  Among other reasons, their mailboxes may be full, there may be a problem at their email provider or their email address may no longer be valid.  A common cause of non-delivery reports on the list is sailmail users letting their account lapse.   If you only get a few non-delivery reports back, don't worry about it, that's normal.  Your message was almost certainly delivered to all the other recipients on the list.  If you get more then a few, let me know.

Q) How can I tell if my message was really sent to all the members of the list?
A) If you are on the list, you will receive a copy of the message you sent.  If you receive the message, it is almost certain that everyone else did too.  Note that it can take up to an hour or more for email sent to the list to expand and get delivered to all the recipients.

Q) I'm not on the list.  How do I get added?
A) Just send an email to 
addme@sulaadventures.com with the address you want added.  I will add you to the list within 48 hours.  I manage the list manually, so please be patient if it takes a couple of days to add you.  DO NOT SEND ADDITION OR REMOVAL REQUESTS TO THE LIST ITSELF.  Send them only to the address above.  Thanks.

Q) My Sailmail/Winlink email is getting overwhelmed by list traffic, but I still want to be on the list.  What can I do?
A) Actually, I don't recommend that you put your Winlink or Sailmail address on the list directly.  What I recommend is that you get a Hotmail, Yahoo or other free email account, put that address on the list and configure that account to forward email to your Winlink/Sailmail account (while also keeping a copy in that inbox).  In this way, if your Winlink/Sailmail is getting overwhelmed, you can turn off the forwarding (or turn off forwarding only for messages sent to the southbounders list, or only for messages from a specific sender, or only those larger then X, etc.) yet still read the posts to the list the next time you get to shore-side internet connectivity and access your yahoo/hotmail account.  This is also a good way to read the entire message if Winlink/Airmail truncates a long message.  Alternatively, you can use the "Defer Incoming Larger Than" feature in Airmail to only accept messages below a certain size.


Q) I think I'm on the list, but I'm not (or am no longer) receiving any messages.  What should I do?
A) Send me a piece of email and I will check it out.  It is entirely possible that I typo'ed your address when I added you or when I added someone else.  Additionally, there are some configuration issues to be aware of when using Winlink addresse on the list.


Q) What are the issues with using a Winlink account on the list?

A)  Messages sent to the list arrive in your inbox addressed to you as a BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) recipient.  If you use your Winlink address directly on the list, you will need to enable BCC addressing to receive messages sent to the list.  You must also configure the Winlink acceptance list feature to accept messages from all senders, not just those to which you have sent email.  The details of how to properly configure Winlink to do this are beyond the scope of this FAQ.


Q) Hey Eric, I hear you will manually forward messages sent to the list to those Winlink users who for whatever reason, don't want to enable the receipt of BCC addressed messages.

A) This is true.  If you want me to manually forward you messages sent to the list, let me know.  However, I don't recommend this as this will delay your receipt of posts when I am on vacation, have the flu, not online, etc.  In my personal opinion, enabling the receipt of BCC addressed messages does not significantly increase the probability of you receiving spam email.  It's better to just be on the list.

Q) I want to get off the list.  How do I get removed?
A) Just send an email to removeme@sulaadventures.com with the address you want removed.  I will remove you within 48 hours or when I am next on-line.   Again, thanks for your patience.

Q) Who can send to the list? Will I get spam from this?
A)  Anyone can send to the list, but they must reply to the confirmation message described above before their message will get fanned out to the list.  The confirmation mechanism insures the sender of any message to the list is a human, as opposed to a piece of automated software such as a spam program or virus, and that they reside at that address from which the original message originated.  Thus, it is virtually impossible for SPAM or virus-spawned email to make it to the list.


Q) What about my email address?  Will spammers find it because its on this list?
A) The email addresses on the list are not accessible via the web nor are posts sent to the list posted to a web site.  The addresses are stored on my server in such a way that web crawlers cannot access them.  Thus, it is highly unlikely that your will see an increase in spam sent to your address because your address is on this list.

Q) How can I get the boat names, email addresses, people names, pet names, etc. of all the boats on the list?
A) Right now, there is no way to do this other than sending me an email (and I don't maintain a correlation of email addresses to boat names).  If I get ambitious, I may one day create a southbounders web page on my site which would (by permission) list boat names (but not email addresses) and other information such as links to personal web sites, but that is future project.


Q) Is there an archive of previous posts to the list?

A) Not currently.  I do keep a folder of all the posts sent to the list and have been known to send prior posts to people on request.  Someday I may put them on a web page (without email addresses of course).


Q) Hey Eric, I hear your no longer out cruising.  Are you still going to manage the list?

A) Absolutely.  We are indeed back in Seattle and won't be doing any extended cruising for some time, but I am happy to continue to manage the southbounders list as long as people find it useful.