Saturday, June 11, 2011

So where are we?

A couple of weeks before we left home, I went into Charlottetown to write a test. I had purchased the self-study package for advanced navigation from the Canadian Power Squadron. The course was Advanced Piloting, which covers navigation and charting. The tests are sent off for marking, and I haven't heard the results yet.

Boy, I hope I passed. Because since leaving New Jersey, GPS receivers have been an issue.

The boat came with a chartplotter. This is a GPS unit that is mounted on the helm station. It has a 7 inch screen, and all the nautical charts for the US coast we are travelling. It superimposes your position on the chart and allows you to plot things like your intended route and direction of travel. It is really a very useful piece of electronics, particularly in unfamiliar waters.

Remember the thunderstorm from the earlier posting? Well, for a while the rain was coming almost horizontally. This is when we discovered that the case was not entirely watertight. Later that evening, the screen fogged up on the inside, indicating moisture had gotten past the seals. Although it worked for the rest of the day after the storm, it hasn't worked since.

But, that's not insurmountable. We also own a handheld Garmin GPS. We have a mount for this to put it next to the wheel, and in fact, this is what we have been using exclusively for the past few years. We also have the navigational charts for this unit, and it gives pretty much the same functionality, but with a much smaller screen.

Only one problem. A couple of days ago I dropped this GPS, and it has not worked properly since.

So we're onto our third backup, which we only took along as an afterthought. This is a much older GPS, but doesn't have as much functionality, nor does it have all the charts.

So, all day yesterday, we were resorting to good old-fashioned 16th-century style navigating to travel from Little Harbor to Portland. Now that we're here, we will address the GPS issue.

But we made it safely, so that's a passing grade in my book.
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry


  1. I guess practicing in the real world on the assumption that you passed worked out well. Good thing it did because I don't think Michelle would have enjoyed an "oopps! I guess I am not as good at navigating as I thought" after hitting into a rock or getting lost. I think I would have trusted your navigation skills in those circumstances as I assume you probably haven't failed many tests in your life.


  2. I'm glad to be hearing these stories AFTER I know you are safe and sound!!!!! mom