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post #39 of Old 03-05-2014
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Re: GPS Accuracy - how much is actually needed

Originally Posted by findrichard View Post
Back in the summer of 2001 I was sailing solo up the east coast of the US, somewhere around NJ the fog set in as I was heading for a small inlet to pick up a mooring for the night. There was a marker at the mouth of the inlet with a bell on it that I could hear but could not see in the fog. Because of the fog, I could not determine what direction the sound of the bell was coming from. The night before, as was my custom, I put all the way-points for the next days sail in my handheld GPS. So I turned the GPS on and followed it directly toward the buoy. The buoy broke out of the fog at 12:30 off the bow at about 50 yards away. With map in hand I safely navigated past the rocky shoreline into the inlet where I was met by the harbor master's assistant who escorted me to my mooring for the night. Without GPS I would have turned seaward and spent another night on the open sea - something I really would not want to do in the fog. That little GPS was the best $150 I ever spent.
I remember getting caught out in the fog at dark in the 80's one time, and trying to find the pass through a spoil bank, using nothing but my depth finder and compass. One of the most miserable times I ever had in a boat. With today's gps/chartplotters, it would be so simple to get in when caught in that situation again.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.

"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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