Join Date: Dec 2010
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Re: Over reliance on electronics
The depths on the GPS plotter, and the locations of the very shallow shoal areas were extremely accurate. When the chart-plotter revealed a 21-foot deep passage through the reef to the Atlantic's azure blue waters, the depth plotter's depth finder and bottom contour information was dead on. It also revealed a 4-foot deep patch of coral that was about 50-feet south of where I passed through the reef, and that's exactly where it was.
I guess my point here is that yes, this information is on the paper chart as well, however, the only visual reference point was Sombrero Light, which was about a mile away. The GPS/Plotter provided pinpoint accuracy, thus allowing safe passage through the reef. The passage area is about 150 feet wide, no one else was on the boat to sling a weight to test the depth, the waves were about 4-feet, thus the captain was glued to the helm in order to maintain course control. In this, and many other instances I've encountered in more than 6-decades on the water, that GPS/Plotter is far superior to paper charts. And, with the 20-MPH winds, that 3X4-foot chart would have blown overboard as soon as it was opened.
Would you consider doing that same passage, for the first time, at night?
would be an example of what I would consider to be "over-reliance"...