Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thanked 29 Times in 22 Posts
Rep Power: 9
I got a new Garmin chart plotter for my big trip last year.
I found the charts to be very accurate and made it home without incident.
Except: while going through some meandering channels behind Shawanaga Island, heading to Pointe Au Baril, I was conscientiously watching the screen on my plotter. There was a convenient mauve line heading off my bow, showing me the direction I was to travel. I made sure that I stayed on that line as the GPS knew which way I needed to go.
My wife piped up and asked where the channel was, as we were heading for some rocks and a small island.
Without looking away from the screen I said we were on course and there should be no island in front of us.
My wife insisted that there was indeed a non-watery obstruction in our path.
Why can't she just trust the technology?
I rolled my eyes and looked up - just to appease her of course, as I knew that I would see nothing but open water ahead: my GPS told me so!
Anyway, sure enough we were heading towards some keel-rending rocks and what looked exactly like an island.
I couldn't see any markers where I expected them to be - where my trusty GPS indicated they should be.
I looked off to starboard and saw something distinctly marker-like, about 100 yards away. 'Why the hell did they move the markers without updating the charts?'
I swung over, avoiding the rocks, and got back onto the channel.
I looked at my GPS and saw that the mauve line was still pointing off my bow in roughly the same direction as the channel.
It then dawned on me: the line was indicating the bearing to my next waypoint - it wasn't making accommodations for land etc. Had I followed the machine blindly our trip would have been cut very short (as would my keel!)
Lessons learned: RTFM; use the technology to assist, but rely on biology i.e. eyes, ears etc.; listen to the admiral.
Just as a footnote, upon arriving home after a two-week cruise around Georgian Bay I found a lovely letter from Garmin. The gist of the letter was that there was a recall of all of their electronic charts as they were off by a few feet. (when I contacted them Garmin informed me that my charts weren't affected by the recall)
1989 Hunter 30'
Southern Georgian Bay
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. - Jacques Yves Cousteau