Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thanked 31 Times in 24 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
Visualize the vastness of the oceans; the infinity of the heavens; the fickleness of the wind; the artistry of the craft and the frailty of the sailor. The oneness that may be achieved through the harmony of these things may lead one to enlightenment. - Flying Welshman