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This is our second year with an ipad 2 using Garmins Bluechart app. We added it as a back up to a now ancient Garmin CP, our main source of navigation for 10+ years.

I'm finding it more useful this season. The tracks it records are a good tool. We sailed home into a 7 knot South breeze through winding Gilkey Harbor last weekend. tieing the islands together with a zig-zag stitch on the screen.

Averaging about 4.5 knots against a little current from the flood tide, our tacks, about a 1/2nm long, gave us time to enjoy the scenery. My wife and her sister did all the sheet grinding so I just steered and navigated.

We took a first-time short cut between some islands. Beware-this was an ipad assisted notion. :) Over the years, my charts had been small scale and the slot never looked inviting. In the light air and study on the touch screen, we gave it a go. A little drama for the crew on the depth sounder,.."15 feet, 14-13-12-11-10(gulp!),....10,....10,.....11(phew)-12-13", and out into Penobscot Bay.

We left the whine of winches in tight Gilkey Harbor and took a long tack across Western Penobscot Bay.

Closing the coastline, a bearing dragged through our green track revealed 233 degrees. I dragged a new bearing line of 233 degrees off our harbor entrance several miles to the south. We left the bearing long-on the screen, and went onto starboard tack.

A few miles later, our boat icon broke through the new bearing line on the screen-we went back onto a port tack.

Not a new trick, I did this with compass bearings and parallel rules for years. The difference-this was deadly accurate and in a few miles, we put the rocks off Indian Island to starboard.

I also noticed that heaving to while we drop sails in the harbor, leaves a nice tidy "J" on the screen.

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