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Old 04-10-2011, 15:21   #16
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Southeast USA.
Boat: 1982 Sea Ray SRV360
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Re: Annapolis to Charleston (ICW Trip)

Something I did helped me a lot.

I did a detailed route of the entire trip. Took days at the computer. but I learned a lot about the turns and buoys.

I created waypoints for every single turn, multiples for curves to keep me to the right side of the channel. I renamed the waypoints to the ICW miles. Then broke the routes up into chunks my GPS could handle, and renamed them with the start-end miles.

While running, one person drove and watched the GPS. The second person followed along on the paper chart. (And the driver could also easily glance sideways at the paper chart). If things got interesting, the person on the paper charts could double duty on GPS, or double duty on eyeballs, whichever seemed most important at the time.

If the person with the paper got lost (or went to make sandwiches, or potty break, whatever) the driver could just call out the nearest waypoint name and they could find their place again. When changing routes, the person on the paper charts just said what mile we were at, and the driver found the route where the start-stop miles was in the right range, and activated it. (part of the resason for this, is that old GPS didn't show the name of the current active route... annoying). Aslo, that old GPS had a habit of spontaneous rebootion every few hours.

There was many a time when seeing a confused jumble of markers, having such a detailed route really cut down on the reaction time. Even more so when running late and coming into a strange harbor at night, with confusing markers and tons of shore lights, and ferrys and tankers jockeying around.

Of course, we had compass, binoculars (for reading buoys) etc., so we could have made do with nothing but the paper.

Basically, I over-planned and planned for redundancy and flexibility. May not have been totally necessary, but it made us all more comfortable. And I had a blast doing the planning.


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