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Old 07-01-2013, 01:03   #271
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If you get a chance to hook up with Sumner, do it. Those folks know how to mod a sailboat.

Your posts went from Christmas morning jubilation to three flat tires on a two lane road. What triggers my posts is not what you are doing, but the way you do it.

You know we all have your safety in our hearts for you, and as individuals we express our desire for your life differently. Some say go for it, don't look back. Others say be careful. Others called you in a touch feel move. Glad they did.

My advice for a young man, is find a quiet place where nothing can disturb you, and sit in the semi darkness with no radio, tv or other distractions and think. Really think what your responsibilities are, and how best you can serve those responsibilities. That should take only a few moments of clear thought. Once you have your responsibilities focused upon, place them on paper, and read them each day, as you walk towards your destination.

Discouragement comes from not having clear correctly set goals, and then watching those goals falter.

Your sailing goal to far away exotic ports, why? What good would have come from achieving that goal, and what much greater goals can you now look back on, and pick up again?

Reading your posts, we know what your next great adventure is, do you? How long will you continue to get lost in life's crab pots before you shake off the fog and realize where your life focus really is?

Good sharing with you BO, even though I think seeds spill from your bag like planting corn. Planting corn, you know there are chapters in the cycle of life, and one step always comes before the next one. I think the yarn you spun is more mental than physical.

As you pass a library in the near future, check out any two books by W Clement Stone and Napolian Hill. They did all the stuff you did, only without a sailboat.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:05   #272
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Re: Attempted Trip to Bermuda

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Originally Posted by GaryMayo View Post

What triggers my posts is not what you are doing, but the way you do it.

.
Exactly.

My daughter has three gerbals. I have told her that they must be equally loved, but firmly controlled.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:19   #273
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Re: Attempted Trip to Bermuda

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Originally Posted by BlackOak View Post
Sometime I wish I had never started this thread.
Lol That happens .

But yer gotta admit that your writing style conveys an attitude that was bound to stand out. and intentionaly so - and real life or internet that always comes with pros and cons. But we are where we are .

In any event, most of this thread (if not all!) has been intended as constructive to help both you and others simply reading the thread (who may know even less than you did at the outset!) - and I do include the comments from those who appear to be a wet blanket! (no names ).

I dunno if you have re-read this thread from the beginning, but if you do likely that would understand a bit more about where folks were coming from - and perhaps appreciate differently the attempts made to convey information and advice / guidance in an encouraging way whilst avoiding simply telling you what to do like a school mistress. Not easy to do is all that! and here is free so can't expect perfection . At the least this thread (hopefully) served to say that:-

a) you were not completely insane with your intentions, but nonetheless had not picked the easiest learning curve.
b) you did have a lot to learn.
c) Boats is not rocket science and you can learn what you need to.
d) it does get better (more fun!).

Anyway, FWIW (about the same as you paid for it ) I think you are doing well - still lots to learn and practice (those never stop!), but you now know a lot more than when you started (and should by now have a good handle on your unknowns and where you need to get more comfortable / able - what you do about those is 100% up to you, as it's you who gets to swim home ) - The more you learn / know the easier (and more fun) it gets - mostly all that down solely to you and your willingness to get stuck in, plus you having lucked into good folks on the ground.

A bit of nice weather would make all the difference to the experiance .
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:57   #274
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Re: Attempted Trip to Bermuda

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Originally Posted by GaryMayo View Post
Mary Unwin: She insisted on sailing solo round Land's End on the yacht she'd just been given, Now she's vanished | Mail Online


This lady was experienced though older and rusty.

I bet she wishes she had gotten hooked up in crab pots and needed towed back in.

I have less sailing experience than most on this board. I have never been in water unable to see a shoreline. I have never been in waves the height of my freeboard. I have never read a chart, never used a marine band radio. Never sailed at night, never sailed in strong winds. Never packed food for an over night trip. Never slept on a sailboat. Never done any of the things any good blue water sailor does without thinking. So you old salts think people like myself can just aquire a sailboat, unchecked by anybody that knows boats, and just head for blue water?

Are you guys crackers?

In living beings, there is something called natural selection. The lady sailor was a case in point. I don't care to read about any natural selections here in this thread.

In the moment, inexperience and lots to do, create an overwhelmed state called a saturation point. My first three times flying, on take off, I was saturated to the point, no further learning was possible because I was at my maximum at that point.

In a sailboat, at sea, with so much coming at you, a level of saturation existed. He did not like sailing at that time, because he was beyond his control level.

You guys want to send him back into that? Really? Who is the bigger _ _ _ _ here? Fill in the blank.

Photo of the dead woman's boat, before the rocks ate it, and her. Looks almost exactly like the sailboat from this adventurous thread.

Attachment 51875
I don't usually get involved when there are posts like this but this time is an exception. The lady in the article was not an experienced sailor. She was a money-grabber by all accounts and had no idea of real life.

I am a private pilot and I don't know why you were "saturated" within 3 flights? It shows that many others are so right by saying that we all have different learning curves. Some are also more adventurous and brave than others. This does not necessarily make them stupid. Some people need the health and safety, nanny state molly-coddling, others don't and in fact detest that approach (I am in the latter category).

By all accounts I believe that Blackoak is doing it the adventurous way without being one of those stupid risk takers (like the late woman in the article). He is and has been open to advice and frankly he is way less risk than some idiots on powerboats on lakes.

Keep pushing on Blackoak ... you are ALIVE and LIVING and that's what life is about. I agree with Boatman ... ignore the naysayers, enjoy your adventure for as long as it lasts and may that be until you are too old and frail to sail.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:07   #275
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Re: Attempted Trip to Bermuda

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Originally Posted by Ship2210 View Post
I am a private pilot and I don't know why you were "saturated" within 3 flights? It shows that many others are so right by saying that we all have different learning curves. Some are also more adventurous and brave than others. This does not necessarily make them stupid. Some people need the health and safety, nanny state molly-coddling, others don't and in fact detest that approach (I am in the latter category).
Have never tried flying (can't afford anything fast enough to be really fun! - and I probably would be cr#p at it!), but I will say (admit?!) that part of my own learning curve does involve simply walking away and coming back to stuff later (sometimes much later!) - whether that is termed being "saturated" or simply p#ssed off (with self!) is a good question. Probably a bit of both . As you say, we all learn differently and likely all a mix of ways.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:50   #276
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Re: Attempted Trip to Bermuda

Black Oak, thank you for sharing your adventures, and for your absolute honesty! You are a great writer (honesty and willingness to show your vulnerability being the key ingredients). Keep recording and publishing your experiences, whatever path you take. Happy Trails!
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:48   #277
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Black Oak,

You're doing fine. Just keep practicing the tight maneuvering. Honestly, I think that's the hardest part of sailing. Anyone can fly a plane, it's the take offs and landings that are hard. What I am enjoying most about this thread is that you now have more ocean miles, which is how I would define experience, than many of your detractors. I'm glad you are pressing on, now that you have seen 9.2 knots (instead of just motoring the ICW) you have had a taste of the fun part.

What you are doing, and they way you are going is extremely ballsy, way outside the comfort zone of most people, and from the sound of it maybe even yours. The fact that you are adventurous enough to persevere and push your own limits, can be very disturbing to those who don't. Every time you complete a passage without a disaster or mishap, you are kicking sand in their faces. When you finally free yourself from the tow services, you will have won. I am following this thread, eagerly awaiting that moment.

For every naysayer there are at least as many, and probably more dreamers who having been beaten down by the scaredy cats, are convinced that they are not capable of cruising. While I do appreciate that having a bunch of idiots slamming into things is not in the best interest of the boating community at large (so don't waste everyone's time with a ridiculous flame war over it people) I think that you are an inspiration to many, your viewpoints are refreshing and your style of expressing them endearing and entertaining.

Good Luck Black Oak, I hope to see you succeed before you find a buyer.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:06   #278
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Re: Attempted Trip to Bermuda

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackOak View Post
Yes, to all the comments made by all of you, there is truth in all of them. To answer the last question about dock jumping. First off, this dock was new to me, and at Rose Marina, the dock is concrete and stands about 3 feet above my deck, and I was being towed at a good pace when we got to the dock. Second, after he hippped to me, I was being pushed and moving towards the dock, not passing it. I still had to make the leap up and out of my boat. Kinda have to be there scenario, to understand, but anyway.

Sometime I wish I had never started this thread.

Yes to ALL the comments made so far on this thread. Knowing what I did, and if I could go back and change anything, my first response would be YES, I should of never have gotten this boat and took off like I did, but in retrospect, that would mean I would be sitting at home and dreaming about sailing, instead of being here in Marco Island, Fl, @ 400 miles and change from where I started on my OWN sailboat. All the tremendous people I have met along the way, I would of never have known, or been blessed by their friendship, advice, and teachings, as well as the great advice I have gotten from you fine people.

Say what you want to say about my lack of skill, my lack of experience, and my way of doing things, but buddy, by damn I am doing it and I am doing it my way, and learning as I go. I aint sitting in a ASA Class, I am out here on the saltwater trying to do this sailing stuff. If it takes me a little longer to get the knack, well then it will take me longer, if I never get the knack, then so be it, though it wont be from not trying. If I want to motorsail, its my choice, my boat, my time, and my money. IF I get to a place and want to fart around with no motor and sails only, then I will. My boat uses about a quart an hour of diesel with the jib out catching the wind, and I can make between 6kts to 7kts. So it cost me about a buck an hour to motorsail. I'm not wasting my money paying for a slip in a marina, or a bar tab, or for some fine dining at the local hog trough. Sure, I dont have the latest electronics and gizmos. I have an old gps that gives me my lats and longs, and I take that info to my old paper chart and figure out where I am and what bearing I need to take to get to my destination. I mark my checks and make sure I am running in a straight line, and so far (with the help of captain shelly's teachings me on navigation), all my lines have been straight. Captain Shelly was sailing before there were electronics, only charts, a sextant, and dead reckoning. She is an awesome mentor!

Since I left crystal river, its all been on me(no crew). I have done the outside, and the inside, (the inside sucks). I have done the draw and swing bridges. I have arrived at the marinas I had intended to get to, with all but one since crystal river, I got towed onto for mechanical issues, and found my way into places like Pelican Bay. I found my way when I needed to duck in, spots off the icw where I could drop the hook and get some sleep without going aground. Yes, one night I dropped my anchor on some crabpots and needed help to get loose from them, my fault, but I learned something, and didnt tear up my boat in the process. Yes, all my boating so far has been coastal, but if there is a way to get from St Marks, Fl to Marco Island, Fl via the open ocean, then by all means educate me, because I will go out there and check it out. All in All not to shabby for a noob sailboat owner with no experience or formal training. Not to mention on a 40 year old boat with old electronics, old charts, and my keen sense of dead reckoning, and I know now how to tie a bowline!

Yall can go on bad mouthing me and poking fun all ya want, it concerns me about as much as a sunny day. I started this thread to request a berth or crew position on a sailboat going to Bermuda, when I figured out that wasnt going to happen, I got my own damn boat and jumped into it and took off. I continued my posting to share my experiences and what I felt emotionally as a new guy on the saltwater for the first time. perhaps I should of kept those things to myself, and off this forum, since it would of been alot easier than writing it in my journal, and then typing it on here for yall to read. It would not bother me one iota if the Moderators deleted this whole thread from day one. Yall have read it, I have lived it, and recorded all of it handwritten in my journal, mostly for my daughter Ana, but a little for me to remember these good times and bad, in a few years when all this bucket list sailing thing is over with. Happy that its the second to the last thing on the list too! Being a male stripper at a old folks home is the last thing on the list.....
Well, not everyone is badmouthing you, BO. Personally I think you have made pretty rapid progress. You only bought your boat what... a couple weeks ago? And no experience before then? You are doing pretty good. Sure, you are learning a lot of stuff the hard way, but you are learning. No real damage done, so far. I think you ought to stick with it. Keep doing the coastal crusing thing for a while. Maybe go to the Bahamas after a couple more months coasting. That's a pretty easy passage from FL and you will get experience with the Gulf Stream, real blue water, and clearing in and out of a foreign country. All good tickets to punch before considering Bermuda.

You might want to find a good checklist of safety equipment to check off on, at this point. Particularly your Ship Station License from the FCC, an EPIRB, (in other countries, a towboatUS supplied MMSI is not acceptable... you need to get an official one from the FCC to program into your EPIRB, AIS, DSC VHF, etc and you get that with your License) a proper GMDSS type accepted VHF, make sure you have proper flares, smoke, etc and an inflatable life raft would be really great to have. Got yoru fire extinguishers? Seriously you will soon be ready for a Bahamas run so may as well make sure you are properly equipped.

A crew would be good to try at this point, too. A kindred spirit. Someone you can share your enthusiasm with, and depend on for moral support. Someone who could teach you the rudiments of celestial navigation would be fantastic. Just being able to put down a sun line is a great backup skill and it is a fascinating science, too.

One book I would recommend is "Celestial For The Cruising Navigator" and I don't remember the author but you can get it from www.celestaire.inc which is also a great place to buy your first sextant. I think they sell the surprisingly high quality Astra IIIb from China for under $500 and it is comparable to many much more expensive sextants. They are a good source for your basic and not-so-basic navigation tools, too. Electronic navigation is easy, accurate, and instant. You can still mess it up, but it is really far and away superior to celestial methods... WHEN IT WORKS LIKE IT USUALLY DOES. The prudent sailor leaves as little as possible to chance, and has lots of redundant backup systems for critical things like navigating to a little island hundreds of miles away. Celestial is the perfect redundant backup. No electricity? No problem. Chinese just shot all the satellites down? You are still good to go. Software glitch? Break out the sextant and use your DR position to determine an Assumed Position, and take a sun line. Take another one a few hours later and advance the first one and you got a fix. Stars and planets can be kinda tricky and are only available for a short window at morning and evening twilight, but a sun line is easy sneezy and you can take them all day long. It sounds geeky but it really is lots of fun.

I am really hoping you eventually make it to Bermuda. And don't worry about the nitpickers and naysayers and badmouthers. You stand out from the crowd, you know you can expect an occasional barb. Kinda like if a guy on a Gold Wing or some soft-hands yuppie wants to ride with you and your bros. A few guys are gonna mess with him, right? It's natural pack instinct. Same here. I think everyone has come to the conclusion that you are not a major menace on the water or anything like that. But there is always going to be some elitism. Don't let it rain on your parade.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:13   #279
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Re: Attempted Trip to Bermuda

Blackoak, very well written last post. It seems to sum up the whole thing.

You are doing this for you not some armchair sailor. Keep in mind that a lot of the negativity here is coming from those who have never attempted what you are actually doing.

Others mean well but hearing them talk to you about “safety” and “seamanship” from a perspective of never having done it themselves is kind of useless. Sure the blah, blah, blah is not wrong but what you are doing is not wrong either.

I think a lot of those who keep telling you to read books will end up with a nice library but not the memories that you are making for yourself.

It’s your life and you are living it!

Good job and good luck.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:05   #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ship2210 View Post

I don't usually get involved when there are posts like this but this time is an exception. The lady in the article was not an experienced sailor. She was a money-grabber by all accounts and had no idea of real life.

I am a private pilot and I don't know why you were "saturated" within 3 flights? It shows that many others are so right by saying that we all have different learning curves. Some are also more adventurous and brave than others. This does not necessarily make them stupid. Some people need the health and safety, nanny state molly-coddling, others don't and in fact detest that approach (I am in the latter category).

By all accounts I believe that Blackoak is doing it the adventurous way without being one of those stupid risk takers (like the late woman in the article). He is and has been open to advice and frankly he is way less risk than some idiots on powerboats on lakes.

Keep pushing on Blackoak ... you are ALIVE and LIVING and that's what life is about. I agree with Boatman ... ignore the naysayers, enjoy your adventure for as long as it lasts and may that be until you are too old and frail to sail.
This is a quote from one source that seems typical of Mary's final adventure. Glad BO faired better than she did.

""""On that trial run last Friday, Mary, who was 65 and a retired
businesswoman, spoke proudly of her own experiences as a
sailor, producing a dog-eared Royal Yachting Association
Coastal Skipper’s certificate and reminiscing about a career in
the Royal Navy.
‘She wanted to refresh her skills on that trial run,’ says Mr
Jordan. ‘She’d only just got the boat and couldn’t wait to sail
it. I asked her to promise me she wouldn’t go off on her own in
it, but she didn’t really reply.’
As we now know, Mary set sail on Seagair the following
morning with apparently tragic consequences. In the week
since she was last seen alive, flotsam washed up on several
Cornish beaches has included jagged fragments of a wood-panelled sailing boat, distinctive seat cushions, and a plate
bearing Seagair’s registration number.
But as hopes of finding Mary alive have faded, the mystery
surrounding her disappearance has deepened.""""

Mary was experienced at sailing and the weather reports were not alarming. She had a good sailboat but was shy on safety equipment, experience on that sailboat, and needed time in a sailboat again to refresh herself, something she did not allow herself.

The Mary Unwin tragedy could have been averted had she realized she was over her head and turned back in time. In this case, we see a man that was smarter than she was, thankfully. For those of you pushing BO on to learn by trial and error, reread how well he did, and think again. Hospital emergency rooms are full of people that purchase chain saws and try cutting down a tree without reading the owners manual.

My first three flying lessons were with a moron! I was constantly afraid. It took me three lessons to figure out it was not flying that frightened me, but my instructor. I switched instructors and the fear subsided in one flight.
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Old 07-01-2013, 14:36   #281
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Come on, GaryMayo, be honest. Reading between the lines, we can already see that you envy BO, so just admit it! You want to swap a lake for an ocean, Nebraska for Florida, being too careful for being gutsy. Admit it, mate!
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Old 07-01-2013, 18:26   #282
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Re: Attempted Trip to Bermuda

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackOak View Post
Yes, to all the comments made by all of you, there is truth in all of them. To answer the last question about dock jumping. First off, this dock was new to me, and at Rose Marina, the dock is concrete and stands about 3 feet above my deck, and I was being towed at a good pace when we got to the dock. Second, after he hippped to me, I was being pushed and moving towards the dock, not passing it. I still had to make the leap up and out of my boat. Kinda have to be there scenario, to understand, but anyway.

Sometime I wish I had never started this thread.

Yes to ALL the comments made so far on this thread. Knowing what I did, and if I could go back and change anything, my first response would be YES, I should of never have gotten this boat and took off like I did, but in retrospect, that would mean I would be sitting at home and dreaming about sailing, instead of being here in Marco Island, Fl, @ 400 miles and change from where I started on my OWN sailboat. All the tremendous people I have met along the way, I would of never have known, or been blessed by their friendship, advice, and teachings, as well as the great advice I have gotten from you fine people.

Say what you want to say about my lack of skill, my lack of experience, and my way of doing things, but buddy, by damn I am doing it and I am doing it my way, and learning as I go. I aint sitting in a ASA Class, I am out here on the saltwater trying to do this sailing stuff. If it takes me a little longer to get the knack, well then it will take me longer, if I never get the knack, then so be it, though it wont be from not trying. If I want to motorsail, its my choice, my boat, my time, and my money. IF I get to a place and want to fart around with no motor and sails only, then I will. My boat uses about a quart an hour of diesel with the jib out catching the wind, and I can make between 6kts to 7kts. So it cost me about a buck an hour to motorsail. I'm not wasting my money paying for a slip in a marina, or a bar tab, or for some fine dining at the local hog trough. Sure, I dont have the latest electronics and gizmos. I have an old gps that gives me my lats and longs, and I take that info to my old paper chart and figure out where I am and what bearing I need to take to get to my destination. I mark my checks and make sure I am running in a straight line, and so far (with the help of captain shelly's teachings me on navigation), all my lines have been straight. Captain Shelly was sailing before there were electronics, only charts, a sextant, and dead reckoning. She is an awesome mentor!

Since I left crystal river, its all been on me(no crew). I have done the outside, and the inside, (the inside sucks). I have done the draw and swing bridges. I have arrived at the marinas I had intended to get to, with all but one since crystal river, I got towed onto for mechanical issues, and found my way into places like Pelican Bay. I found my way when I needed to duck in, spots off the icw where I could drop the hook and get some sleep without going aground. Yes, one night I dropped my anchor on some crabpots and needed help to get loose from them, my fault, but I learned something, and didnt tear up my boat in the process. Yes, all my boating so far has been coastal, but if there is a way to get from St Marks, Fl to Marco Island, Fl via the open ocean, then by all means educate me, because I will go out there and check it out. All in All not to shabby for a noob sailboat owner with no experience or formal training. Not to mention on a 40 year old boat with old electronics, old charts, and my keen sense of dead reckoning, and I know now how to tie a bowline!

Yall can go on bad mouthing me and poking fun all ya want, it concerns me about as much as a sunny day. I started this thread to request a berth or crew position on a sailboat going to Bermuda, when I figured out that wasnt going to happen, I got my own damn boat and jumped into it and took off. I continued my posting to share my experiences and what I felt emotionally as a new guy on the saltwater for the first time. perhaps I should of kept those things to myself, and off this forum, since it would of been alot easier than writing it in my journal, and then typing it on here for yall to read. It would not bother me one iota if the Moderators deleted this whole thread from day one. Yall have read it, I have lived it, and recorded all of it handwritten in my journal, mostly for my daughter Ana, but a little for me to remember these good times and bad, in a few years when all this bucket list sailing thing is over with. Happy that its the second to the last thing on the list too! Being a male stripper at a old folks home is the last thing on the list.....
So then you would consider pressing on with the sailing thing?
I noticed that you deleted the craigslist ad.
Was that by request of a broker or are you having second thoughts?
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Old 07-01-2013, 19:16   #283
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Re: Attempted Trip to Bermuda

BO there are two things that could make life a lot more enjoyable.

First when you do have WiFi get on Active Captain and research where you are going and possible anchorages and advise about going in and out of cuts like the one you went in at Marco. There is a lot of invaluable local knowledge there for you to tap into.

The second is to download the free chartplotting program OpenCPN ...

OpenCPN | Official OpenCPN Homepage

and the free NOOA charts....

Chart Downloader for NOAA RNC&#174

.. for Florida for now and I'd start with just the Raster Charts as they will look like your paper charts.

With these on your laptop you can plan the legs of your trip a lot easier and they will even show you real time tide and current information so you aren't fighting the current in the cuts. It gives you that info for the moment or into the future.

You need to hook up a GPS to the computer but you might be able to use the handheld you now have depending on the model. If not buy a used Garmin Map 76S (B&W or the color one) for under $60 on e-bay (you can have items sent to Marco Rose Marina there -- we did).

garmin map 76 in Consumer Electronics | eBay

With the handheld and a cable ....



... like above you can hook the handheld to the laptop and chart a course with OpenCPN and in a few seconds download the waypoints into the handheld and then use it out in the cockpit to very accurately get you from place to place (still have your paper as backup).

You can also hookup a......



...GPS puck like above for $30 or less.....

GlobalSat BU 353 Waterproof USB GPS Receiver New 795945035308 | eBay

... and have the computer below running if you want to do that also.

Believe me having these charts on a large laptop screen is great. I really admire that you have been able to use the handheld in conjunction with the paper charts to navigate like you have. That is a lot harder to do down there than what meets the eye.

If you need any help with the above you have my number and a night or two and you would be up to speed.

We try and plan the day so that we are in on an anchorge or near one by 5:00 to give us some leeway,

Sum
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Old 07-01-2013, 22:18   #284
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pirate Re: Attempted Trip to Bermuda

Whoa! Page #19! Nice going.
Read, adopt and continue.
Remember to buy insurance, safety gear, and paper charts. Electronics are excellent, but always put your position on paper chart every hour. It helps tremendously, when gizmos fail.
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Old 08-01-2013, 00:49   #285
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Re: Attempted Trip to Bermuda

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumner View Post
BO there are two things that could make life a lot more enjoyable.

First when you do have WiFi get on Active Captain and research where you are going and possible anchorages and advise about going in and out of cuts like the one you went in at Marco. There is a lot of invaluable local knowledge there for you to tap into.

The second is to download the free chartplotting program OpenCPN ...

OpenCPN | Official OpenCPN Homepage

and the free NOOA charts....

Chart Downloader for NOAA RNC&#174

.. for Florida for now and I'd start with just the Raster Charts as they will look like your paper charts.

With these on your laptop you can plan the legs of your trip a lot easier and they will even show you real time tide and current information so you aren't fighting the current in the cuts. It gives you that info for the moment or into the future.

You need to hook up a GPS to the computer but you might be able to use the handheld you now have depending on the model. If not buy a used Garmin Map 76S (B&W or the color one) for under $60 on e-bay (you can have items sent to Marco Rose Marina there -- we did).

garmin map 76 in Consumer Electronics | eBay

With the handheld and a cable ....



... like above you can hook the handheld to the laptop and chart a course with OpenCPN and in a few seconds download the waypoints into the handheld and then use it out in the cockpit to very accurately get you from place to place (still have your paper as backup).

You can also hookup a......



...GPS puck like above for $30 or less.....

GlobalSat BU 353 Waterproof USB GPS Receiver New 795945035308 | eBay

... and have the computer below running if you want to do that also.

Believe me having these charts on a large laptop screen is great. I really admire that you have been able to use the handheld in conjunction with the paper charts to navigate like you have. That is a lot harder to do down there than what meets the eye.

If you need any help with the above you have my number and a night or two and you would be up to speed.

We try and plan the day so that we are in on an anchorge or near one by 5:00 to give us some leeway,

Sum
Now this is the sort of help and advice that I know CF is all about. Good post Sumner.
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