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Old 21-07-2014, 08:54   #1
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Bermuda Triangle on Lake Michigan?

While sailing yesterday 10 miles offshore and following a moderate southeasterly breeze on a close reach, our trusted Autohelm 4000 autopilot began jumping around numerous compass headings until finally succumbing to a "No Data" screen. When I looked around, the sky was scattered with cumulus clouds, a hazy sun and gentle 2-3 foot waves. After numerous attempts to reset/clear the autopilot, we continued offshore and turned it off. There were no palm trees visible, no airplanes diving, no ships foundering in boiling water . . . just Lake Michigan. Were we in the Lake Michigan Triangle? After some analytic thinking, we discovered one of our crew was listening to music on a Bose wireless speaker that was being played through her Bluetooth. The Autohelm compass was directly on the other side of the companionway where she positioned the speaker. What happened . . . electrical interference or the LMT?
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Old 21-07-2014, 09:10   #2
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Re: Bermuda Triangle on Lake Michigan?

Probably.

I was sailing along under autopilot one day, heeled over a bit, when the auto suddenly turned the boat 90 degrees. It turned out a metal toolbox full of tools had slid on the cabin sole so it was close to the fluxgate compass, which was in a compartment under the quarterberth. I imagine an electromagnet would much more of an influence.
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