The Magenta Line, a path, not a route.

2 Apr

 There is no official source (NOAA, USCG, USACE) which suggests that the magenta line should be treated as a chartplotter route.

The ICW was laid out in 1913. Chartplotters were not very accurate 100 years ago! To aid pilots running down the coast, a magenta colored line was drawn on the charts to indicate which rivers, creeks, sounds and canals were all interconnected to provide an inshore route between the Chesapeake and FL. The Magenta line was merely like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs. It is merely a means to find the path. The captains in those days monitored their

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St Johns River Crossing at Pablo Creek STM 740

2 Apr

We have traversed this section 4 times in the past 2 years. We use NOAA charts updated daily in Coastal Explorer and we use Navionics Sonar Charts. For some reason the NOAA charts in this intersection are all dated 2015. I am not sure why the charts on the NOAA site have not been updated. But Navionics Sonar charts have steered us through here every time with no issue. And while Aqua Map base maps are NOAA (and show the NOAA 2015 charts), they have recently added the USACE surveys as part of their Aqua Map Master app. The USACE ...

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Actisense NMEA 2000 cables & connectors, plus network design tips

1 Apr

 

If you need a small NMEA 2000 network, Actisense’s all-in-one 4 Way at upper left is an especially simple and rugged way to go.  In fact, it includes all the components seen in their starter kit at right and the resulting network is a bit better as it will offer four female N2K connectors for drop cables to devices like plotters and sensors while one of the starter kit’s four connectors will be occupied by the power drop.

On the other hand, the Actisense RIB Starter Kit is a better choice if the N2K network backbone ever needs to ...

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More Night Dramas

30 Mar

March 28, 2019/Day 175

Noon Position: 46 13S  47 04W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NExN 7

Miles since departure: 23,947

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

 

Night dramas continue.

I had been in my bunk an hour when Mo began to pound. Winds were the better part of 30 knots on the beam and the sea had been bouldery all day, so I knew we had rounded up. But why? I got up and suited up.

In the pilot house, the chart plotter showed Mo doing a handy seven knots (good) but due north (not good). Once in the cockpit, I saw that Monte’s tiller ...

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#260: Mark Jablow // ISBJORN Crew & B-1 RIO

28 Mar

Mark 260 Art.jpg

#260. Mark Jablow is a sailor and former Air Force B1 Bomber ‘RIO’ – that’s Radar Intercept Officer (think Goose from Top Gun, the guy who sits in the back seat). Mark sailed with us on ISBJORN last summer from Ireland down to Portugal and we immediately made a connection. Put it this way – Mark is still active duty Air Force, and if I had met someone of his caliber when I was young, I may just have joined the forces. Mark & I discussed his Air Force and sailing career, and dove into some technical stuff about radar ...

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New tools on Totem

27 Mar

It’s fun when you’ve been cruising for a bunch of years and can find delight in a few new pieces of kit on board. Here are a few new additions to Totem that earn their keep very nicely. What does that have to do with whales? read on!

Laser rangefinder. OK, this has been on Jamie’s wish list for years: in fact, I cited it in a blog post SEVEN years ago as lingering on Jamie’s wish list. It always seemed like the ~$150 we didn’t need to spend, and hey, we’re frugal cruisers. A generous friend gifted us ...

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SiriusXM InfoLink, new features and lower priced SiriusXM weather receivers

27 Mar

The new receiver on display at the Miami International Boat Show in February

SiriusXM Marine Weather on your boat is getting cheaper and likely to get more capable in the near future.  Furuno and Raymarine have both recently released new SiriusXM weather and audio receivers at very attractive price points.  The two receivers look very similar and it turns out there’s a very good reason.

Previously, SiriusXM provided core modules to their marine weather partners — Furuno, Garmin, Navico, and Raymarine — which those partners used to build their own finished satellite receiver products.  Now, SiriusXM is working with a ...

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THE TRAGEDY OF DAVID PONTIOUS: Did a Scopolamine Patch Drive Him to Suicide?

27 Mar

I know I’m not the only one interested in the legal adventures of skipper Rick Smith, recently acquitted in federal district court in St. Thomas on a manslaughter charge in the death of David Pontious (see image above), one of his crew members. This truly was a horrible situation. Smith, who sails a 43-foot vintage yawl Cimarron back and forth between Maine and the Virgin Islands each year, took on Pontious as pick-up crew, and within three days of heading offshore Pontious was hallucinating madly and was effectively psychotic. After brutally assaulting Smith–both punching him in the face and strangling ...

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A Klatch of Albatross

25 Mar

A Klatch of Albatross

March 23, 2019/Day 170

Noon Position: 53 30S  61 04W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NNE 4.5/Wind(t/tws): E 10

Miles since departure: 23,242

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

What a strange turn of days. To come from the windiest place in the world to a place where the breeze’s only commitment is to a light contrariness! I feel like Scott and his polar party, trapped under an inversion layer that never lets them go.

Mo is close hauled in winds 6 – 10 on the nose and is averaging, at best, 4 knots. Even with the big sails up, there is just ...

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