New Panbo Forum launched

9 Apr

We’ve launched a new Panbo Forum today.  It uses the same user membership as the new Panbo website, so if you’ve joined as a member since the migration to the new website you’re all set to post on the new forum.  You can get to the new forum using the forum link in the toolbar at the top of each page.

We will also keep the old forum around read-only so that all discussions will remain available.  If you’re wanting to continue a conversation started in the old forum you can start a new topic in the new forum and ...

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Jacksonville St. Johns River Crossing STM 741

9 Apr

We crossed the St. Johns River northbound in mid March. This area at the north end of Pablo Creek, where it meets the St. Johns River, was dredged and re buoyed in 2016.  Here again, some the buoys are not correctly shown on the latest updated charts NOAA 11491 (2/03/2018) making this section confusing.  The buoys are in the same locations we saw them in early February and for both transits through here we just followed the USCG ATONs.  G1 and R2 are correct as are R8 and G9.  However, R6 is no longer there and several other buoys have ...

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Lockwoods Folly Inlet Crossing STM 320

9 Apr

The good news here is that although the channel shifted after the 2017 hurricanes, the water is deep!   The bad news here is that G47A and G47 are both missing.  If you have updated your charts their expected location will be found on the chart. If you drive your boat through here following the aids to navigation as shown on the charts you will see water depths greater than 10 feet all the way through here.  When you get over near R36 be prepared to experience cross setting current!...

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What Comes Next for the Figure 8?

8 Apr

April 8, 2018

Hobart, Tasmania

I raced those last few weeks to Hobart so as to arrive in time to see my wife, whose inflexible schedule required that we meet-up at the end March or not at all. During her brief stay here, “what now?” was a major topic of our conversation.

Below is the result and then the rationale for our decision.

The New Plan

Mo and I will depart for San Francisco non-stop in mid-April and should sail under the Golden Gate Bridge as early as middle June.

I then plan to begin the Figure 8 route all ...

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SureCall Fusion2Go 2.0 cell booster, the testing begins

7 Apr

This is the selection of SureCall Fusion2Go cellular booster system components I’ll lug to the boat in North Carolina early Monday morning. The white outdoor antenna should mount fairly easily on Gizmo’s mast, the booster itself will tuck behind the lower helm with switchable 12v power, and I’ll put my phone on that indoor patch antenna when boosting is needed. In fact, I tried roughly that configuration in my basement shop yesterday, and the results were quite promising.

Note the signal strength graph in the Network Signal Info app running on my Google Pixel 2 XL Android phone. Without boost ...

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It’s 406 EPIRB Day!

6 Apr

Epirb
After my post about EPIRB registration I got a very nice note from NOAA announcing that it’s #406DAY18 (that’s the Twitter moniker).

I had no idea, but it turns out false alarms are an epidemic:

“Last year we had over 5,000 false alerts from EPIRBs in the United States. The majority of those were from people conducting self tests of their beacons incorrectly. Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel begin responding immediately to every activation of a 406 MHz SARSAT beacon. That response will only stop when it has been proven that the activation was a false alert. The simplest and ...

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Northbound to Mexico: lessons from the country-per-day plan

5 Apr

birds on the bow at sunset

The Pacific side of Panama felt palpably different even before the channel markers switched near the continental divide, green buoys replacing red on Totem’s starboard side. It was partly an earthy smell of the hot wind blowing through the Gaillard cut. A changed quality in the light, maybe, on the far side of sawtooth mountains catching tradewind-blown clouds from the Caribbean. The temperature cooled along with the water, and large swells slowly lifting Totem on the exit from Mirabella confirmed her homecoming to the Pacific.

Jamie and I booked flights from Puerto Vallarta to the Annapolis boat show later in ...

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Approaching Tasmania–Video

4 Apr

April 5, 2018

Hobart, Tasmania

In the following video, it’s March 17th. As the sun sets, Mo and I have fewer than 80 miles to Tasmania. It’s been a month since the knockdown that is requiring this stopover, and now we’re racing another large low-pressure system. I can see it coming. Will we beat it to South East Cape? …

(P.S. Go to the next day’s post, South East Cape, to see how the approach turned out.)

...

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Garmin OneHelm (HTML5) #1: Lumishore, Seakeeper, and Shadow-Caster

4 Apr

Though multifunction displays have been steadily gaining new functions, the Seakeeper and Lumishore buttons above represent a new era. Garmin calls it OneHelm, but the underlying HTML5 app technology is an important innovation that all the major MFD manufacturers are embracing. It significantly simplifies the process of creating MFD control for other manufacturer’s onboard systems, and so a lot of interesting integration options like these will soon be available.

After the Miami show Ben Stein and I wrote “Raymarine MFD apps three ways: from drone control to sat comms to video streaming” because Ray’s latest operating system update ...

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ICW: South of McClellanville STM 430 to STM 435

4 Apr

South of McClellanville This long-standing shoal stretch has not dredged itself. It seem to be filling in at a slow rate, and in the past year has shoaled another 3-6 inches.

The chart below covers this shallow stretch. It starts at G47 Awendaw Creek and ends at G35A Jeremy Creek, McClellanville. From G47 to R42 just stay in visual center to have depths of 8 to 20 feet MLLW. Between R42 and G39 we saw several spots showing as little as 6.6 feet and we had +3.1 of help. This means that these areas would have 3.5 feet MLLW. In ...

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