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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Backup, backup and know your navigation. You never know......

On the way to Key Largo, dodging the shoals and shallow water, we lost both of our Garmin chartplotters. Intermittently they would return, but in between was a screamer! Fortunately, we had obtained a copy of Coastal Explorer from a friend (who remains unnamed, thanks Bill!) for backup. I had used it on and off for a few weeks, so that I was able to function in case of loss.

Bingo! Get out the computer with the Coastal Explorer. Actually the software is pretty easy to use, once you get going and while Jim was struggling up above, I was down below setting up our backup. Also, as an experienced mariner, I have charts - lots and lots of charts, so that if we HAD TO, we could resort to good old navigation. (Yes Ray & Winnie, I ALWAYS know where I am on the chart! Thanks for all those years of training!)

We got on the phone with Garmin and they told us the merger with XM and Sirius had caused a failure in chartplotters. Oh thanks! They suggested we remove XM and do a chartplotter update. Don't they understand we know the system is out because we are out in the Ocean cruising! Get real!

Good news was the "fix" seemed to work (after 6' 4" Jim crawled into the cabinet) and we had Coastal Explorer running along with Garmin. Once again, we dodged a bullet!

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