Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Navigating Life...

This is a screen shot of a nautical chart of our current location and part of our route back home. The GPS we use with our computer is a GlobalSat BT-328, on the left, below. It uses Bluetooth wireless to connect to our MacBook Pro  laptop and establishes our position within about 20 feet. It costs less than $50 on the internet and has worked flawlessly for us for years.

When you use it with Google Earth, you get something like this, which puts us in our temporary slip at Marina de la Paz. 

Google Earth requires an internet connection, of course, and that's rare when underway, so navigation charts are used. Also, they tell you about things like water depth, so you don't run aground (like oil tankers) and they're much more compact so you you can keep all the world's waterways on a laptop, available wherever you are (mostly). If you don't have a chart, then you're really exploring.

So, where's the challenge, you say? Well, if somebody sinks their boat in a waterway, and the wreck isn't on your chart, then there's a good chance you'll run into it and share its fate. There's also logs, whales, and partially sunken (but floating just below the surface) shipping containers that have fallen off ships. It's estimated that there's tens of thousands of those out there. And there's weather.

Actually, the list of potential hazards runs so long, there's not room or time here to list them all, but that's also true of any human undertaking.

I had a good friend who was killed in his race car, on the race track. He died doing what he loved, so where's the sadness in that?

I suppose he could have sat in his rocking chair, safe and sound, until his doctor gave him the bad news. Many people do. It's not wrong, but to me, sad. 

For me, the real joy of this trip is sharing it with the 1st Mate (who has lots of ideas on how to have fun) and the two mongrels we brought along. Joy, unshared, loses its lustre.


Chrissy y Keith said...

Glad you are having a good trip. I will have Keith read this post. I dont think he ever thought about uncharted wrecks and such. Well, other than his passion to explor them of course.

1st Mate said...

So far, so good. We've been lucky with balmy weather (in July? Whodathunkit?), the iron jib has been reliable, we even have AC when we're in port! Best of all, we're visiting one of my favorite places, La Paz, and hopefully will stop in Santa Rosalia, another favorite.