I completed installation of my new electronics suite today. I have two chartplotters, a Raymarine A75 MFD at the helm, and the old Lowrance HDS8m at the Navstation down below. Added into the mix is a new Raymarine EV-100 Autopilot. The autopilot is connected to the Multi Function Display as are the wind and depth/speed inputs. Everything is “talking” to each other via a SeatalkNG Backbone with some NEMA 2000 inputs.
I will install a new MFD starting tomorrow. It is the Raymarine A75 to go with the new autopilot and GPS receiver. They will be interfaced to give me more control and easier long passage in the ocean. I have already moved the Lowrance MFD to the Nav station. The Lowrance will also be completly intigrated with the autopilot and the other instruments, but It will not control the autopilot. I have the Lowrance on right now as I am typing this and I am reminded of why I wanted a new one. It has blanked out and restarted three times since I turned it on a half hour ago.
I remember my days at Sperry, I worked this type of equipment on the BIG ships, oil tankers, container ships, large ferries. I will have more and better “Navionics” than any of them at that time. If the Exxon Valdeze had what I have they would not have gone aground. I still can’t understand how that Italian cruise ship did run aground.
Next year I will go for digital radar, viewable from the Raymarine MFD.
Oh ya….Because I can.
Moved back to Daytona (Loggerhead Marina) to prepair for my trip north. I will depart on May 1st with my first stop in St. Augustine.
My brother-in-law just moved into a condo across the Halifax River from the marina. Went over for dinner yesterday and had a good time. This is George’s Condo taken from Loggerhead Marina.
This morning I got out the kayak and paddled over to the condo. But I didn’t have a phone, and no way of getting in so I turned around and paddled back. I might do the same tomorrow, round trip is 1.5 miles so it’s a good workout. Got in and out of the kayak on my new ladder, worked as advertised, easier then getting in and out at a floating dock. Need to get some wet shoes though.
It’s been two years since I left California and headed east to live on the boat. All I can say is there is no change in my feelings about living aboard. Far from getting boring it is getting better. The past two months I have been in Cocoa, Fl, and on the 1st of February I will head north to Titusville. Only about 20 miles but the harbor is better, less exposure to the waves.
Living aboard has different appeal to different people, I like the solitude in the middle of a crowd. I can be alone or with like minded people, my choice. And I meet new friends almost every day.
Next month will be hard again, Feb 5th is the worst day. The last year I had with Helen was a painful bliss. Horrible what was happening, but Helen and I were never so much in love as that last year. I hope she had that always in her mind, I know I carry it with me still.
On my trip down from Daytona my auto pilot gave up the ghost. It is over 15 years old and not very good so I decided to sell some jewelry and get a new unit. I chose an EV-100 system from Raymarine. Raymarine is the most known company in the field of small boat autopilot. This system will interface with my Lowrance HDS-8 Chart plotter (GPS) and steer to my plotted course. I don’t know how tight it stays to course and it might not be useable in that mode on the ICW, but it will work good on the ocean. Installation is straight forward and the EV-1 heading sensor is not as susceptible to magnetic interference as the old flux gate compasses. The new control head shows desired course and is much nicer than the old +/- switch without any information shown. I started installation yesterday and am about 1/2 way done. High wind and cold weather will delay further work for about a week.
I came down to Stewart, Fl for a couple of days to see my daughter and the grandkids. I’ll have more pictures of them in the photo page soon. The trip down was marred by the bilge pump motor blowing fuses. And just to make it fun, the input pipe to the water pressure pump came off dumping all the water in both tanks into the bilge. Got that fixed while we were in Titusville. All is good now and we are safe in Stewart.
Also, Best of luck to my sister, Angela, she had a little accident, but she’s OK.
Caribbean Jacks, good times, back again
Ro left to go back to Myrtle Beach, she has a reunion with some high school friends in Cape May next week. I stayed in Jekyll Island one more night and took off in the morning. The twists and turns inside to Fernandina were not that hard and the depth was good all the way. Nice trip and got into Fernandina in time for supper. Fueled up. Total from Socastee to Fernandina island was a little over 25 gal. Not too bad.
I left Fernandina the next morning at dead low, If I ran aground It wouldn’t take long for the tide to get me off. Made it through Nassau Sound, where I ran aground last year. This year there was a dredge working on that spot. Into Arlington Marina, a good stop for the night.
I got to St. Augustine in time for a late lunch and watched the music fair in the city square for a while, then went to bed.
Made the last hop down to Daytona the next day and am now sitting in Loggerhead Marina. This will be my home for the next few weeks. Then it’s on to Port St. Lucie.
Charted the route from Morning Star Marina to Jekyll Island two ways, down the ICW and outside from St. Catherine’s inlet to Brunswick, GA. We planned to stop at Big Tom Creek and decide then. Down the ICW would take us through the worst of Georgia’s ICW, shoaling and lots of nothing. Planning it out had us spending two nights on the hook and three days of negotiating the twists and turns just to arrive at 8 PM on the third night. Outside we would only have to fight the tides (out and in). Getting to Big Tom Creek was easy and we got there by 1:30. It was HOT all day, we doused our T-Shirts with water and had a pleasant afternoon and evening. Monday started with the decision to go outside. It also started with zero wind and the tide against us. Getting out of Catherine’s Inlet was a snap (Aside from the tide which whipped up the Ocean to a mixmaster). We turned south and let Otto take command for the next 38 miles. When we got to Brunswick (St. Simons Inlet) the tide was again against us and there was an 8knt wind against the tide, again a mixmaster. We fought a 3 knt current all the way in. Bu we got in and has a small time in the harbor with flat water and little current against us. Then we entered Jekyll Creek, at dead low. I called ahead to the marina (Jekyll Harbor) and asked where the channel was, I only had 1 ft or less under my keel, She said I should be in at least 6 ft of water. Since I draw 5.5 ft I should feel lucky to have a foot under me. Then that disappeared. But, even though my depth sounder read ZERO ft, I didn’t go aground, (gotta check the calibration), and we made it to the dock by 5:30. This is one time when going outside for a short trip saved me a day inside. Glad we’re here and we are going to stay for three nights. They say going south out of here isn’t so bad.
Sunset On Big Tom Creek: