You know by now that I am not enamored (nor even vaguely familiar) with the finer and more technical points of boating. Travelling 6-8 hours per day though, means having to take turns driving the boat. Then you can’t help but learn. And as it always is, when you learn about something it becomes more interesting. I have to say that the fancy electronics we have, which I have only given a cursory glance before, have shown themselves to be fabulous tools. I love the chart plotter; (almost) all markers are on it and surprise; the ICW is a magenta line – all you have to do is follow it! Ta, da! And here I have been admiring all the captains out there and it turns out that all you have to do is follow the pink line. Piece of cake. Except for when the line we make on the chart plotter as we travel, is on what’s marked as land on the chart, not on water. Or when the line is drawn on the right side of a marker, and you KNOW that you are supposed to pass on the left side… First lesson then in piloting a boat is to trust your eyes (i.e. reality) before you trust electronics. Kind of like everyday living in this day and age.
And then there is the autopilot; very cool. I press it and sit back and casually look out over the beautiful inlet to
, and 10 minutes later when I
check the chart plotter again, I realize that the outgoing tide has dragged the
boat way off the pink line I thought we were traveling on. Oops… So back to
stand by mode, correction of course and then back to autopilot with waypoint
set this time. Because then, as the captain explained, the boat will make
automatic corrections to course and stay on the line. Beaufort
I am proud of the Cruise Director and First Mate titles, and after this trip I think I will have earned the title of Wing Woman to the Captain as well.