Bob Agramonte of La Conner, WA, asks:

Do you plot your position on paper chart per hour basis (time, speed heading)? Or is this info written in your log? GPS can and has gone down.

Jim Leishman responds:
We have been logging our Latitude and Longitude each hour - along with magnetic course and speed. We have not been plotting it on paper as our computer handles that for us. We have a lap top computer with Raytech navigation software - plus we have the Raymarine chart plotter which is independent and has its own chart cartridges. We have three GPSs and a spare computer with all duplicate software. The computer and handheld GPS is stowed outside the wheelhouse and would not be subject to lightning damage. We also have paper charts aboard. I could not imagine a series of failures aboard our boat that would render us unable to receive GPS and I don't really think that the GPS system is going to go down - every satellite - all at once. If it did - we'd have to dead reckon and use our Radar - we have no sextant aboard.

Has our war made any changes in your route plan?

There have been hostile people in Somalia, Yemen and Sudan for years - so there is concern. We've been watching this carefully and don't see any real evidence that a transit of the area will be unsafe.

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