Jeff Douthwaite of Seattle, WA, asks:

Thanks for your good and entertaining comments re. computers on board. They may be dangerous if they are the sole source of charts... Do you have paper charts too?

Jeff Merrill responds:

Absolutely, we do have paper charts on board and always have the current ones folded and on the wheelhouse bench table for quick reference. Since we are keeping an hourly log we can easily place our position on the paper chart. In reality we only do it once or twice a day more for fun than purpose. The paper charts we are using are supplied by Tides End, Jon Troxel of Bellingham Chart Printers. Before the trip I went through the NIMA (National Imagery and Mapping Agency) catalog and ordered all of the charts that had coast line we might encounter. I also picked out some "ditch" locations, detailed harbor (almost all of the Mexican harbors) and island charts (like Aruba) so we could stop safely to get fixed up and back on our way. Jon photocopies the actual charts so we have black and white copies which aren't as attractive, but 100% sufficient.

The laptop computer we are using is essentially for email. So if it ever really biffed for good we could plug in our back up laptop (which has all of the settings already installed) or just shut the damned thing off and go back in time ten years to a simpler life with NFC.

All of our electonic charting is being accomplished by the outstanding Raytheon electronics package and the very crisp C-Map card charts. We couldn't be happier with the navigation electronics package.


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