Monday, July 13, 2009

July... What a crazy month

I cannot remember a July as wet as this one. Wet and cold. Most years we have started our 2 to 3 week cruise by now, but this year things are beginning a little later. Wet and cold is still forecast, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Talking about crazy... last week Ruth and I went out for a short day-sail; kind of a check on the systems before launch. That is when the GPS receiver started reading over twice our speed as shown on the knotmeter. The heading also shifted some 45 degrees to the west. What the heck??? I have never heard of a GPS failing like that. I did the obvious troubleshooting, such as disconnecting from the data cable to the VHF radio and taking the GPS off of boat 12 VDC power system. Same results.

I tried the unit in the car after the sail, and it appeared to work OK. I asked the question on the Hunter Owners website and received some interesting theories, but nobody had ever experienced the same thing I had. I tried to call Magellan Support, and was told by a recording that they no longer offer phone service for my 5 year old handheld unit. I went to their website and was able to send an e-mail explaining my problems, but no answer yet. Come on Magellan; too much time troubleshooting those fancy car GPS units?

Yesterday was the first opportunity to get it back on the boat and try again. Guess what? It worked! Everything from lat-long data to the VHF radio to direction compared to the compass. My only explanation is that it was an anomaly as we used to call it in the radio service biz.

My ST-60 Wind Instrument had also gone crazy that day, but that's another story. It also worked yesterday after a reset to manufacturer defalts

So, it looks like we are ready to start that cruise to Canada with everything working... for now!

Smooth Sailing..... Ken