Off Track: Sailing

The Atlantic Ocean

The route

I did not bring my GPS on this trip. The sailing boat (called Domicil) we transported from Harlingen to Curacao had a lot of GPSses on board: that of the navigation computer (an OpenCPN like solution on a Windows PC), the 'official' GPS (a Furuno) and then the GPSses that were 'hidden' everywhere: those of the ship's NMEA bus, that in the AIS tranceiver, the one in the digital VHF transmitter-receiver, and so on.

Keeping a GPS log, I thought, will not be a problem. That turned out to be disappointing. The navigation software was so new, that the GPX files that came out were never tested properly and were full of errors (for example, the time was not recorded in UTC, but in the (ever changing) time zone of the PC). Moreover, the software crashed regularly, causing the log in the working memory to be lost quite often.

With the help of some programming work, al lot GPSBabel-ing, a lot of cutting and pasting I was able to 'save' a GPS log:


A selection of my pictures can be watched in a slideshow (in a new window).


I kept a paper logbook in Dutch and it tells the story of what happens when a few strangers 'get stuck' for almost 3 months on a super yacht (as the captain called it). It's not suitable for publication...