|Deb visiting some of the team at Richardsons' Maptech|
I will take a GPS, but I don't like to rely on just a GPS. There are too many ways a GPS can fail, and there can be trouble if you have no other ways to navigate. I'll take along printed charts as well. I was so happy when Richardsons' Maptech offered me a complete set of their waterproof charts of the US Atlantic coast. They are my favorite charts for use in the kayak. No map case is necessary, and the chart information is great. I especially like the folding charts, as they are large enough to show a wide area. That means you can use them easily to calculate a bearing or to triangulate to find your location right there in your kayak. I actually prefer to navigate by chart and compass, but the GPS is a useful backup. My favorite part of the GPS is not about navigation, but is watching my speed.
I stopped by Richardsons' Maptech to pick up the few remaining charts I needed to get from Maine to Key West and had a chance to meet in person some of their great staff. Sandy has been helping me from the start, and now she offered to put me up when I come through New Bedford on the Expedition. That will be fun. Mark shared some useful navigation tips with me. I left carrying a nice box of charts and cruising guides to my car. Thank you Richardsons' Maptech!
Then I headed down towards Annapolis Maryland to finally see my finished kayak being created by Joey Schott at Chesapeake Light Craft. The last time through this area I had blindly followed the GPS and ended up in rush hour traffic in Manhattan. This time I had added a few via points so I'd end up on the Garden State Parkway instead. But right before a tricky turn the GPS stopped working! High speed traffic and I'm in an unknown area. No fun! At a rest area I was able to pull out my US road atlas and plan my route, noting all the exits and road numbers and names. I thought it was ironic, that just as I was picking up printed charts and thinking about navigation for the expedition, I suddenly found myself having to navigate the car the old fashioned way. But then maybe it was no accident. Maybe the GPS was jealous of all those lovely printed charts in the car, and went on strike.