Reliable tools

Thomaston Harbor on a Foggy MorningOver the years I have come to rely on various tools to make guiding easier. Many of these are technological marvels. For instance a cooler once disposable and holding ice for about a day is now a long term investment that keeps ice for several days. The Basic Lund hull design has been dependable for many years. Outboard motors once a thing that needed repair almost monthly now get a once over every fall and after that start every time.

Electronics are a big part of all of this from a Chartplotter/ fishfinder on the boat to the dog collar that tells me the location of a dog and what she is doing. If fact now even the trolling motor knows where it is and can hold the boat in this exact spot. A handy feature when the wind is blowing and someone has a fish on. Of course online scheduling and credit card processing over my phone all pretty wiz bang stuff that helps every day.

Until that is it does not. My cell phone cannot get tower to process credit cards several times a summer and sometimes the dog collar does not connect with the handheld right away. Neither earth shattering but a few weeks ago my chartplotter did not know where it was in a very thick fog. Not the best of times for confusion to be sure. After running aground on a mudflat (a very low tide) I realized that the machine was off by about a half a mile and had me on the wrong side of the channel. The problem disappeared when I realized it, after that I still had a compass on the console and had run up and down the river for years using it and a watch. Trip saved but lesson learned. The initial screen says plainly that it is not to be used for navigation, they were not kidding.

At the end of the day clearly the technology that serves most dependably is the simplest even if there a remarkable new things. Glad that I always have a backup on hand.


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