Invader 22
Easter 06 home allsorts *** ***
Just about to go down to the boat for Easter.

I spent about five days at Uphill last week - the weather was pretty unrelenting so gave up trying to get the mast up - its all ready to lift.

Fitted the new hob - had to modify one of the gimbles so it would fit and drilled out for some extra support to the bulkhead.

I've been playing around with an old laptop I bought - its only a 133, with 95 on it - but it happily took the Amiralty Chart program trial I had. I've a copy of Waypoint+ so may have a play about with it linked to the Garmin. There is a very clear explanation on the Waypoint+ site for nmea /9 pin serial connections if you need it.

I spoke with MES in Bristol about these connections - and their info tallies with theirs.

Basically, only three pins are used of the nine on the serial connector. Easiest thing is to get an old serial cable, cut one end off - check the wires with a multimeter to see which is which - then connect these in to the gps/vhf set up . The diagram on the Waypoint + site is very clear, but you may have a choice of two nmea 'in' on the gps.

I may look to picking up something a little more capable than my 25 quid bargain Conpaq - but it doesn't need to be too sophisticated to cope with chart programs etc.

I've been playing around with Osi explorer at home ae well - since I have good photo gear in my old Nikon/dedicated film scanners, etc I can easily bash out good jpg large files of charts - even if its just for route planning at home.

I'm really quite happy though with a large paper chart - its so quick to put a position on, especially on a distance/bearing to centre of compass rose. It amazes me to sit there at Uphill, ask the gps for direction and bearing to a waypoint at the centre of a rose off Burnham - draw the line on the chart and its spot on - magic stuff I think.

Anyway - all this is an aside - till the damn winds drop and I get my mast up. I can then get on with the boom fitting, furler set up, new spayhood to finally fit, etc.

The forcasts promise a few good days - we shall see !