Friday 10 May 2013 - Happy Birthday James!
Distance run so far: 1131
Distance run Day 9: 164
Total distance run: 1295 nmiles
Rather a horrid night of lumpy seas and 20+ knot winds, but we made good speed. Today not much better with squalls lining up in the distance to rain and blow on us. Generator decided to cut out again, after only 20 minutes, and then again after only 10. Steve's had a fiddle and it's been running for the last 45 minutes so think it's feeling better now.
But the worst of all was - no charts! Bleary-eyed after less than a good night's sleep, I wandered over to the chart plotter to see how our course was going. Zooming out so that I could see the island of our destination - Fatu Hiva - I realised there were no squares outlining where the charts should be. Zooming in I discovered - no charts! The chartplotter (Raymarine E80) has very simple chart information of the whole world in its main memory, but we have to buy (very expensive) memory cards with all the info that's necessary for navigation and put them in the machine. We've done this for the Pacific and yesterday the information was there - but today it wasn't! DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!
We clicked around to no avail. They just weren't there. Ok, time for a cup of tea and breathe into a paper bag for a while. (At this point I should mention that we do have a back-up navigation system on the laptop and paper charts - but the important word here is 'back-up' - we'd rather not have to rely on them.) First we took out the memory card and replaced the Caribbean one we'd been using for the last couple of years. Nope, the chartplotter wasn't seeing that either. So it wasn't the memory card that was at fault, it was the chartplotter.
Then we got out the Raymarine manual and looked up the Troubleshooting guide. It suggested if we couldn't see a chart properly we should turn the declutter off. It can't be that, we said, that's just if you want less information displayed when it makes the screen too busy. We'll try it anyway. Would you believe it? The charts reappeared! The boffins who programme the Raymarine chartplotter regard the ACTUAL CHARTS themselves as CLUTTER!!!!!!!!!!!
Clearly somebody with clumsy fingers had inadvertently pressed the button to turn the Declutter on, but we were incredulous that the charts could be either regarded as clutter or indeed that they could be switched off so easily from the main navigation instrument on the boat!
So Raymarine, you may want to rethink that one.
On a much more cheerful note, we rang James this morning to wish him Happy Birthday and had a lovely chat.