Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Tue 12 Apr 2011 15:18
Last night we were 220M south of Bermuda when Suzanne woke me during her watch at 0200 saying âCan you come and look at somethingâ â âSureâ, I say âWhatâ. She is rather coy and wonât tell me what it is, after a bit of persuasion she says âIâm not sure we are going the right way, we seem to be getting further away from Bermudaâ! Well that got attention !! Suzanne is obviously very concerned and cannot understand what has gone wrong.
I looked at the separate Furuno display in our aft cabin and thought âShit, when I came off watch we had 220M to go, now we have 240M to goâ. I interrogate the Furuno further and say âNo, we look OK, still heading 007M at 7ktsâ. But then I notice the COG at 126 degrees and the distance to Bermuda is now 245M in just a couple of minutes!!
OK, out of bed up to the Nav Station, sure enough the Raymarine also agrees with this COG at 126M and DTW 245M. So I check on the PC with MaxSea (it uses the Raymarine NMEA data) and of course that confirms the readings, so 3 Nav Systems all saying the same canât be wrong.
Up into the cockpit and we check through the graphic displays and I notice our SOG is 113kts!! WHAT â then the chart plotter shows a massive tidal arrow with a huge southerly current â I scroll through further and find the tide is setting south at 120kts and the Ground Wind is 107kts. OK, something is wrong, but the Furuno is totally independent and yet agrees with the Raymarine data and as I watch the DTW is now more than 250M â and we are really not sure what direction are we going.
There is no moon for reference to check our course, we are still on port tack with the wind forward of the beam, so it feels OK, but the instruments say other wise. Then Suzanne says âThe AIS target that is ahead of us by 20M passed behind us 4M away about 10 minutes agoâ. OK now sheâs getting really worried and we are trying to understand if we are really sailing towards Bermuda or away from it.
The Raymarine figures are getting worse and the Furuno concurs. So Suzanne powers down the Raymarine to do a restart, while I try and hold the boat on course while the systems come back on line. As they power back up normality returns and the AIS target jumps behind our boat again, our DTW goes back to 220M and the tidal and wind figures become normal. So I check the Furuno, which was not powered down, and that is also giving more sensible readings. So my conclusion that the reason the DTW was increasing was because the plotter was plotting us going south backwards !!
We adjusted our heading a little and all seemed to go back to normal, but it cannot have been caused by a Raymarine glitch, cos the Furuno was showing the same.
I wonât even bother mentioning the starboard nav light went out last night and the SeeMe active radar reflector stopped working. BTW â I forgot that the engine cover on the outboard was off this morning and lying in the dinghy â I mean it has never done that in the 5 years we have had it and I canât see how it happened.
So what do you think a Government Conspiracy or Aliens visiting ? I did notice from the charts that it is an important NATO exercise area.
But you would almost think there is something odd that goes on inside the Bermuda Triangle â hope to see you on the other side, if we are still in the same SpaceTime Continuum as you guys â still looking like Wed 13