25 June 2011


As an addendum to my previous post, GARMIN CHART PLOTTERS, HAVE THEY LOST THEIR WAY, I thought I would post some pictures of exactly how these charts look, what I call the Garmin mystery maps, to illustrate the point I am making. The purpose of this is to bury Garmin with complaints, so maybe they will do something about it. A pity to ignore a great piece of equipment because they seem to have forgot how to make a navigation chart.

Do you recognize any of the names on the chart? I don't. This is the main port of the whole west coast of Florida, Tampa Bay and further south. This is the main cruising area of the west coast of Florida. Here is an example of how a normal map would look.

I am sorry the pictures aren't as large as I thought, but you can still see Tampa Bay plainly marked, and below that Sarasota Bay and further south Charlotte Harbor and Punt Gorda, the places you would be looking for as you plan a cruise of the west coast. I am sure the names Bird Key or Whiskey Kay, or Perico Island, would mean as little to you as they do to me.

Get on the ball people and write to cartography@garmin.com. If you want more illustrations, I have more, just write and ask, but believe me when I say, this same thing is true of any place you look.

24 June 2011

Dolphin Encounter 2

Tom Hethrington, the "shooter" of the dolphins playing under our bow, tells me this is a later edited version.

04 June 2011

Refrigerator for the Cruising Boat

Our refrigerator/freezer on the Cloverleaf, like the Cloverleaf, is 21 years old. We have owned the boat for the past 11 years, and it has been 11 years of constant appreciation for this super piece of boat equipment. It is a Sun Frost, designed and mostly sold to people who live "off the grid", people, like boaters, who must supply their own power to run electrical appliances. It is not the most beautiful of refrigerators, or one full of great gimmicks, so what makes it so perfect? It is its minimal power drain. We run the Sun Frost off our batteries, and it adds no extra time to our generator charging time, which runs from almost nothing on the days we are traveling and our alternator on the engine charges the batteries, to about two to three hours a day, when we are sitting at anchor. The unit is air-cooled and uses between 60 to 90 amps per day, depending on ambient temperature.

It is when another boater comes aboard and complains about the hours and hours a day, sometimes half the day or more, that he must run his generator to keep his refrigerator happy, that we really realize what a gem we have. We have had to replace a few minor items, like the gaskets around the doors, and recently a glass shelf that Dave broke while cleaning. It is not self defrosting, and we had to make our own "drawers" using inexpensive plastic storage boxes, but these are small trade offs for the freedom of not running the generator any more than we would, if we just had an old fashioned ice box.

You can find Sun Frost at www.sunfrost.com or write to them at info@sunfrost.com
Hope this information will help you choose refrigeration you can live with, on your motor boat or sailboat.