Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Where am I?

It’s been a challenging evening, and early morning. Even forwent a run to dash back to the laptop to see if I could nut it out. Oscar, our dog, is not happy. Two weeks (less) before the Everglades Challenge kicks off and I’m still trying to work out how to download all the maps, routes and waypoints I’ve been hours and hours mapping out on my Garmin BlueCharts software.

At least I feel I know the route pretty well, having also transferred everything to my paper (waterproof) charts.

Here’s where the community of the EC WaterTribe really comes to the fore. Last night I posted a “help” on the EC’s discussion forum, and before I knew it, advice appeared courtesy of cyber space, from Crazy Russian and SandyBottom (their EC tribal names).
So far so good: I’ve managed to transfer the waypoints and routes – I just can’t get the maps to transfer. The ‘system’ is telling me (wonderful personification relationships we have with our ‘systems’) that the maps I want to download haven’t been ‘unlocked’, and I thought I had done that when I first downloaded the software.

This is the wonderful thing about Garmin’s BlueCharts – for Garmin, that is. You pay (a lot) per small area of map – the world is not at your fingertips – just portions of it – and each wee area has an ‘unlock code’ specific to your personal GPS. Kayakers probably aren’t really Garmin’s prime target market, I will admit that. Those much bigger commercial vessels that set up the much larger wakes are the ones who snap this software up. But I did get the best deal via Amazon.com, of all places.

So if anyone out there has any additional advice, I’m all ears!

2115 update: Just spent nearly an hour with the excellent Bernard in Kansas from Garmin's support team. Seems the GPS unit's internal reg number didn't match the one on the box. I am dangerously set to go!

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