3/4/5 May Good sailing westward

Sat 3rd May

Looked at GPS input problem to both VHF radio (which I'd suddenly noticed was not displaying my position as it normally does) & AIS .... found data input from course computer to both & I'm puzzled as to my next step... One problem I did succeed in was finally getting GPS input from my Garmin handheld to my laptop for the Nobeltec charting software which I find so good and useful. For some reason, it had also decided it wasn't 'seeing' the GPS ... It took a long time, trying different wires/connections/port settings and I'm still not sure what exactly persuaded it to work in the end... computers...grrr!!

Sun 4th May

After passing south of Los Roques yesterday night, the two groups of low islets of Las Aves were just visible today on the way to Bonaire. With so many small islands around this part of the Caribbean, mostly uninhabitable, there is lots of birdlife which is good to see. Having seen several ships and fishing boats near Isla de Margarita and early yesterday, I've seen very few since.

Decided to stop overnight in lee of Bonaire since I realized I would arrive Colon late Friday at earliest - so can't achieve anything until Monday at earliest anyway... Picked up a pair of buoys (not just one!) around teatime, relaxed, made a (very nice!) chicken & spinach curry & got a good sleep.

Mon 5th May

This morning, I took time before leaving Bonaire to check my rudder-post/autopilot connection and also steering cable - both fine. But I didn't spend time getting to course computer - not quick or easy, so it'll have to wait to Colon... Maybe it's not NMEA GPS but Seatalk data I can see on inputs to VHF radio & AIS. Can't see any other reason they'd both be down the way they are, since they're definitely both getting data of some sort from the same source on the course computer - multimeter is jumping around the 7.5-8 mark at their inputs but they are definitely not 'seeing' any GPS input.

Presently in quite big swell (3-4m, at least, and I expect it to increase over next few days!), passing north of the N end of Curacao on way to Aruba which I'll also pass north of before dawn ... but sailing well & fast, goosewinged... over 7 knots in good ENE Trades (~22 knots). Should keep up speed until Panama, if grib files are to be believed!

Written by : Mike

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