Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Gmail - Google

Initially we bought our iPads because we were tired of lugging our laptops to shore when we have to go on the hunt for Internet.  In most anchorages we can receive WiFi on the boat utilizing our WiFi extender equipment, but there are the occasional WiFi dead zones.

Garmin BlueChart Mobile

At the local Island Water World boat chandlery I notice they were selling brackets to mount your iPad in the cockpit of your boat and covers to protect them from sea spray and rain.  Evidently, others have discovered the apps that turn your iPad into a fairly descent chartplotter.  Motivator uses an iPad app from Garmin as a backup to the backup chartplotter.

 Hurricane Tracker for iPad, by EZ Apps, Inc

During this time of the year keeping track of tropical depressions that turn into tropical storms that can become hurricanes is very important.  An app called Hurricane Tracker provides good coverage and numerous products.

The Sun Rise & Fall, by Team Lundsguard

When we are making long passages, we like to start at first light.  Also a quick glance at this app helps us with our passage planning to ensure we will not be entering a strange harbor in the dark.  It uses the iPad’s GPS, so it gives very accurate times.

Moon, by CDV Concepts

A commercial captain in the Bahamas when asked about night crossings told me, “There are only two types of people out there at night, fools and drug runners.”  The crew of Motivator avoids night crossing when we can.  When the distance between islands is too great and we do need to do a night crossing it is nice to know how much illumination to expect if there are no clouds.

                                                          Tides Near Me, by Randy Meech

Tidal information can be important part of your route planning, especially if you expect a harbor entrance with “skinny water.”  Knowing the tides also gives you a heads-up about expected currents.

Sea State

While underway, this app settles a lot of arguments about the height of the waves that the hapless captain has once again got us into.  You simply rest your iPad on a steady surface (if you can find one) and touch the button.

Life would be good if this is all we ever see.

I think a Sea State readout ought to be a required accompaniment to sea stories told in dock side bars.

Drag Queen

Once you arrive at your destination, there are several anchor alarms available to warn about dragging anchor.  We liked the name of this alarm, and found it to be simple to operate.  Note: we did not drag anchor for 924,368 feet; that must be the last place we used it.

Anchor Watch HD, by Lukassen

We found we liked Anchor Watch’s Google Earth view of your location, but the activation process was a bit clumsy.  Here in Port Louis Marina the site depiction is about spot on.  Our primary chartplotters have anchor alarms, but we have found the iPad version to be more versatile and not as power hungry.

Recently, I have been searching for an app that will clean the bottom and change oil, while Pollie is in the market for one that cooks and cleans.

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