This is part cautionary tale about electronics creep and part informational. I was leaning towards joining you for your March 21 session. But since COVID-19 has now appeared in Jefferson County, I don’t want to chance inadvertently spreading contagion.
My tale begins when I moved to an electric start outboard last year as a hedge against my inexorable side into geezerdom. Since I will be a support boat for this year’s Salish 100 and I now had the requisite battery system, I decided to put in a fixed VHF. My friend Simeon Baldwin offered me a new Shakespeare “Squatty Body” (VHF/AIS) antenna that didn’t fit his needs. So, I started thinking about real-time AIS. Navionics sent me a renewal notice in the fall and I saw that they had added AIS capability. So, the next step was a splitter and an AIS receiver. I got both for about $115. I now will be able to get real-time AIS on my iPad through Navionics, either wifi or USB connection (the receiver, about the size of 2 matchboxes, will be mounted in the cockpit near me). It’s a slippery slope….
Of course, AIS is not needed most places we take our boats but it’s definitely valuable up here. As well as the traffic lanes through the sound, we encounter large vessel traffic variously in Juan de Fuca, Rosario, and Haro straits in our cruising grounds. It would also be valuable on the Columbia.