With the Admirals approval we are now adding a new autopilot, the Garmin GHP 10 with a 2.1 liter pump. The boys will certainly be happy that we won’t be hand steering down the Pacific coast and all the way home.
When you get bored cannery workers they usually start by posting distance markers to remind them of their isolation.
Once considered a luxury, the autopilot has slowly become a staple of electronic gear. Of course, the convenience of an autopilot doesn’t relieve the skipper of the responsibility for keeping a proper lookout and monitoring the boat’s systems.
So how does an autopilot work? Possibly as simple as the story of the “Three Little Pigs”.
Three Little Pigs went out to dinner one night. The waiter came and took their drink order.”I would like a Sprite,” said the first little piggy.”I would like a Coke,” said the second little piggy.”I want beer, lots and lots of beer,” said the third little piggy.
The drinks were brought out and the waiter took their orders for dinner.”I want a nice big steak,” said the first piggy.”I would like the salad plate,” said the second piggy.”I want beer, lots and lots of beer,” said the third little piggy.
The meals were brought out and a while later the waiter approached the table and asked if the piggies would like any dessert.”I want a banana split,” said the first piggy.”I want a cheesecake,” said the second piggy.”I want beer, lots and lots of beer,” exclaimed the third little piggy.
“Pardon me for asking,” said the waiter to the third little piggy, “But why have you only ordered beer all evening?
“The third piggy said, “Well, somebody has to go ‘Wee, wee, wee, all the way home!”
When the boat turns off course or the reference course is changed, the autopilot applies helm in a way which brings the boat back to its desired course.
On he sailed (Joshua Slocum) and all with no autopilot ………Back to a simpler time. “He devised a system of lashing the wheel into what a later era might call a kind of mechanical autopilot.
He took great pride in the fact that the sailing ship Spray sailed 2000 miles west across the Pacific without his once touching the helm”.
My friend Ron showing off some of the navigational hazards we encountered while boating down the Kenai peninsula.