This is bound to start another lively debate....
Yesterday I watched the Mumbles lifeboat tow a Rinker back to Swansea marina. I thought it had just run out of fuel but it turns out it had run aground on some rocks.
Video footage as well.
What scared me was that by looking at the electronic charts I could well have done the same. Once again it's fine for an oil tanker who would just steer well clear of the shallows but smaller boats such as ours are great for coast hopping.
Unfortunately - as has been discussed before - the charts just show an even shallow area - there's nothing to tell you about the odd rock or even island sticking up etc. I really thought something so obvious would be marked!!!
The BEST thing for showing what a coastline is really like is Google Earth - you can even see the rocks so it's ideal for picking your way through a rocky inlet. Wouldn't it be nice to use it on a boat.
I have just had a new mobile phone - the Nokia N95 - it has GPS built in so you can use it for satnav - it also has GPRS so you can connect to the net - once connected you can use Google Earth and it overlays your GPS position so you can SEE exactly where you are!!!
Again Ordanance survey maps are also brilliant for coastal work.