When we use electronics to run our craft, why compete!! I have overused Google Earth to the point that I'm taking the Adventure out of the Adventure. Last year's NCC, a left turn around a big island with large bays, was dissected by me to the point that all my waypoints were in for the middle of the channel going back up to the finish line so that I would miss the fishing obstructions. During the event, I ended up hugging the shore to avoid the wind - paddlers do that kind of thing. I missed a turn near the end and had to drag my boat across the beach because of not monitoring my GPS. Did I know where I was, yes! Could I have made it easier on myself by buying a better electronic device, yes! This is supposed to be an Adventure. Adventure comes with surprises: a surprise with an unexpected beach, or bay, or even seafood place you have not Googled.
The night before I paddled with The Perfect and he just had compass headings written on the deck of his boat; we paddled from Harlowe canal to ICW, just north of Beaufort, and he was dead on. We missed the infamous island shortcut out of choice. He used dead reckoning. I couldn't find my light to use my GPS so I relied on him.
I'm going to try, note try, to put some of the Adventure back into the next NCC by using headings and my watch. The GPS will be stored. If in trouble, I can always pull it out.
Have a great Adventure!