Antares Charts

Where ever we sail we need charts to navigate. Mostly we use digital charts because they are so much cheaper and take up far less space. Often it is a problem to find detailed and up to date charts. In Scotland that was not a problem.

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There are official charts of Scotland which are very good and then there are the Antares Charts. These are extremely detailed, extremely accurate charts created by Antares Charts.

The people behind these charts (Bob Bradfield and friends) go and do really detailed surveying and then publish the results for a ridiculously low price.

Using these charts, we were able to visit some amazing anchorages we would never have ventured in to otherwise. There is no way we would have dared enter Loch Tarbert on Jura without them.

If you are planning on sailing the Scottish Islands these charts are a “must have”.

Folding Mountainbike (Paratrooper)

I am a cyclist. I have been cycling on my mountainbike and roadbike since 1998  when I cycled across the UK just to “see if I enjoyed it”. (I must have done – the next trip was across the Alps.)

Information_SignJon’s Adventures is a bike shop in Nesselwang in the Barvarian Alps. Jon is a qualified ski instructor and the business started offering guided bike tours in summer. Nowadays he concentrates on selling, building and modifying bikes to exactly fit his customers needs.

I bought a bright orange “Frenchie” bike as soon as Jon started building and selling them and used it non-stop, even taking it to China for six weeks. Most of the parts have been replaced as I wore them out but at least it still had the original frame.

And now I am off sailing and have to accept that, even with both wheels removed, a mountain bike just isn’t designed to fit on a boat. It was looking like I was going to be riding one of those funny little fold up things with tiny wheels and a strange looking frame. I just couldn’t see myself riding up and down mountains on such a bike but what are the alternatives?

X90 Montague frame

X90 Montague frame

It turns out that there is a solution that offers a no compromise mountain bike but which will also fit onboard. The answer is the Montague Paratrooper. This full size, foldable bike was designed for paratroopers and can be thrown out of planes and then ridden by a fully loaded soldier. It sounded like what I had been looking for. Continue reading

My experience with a Garmin eTrex Touch 35t

I have been using Garmin devices for years to navigate to new places and to record my adventures. Additionally I use a Polar Training Computer to record my fitness training. Recently I updated to a Garmin eTrex Touch 35t partly in the hope that I could reduce the amount of devices I need and the complexity of my data aquisition.

etrexMy first Garmin device was yellow and easy to find if I put it down or dropped it. Continue reading

Experience with a Polar Training Computer

polarFT60

Polar FT60 training computer

Elsewhere I mentioned that an important factor in achieving your adventure is to make and then keep to your training plan. This applies equally to training new skills or to your physical training.

I enjoy cycling (mountain bike and road bike) and the last few years we have been doing a week long road bike trip each Spring. Obviously it is vital to have a route planned but, with routes of a thousand kilometers, it is your fitness program that decides between success and failure.

Since the beginning of 2014 I have been using a Polar FT60 training computer to plan and monitor my training. This article describes my experience. Continue reading