December Sailing Passage in Google Earth

Back in mid-December my wife and I sailed our new boat called Tahina down from Carolina Beach, North Carolina to St. Marys, Georgia. We’re looking to get our boat south to warmer waters for the winter. My brother lives near St. Marys, so we decided to stop there first. By February, we will be down in Miami to attend the boat show and pick up some things for the boat.
The entire trip was recorded on my Garmin GPS, and we even remembered to take some photos.  I’ve now processed the GPS track and geotagged some of the photos.  I used GPSVisualizer to convert the GPS track into KML and to colorize the track according to our speed. If you look closely at our track in Google Earth, you can see how the boat would surge with the gusts of wind and the following seas (which were in the 6-8 foot range). You can also see we had a broad range of speeds, but mostly averaged above 8 knots. At the end of the trip, we motored into St. Marys Inlet with an outgoing tide – which reduced our speed by 2-3 knots. The route took us a little over 300 nautical miles which we completed in just over 1.5 days.

Passage seen in Google Earth

Below is a slideshow of photos showing parts of the trip down, and pictures from St. Marys, Georgia after we arrived. I used Google Picasa to add labels to the photos, and to geotag the photos using Google Earth. I then uploaded the photos to Picasa Web Albums which allowed me to get an embed code for the slidshow, and a link to share the photos by KML. In the photos, you can see St. Marys is on a river (called St. Marys) which is the border between Georgia and Florida. There’s a large marsh just to the south of the town and the marina. St. Marys is a small southern town with nice little shops, a pretty park, old trees with spanish moss hanging from their branches, and very friendly people. Also at the end of the photo collection is a photo of our new dinghy (small boat – 12 ft – for getting around).

You can view the photos in Google Earth as well.


Related: Our plans for a circumnavigation, and getting Google to be our partner.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was released. He worked in 3D graphics for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank left in 2009 to circumnavigate the earth by sailboat as part of the Tahina Expedition.



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