New GPS Test Run

Revisiting the fishing trip mentioned in the last post – We fished basically all day and moved from place to place, not because the fish weren’t biting where we were, but to try to find bigger fish. So we changed locations, perhaps 10 times, and covered several miles of the Matanzas River, both north and south of where we started. In each place we stopped to fish we immediately caught bluefish. In some spots the blues were intermixed with sea trout and/or flounders, but always the baby blues. The stretch of river we fished was about halfway between an ocean inlet at St. Augustine and another further south, the Matanzas inlet, close to Marineland. When I got home, I checked the fishing column in the Daytona News Journal and they mentioned that the Halifax River was loaded with baby blues. The Halifax is also part of the intracoastal, roughly 60 miles south of where we fished and in this case, probably 20 miles from the nearest inlet, and still it was described as full of blues. Think about it – the number of blues has to be staggering and I guarantee that the closer to New Smyrna and Ponce Inlet you get, the number of blues could only increase. What you also have to wonder is, just how many mullet, the primary fodder for the blues and all other predatory fish, there must be in the river?

We went to a small party with some old friends in Altamonte and took the opportunity to try the new GPS unit – we knew exactly where we were going but wanted to check out the new one and make sure we understood how to operate it. Our old one worked but it was getting lost too often with new roads and interchanges. An update to the software was available for $80 but a new one with a bigger screen was only $20 more and included free, lifetime software updates. Best $20 ever. The new unit is far, far superior. The verbal prompts are much more up close and personal. The first thing we noticed was it prompted us to make a turn on 472, “just past the Cadillac dealer”. So it incorporates land marks along with just left turn, right turn directions. It also has nice lane information such as “move into one of the two left lanes”; More frequent warnings on turns, such as “left turn ahead in 300 feet. When we got to Altamonte it blurted out a message that the traffic light ahead had a red light camera. It’s also faster at calculating routes and a higher level of intelligence regarding routing. On the way down I made a detour to drop mail off at the post office. Just as soon as I made the turn it let me know I had screwed up and had new instructions to get me back on track. The old one did that too so no surprises but at one point it was directing me on a route that I wanted to avoid, going through rather than around Deland. I expected a prompt telling me I had screwed up when I deviated from the programmed route but it quietly readjusted to the new route and never said a word. So it anticipated that the turn I made was ok and would get me to the final destination just as well. The old one would have tried to get me back onto it’s preferred route until the one I was on became obviously correct or acceptable. That was often annoying and we would just mute it when we knew we were going to detour. The “points of interest” feature is much, much nicer and allows you to find basically anything you want either on the go or just sitting in the living room before the trip even starts. For example I could find Chinese restaurants in Rock Hill, SC or campgrounds near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The graphics are quite a bit nicer so all in all, the upgrade was long overdue.

I tried out my new clippers on some palmettos. You don’t appreciate how dull your old ones are until you use new, super blades. Wow, cuts through them with almost no effort. My hands would get sore with the old ones after a few minutes of cutting fronds but these make short work of it. My New Year’s resolution is to not let these get so dull.