See, GARMIN can provide a GPS map of Mexico’s West Coast … in some places!
If they want to … Garmin GPS chart-plotters with map chips are actually accurate when Garmin spends the time and effort to make them so.
If you read this blog, you already know of my frustrations with Garmin chart plotters and Mexico. (HINT: I think they should give every person who had a GARMIN unit with a map chip for Mexico their money back for the Unit and the chip since they are clearly not capable of properly displaying the coasts of Mexico).
BUT, in fairness, we just discovered by accident that some parts of the Mexican coastline are displayed in wonderful detail. We are currently in Stone Island anchorage, just to the east of the main entrance to the commercial harbor of Mazatlan.
In the image below taken from an Ipad map application based on Google Earth maps … we are the small blue dot.
Now compare that to the map from my GARMIN GPS and tadaaaaaa … what a pleasant surprise. Look at the detail that most users expect when they call up a map on a chart plotter.
We discovered this little gold mine by accident …. we were looking for the GPS map for the entrance to Marina Mazatlan … guess what .. no detail and impossible to use to find the marina entrance. Our need was compounded by tiredness after coming up the coast of Mexico from La Cruz over the last three days to find safe harbor in the face of growing winds and an oncoming wind event in the Sea of Cortez just short of our destination. We were 28 hours of sailing in OK but not great conditions, and really needed to find a rest place. It was still three hours to Marina Mazatlan.
By accident as we moved the cursor up the coast near Mazatlan we hit the “detail” map of ‘Mazatlan’ or at least of the part around the commercial harbor. It is an accident of geography that Stone Island anchorage is shown.
We anchored right on top of the little anchor symbol. The depth was as predicted including the deeper channel as we approached. All marker bouys were placed as shown. Sweet.
The level of detail is so good that for the first time in almost a year I was able to use the GPS as intended and visually navigate the boat with one eye on the chart and one on the corresponding landmarks. What luxury! The only smile my chart plotter has gotten since we left La Paz (where the charts are very good).
Now I am wiping that smile off my face … shame on you GARMIN for not providing adequate charts for Mexico’s west coast. Now I know you can! Now we all know you can!