Navigating a handheld GPS

loudon_paddle_12_29_2008

Holiday eating and drinking had me antsy to get out on the water and paddle, so I decided to oblige the urge today and take advantage of the opportunity to play with the handheld GPS Lara bought me for Christmas.

The weather was perfect — upper 50s, clear skies — but I stayed close to the shoreline anyway just in case I got dumped from my kayak. Water temperature was 47 degrees. Aside from gulls, herons and the occasional kingfisher, I was the only thing on the lake. It was good to plow through that open space after paddling the claustrophobic streams of Central Florida last week. I turned on the GPS, which recorded my 6.6 mile paddle. But I couldn’t figure out how to move the file to my computer in a format it would understand.

I’m using a Lowrance iFinder H20c, so I saved the MMC file to an SD card and moved the .usr file to my computer. Then I found GPS Babel, which coverted the Lowrance file to a Google Earth .kml file. From there it was simple to download Google Earth, view the route I took and then save it as a .jpg.

My favorite part of the file is you can see where I lingered at the entrance to Duck Cove on my way back to watch the sunset and snap this photo.