“The loneliness of the long distance runner”. Writing a Cruising Guide is hard work and it takes persistence, commitment and an eye for detail to keep one up-to-date. We have here three examples of guides, in themselves very different, which show the commitment of their authors. Each are recommended purchases.
Alan Lucas needs no introduction, his Cruising Guides are classics. After updating “Cruising the NSW Coast” a few years back, he has just come out with the 9th (!) edition of ”Cruising the Coral Coast”. Lots of revised maps and additional photos with descriptions to go with them. Alan’s updates reflect the changes wrought by cyclones in the past few years (no more Bundaberg City Marina…) and the management of our marine parks.
Rob’s Passage Planner is a great example of how an exercise by an individual in a cruising club expanded in scope and found grateful acceptance by a much wider audience. Rob Starkey‘s eye for detail is legendary. His Cruising Planner reflects that, but also expresses creativity in its presentation. The passage planning Chartlets are a thing of beauty. Now in its 4th updated printing, this almanac on cruising the East Australian coast is a must-have for all cruising sailors.
Marilyn Graham‘s “Coastal Cruising Companion” is yet another take on a cruising guide. It stems of the author’s sheer enthusiasm and sense of wonder of the experience of cruising. Self published on a small scale, it adds real value to other available guides, with useful information and a sense of sharing the love of cruising. And by keeping her guide up to date and expanding its range, Marilyn shows the commitment common with her more established brethren.
All available here (and by buying them here, you’ll support Skipr.net in the process!)
Yes, it’s that time of the year… No, I wasn’t going talk about Christmas (although best wishes of the Season to you, of course), but it seems many of our favourite cruising guides have published updates.
Lucas has “Late 2012″ updates for both the Coral Coast and NSW Coast guides.
Rob has published updates to his Passage Planner and Marilyn (Coastal Cruising Companion has just sent out her 2nd newsletter with updates for those expecting to sail to Tasmania this summer (which should be many, as the circumnavigation is ‘on’ this year).
Marilyn Graham started a newsletter to alert buyers of her Coastal Cruising Companion (CCC) to changes and additions.
The CCC is a terrific guide to anchorages and ports between the Queensland border and Hobart. She provides the updated pages by post or email, great service! By the way, when you purchase a copy of her Companion on our site, it is shipped by Marilyn herself and no doubt you’ll get on her mailing list for the newsletter.
Recently we’ve started a Skipr online shop where you can purchase some of the best guides for the East Coast. Over time, we hope to expand our range. Much will depend on your support for this initiative. Get timely information about the latest books and buy them at a discount if you’re a Skipr Plus member.
Find out more about Rob’s Passage Planner [update Aug 2012 - it is shipping now!].
Here is something to add to your boat’s bookshelf, the Coastal Cruising Companion. And before you ask, no it has no direct connection with the ‘CCCA’. The author, Marilyn Graham, cleverly calls it a Cruising Companion, to differentiate it from cruising guides like the iconic Alan Lucas cruising guides.
Cruising Guides are tricky, we expect them to be accurate, complete and compatible with our own level of experience. Marilyn Graham has taken the bit between her teeth and has written her Cruising Companion from the perspective of a novice cruiser.
In doing that, she has produced a terrific guide, worth having on any boat, novice or experienced.
“How accurate are nautical charts? How much faith can be placed in them? Unfortunately, the answer is quite complex – far more complex than simply saying one chart is accurate whilst another is not. However, having the necessary skills should be essential for any mariner venturing into unfamiliar waters.”
That’s the beginning of a very useful paper by Mike Prince, the Director of charting at the Australian Hydrographic Service. Download it from the Hydrographic Office site.
I started a listing of magazines including their online companion sites which might be of interest to Australian Cruising Sailors.
Please have a look and comment on what you think and if you’d like to add any other magazine to the list.
Here is an interesting account of a meeting at the Balmain Sailing Club (website) attended by NSW Maritime. It covers the use of mooring, anchoring in the harbour and various contentious issues (such as whether you can pee overboard). An excellent account which will settle many a sundowner discussion. Download the Meeting Account here (PDF).
By the way, there is another interesting document on Radio Communications at the Balmain Club’s website, written by Allan Adolphson for a cruise to Hobart in 2007. A very comprehensive guide, good to have on board. Download Allan’s Guide (PDF).
Nancy Knudsen points to the Solitary Islands (off Coffs Harbour) as a place worth seeing in a recent Sail-world article. I had never considered a stop-over there, but it looks an interesting option for those traveling the NSW coast. There are even public moorings in places. You can download further information (pdf’s) from this site.