Saturday, January 5, 2013

are cruising guides obsolete?

     well, that's what some of the guys into electronic media say ( I'm thinking of Active Captain, amongst other ones), and while I wouldn't want to diss anyone, I don't think we quite ready for the boneyard yet. Those of us who write guides are always out-of date. Very true, it's impossible to keep up, but are the alternatives better? You want to enter a harbour late at night in thick fog with the only thing you've got a three year old one line comment about the anchorage written by a guy who may have only been there once? Maybe not so simple. After all, the rocks don't move around all that much, up here, anyway, so being outdated doesn't result in loss of your boat. Conflicts of interest? well, I've never accepted a penny from anyone. I'm pretty sure the Tafts, Curtis Rindlaub, Duncan and Ware don't either.
       In a less travelled place like this, the number of reports are few, the reports about local weather conditions and difficult harbour approaches are non-existant ( one one Active Captain report, I'm pretty sure the whole approach instructions to a certain anchorage just lifted straight out of my book, which raises  my blood pressure a bit,  but other guideshave done this too, so I won't get excited about it)
      To my mind, the biggest failure of these types of guide is that you just don't get the ambiance of the place, however imperfect ours is, its definitely better than unverified,one line, reports from multiple sources. And of course, if you can't get an internet signal, you are toast.
       But, they're free, doesn't cost you a cent to register, and you may get some useful information once in a while. but you surely can't sit comfortably in front of the fire and have a decent read with them

No comments:

Post a Comment