Monday, April 07, 2008

A good blog, a good read...

One of the nice things about the whole blogosphere is that in these days of advertising led editorial decisions by the sailing magazines that you are still able to access the sort of content that someone building/ buying a boat or cruising might actually find of some use. Don't get me wrong there are some good articles in the yachting press but far too often The cruising guide to the out islands of somewhere or other begins with something like "We were met at the airport by the fleet manager for XXXXX charter company who whisked us to our fifty foot XXXXX catamaran for a much needed seven days of cruising...Not exactly a real cruising guide is it?

Keep in mind that I have a charter business and while I am all for people chartering (Please do I need a new guitar, a new surfboard, and a bigger boat!) but lets face facts and admit that sailing for a week on a bare boat does not make someone an expert on a cruising area. Hell I've been in the Caribbean for over ten years and I'm still getting to know my way around!

And as long as I'm burning bridges and talking about cruising guides why not throw a bit more gasoline on the fire and just say that cruising guides which are more about advertising than useful information are somewhat suspect as well...But we will leave that for later when I get the new Nomex long johns!

But I digress and rant ( sorry) but there is good stuff out there and with a little looking we can find what we need...A truly great blog Sarana at Sea which is jam packed with all sorts of goodies by someone who is out there doing it so actually has a clue to the big picture is an excellent case in point. I stumbled onto the blog while researching a new wind vane project for So It Goes and there was excellent information on the subject of trim tabs which hooked me in long enough to find that Eric has been quite the busy beaver and had all sorts of handy project ideas...Good stuff that.

There was some mention to a forthcoming Cruising guide to Central America which has now come to fruition as Explore Central America by Eric Baicy & Sherrell Watson
and it is most excellent. Delivered as a PDF file for the bargain price of $13 it is a no brainer. Life would be a lot simpler if all of the cruising guides were on this level of information content and clarity.