Dream Cruising Destinations|
24 Classic Cruises Mapped and Explored
Adlard Coles Nautical/Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 160 pp, Flexibound, $25
I hesitate to mention the upcoming holiday this early, but it's never too early to pick up the perfect gift for the old salt in your life...just be sure you hide it well or he/she may have already launched the boat before the festivities have begun. If you manage to keep it hidden until Christmas, you will be assured to have a comfortable seat on board when the captain sets sail in the spring.
The 24 voyages described in this handsomely designed book are all over the map. Coasting trips are described for Northern and Southern Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Australia, and the Pacific ("if you want a challenge"...the author comments). That's a lot of territory to cover in just 160 pages. Of course, the fact that the author's home port is in Britain cuts out a lot of mileage--from her perspective.
In no way is this book intended to be a sailing guide. In fact, there is a disclaimer at the front of the book which says "Please note that the maps are intended as a guide to the route and area and are not accurate enough for any other use." Another disclaimer states that "the publisher takes no responsibility for the use of the methods or products described in the book." Translation: the lush photographs, many of them aerial, that fill every other page, often a page and half are strictly to drool over. The prose is brief but deftly describes both the major navigational challenges and the social atmosphere.
Exploring the Greek islands (the Ionians, in this case), she writes "Covering 892 square miles of land, the primarily mountainous islands offer a dramatic landscape of rugged, vertiginous cliffs mixed with rolling hills and protected anchorages that provide a superb destination for cruising." Needless to say, a great deal more research is required if one of the trip descriptions intrigues you. (The last time I visited the Greek Islands, albeit, many moons ago, the major hazards for the small boater were the ferries and ouzo, but then again, I wasn't in the Ionians.)
Dream Cruising Destinations, never the less, is a handsome production which I would be pleased to give, especially if it jogged the skipper out of his rocking chair and sent him down to the chandlery to poke around in the European chart department.