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The Croatia Cruising Companion: Review

By doina — last modified Sep 29, 2010 02:17 PM

Published: 2010-09-29 14:17:24
Countries: Croatia

The Croatia Cruising Companion
Jane Cody and John Nash
Published by Wiley Nautical 2007
ISBN 978-1-904-35828-2
Recommended retail price £24.99/€35

www.wileynautical.com

Croatia is now the most popular cruising destination in the Mediterranean and this new cruising companion is a useful addition to such existing publications as Trevor and Dinah Thompson's “Adriatic Pilot” and Karl-H Bestaendig's ”777 Harbours and Anchorages”. The book is nicely laid out, with ports, marinas and anchorages described clearly, each accompanied by useful harbour plans. The larger places are comprehensively covered by separate boxes of “Useful Information” that list the range of facilities available as well as any practical information needed by visitors arriving by yacht.

The authors must have done their research either by land or from other sources, rather than visit the individual places on their own boat, as there are a number of omissions as well as outright errors. Some of the most obvious ones are, for example, describing in Vis harbour only the mooring facilities in front of the town itself and overlooking those on the quay of the neighbouring port of Kut located close by in the same bay (page 179). Similarly, although Uvala Racetinovac is depicted on the map of Ciovo Island (page 136), this useful anchorage close to the attractive city of Trogir is ignored. Yet another serious omission are the two sheltered (and popular) anchorages at Uvala Telascica and Farkariculac on Dugi Otok (Dugi Island), that are depicted on the plan on page 62 but not even mentioned.

It is a hard decision to have to choose from at least three guides that cover largely the same area and, those who can afford it, may be tempted to buy all three as every one of them has its pluses and minuses. Those cruising on a limited budget may be best served by “777 Harbours and Anchorages” whose main attraction is its simplicity and also lower price. A new English language edition, retitled as “808 Harbours and Anchorages”, is due for publication in March 2008.

Comments from Author - July 2008
Thanks for including a review of our book - we love the website and value your comments. We have a blog for updates, and we're doing our best to get as much feedback as possible, so we can make sure the second edition improves on the first

Just a few observations on your review:

1. Research Methods
As you suggest, we did do quite a bit of research on land. We've lived in Croatia for the past 5 years and, since we wanted to include as much onshore information as practically possible, we carried out a lot of the detailed land based research outside our sailing trips. However, we did sail around the whole area and into almost every single bay, port and anchorage that we could find. We berthed, moored or anchored at many for a night or two, and revisited most of the larger settlements a number of times. We continue to sail the area and are picking up additional information and changes as we go. It's very much a "live" piece of work as Croatia continues to change very quickly.

2. Kut Harbour
Valid comment - we should have referred to it. Unfortunately, occasional space constraints meant that, on occasion, we had to pick the "best" facilities in a destination. Vis Island is a favourite haunt of ours so this was an "editorial" omission rather than one of neglect.

3. Uvala Racetinovac
Thank you - we'll make it clearer in the second edition. In the text on page 135 we refer to three smaller bays in Zaljev Saldun that "provide a reasonable anchorage". In the chartlet next to this text we placed three anchor signs in Zaljev Saldun, one of them labelled U Racetinovac. We'll try and expand the text to name the three smaller bays in the second edition.

4. Dugi Otok - Uvala Telascica and Farfarikulac
Telascica is indeed a popular bay, one of the safest in the area, and you suggest we didn't mention it or Farfarikulac. In fact Telascica has a double page on pages 62 and 63 though we called it Luka Telascica rather than Uvala Telascica. Farfarikulac is a small islet at the inner end of the bay and we placed two anchor signs on the chartlet, not far from the islet. We named one of these anchorages - Uvala Krusevica - and there is a paragraph on it on page 63.

5. Area Coverage
Could I just reiterate that our book covers the Dalmatian Coast and islands - the mainland from Zadar down to Molunat, and all the islands off this coast. We chose to concentrate on this area of the Adriatic because we believe it is the richest cruising ground, for a variety of reasons, and thus deserves much more space and detail than could be included if it was just part of the wider Adriatic area.

6. Which guide to choose?
We are also fans of the other two books you mention. A few of our sailing friends and contacts have all three and we're always delighted to hear what they like best about The Croatia Cruising Companion, as well as where they think we could improve.

Anecdotal evidence, comments on our blog, and other reviews, seem to suggest that our Croatian Cruising Companion holds up generally well for those wanting to discover Dalmatia in depth, onshore and offshore, and looking for the most recent knowledge and tips - first editions can have their drawbacks but, writing a book from scratch over the last three years, allowed us to look at Dalmatia with a fresh pair of eyes. Luckily for us, we also have the advantage of working within both the Croatian nautical tourism industry and the Croatian tourism industry in general, which gives us access to the latest "industry" information and a great set of local contacts.

Whilst we can't claim to be as chartlet focused as 777, we hope that the balance of chartlets, text, photos, detailed contact information and comprehensive introduction and other notes, will provide almost everything a sailing visitor to Dalmatia wants to know. We were also extremely delighted with our publishers for the high quality of the end product.

7. Prices
As far as I am aware, the retail price of our hardback book, at £24.99, is lower than both the other two books you mention (if only by a penny than 777!). Those of your readers that buy from Amazon will get an incredible deal if today’s price is anything to go by!

Kind regards

Jane Cody
Co-Author Croatia Cruising Companion

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