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Noonsite Book of The Month -: The ABC Islands

By Val Ellis last modified May 11, 2006 01:29 PM

Published: 2006-05-11 13:29:25
Topics: Books,Charts and DVDs
Countries: Aruba , Bonaire , Curacao

The Gotto Go Cruising Guide to The ABC Islands

by D Waterson & D van der Reijden

Published by Gotto Go cruising guides

Distributed by Compass Consultants Ltd of St Peter Port, Guernsey, UK

Price $35.00 (including shipping)

This guide is available on-line or at chandlers and book stores in the ABC islands.

It is a comprehensive and updated cruising guide to the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, which are the most western Dutch Antillean islands.

This 245 page, ring-bound, A5 sized, book is made of tough, good quality paper which should stand up well to the rough life led by most sailing guides. The few adverts which are included are not intrusive and contain useful information.

The opening chapter is a general overview of the area including details of charts, radio frequencies, VHF channels, weather and safety nets. Some waypoints and mileage charts are also included.

Each colour-coded section covers one of the three islands. The opening chapter gives general information on regulations (clearing in), water, power, currency, emergency numbers etc. and, usefully, local public holidays. This is followed by several pages on the culture, history, wildlife, attractions and activities available on the island. Throughout the guide there are interesting and attractive colour photos relevant to the text. More detailed pages cover customs, immigration and health clearance procedures, before moving on to particular locations, with docks, marinas and anchorages all described. Several useful aerial shots are shown of these, as well as small chartlets. These are clear and uncluttered, but all the sea is shown as a uniform blue colour with no depth contours, just numbers dotted about. My major criticism here, and it is a serious one, is that there is no indication as to whether these depths are in feet or metres. Reading the text allows the deduction to be made that the numbers are feet, but with most electronic charting systems using metres, UK Admiralty charts for the region using fathoms and the Imray charts using metres, the possibility for confusion is worrying.

Overall, this is a well-presented, comprehensive and very useful guide to the islands of Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. Very well worth having on board when cruising this area.