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North Brittany and The Channel Islands Cruising Companion

By Val Ellis last modified Nov 19, 2008 04:41 PM

Published: 2008-11-19 16:41:55
Topics: Books,Charts and DVDs
Countries: Channel Islands , France

2nd Edition (2008)

By Peter Cumberlidge

ISBN 978-0-470-98829-9

Published by Wiley Nautical

Anyone familiar with the first edition of this essential cruising guide, will welcome this latest edition, and any who are planning a cruise in this area will find it invaluable.

This newest edition has the same number of pages (288) as the previous one, but is in a larger format (full A4). The photos are of excellent quality and include many useful aerial shots, close views of lighthouse and other navigational marks, as well as attractive shots of the area.

The guide begins with a general introduction to the whole coast and covers buoyage, weather and, of course, tides. This is followed by a chapter of possible routes across the channel to this area and includes a large number of strategic waypoints.

Each section is marked by a different coloured band at the top of the page, making it easy to identify the section you are interested in. The chapters start with a clearly drawn and useful, chartlet, marked with most of the commonly used cruising routes including several pertinent waypoints. There are larger chartlets of most harbours and islands as well as some very clear and attractive photographs illustrating the atmosphere of the port. This book is more than just a guide to the facts, Mr Cumberlidge also includes facinating little snippits of history, enhancing the visitors’ appreciation and understanding of the area.

Headed by information on tides, charts and hazards, each section goes on to cover more general information. Details of the approaches, berthing and facilities then follow, together with more useful waypoints. The chapter on each port ends with an easily identifiable page covering important information; contact details for Port Control, marinas, weather, yacht clubs, fuel, facilities and repairs. Last, but not least, are the author’s recommended restaurants, many of which he has personally tried at one time.

My only regret with the new edition, is the abandonment of the beautifully clear line drawings of the various strategic lighthouses which were included on the charts in the previous edition. In an area of such fast tidal streams and wickedly fanged rocks, being able to identify which lighthouse you are looking at, is very useful. However, the text does include very clear photos of many of them and the charts now also include depths.

This is a highly recommended guide to the Brittany coast from Dielette, on the west coast of the Cotentin Peninsula, to La Conquet at the entrance the La Four channel, including all the Channel Islands and reef islands in the Bay of St Malo.