Who in their right mind would want to visit the Black Sea? Thus the authors introduce this new pilot to a region probably best known to British readers via footnotes in our military past. Balaclava, Sevastopol, Yalta, these names bear the weight of history, but would you want to sail there?
Well, yes, according the compilers, you might, despite the pollution and overbearing officialdom left over from the communist past, and if you do then without question you will want to have this book with you. It is the only yachtsman's pilot for these waters currently available and provides the authoritative coverage to be expected from an RCC Pilotage Foundation publication.
The format will be familiar to users of any Imray/RCC pilot and the usual high production standard, full colour throughout in soft covers, is maintained here. The geology and meteorology of the region, the requirements for a yacht sailing in these out of the way places, the local customs and sometimes onerous formalities, currencies, language, communications and so forth for the countries bordering the Black Sea are described in detail. The port pilotage sections cover a large number of destinations excepting those in Russia which was not visited due to refusal of permission and for which only very limited information is provided. There is good use of colour photography though the message from this is that if you are looking for the picturesque you will not find it here. The view in many places will be of rusting freighters grim tower blocks and a disused fish factory, all this for a charge of $100 a day plus agent's fees!
It won’t be for me, but if it is for you then take this book when you go (or read it first and then decide not to!).