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Reeds Weather Handbook for Sail and Power

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CA Library Reference:
Author:
Item Type:
ISBN:
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Classification:
Status:
17935
Singleton, Frank
Paperback
978-1-4081-5247-8
Bloomsbury
2014
143
B6
In Stock
Unfortunately this book is not available for loan. For more details please contact the Librarian.

 


Review Date: 
20/01/2014

As a former Senior Forecaster for the Met Office, an RYA Yachtmaster, the creator of the superb weather internet site ‘Frank’s Weather’ and a CA member of longstanding, Frank Singleton needs no introduction. This book is the latest addition to the Reeds Comprehensive Pocket Guide Series.

This book is divided into 9 chapters: ‘Air masses’, ‘Fronts and depressions’, ‘Sea and land effects’, ‘Waves and swell’, ’Weather forecasting - the background’, ‘Using forecasts - and your experience’, ‘Sources of weather information’, ‘Getting forecasts’ and finally, ‘Observing - learning by experience’. There is an Appendix containing terms, acronyms, abbreviations and sources of information plus an Index.

 

The 143 colour-coded pages are packed with essential information for the cruising sailor - whether sail or power. The book focuses on the practicalities of obtaining, understanding and using advice from weather forecasts, personal observation and experience. Meteorology is a complex subject and this pocket book keeps the theory to a necessary minimum to give a basic understanding of the background to forecasts and their production. Photographs, synoptic charts, diagrams, tables and GRIB wind charts are all used effectively to aid understanding. A picture or table ‘tells a thousand words’ and saves endless paragraphs of description. Examples of weather phenomena are taken from the UK, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, NW Europe and the Caribbean so wherever you cruise you will come across weather references and examples with which you can identify.

 

That the author is a sailor is evident in virtually every paragraph of this small but mighty book. Each topic is explored and explained from the perspective of a small boat sailor. As an example of this the 8 pages on ‘Waves and swell’ are not to be found in longer books on weather purporting to be written for the leisure sailor. Just published in 2014, this Guide is bang up-to-date in terms of sources of weather information and receiving equipment for weather forecasts.

 

I can thoroughly recommend this book. I have already bought my personal copy and will be encouraging my Day Skipper and Yachtmaster students to buy it. CA members will not be disappointed by this practical explanation of a complex but essential subject for all sailors whether ‘stick and string’ or power.

 

Darryl Hughes                                                                                 388 words

 

North Sea Passage Pilot 6th Edition

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CA Library Reference:
Author:
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ISBN:
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No of Pages:
Edition:
Classification:
Status:
17902
Navin, Brian
Paperback
978-1846234446
Imray
2013
232
6th
Q GBE
In Stock
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Review Date: 
15/01/2014

A well-established guide, now in its sixth edition, it is clearly written and supplemented with excellent photographs and chartlets. The author states it has taken half of his lifetime to research and develop this book and it shows. It is a most comprehensive text which includes chapters on the Southern North Sea, Traffic Separation Schemes, pilotage and harbours, passage planning and organising; these cover the East Coast from Great Yarmouth to Dover in the UK to the continental ports from Calais to Den Helder.

It is up-to-date and includes the recent changes to the Traffic Separation Schemes and the numerous wind farms which have been developed in this sea area. The author draws on his experience as a skipper to offer advice on preparing for a passage, the responsibilities of the skipper, crew, customs requirements and ensuring the boat is ship-shape. There are some useful exhibits, such as extracts from the author’s passage from Den Helder to the River Orwell. Twenty two suggested passages across the Southern North Sea are provided as a framework for the passage-maker.

Reviewed by Sue & David Long

Word count 209

Vin Rouge, Fiestas and a Small Boat

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17742
Smith, Eugenie C
Paperback
978-1480061651
Eugenie C Smith at CreateSpace
2012
140
1st
J44
In Stock
Unfortunately this book is not available for loan. For more details please contact the Librarian.

 


Review Date: 
15/01/2014

According to the author’s website, Vin Rouge, Fiestas and a Small Boat is a Kindle best seller. It is part of a trilogy of travelogues, describing a trip from Canvey Island in Essex, through the French canals and on to the Costa Del Sol in Southern Spain.

The diaries describe boating life away from the stresses and strains of everyday life, with some unique experiences, such as when a kind Frenchman lost a cleat on his motorboat when towing their grounded yacht to safety. The stories reminded us of the extremes of adventures travelling through waterways in France, from the wonderful hospitality of the locals to the state of public toilets in some places. An amusing passage  relates a warning on the perils of eating out in a foreign country when you are inebriated and do not speak the language, resulting in getting pigs’ trotters instead of pork chops

However, it is not all plain sailing, as the peace and tranquillity of the French inland waterways is contrasted with getting caught out when crossing the Gulf of Lion with a Mistral blowing and huge waves.

.A question arises over the value of the technical information in this book as it is written about a journey made about thirty years ago. Had the book been written soon after the trip, this would have been a valuable resource to others planning a similar passage.  Dated though it may be, some of the messages are still relevant today. One good example is a caution about taking advice from strangers – on being told the weather forecast  to expect calm seas by a Spanish fisherman, only to meet Force 5/6 and rough seas. At one hundred and forty pages, this is a light read with some amusing salty tales but would have been improved with the inclusion of some photographs, maps and chartlets.

 

Reviewed by Sue & David Long

Word count 340