Cruiser, long-time store manager, book detective extraordinaire
I really enjoyed my week-long sailing circumnavigation of Mallorca, one of the islands located in the Mediterranean south of Barcelona. The water was clear, and there were lots of places to anchor and plenty of attractions to explore ashore. Particularly impressive was the yacht harbour in the island’s capital, Palma. It has several facilities that cater to visiting boats, and your neighbour might be a 50-metre crewed yacht from an exotic port. The best guide for the area is Imray’s Isla Baleares: Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca, Cabrera and Menorca, supplemented by the Imray chart M3, and other charts in the M series.
11th ed. Covers the islands of Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca, and Menorca. This edition includes a selection of new plans and pre-existing plans have been updated throughout. The only fully comprehensive pilot guide to the islands in English.
Toronto Brigantine alumna, working at Nautical Mind while finishing off a degree in Classical Civilization
When sailing on the tall ship TS Playfair, one of my favourite spots to anchor was beside Cove Island (Chart 2274). The island is just north of Tobermory in Georgian Bay, next to the Fathom Five Marine Park—and it has the same clear waters and beautiful landscape. We used to anchor in a quiet spot between the west coast of Cove Island and the smaller Harbour Island. I loved exploring the caves along the shore of Cove Island and rowing over to Harbour Island to see eagles nesting in a tree! The best cruising guide for this area is PORTS Cruising Guide: Georgian Bay, The North Channel & Lake Huron.
PORTS collects info on where to go, how to get there, and what to do once you're in this well-loved cruising area. This is an indispensable guide to the Canadian waters of Lake Huron, the North Channel, and Georgian Bay, once again completely updated. PORTS has details about marinas, facilities, and anchorages and includes colour aerial photos, cruising tips, and a cruise planner for the North Channel.
One of Canada’s hidden gems of natural magnificence and historical significance is the Bras d’Or Lake. Although considered an inland sea, the lake is in the middle of Cape Breton (which is technically an island) in Nova Scotia. It has a mix of fresh water fed by nearby rivers and salty seawater that washes in from the sea coast with each Atlantic tide. This brackish body of water is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and has been home to the Mi’kmaq for thousands of years. The biggest harbour and village on the shores of Bras d’Or is Baddeck, terminus of the Cabot Trail and home of the Alexander Graham Bell Museum (Bell’s summer home, Beinn Bhreagh, sits on a hillside across from the town). With more than a thousand square kilometres of water to sail on and about a thousand kilometres of shoreline to discover, there are endless possibilities for cruising here. Useful for navigation is Chart 4279 and The Cruising Guide to Nova Scotia.
The guide includes details of more than 200 harbors from the Southwestern shore of New Brunswick and Saint John River, plus the Bay of Fundy to Cape Breton Island and the Bras d'Or Lakes. It is filled with navigational advice and recommendations based on reports from very experienced sailors that have been gathered over the past seventy years and distilled into one up-to-date volume.
Former Nautical Mind store manager, lives in Newfoundland but still edits and writes for us (and a few other folks)
My favourite place is a type of cove—the perfectly protected bolt hole, the tiny harbour with a narrow entrance and enough safe swinging room for just a few boats on the hook. These are the ideal places to ride out a storm or simply enjoy peace and quiet. I first discovered the pleasures and benefits of these gems in the 1970s at Wingfield Basin, Georgian Bay, not far from Tobermory; see Robin’s advice on cruising guides for that one (presumably still accessible—I haven’t been back for decades). The following were later added to my list (yes, they reflect a migration eastward over time): Prinyer’s Cove in the Bay of Quinte, Maskell’s Harbour (Boulaceet) in the Bras d’Or Lake, and the inner basin in Traytown Harbour on Ireland’s Eye Island in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. As a cruising friend once remarked: “The Almighty really overdesigned this one.” Consult The Cruising Guide to Newfoundland.
Members of the Cruising Club of America and previous users of the guide describe conditions of various harbours, inhabited and not, around the Island. Includes details for 200 harbours as well as chartlets and sketch charts. Free online updates.
They’re a long way from Canada, but the Azores are our favourite cruising ground. Sure, you have to cross an ocean to get to them, but these rugged islands 800 miles off the coast of Portugal are a fascinating destination to explore. As you sail from one to the next, you discover that each has its own distinct character. The westernmost island, where many transatlantic sailors make landfall, is Flores. True to its name, the roads are lined with hydrangea. We enjoyed watching a running of the bulls through the narrow streets of a hillside village on the island of Graciosa. And no serious sailor would visit to the Azores without spending an evening—or two or three—at Peter’s Café Sport in Horta on the island Faial. A reliable guide to these islands is the Royal Cruising Club’s Atlantic Islands: Azores, Madeira Group, Canary Islands and Cape Verdes.
6th ed. The Royal Cruising Club's companion volume to "Atlantic Spain and Portugal" covers the Azores, Canaries, Madeira and Cape Verde Islands and now Bermuda. New photos and new and revised harbour plans support the fully updated text.
I really like Five-Island Bay in Antigua. It’s a large bay but few people go there, so there’s always plenty of room to drop anchor. Be prepared to eat on board during your stay—although the bay’s south side has a resort where boaters are welcome, there’s no nearby restaurant. (You will have to drag your dinghy up onto the beach to keep it clear of rising tides.) On the north side of the bay is a beautiful long stretch of sandy beach. The water is shallow and perfect for swimming—then you can stretch out on the sand, soak up some sun and just relax. Very helpful is Imray Chart A27 and A271 plus the Cruising Guide to the Leeward Islands Southern: Antigua to Dominica.
16th ed. A complete guide to sailing, diving, and exploring the Leeward Islands from Antigua through Dominica. Sketch charts, street maps, colour aerial photos, some local advertising, plus lots of piloting information and history. This edition contains GPS coordinates and an extensive directory of services and suppliers of interest to cruisers. Covers the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Marie Galante, the Saintes, and Dominica.
Nautical Mind alumnus, Brigs alumnus, graduate of Georgian College, Marine Navigation program, now Chief Mate on a general cargo ship
One of the favourite areas we travel through while transporting cargo by ship is up the Saguenay River, in Quebec. The Saguenay empties into the St. Lawrence River. Where the two rivers join is a rich feeding ground for whales, seals and birds. Running northwest for about 56 nautical miles from the St. Lawrence is Saguenay Fjord National Park, which flanks both sides of the Saguenay. The area is beautiful and lightly populated, for the most part. No one on the ship is ever bored with the fantastic scenery. One of the many publications we carry for navigating is the Sailing Directions: St. Lawrence River: Ile Verte to Quebec and Fjord du Saguenay by the Canadian Hydrographic Service.
Revised 4th ed. This guide features hand-drawn shoreline plans of selected marinas and small boat anchorages, aerial photographs showing safe approaches to destinations, and scenic photos. The text provides vital information about featured locations, plus notes on recreational activities. Here you will find the best spots to anchor your boat, share a romantic sunset, enjoy a fine meal, pick blackberries in season--even locate a welcome hot shower or cappuccino!