A Cruising Companion

Here is something to add to your boat’s bookshelf, the Coastal Cruising Companion. And before you ask, no it has no direct connection with the ‘CCCA’. The author, Marilyn Graham, cleverly calls it a Cruising Companion, to differentiate it from cruising guides like the iconic Alan Lucas cruising guides.

Cruising Guides are tricky, we expect them to be accurate, complete and compatible with our own level of experience. Marilyn Graham has taken the bit between her teeth and has written her Cruising Companion from the perspective of a novice cruiser.

In doing that, she has produced a terrific guide, worth having on any boat, novice or experienced.

The Companion includes information about the coast covered by Marilyn when she and her “Skipper” cruised between Hobart and Fraser Island in their Martzcraft 35 foot sloop. What the guide lacks in completeness (don’t expect it to cover every single coastal detail or anchorage), it makes up for with a fresh and easily digested format.

In addition to the expected information about ports and anchorages, marinas and bars, you’ll also find some excellent tips and hints in the “What we learnt along the way…” section.

The format of the Companion is concise and to the point, with excellent drawings and photographs to match the descriptions. Clearly her human companion, the “Skipper” is not a novice, so the descriptions of harbour entries and anchorages reflect genuine experience as well as the curiosity of the novice cruiser.

While it is no substitute for the Alan Lucas NSW guide, it provides a handy complementary source of information about NSW, while covering the coast all the way down to Hobart, for which there is no Lucas guide.

The loose leaf format of the guide suggests that it could be easily updated or even extended, something that Marilyn hints at on her website, http://www.coastalcruisingaustralia.com At $30 ($35 including shipping), less for SkiprPlus members it is well priced. Order it here. As they say: “Don’t leave home without it”.

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