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Old 04-30-2000
Tom Wood Tom Wood is offline
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Guide to Cruising Chesapeake Bay


With 392 pages, this volume offers a comprehensive guide to one of America's most enjoyable cruising grounds.
Annual releases of cruising guides usually come across my desk with little attention. They are generally updated each year to keep those advertising dollars flowing into the publisher's coffers, offering little in the way of new material. The 28th annual Guide to Cruising Chesapeake Bay, however, really caught my eye.

Indeed, the 392-page, spiral-bound Chesapeake Bay does have a good deal of advertising among its pages. And while some sailors object to paying for ads, I have always found them useful while we are cruising, as the ads often contain pictures of marinas, make it handy to locate services, or provide a schedule of upcoming events. In fact, if you read between the lines, the ads are sometimes more informative than the text of some guides.

Over the years, the Chesapeake Bay has matured into a first-rate cruising directory. With literally hundreds of beautifully rendered full-color sketch charts, it can nearly serve as a free-standing charting system.


The Guide offers detailed charts of remote regions.
Given a carefully designed float plan, these pieces of the cruising puzzle could eliminate the need for a number of costly charts. The full-color, full-size format used throughout the book makes each page a visual delight.

The new volume opens with a general information section packed with sample cruises, lists of museums, hurricane holes, telephone numbers, and a raft of cruising tips. Following that, the bay is divided into nine sections from north to south, each portion aligned to include a major Chesapeake river system, and color coded down the side of the book for quick access to the section needed.


Full-color sketch charts like this one truly enhance a cruiser's understanding of the Chesapeake.
Very little has been left for the cruiser to want. Distance and planning charts have been folded into the back cover and a unique facilities locator offers detailed notes to services provided at all the marinas. Best of all, the text is clear, concise, and loaded with snippets of local history to keep you entertained as the Chesapeake's incomparable shoreline slides past your cockpit view.

Guide to Cruising Chesapeake Bay, copyright 1999 by Chesapeake Bay Communications, Inc., Annapolis, MD. List price $34.95