Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Thanked 36 Times in 33 Posts
Rep Power: 14
Anyone planning a coastal trip to new waters is well advised to have a coastal pilot for the area on board. It is affordable, easily carried , easy to get a copy, and it is easily as important as a good chart. A chart tells you where you are and what the ocean floor looks like.
A coastal pilot tells you what to what to expect when entering an anchorage. It talks about currents, magnetic anomalies, weather idiosyncrasies and a whole lot more. Unless you're sailing in areas where every anchorage is properly marked and lit, a pilot can save a whole lot of anxiety.
A good example of this is the east coast of Africa where there are no working lighthouses, no channel markers of any value and a very hostile sailing environment. A pilot of this area can literally mean the difference between life and death in a weather crisis.
Even in the totally benign waters off the east coast of New Zealand, I carry a pilot because it gives me a world of info about my surroundings.
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"Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."
Arthur C. Clarke