The Shell Channel Pilot
by Tom Cunliffe
Reviewed in SAILING August 2010 :
This publication is handsome enough to warrant a spot on the coffee table. Yet, it would be totally out of place. Its real home is aboard, in the safest, driest nook you can find, yet near enough to be your ever ready ‘shipmate’ as you venture into one of the world’s finest cruising grounds – the English Channel.
For the Channel is also among the most difficult stretches of water to navigate. With so many ports on both sides of the water, it has the busiest shipping lanes on the planet, and the tidal ranges, streams and races, coupled with huge weather variations, demand non-stop vigilance not to mention a certain amount of skill and knowledge.
Get it all right, though, and the rewards on the coasts of France, England and the Channel Islands, in the form of quaint harbours and quiet inlets, are considerable.
The Shell Channel Pilot, upgraded and updated for its 6th edition, is a huge aid to cruising on both sides of the water, and deals extensively with the complexities of Channel crossings.
The book is broken down into four sections on each coastline. In England, they are: North Foreland to Selsey Bill; Selsey Bill to Swanage and the Solent; Swanage to Start Point and Start Point to Bishop Rock. On the French side, it is Dunkerque to Cap d’Antifer, to Pte de Barfleur, to Cape Frehel and the Channel Islands, to Ouessant.
Navigational tips are plentiful, so is information on tidal behaviour, communications and weather services, customs and other formalities. The text itself is always interesting, offering essential advice for passage-making, often laced with a dash of humour.
All of that is superbly supplemented by detailed, large, clear maps and charts for harbours, anchorages and approaches, and the presentation is completed by excellent photographs, some of them aerial.
Here, indeed, is a wonderful ‘shipmate’, a really worthwhile travelling companion.
Price: - available on request -
Book ID (for ordering): 2624