Review: Cruising Southern Tasmania

cruisingsoutherntas2Concentrating on the popular cruising region south of Hobart, including Bruny Island, Cruising Southern Tasmania is now in its’ third edition. It’s a quality publication that covers southern Tasmania well. As with any good guidebook, the guide is updated with each reprint, getting better and more comprehensive each time, thanks mostly to the tireless efforts of Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania members who live, breathe and cruise the area year round.

Originally titled D’Entrecasteaux Waterways, with the inclusion of Bruny Island east coast anchorages, a more inclusive name change was required. Cruising Southern Tasmania allows members to continue to expand its’ coverage as members explore and research anchorages further afield.

In the latest edition, members of CYCT have rewritten and extended the decriptions of anchorages, while staff of the Dept of Primary Industries and Water have updated maps as well as preparing new ones where required. It is perhaps these maps that makes this guide stand out from the others may overlap the coastal cruising guides of Tassie. Often maps are given secondary consideration after the text. Not in this case. Superb maps sit alongside comprehensive anchorage notes.

One of the pages I found most useful is the Location map opposite the Contents page. Showing an overall map of the entire cruising region covered, highlighting more detailed maps to found within the pages, is a very smart idea. It enables cruisers to see at a glance what’s included, making no assumptions that the reader is familiar with place names. Full marks for this one! As a cruiser and traveller who spends a lot of time exploring the coastline by sea, land and air, I often struggle to work out whether a guide is going to be appropriate. The members of CYCT have made it that much easier.

As well as a well laid out Contents page, the Index comes in a solid 10 pages (out of just 108 in total), making light work of actually finding anchorages if you only know the name and not where it actually is located. Aquaculture leases page alerts the unwary mariner to this hazard of Tasmania cruising, with lat and long positions. There’s also a good handful of introduction pages covering such diverse topics as Wildlife, Tasmanian oysters and What happens if I have an accident? Some people hate spiral bound pages as eventually the spiral wears through the page, and it’s probably a valid argument. Personally, I like the way a spiral bound book allows me to open to just one page, without having pages flicking in the wind. Treat your cruising guide with the respect it deserves and you’re sure to get good value from it.

This is a solidly researched crusing guide, with excellent detail in text and maps, that would not be embarrased onboard any self respecting mariners vessel.

Verdict: Very Good Value