Cruising Guides to the Canadian Maritimes

Cruising Guides to the Canadian Maritimes

There are four cruising guides to the Canadian Maritimes published by members of the Cruising Club of America: the Cruising Guide to the Nova Scotia Coast, the Cruising Guide to Newfoundland, the Cruising Guide to The Labrador and the Cruising Guide to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. New editions of these guides are published periodically, typically every three to five years. In between new editions update information is posted yearly, usually in February, on the guides' web site, www.pilot-press.com.

The Guides are available from most well-stocked nautical bookstores.

Not counting the Canadian Government, each guide covers more territory of their respective areas than any other book purporting to deal with cruising these shores. Plus there is more effort than any other publication to keep the guides up to date. As anyone knows, a publication of this nature rapidly becomes obsolete. The forte of the CCA guides is avoiding obsolescence and thus have developed a loyal band of users and contributors.

The guides are an aid for those who seek the challenges, adventures and rewards of sailing in one of the most beautiful and unspoiled cruising grounds of North America. And for those who appreciate a few tips from those who have been there before. For various reasons the guides are not all inclusive. Since their inception in the 1950s the information contained in them is provided by a corps of "correspondents" — cruising men and women who have contributed their knowledge about the areas they have sailed.

These guides came about when Charles Bartlett commented to a group of CCA members in Boston after two summers of cruising the Nova Scotia coast that he and his crew were unhappy that there was nothing available to give them some idea as to which were the attractive and safe harbors and which were not. His point was that the cruiser with limited time cruising an area appreciates a few tips from those who have been there before.

As is typical, he was appointed chairman to do something about it. That was in 1950. Thus he became editor of the Cruising Guide to the Nova Scotia Coast, which was first published in 1952. At that time it contained some 32 write-ups contributed by a dozen people.

As a natural offshoot of the Cruising Guide to the Nova Scotia Coast, in 1955 the Cruising Guide to Newfoundland with some material on Labrador was published. In 1983 the Labrador section became the Cruising Guide to The Labrador, a stand-alone publication.

Charles Bartlett was editor of all three publications until 1977.  There have been a succession of editors for the various guides since then.  Currently Sandy MacMillan is editor of the Cruising Guide to the Nova Scotia Coast, Sandy Weld is editor of the Cruising Guide to Newfoundland, Fin Perry is editor of the Cruising Guide to The Labrador and Jim Evans is editor of the Cruising guide to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

 It seems the yachtsman who enjoys cruising as such always wonders what is just around the corner of the headland that marks the point where he has to turn around on any particular cruise. He vows to go back, to go further and find out. Thus these guides have grown and expanded and tried to keep pace with the changing landscape.

The Guides are available from most well-stocked nautical bookstores.