Baltic Sea has been in print since 1992, and was consequently getting
very long in the tooth. The Royal Cruising Club foundation has finally
got around to updating the book and all the better it is for it.
The book now recognises the reality of marinas
and the facilities of the countries surounding the Baltic, and is
much more useful to todays yachtsman. Unlike the earlier versions,
it dedicates considerable space to the more popular areas,
and reduces its coverage of the less well known parts.
The books covers the following countries: Germany,
Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Poland, Lithunia, Latvia and Estonia.
In truth, this is not the book if you are only interested in Denmark
as only 17 pages are dedicated to that country - there are better
The book has 280 pages of full colour, with
many high-quality colour chartlets as well as photos and 'boxes'
on associated topics, such as 'The right to Roam' and 'Restricted
Areas'. Each section has many appropriate phone numbers as
well as links to useful web resources.
The book starts with an introduction that is
a good overview on the culture of the region, with sections on such
things as diverse as saunas and children, as well as the more obvious
practical issues such as formalities, repairs and navigation. (Like
others, the book seems obsessed with how to get hold of bottled
gas). There are also detailed maps on Radio Communication and Weather
bulk of the country information is based around the concept of highlighted
routes, with harbour information on most of the usual stopping places,
not everywhere. In most cases this coincides with the best places
for yachtsmen so this is no hardship. The text includes elements
of local colour alongside the dry approach information.
Northern Germany is very well covered from Kiel
to Ueckermünde, with a short section on the Kiel Canal. As mentioned
above, the Danish coverage is mainly of the East Coast (bordering
the Baltic Sea proper) as well as Copenhagen and Bornholm.
There is an excellent section on Sweden. It concentrates
on a number of routes, one being from Göteborg to the East Coast
via the Gota Canal. Another is from the Falsterbo Canal round the
coast of Skåne to Karlskrona and up the East Coast. It continues
past Gotland and the Blue Coast to the Stockholm Skärgård. There
is a sketchy section on the Gulf of Bothnia all the way up to the
Although it concentrates on the popular areas
of the Åland Islands and Helsinki, the Finnish coverage is nevertheless
good, with enough on the rest of the country to whet your appetite.
There are then 16 pages on Russia (St Petersborg),
a good 23 on Poland, 4 on Kalingrad, 4 on Lithuania, 14 on Latvia
and 18 on Estonia. This compares to 76 on Sweden.
All in all, the book is now much more attractive
to anyone visiting the area, and I would recommend it as essential
background reading. You still need the local material to get the
best of the place. My only quible is the price - a hefty £37.50
are copyright Imray Norie & Wilson Ltd