South Africa to the Caribbean

"I commend Christopher and the RCCPF team on producing an excellent book that will be an invaluable resource to anyone making this trip (Cape Town to Tobago) for the first time"

Title: South Africa to the Caribbean
Author: Christopher Hamblin

This is a guide to the route between Cape Town and Tobago and ports that you are likely want to visit on the way. In my opinion it achieves this end very well. I have followed this route twice and would have found this guide extremely useful, especially the first time. Much of the information will also be helpful to those making crossings directly to European waters or to South America.

The author has drawn on several sources in order to gather a very comprehensive collection of information on the sailing routes, including wind and current information and ports and anchorages along the way. There is also adequate information on relevant formalities, communications and necessities for the yacht. Much of this information is available elsewhere but as far as I'm aware this is the first time that so much had been put together in such a comprehensive form in a single book.

The book is amply and attractively Illustrated with excellent photographs and plenty of chartlets. The chartlets are almost entirely derived from copies of Navionics charts. I am an enthusiastic user of Navionics. However, they have some limitations. Outside European waters I have often found the marina symbol should be interpreted to indicate that there MAY be some yacht facilities or an anchorage in the area. Some of the information is more relevant to big ships than it is to yachts. In particular the placing of anchor symbols is almost always in positions that would be quite unsuitable for yachts under 30m and probably not permitted by harbour authorities. Navionics makes generous use of the yacht marina symbol. This I find confusing as it is often in a position where no marina is available. Particularly with the detailed chartlets I would have much preferred to see sketches prepared by yachtsman with local experience, for me these are one of the joys of a cruising guide. That said, it is recognised that the Pilotage Foundation may be constrained by commercial considerations and that the Navionics resource may present the best available option.

I commend Christopher and the RCCPF team on producing an excellent book that will be an invaluable resource to anyone making this trip for the first time. Hopefully the book will encourage more yachts making a circumnavigation to stop in South Africa where they are assured a friendly welcome and a wonderful experience.

Andy O’ Grady
August 2019

South Africa to the Caribbean: A Passage planning Guide is available on the Pilotage Foundation website as a pdf download at no charge - click on the link below