Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Trip preparation - acknowledgements

The trip to the Oban region was our first visit to Scotland. Very useful for planning this trip were the maps, charts, logbooks, tidal stream atlases and pilots Patrick and Maarten lent us. A good help was also the guidebook "Scottish Sea Kayaking" of Pesda Press. I hardly dare to say, but at the first sight I was a bit disappointed about this book. That was not about the thoroughness or the quality of the description of the sea voyages in this book, but about the fact that it covers only 4 trips in the region we wanted to spent two weeks in. That's no wonder because the book covers the whole Scottish coastline - the 48 (!) voyages ranging from day trips to 3 day journeys can only cover the highlights. My disappointment however was misplaced - the book proved to be a very valuable resource for our preparations - the Appendices on the last pages of the book offer in a condensed form a true treasure of information and the descriptions of the voyages are so complete and extensive that they are also a good starting-point for other trips in the region. I am asstonished about the accuracy and the devotion the authors have deployed in this work. A big compliment for Doug Cooper and George Reid!
Other valuable resources were the trip reports of Douglas Wilcox and Simon Willis in Ocean Paddler Magazine (OP). The "Essential Info" in the OP-trip reports is very useful. And the blogs and podcasts of Douglas and Simon add interesting background information. Interest is not only on navigational issues but also on culture and history of this fascinating region!
Altogether it was almost to much information - in the busy weeks before the trip I didn't manage to get through it all. Actually that was also some kind of blessing in itself -there should also be something left to discover yourself!
In Scotland we mainly navigated on Ordnance Survey-maps on which I marked the collected information about tidal streams, tide races and overfalls, possible campsites, timetables, POI's and so on. Touristical Background information offered the Rough Guide to the Scottish Islands I bought the other day impulsively in de Slegte.

No comments: