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Cruising Ports:
Florida to California Via Panama (Guidebook)

by John E. Rains, P.M. Rains

ISBN 0963847007 / 9780963847003 / 0-9638470-0-7
Publisher Point Loma Pub
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

Long-range boaters (power & sail) love the expanded 4th edition of Cruising Ports, because it gives deeper details and improved charts of this popular cruising adventure -- the 5,500-mile route between FL and CA via the Panama Canal (written for either direction of travel). Expanded to 320 fact-filled pages, 92 large photos, 38 nautical charts (DMA/NOAA-type), 100s of GPS waypoints, it covers the beautiful coasts of Mexico, the Sea of Cortez, Guatemala, Central America, Costa Rica, Panama, your canal transit, and the Western Caribbean route, including the islands of San Andres & Providencia, Roatan, the Rio Dulce cruising grounds, the Yucatan cruising grounds, including the islands of Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, and more. Ft. Lauderdale and San Diego are embarcation points.

In each LOCATION, John & Pat Rains tell: why boaters go here; the safe approaches by sea from either direction; where to safely anchor, moor or land a dinghy; where to get a marina slip; how to clear in with the Port Captain and other officials; where to find selected local services like fuel, water, provisions, eateries, haul-out yards, launch ramps, dinghy docks, marine repairs, emergency services, etc. (plus what to avoid). Special interst is given to Hurricane Holes and safety. Interesting side trips to make while the boat is safely berthed nearby, and brief cultural histories let boaters plan ahead and get oriented on site.

Charts: Scanning selected regions of DMA and NOAA charts, the Rainses ZOOM IN on many pristine anchorages and gunk-holes that would otherwise be too small to offer significant detail for anchoring. New details added: breakwaters, marinas, buoys, wrecks and other updates that don't appear on standard charts, giving mariners unparalleled guidance.

Between LOCATION, the Captains Rains offer sound advice on Weather & Route Planning, Central American Politics, Preparations Specific to this Route, How to Transit the Panama Canal. Their chapter "Paperwork Cha Cha" is unique and most helpful. Appendices: 100s more GPS Waypoints; Radio Frequencies for WXfax, SSB, Ham nets; Spanish Lexicon; Charts List; Distance Between Ports; and a handy 1,700-item index.

This perfect-bound book is film laminated for durability, and has easy-reading 12-point text. [via]