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Old 12-10-2017, 08:49   #16
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

Noonsite.com has a lot of tips about ports of entry. Google "Sailing Directions" and download the region you are interested in. Sailing directions are mainly for big ships, but there is useful information for sailors there as well.

A current edition of a cruising guide for the region will also have a lot of useful information and chartlets of the harbors. Maybe the harbormaster's phone number also.

The CF cards from Navionics used by my Raymarine C120 also has quite a bit of information when one clicks on the harbor icon and then "more details".
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:53   #17
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

Use Active Captain on your laptop, phone or Ipad. Can't go wrong and it's for free.
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:53   #18
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

coast pilots, (which you can download free) are great. Google maps in the satellite mode lets you have a birdseye view of the place while you are in an internet area.

I find Lonely Planet books to be good info as well.

When I sailed the fijords of the south island of New Zealand there were no guide books, so I used Cooks logbook which was a great help.

Info is out there, just have to look for it.

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Old 12-10-2017, 09:12   #19
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

cruiserswiki.org
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:35   #20
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
I use google maps or bing maps satellite views.

Looking at photos of a harbor adds a better perspective, you can often see docks for large vessels and variations in depth. Coming in at night having that added perspective is reassuring.


Detail these days is quite something ..

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Old 12-10-2017, 10:45   #21
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

Noonsite, ham radio, sailing through the anchorage asking the appropriate questions like, how many __ __ does it take to buy a beer, where is customs and Imigrations, who sells the cheapest courtesy flags etc etc?
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:22   #22
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

We always used the American Embassy or probably your countries embassy. They have a group of people there just to help out traveling citizens to the country they are attached to.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:29   #23
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

+1 for Active Captain. I often use the app SeaNav to view AC data.
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Old 12-10-2017, 13:33   #24
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

INavx, google earth, nobeltec Odyssey, cruising guide (occasionally), wikipedia. We usually don't rely on what others have said or Active Captain, which have provided wrong information much too often.

We like to see for ourselves, then share the nice spots with friends. Not interested in the crowded spots on the guides or internet suggestions.
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Old 12-10-2017, 15:01   #25
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

And nobody has nominated the most important tool of all....

EYEBALL Mk 1

Ok this tool is used as one approaches a harbour not for prior research.

Another hint...when entering an unfamiliar harbour and if in any doubt....get boat speed down as low as possible, enough to maintain steerage. Gives you more time to assess things and if things do get tricky best not to be doing 6 knots.
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Old 12-10-2017, 15:58   #26
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

Yes, it's certainly easier and less stressful if you know a bit about what to expect.
I like to study the port, and it's approaches, using charts, guides, almanacs, and other sources, well before entering. It doesn't prevent surprises, but it should reduce them. That's all part of passage planning.

I do not enter an unfamiliar small boat port, or marina, at night. Even daytime, I am very cautious about following another boat, especially if I don't know his draft.

But if it's a ship port, you should have no problem following your chart, day or night. If a ship can enter, so can you. Stay in the ship channel and you should be fine.

Once you are in - or best before you enter - you can call the port captain about marinas, anchoring, any special cautions.
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Old 12-10-2017, 16:04   #27
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

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When you're out cruising how do you find information about the upcoming ports such as clearance, depth, port layout, etc? We find its always easier to enter and dock when we know what to expect.
Good Question as gathering intelligence about new destinations (for you), is a critical part of logistics planning.

While there is lots of inteligence available for popular cruising countries .....you need to be more proactive for those remote destinations.

Here are some Networking tricks I used when cruising worldwide to mostly remote or isolated countries in the 80/90's

Researching and contacting local boat clubs is a great way to network as are owner/operators of local dive or fishing charter boats to gain local cruising knowledge.

For logistics, Resort Hotels, Marina operators can offer useful tips as can the local freight forwarder.

Directly contacting thier embassies for specific legal clearance contacts especially for Port Captain, then introducing yourself before arrival, is a good way to confirm local protocols.

Don't forget CF! Just ask here
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Old 12-10-2017, 17:15   #28
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

Websites, Google Earth, InavX, Navionics, Active Captain info and reviews, friends who may have been there.
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Old 16-10-2017, 02:29   #29
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

You cannot have too much information so all of the above.
Plus the Cruising Association's cruising guides and especially CAptains Mate App.
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Old 16-10-2017, 05:13   #30
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Re: How do you gather information about a new port you've never been to?

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You cannot have too much information so all of the above.
Plus the Cruising Association's cruising guides and especially CAptains Mate App.
Actually you can...

Gather too much and eventually someone will contribute negative information which can influence your decision.
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