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Old 05-02-2014, 11:22   #1
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Charts for Eastern Canada-Gaspe to Nova Scotia

Starting in June, we will be cruising down the St. Lawrence River, around the Gaspe Peninsula, thru the Northumberland and Canso Straights, in and out of the Bras d'Or Lakes, and around to the south coast of Nova Scotia.

We would like to have paper charts with us to compliment our chart plotter and are interesting in purchasing (or renting/borrowing) charts for this area. We do have borrowed some of the charts already, so we are not concerned if you don't have a complete set. We are willing to pay a fair price.

Pleae let us know if you can help. Thanks

Dale
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:09   #2
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Re: Charts for Eastern Canada-Gaspe to Nova Scotia

Would you be interested in the Cruising Guide to Nova Scotia? It is 4 years old but very little has changed.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:12   #3
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Re: Charts for Eastern Canada-Gaspe to Nova Scotia

I did (most of) this trip in 2011. I am not looking to sell my charts (as I am doing the trip again in 2015), but I assume you have run into the same problem that I did; individual Canadian Hydrographic Charts are expensive, and there are no chart books available (unlike NOAA, CHS data is not public domain).

Instead of spending close to $2k on all the CHS charts one would need to cover the area, I bought a set of charts from Bellingham Chart Printers for around $400. They are 2/3 sized, hi-def grey scale copies of US Defense Department charts. I found them to be perfectly serviceable. I compared them to CHS charts from the Canadian cruisers we met on the trip, and they seemed spot on. One of my new friends from Quebec, jealous that my charts were 1/4 the cost of his (and probably because my purchase did not contribute to the Canadian government), raised an eyebrow when he saw the US Defense Dept. copyright and remarked "Ha!, I knew all along you guys have been planning an invasion!"

The three portfolios you'll need are:

#155 Cornwall to Gaspe (23 charts)
#153 PEI to St. Georges Bay (14 charts)
#163 Cape Breton to Yarmouth (35 charts)

There is one thing however you will need from the CHS. I would not venture into the eastern St. Lawrence River without the "Atlas of Tidal Currents". Direction and speed of the currents are shown hourly on detailed river charts. Every bend in the river is different, and knowing which bank to hug, or which way to go around certain islands is critical information in a tidal river that changes direction twice a day, at speeds up to 7 knots in either direction.

If you don't already have it, get the "Down East Circle Route" by Cheryl Barr, but don't be fooled by its optimism -this can be a challenging trip.


It is a trip worth the extra effort and planning. Bring lots of warm clothes (think of siting on a broken-down chairlift at a ski resort instead of your cockpit), learn a little french, and don't believe it when you read that Shippigan Gully, Escuminac, and Chandler all have six feet of water at low tide (because it's really only 4.5').


YC
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:47   #4
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Re: Charts for Eastern Canada-Gaspe to Nova Scotia

YC, the BCP folios look wonderful. Big help. I think I had found them once, but lost the thread, so thanks.

We do plan to purchase the tide atlas you recommend and already have the DECR book, as well as others including 3 copies of the NS cruising guide.!

We have several friends who have made the trip and are getting quite a bit of advice from them too.

We are used to cold weather/water from sailing our home waters of Lake Superior. We bring EVERYTHING; thanks for the advice however. (We learned that we couldn't convince newcomers to our area just how cold it can be; they learn.)

We are working on our French.

We know that Canadians have been massing on the southern border because our Homeland Security seems to be ready here in Duluth. I think our military is just being cautious. ;>) Oh well.

Cheers
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:31   #5
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Re: Charts for Eastern Canada-Gaspe to Nova Scotia

Thanks for the chart tip YC. We're following in Dale's wake, just a year behind. I'd seen Bellingham's chart offerings prior, but had forgotten. Good reminder.

It is unfortunate that Canada is not as enlightened as your gvt in making charts available. But once we successfully invade the US we'll teach you folk how to make a buck off everything, even stuff already paid for by your taxes .
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Old 08-02-2014, 19:03   #6
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Hey guys,

I wanted to make members aware of photocopied Canadian charts that Bellingham Chart Printers are selling. They are misrepresenting that they are selling Current Edition charts for Canadian waters -- THEY ARE NOT. Their website reads "Charts are either originals or reproductions of CURRENT EDITION original NIMA or NOAA charts". After ordering a chart kit for the east coast I noticed that all the charts were dated 1990's or earlier. I did some digging and found out that some of the chart editions are no longer being produced by the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS). This means they have been replaced by other chart numbers and cannot be updated with Notices to Mariners. The data you find in these older charts is quite old, sometimes leadline data over 100 yrs old. Alot of the east coastline has since been updated with multibeam data - far more accurate. You will unfortunately only find this data in current edition CHS paper charts.

I called Bellingham to get their side of the story. They finally admitted that the charts are the most recent NIMA edition from when CHS had an agreement to exchange data with CHS in the 1990's. CHS has not been providing charts to them after this time so they cannot be current edition charts. Bellingham returned my money and did not ask for the charts back. Unfortunately, they are still misrepresenting what they are selling on their website. They are selling old charts and putting mariners in danger!

Just want folks to be aware....
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:14   #7
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Re: Charts for Eastern Canada-Gaspe to Nova Scotia

We were concerned about that and very much appreciate your comments. Now we have a bit of of quandry I guess...
We have borrowed about 1/2 the charts (mostly CHS) from a friend who got them years ago. I suspect from the 90s. Our goal was to fill out a paper set so that we would have paper backup to the electronic navigational charts we have on board. The paper charts covering larger areas are useful for planning as well.
We have a Garmin chart plotter (we can print screen shots from the laptop.) We also have the Navionics app on our iPad. We carry 2 laptops. The possibility of all of these going down at once is remote (lightning strike??) We also have 5 GPS systems, so we should also be able to fix our position (these are in the cell phones, PC, iPad, running watch, TomTom, and 2 on-board instrument systems.
We sailed with Roger Swanson on Cloud Nine and he has been navigating the world (250,000 miles including the first US yacht thru the Northwest Passage) using NOAA charts he got in the 1950s. (He was a naval officer and his ship was replacing its charts, so he was given the old charts for the entire world.) Shillshole Marina was NOT shown for instance. We lived....
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:37   #8
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Re: Charts for Eastern Canada-Gaspe to Nova Scotia

That is one thing about cruising in Canada. If you want official gov. charts they can be expensive on paper. CHS does sell electronic versions these charts. We will be buying an electronic set this year for iNAVx on our iPAD.

Of the older CHS charts you have, you can update them if they have current chart numbers. If they have discontinued chart numbers, you cannot. To update them visit the following website for Notice to Mariners:

https://www.notmar.gc.ca/search/notmar-eng.php

We sail out of Shediac on the Northumberland Strait. If you have an questions about coming up this way, feel free to PM me!
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Old 09-02-2014, 15:45   #9
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Re: Charts for Eastern Canada-Gaspe to Nova Scotia

We're looking to do this trip too, probably 2016. Good information about the charts. I plan to buy whatever I have to as back-up, but I'm hoping I don't need ALL of the charts of every scale, since I'll have at least 2 sets of electronic charts.

I'm also thinking about a diesel heater. We have 2 reverse cycle A/C and a generator, not sure if that will be enough.
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