Curtis Island by Dale Bruce
Our friends at the Cruising Club of America have launched a new type of guide for cruisers contemplating a seasonal cruise along the Maine coast. A team of more than 30 CCA members—sailing writers, editors, and photographers—has contributed to an online guide that marries the technology of a modern website with the traditional need for cruisers to have access to a comprehensive collection of details to make informed cruising decisions.
Starting at Isle of Shoals on the New Hampshire border and going all the way to Eastport on the Canadian border, the CCA Cruising Guide to Maine is wrapped in an envelope of gorgeous photography and provides essential information on 65 “harbors” and “anchorages.” Harbors are defined as those places with good marine and other services needed to support a lengthy cruise; anchorages are more isolated places known for their scenic beauty and sense of solitude.
The Guide’s qualitative assessments are augmented by an array of linked resources that give regularly updated info on tides, weather, and shoreside amenities. Each listing includes a localized, scalable Navionics chart, a local digital weather forecast via Windy.com, and a local tide prediction via US Harbors. Experienced Maine cruisers will find the collected resources engaging and convenient. They are also invited to provide feedback within the site based on their own hard-earned experience. For those considering a first-time cruise to Maine, the CCA guide should be your starting point. Begin with How to Plan A Maine Cruise and then as you plan your itinerary, read Maine-specific articles about cold water, lobster buoys, VHF vs. cell phones, restaurants and provisioning, moorings, and how to leave a clean and generous wake.
Early reviews of the site praise the curation of the guide; instead of trying to show every harbor and anchorage, the site zeroes in on the ones that are not to be missed. Other reviewers found the site manageable, user friendly, and rich with attractive imagery. The collaborative effort was spearheaded by CCA Guides Committee co-chairs, Doug Bruce and Wilson Fitt, and lead editor Jane Babbitt. Website design is by Kate Wilson Somers of Risingt.com. The CCA Guides Committee is also responsible for four Canadian Maritime cruising guides, which are current, in print, and available. Visit cruisingclub.org to learn more. ■