Chart No. 1, Symbols, Abbreviations, and Terms
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Chart No. 1 is not a chart at all but rather a book giving all the symbols, abbreviations, and terms that appear on the world’s charts as defined by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). While I have used charts all my life and generally know what everything means, at times it is extremely helpful to have a reference for a symbol or abbreviation that I haven’t seen before. For someone not familiar with charts, they are likely to be largely a mystery and most of the information on them inaccessible without this book.
Not only is this information extremely useful for navigation per se, but it can also be extremely useful in aiding you in understanding what is expected of you in a given area. There may be specified lanes or routes you should follow. There may be designated anchorage areas or designated areas where military exercise are conducted that will be marked on the chart.
Further you may find that information on a chart may be of great help in assessing an unfamiliar situation. If someone asserts that you may not navigate in a given area for some reason, if it is not on the chart you can be pretty sure that the national authority producing the chart does not recognize a valid reason for this and this defense is likely to be a powerful one in that the national authority generally claims primacy in navigable waters.
There is another very wonderful aspect to this book. If you find you are doing more and more serious cruising and are traveling into areas where charts of useful scale for family sized yachts do not exist for channels and harbors, you are likely to think of doing “sketch charts” in an attempt to aid future travelers in entering your favorite harbors or navigation a creek up to an out of the way town that never sees yachts, etc. In this case with your GPS, leadline or portable sounder, and a plotting sheet you can spend happy hours in a favorite harbor doing a really detailed accurate job of showing how to get into it, where to anchor, what the bottom is like, and many other features. With the aid of Chart No.1 you can draw it up using all the standard symbols, abbreviations, and terms so that anyone can read it and know exactly what you intended to convey.
This is one of those few books that I would always want to have aboard any serious cruising yacht. (tm)
($9.95, 99 pages, profusely illustrated with color tinted line art)