Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cruising Guidebooks - French Polynesia

We had a hard time choosing cruising guidebooks before we left. We wanted to wait until we talked with other people to find out which guidebooks were really useful, but that wasn't always possible. Luckily, we managed to pick up a wide assortment of books along the way....and this is a summary of a few of our favorites:
Guide to Navigation and Tourism in French Polynesia 

This Guide to Navigation and Tourism in French Polynesia had fabulous little chartlets, and good information for some of the areas we saw. We found it to be the most useful of all our guidebooks for this area. It wasn't completely up to date, but no guidebook can be. It didn't cover all of the atolls in the Tuomotos (after all...there are hundreds of atolls), so we had to look elsewhere for some of the atolls that we wished to visit. It was a hard book to find, not available in many marine or online stores. We lucked out and got ours from a cruiser in Mexico whose plans had changed. 

We also used the Charlie's Charts Guidebook for this area, and between the two books, we felt we had as much information as we could handle. We had several other guidebooks, including many pdf documents given to us by other cruisers, but we rarely had time to reference ALL of our sources. These two were enough. (I can't find a link to Charlie's at either Amazon or West Marine, but we bought ours at West Marine). 

Landfalls of Paradise: Cruising Guide to the Pacific Islands (Latitude 20 Books)South Pacific Anchorages 2nd ed.
We also had the above two books that we had picked up on ebay, but we didn't use them very often. Both were outdated, and had very little specific information on the anchorages that we wished to visit. There was some general info that was good pre-departure reading.
 Tahiti & French Polynesia (Country Guide) 
Of course, we also picked up a copy of the Lonely Planet guide to Tahiti and French Polynesia. This gave us more background and history of the areas we visited, and more direction on what to do once we arrived at these beautiful islands.

If you have other favorite cruising guides for this area, let me know, I'd love to hear about them.

I'll compile a similar list for our favorite books during our time in Mexico.