After reading two articles about the Down East Circle Route, I decided I needed to know more about this cruise and the book about it by Nova Scotian Captain Cheryl Barr. When I got the guide, I was hooked on the guide, which is almost as good as I think the cruise will be. Best of all, you can enjoy it in the comfort of your easy chair.

The book is well written and is not so much a cruising guide as a narrative of the things you can see and do on the cruise with navigational information included. It takes you from New York Harbor up the Hudson River to the Erie Canal, through the Erie Canal to Oswego to Kingston, Ontario, through the Thousand Islands, out the St. Lawrence around the Gaspé Peninsula, back through Nova Scotia, Maine, the Cape Cod Canal, and to your point of origin in New York. Each segment is illustrated with pictures, charts, and an excellent description of what you will encounter along the way. There are excellent recommendations for places of interest, methods of handling the tides, currents, and locks and small, detailed descriptions of why “bluenoses” are called “bluenoses.”

All in all, a most enjoyable cruising guide that is much more than just a guide but an excellent narrative, well written and entertaining in its own right.

A Complete Cruising Guide to the Down East Circle Route by Cheryl Barr (Yachot Pilot Publishing, 2004; 198 pages)