Chart options for Alaska?

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by JohnAbercrombie, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I'm trying to figure out a straightforward way to get some paper charts for Alaska (Prince William Sound).
    Printing chart sections myself and laminating could be one option.
    I tried (just now) downloading Rose Coastal Explorer - the software that Denis Dwyer recommends, but it seems a very steep learning curve with basically no useful help within the software or online.
    I'm not about top shell out $500+CAD unless it does what I want, and perfectly!
    If anybody can point to instructions online, please do!
    Here's the 'default display':
    Coast explorer.JPG
    There are a couple of 'Trails Illustrated' charts of PWS from National Geographic; one is out of print.

    For some areas (not all) of PWS, 'booklet charts' can be downloaded from NOAA. It looks like I'd have to print those pages, tape them together and then cut them into pieces for laminating....

    Buying printed charts - from a print-on-demand dealer in the US - at high prices- will get me a mixture of charts in different scales to cover the area.

    (BTW, be thankful for our 'backward' CHS that allows me to bike down to my chart dealer and buy top quality charts with good coverage, at reasonable prices!!)

    I'd appreciate suggestions!
    Thanks!
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    John wrote: For some areas (not all) of PWS, 'booklet charts' can be downloaded from NOAA. It looks like I'd have to print those pages, tape them together and then cut them into pieces for laminating....

    That's what I would do. Same scale, right ? Once you are done, should be seamless use. I may have an overview chart still around from the summer my son ran the skiff on a seine boat, rolled up, for the overview which would complement your large scale, high detail renderings.

    The other way to go, since this is a one-off deal, would be to find someone with the SW that will meld what you need off the booklets, saving the pasting and cutting. After all, if it costs a hundred bucks Canadian, it also saves that much kn reduced mental health needs. ;)
     
  3. semdoug

    semdoug Paddler

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    Have you checked Captains Nautical in Seattle?
     
  4. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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  5. alexsidles

    alexsidles Paddler

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  6. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Thanks, everybody.
    Good suggestions; I'll follow up.
     
  7. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Thanks, Alex.
    They are quoting me $36 shipping charge of those two folded charts; I've sent an inquiry email and will report back what I hear on the shipping.
     
  8. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    John, that is the usual ripoff rate for cross border shipping. We encounter it routinely when shipping birthday presents, etc. to my son and his wife, located in Pemberton. If someone down here can pick it up and get reimbursed by you up there, saves a ton of money.
     
  9. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I received an email reply - FineEdge has an office in BC and can ship the charts more cheaply from there. I have a couple of other sources I've contacted. Stay tuned!
    :)
     
  10. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Dave-
    I don't mind (much) if it's the USPS Priority Parcel rates that are the problem; I can't blame that on the retailer. (The USPS rates, like the Canada Post rates have climbed steeply in the past few years. Government tells us inflation rate is 2%...yeah, right!)
    It does 'get me' when the retailer charges me a lot for shipping and I get the parcel with the USPS rate showing (usually they hide it nowadays) and it's 1/5 of what the retailer charged. Sometimes it's just a poorly designed website at fault; other times it verges on old fashioned gouging.
     
  11. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Been gouged by many, shipping parcels S to N. The USPS rates, to Canada, went up a lot, a few years back. Out of nowhere. OTOH, simple letters are not assessed a high postage, just about double the rate for in-country mail.

    Basically, we now pick stuff out of the MEC catalog and use plastic to pay for it, or send them gift certificates.

    This high rate for shipping applies going the other way, also, I believe. I wonder to what extent this shipping tariff affects purchases of big ticket items like kayaks? I know years ago, many of us lusted after CD boats, but the high costs of buying in Canada put us off ... even people who lived 50 miles below the border. Much of that was the GST, but shipping was expensive, also.

    PS: this is all of topic, so I am done commenting.
     
  12. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    My first post rambled around plenty, so don't worry! :)
     
  13. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    For the Douglass Cruising Charts, I contacted Cave Art Press (in Anacortes) directly. I'm just in the process of getting the PayPal payment to them now. Price was excellent and shipping quote was very reasonable.
    Email:
    info@caveartpress.com
     
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  14. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    The charts arrived today, and they seem useful. Scale of the main chart is 2 miles to the inch, so quite small, but there are many inset (B&W) diagrams of anchorages. Certainly good for planning, and with a working mapping GPS for details and finding campsite waypoints, they could go a long way toward solving the navigation requirements.
     
  15. alexsidles

    alexsidles Paddler

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    John,

    The system you just described is exactly the one I used to go up the Inside Passage: a route planning map from Fine Edge (Douglass Cruising Charts), plus a GPS loaded with Topo maps. I didn't even bother with preloaded campsite waypoints. Instead, I just used the map and the GPS to estimate where a good beach was likely to be each day. No guidebooks or any other information. My system worked great, and the planning maps I used were ten miles to the inch. Your maps have considerably higher precision.

    You could also consider bringing Paul Twardock's guidebook to paddling Prince William Sound. Twardock has good, generalized advice about areas that have good campsites versus areas in which campsites are hard to find or difficult of use. He does not provide Kimantas-style mapping of each campsite and point of interest. In fact, Twardock's maps are quite poor, with the exception of a very useful map in the beginning that shows all the native corporation lands. He also shows all the public cabins, which would be nice to check out, although reservations are recommended.

    Twardock organizes his book by itinerary rather than by geography, which makes the book hard to use for longer trips: Paddling a Whittier to Valdez route, for example, would have the reader flipping back and forth between the Whittier section, the Valdez section, and the special Whittier–Valdez section. It's cumbersome, but a cumbersome guidebook is better than no guidebook at all, assuming you're a guidebook person.

    Alex
     
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  16. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Alex-
    I'm definitely a chart/GPS/guidebook person- I like to use whatever info I can find for planning!
    I have the Twardock book - it seemed a bit expensive, but once it arrived and I started reading, I was convinced it was well worth it.
     
  17. Jasper

    Jasper Paddler

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    I've been working on an app to help with trip planning (https://beta.seamammal.net) alas, the printing functionality is not quite there (yet!).
    I currently use Qgis (https://www.qgis.org/en/site/) for most of my chart work, it's free but has quite a learning curve.
    I could whip up some tabloid sized charts that you could have printed and laminated locally if that helps?
     
  18. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Thanks, Jasper. I appreciate the offer, but don't do any work just for me.
    I'll have a look at those links you posted.
    I've been playing around with the NOAA downloads: the .pdf booklet charts and the full-size .kap files.
    If I could print from my Bluechart SD card in HomePort it would help, but that's not an easy possibility (or possibility at all?). A friend ended up printing screenshots from HomePort.
    If it comes to that, I may eventually just order some print-on-demand NOAA charts. If there was NOAA continuous coverage at a convenient scale from Whitter to Valdez (N PrinceWilliamSound), I would have done that already.
     
  19. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    UPDATE:
    The price when I ordered from Cave Art Press was TWO (East and West) charts for $19.95 USD , and the postage charge was very reasonable. So, for a couple of sets (4 charts in all) shipped to Victoria from Anacortes, it cost me $64 CAD.