What kind of field guides should you bring cruising? The question of on board references came from a reader recently. It’s a good one, and it made me think about how we flubbed it and didn’t have enough on board when we cut the docklines. Of course, everyone has different needs: some may not want any at all, and we probably skew above average. Here are the field guides that have earned their shelf space on Totem.
Sourcing guides for regional fauna has been much simpler than guides for landscape and flora. It’s a gap (I’d love to hear any recommendations!). In general this is covered in regional guides, but often not very well: it’s simply easier to find commentary in a country guide about the flora than a book on the subject intended for the casual visitor.
Every time we looked at the stunning geography of Baja, I wished we had a geologist on board! This has been a recurring theme ever since. Lacking a geologist in our crew, we brought a copy of Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Rocks and Minerals after our first year in Mexico. It helps, but a basic geology book would still be a good addition. The forms around us are sometimes so striking, they beg to be explained, yet we don’t always have the information available- and you can’t just “google it” from the middle of nowhere.
Our first year in Mexico, we really missed having good field guides. Somehow I manage to be continually late at getting the right books on board, but I’m getting better. Our global library grows over time, and we’ve shared regional books with those that followed us. Hopefully this helps others be more prepared than we were!
The links in this post to Amazon listings for each book include a referral from Totem. If you click through a link and subsequently make a purchase from Amazon, it throws a little change in our cruising kitty. Thank you for taking this into consideration, and helping to keep our family cruising!