Yachting Monthly literary reviewer Julia Jones examines the first three books in the new Imray Explorer Guides range

Imray Explorer Guides
Tides, Tidal Streams, The Moon
William Thompson
Imray, £8.50 each £22 for three

These three small booklets represent an interesting new ‘explainer’ approach.

A very few concepts are introduced in each booklet with infographics, links to download and construct simple paper models, calculation pages and (most important) clues to lookout for in the real world.

The three booklets are closely linked by both style and content, with a significant amount of repetition being used to ensure that connections are made.

While readers may wonder at this use of paper, teachers will recognise an essential technique. It also means that the books can be read in any order.

Imray Explorer guides - Moon

Though common sense would suggest that Tides should come first I began with The Moon and enjoyed the different perspective.

The central concept being conveyed in Tides is that of the single long wave moving in great circles, profoundly affected by coast shapes, water depths and meteorological conditions.

The Moon inculcates understanding of the different characteristics of each phase and what can be learned from a glance upwards at the ‘tidetable in the sky’.

Continues below…

Tidal Streams explains (rather brilliantly I thought) why ebb tides happen and the direction of the stream changes when the main great wave still moves constantly in a single direction.

It’s especially useful for considering and calculating the time of slack water – not always as obvious as it might seem from tide tables.

William Thomson is a sailor, currently exploring the world with his young family and running www.tide-school.com.

Imray Explorer guides - Tidal Streams

He’s also a diving instructor and swimmer.

People use the sea and rivers in such a variety of ways – surfing, kite-surfing, paddle-boarding – each discipline having different needs for example to stay still when exploring a wreck, to move fast when sailing.

Understanding the basic concepts is helpful to all.

It’s perhaps easy to assume that the approach in these little books would best suit younger people as they learn to make sense of the marine world but too many of us older ones might rely on a a tables-based reference approach and will find it refreshing to make new links between what we know — from consulting a tidal stream atlas for example – and what we observe at the constricted entrance of a harbour.

More titles are planned for the Imray Explorer Guides series.

Buy Imray Explorer Guides: Tides at Imray

Buy Imray Explorer Guides: Tidal Streams at Imray

Buy Imray Explorer Guides: The Moon at Imray

Visit the Yachting Monthly Book Club for more of the best sailing books released this year.

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