Sailing Directions are basically written directions, describing the routes to be followed during coastal navigation and port approaches. They are also known as “Pilot Books” as they provide local knowledge of routes and landmarks which is normally provided by the local Pilots.
Typical Content of Admirality Sailing Directions is as follows
- Information about Navigation and local regulations.
- Navigation dangers and Hazards.
- Traffic in the area and operations.
- Charts covering the area.
- Various aids to Navigation in the covered area.
- Information about Pilotage.
- Radio facilities available in the area.
- Meaning of signals.
- Distress and Rescue details (SAR).
- Local Maritime Conditions.
- Currents, Tidal Streams and flow.
- Sea level and tides information.
- Information about sea and swell.
- Characteristics of Sea Water.
- Local Climate and weather.
- Various recommended routes from one point to other within the limit of Admirality Sailing Direction.
- Distance Tables.
- Any additional Local Regulations.
It is important for Passage Planning as it provides accurate local information , helpful for Navigation as well as weather which is normally not provided on charts. Also, it contains detailed pictures of the approaches and jetty which is very helpful for the Navigator, specially if the vessel is calling that port for the first time. All the information mentioned above can be advantageously used by the navigator to plan an efficient and safe route near the coast.