Our first couple of years cruising in Mexico, there was one book that went everywhere with me. When I was on the boat, it was on the nav station, right next to the radio. Whenever I left the boat, it went with me. I used it every day.
As you probably guessed, it was Kathy Parsons’ Spanish for Cruisers. At the Annapolis Sailboat Show, I had the opportunity to meet Kathy in person (we’d previously “chatted” via e-mail and phone) and I got to see the second edition of Spanish for Cruisers.
I thought the first edition was pretty all-inclusive, but the second edition takes it to a whole new level. Of particular note — since this is TBG, after all — is the chapter on provisioning with 25 pages of foods and other essential words, which is a wonderful addition to the book. While you can get some of this in a standard English-Spanish dictionary, it’s really helpful to have it all together and include all those extra words such as “canned,” “smoked,” “dried” and so on.
If you are going to be cruising in Spanish-speaking waters — or having Spanish-speaking workers on your boat in Florida, Texas or southern California — you simply have to have this book. Even if you’re fairly fluent in Spanish, I’ll bet that it includes words you’ve never seen in a conventional Spanish class, but that you’ll need in dealing with repairs, radio calls, weather reports and mechanical discussions.
It’s going to be one of the most dog-eared books on the boat — it was for me! (I mean that as a compliment — Kathy has put together one of the great reference books for cruisers. If you’re traveling to French-speaking islands, be sure to get her French for Cruisers — available on Amazon.)