Some strong defence of Nicholson's in yesterday's comments. I think Cap'n Ahab summed it up best by saying that it was Nicholson's for the head and Pearson's for the heart. I'm also a supporter of Pearson because he's the underdog in terms of size and distribution and his product feels more home made. While I'm on the topic I ought to mention the BW Boater's Guides, which you can download from Waterscape.com. Brief and succinct, these short guides give you accurate gen on visitor moorings, water points etc. I generally print one off when going somewhere new.
Halfie, like me is busy planning forthcoming cruising, and I suspect he does what I do, which is not only to look at the "official" guides, but at what other bloggers have written. Apart from the occasional cruise reports which spread on over sometimes weeks of posts, there are three standing collections that everyone should look at.
The first is The Tuesday Night Club, because they have literally been everywhere and recorded the lot in photos and comment. Even the tiniest backwater has been explored and documented.
Next there is Sue and Richard's informal but excellent Indigo Dream Rough Guide to Moorings. Every time they stop overnight, or leave the boat for a few day, they log a comment on the facilities, and safety of the moorings and things like the pubs they tried. Such a simple idea, but brilliantly useful, especially if you are concerned about towpath oiks etc. Interestingly despite the gloom and doom mongers on Narrowboat World and the like, they virtually always have "no problems" to report.
Speaking of No Problems (neat segue or what !?), we move on to the other Sue. Apart from listing boatyards and their diesel sales policy, she recently has started a very useful list of places where you can do your waste recycling by the canal. Not only that but her guide to the river Nene is much better than any printed guide I have seen.
I realise I haven't even mentioned the daddy of them all - Canalplan. Not only all the data on distances and cruising times, but a super gazetteer too. And . .that's where I got the data to create my Canalometers (neat segue no2) ( Follow my link ( right) to the Herbie Files and you'll find some there as well as my list of GU pubs (surprise surprise) and restaurants. I need to redo all that stuff because I can't seem any more to get into those pages to edit them and I have some new Canalometers to upload. Bear with me.) See below
P.S. Two hours later: Right, I've figured out how to put PDF links on a special blog page using Google Docs and I've put my swanky new London canalometer up there as a trial. It looks OK so I'll begin to transfer over the others as time permits. You can see it by following the CanalOmeters link top left. More old ones are still stored under the old Herbie Files link for the time being.