From my earliest days in the eariest days, in 1956, I had the exploratory interest. I was regularly finding errors in the charts and correcting them, then sending the information to the British and American Hydrographic Offices. In some areas the U.S. charts gave better coverage than the British Charts, and in other areas the British Charts gave better coverage than the U.S. charts. Also the French Charts on the area of Martinique to Guadeloupe were far superior to either the British or the American charts. As a result I ended up carrying with me roughly 200 charts made up of British, U.S., French and a few Dutch. Each time whenever I wrote or updated my guides I listed areas where I had found errors in the charts. Each time I would obtain a new set of charts only to discover that the errors were still in the charts. They had not been corrected.
In 1979 I approached Stanford the private British company who produce their own charts to see if they would be interested in doing charts of the eastern Caribbean. I was turned down flat by Stanford. Then next booth in the London Boat Show was the Imray booth. I went in to the Imray booth, and discussed the situation with the late Tom Wilson and his wife Ettie, and they decided that as Imray had made charts of the Caribbean in the 18th Century and sold the rights to the British Admiralty, so it might be a good idea to try again. We signed a contract and off to the races.
At that time the British, American and French Hydrographic charts were based on surveys of the mid to late 19th Century with a considerable number of errors in them. Further, they had not been very well laid out. For example one American layout broke the Gorda Sound in half between two charts; One British layout broke cut Bequia Harbour in half; the British chart of the Grenadines ended one mile south of West End, Bequia so you could not use that chart to layout your course from Canouan to Bequia but had to switch to the next size up and then needed a magnifying glass to find Canouan and Bequia! My solution to this was to glue on a piece of paper to the top of the chart with an X showing the position of West End Bequia. Further, the government charts would have one chart showing the islands, then a separate chart for the harbours.
Needless to say, when I laid out the Imray-Iolaire charts I laid them out in the fashion that would be useful to the average yachtsman. Thus we put in the blank areas of the charts inserts of the harbour charts for the relevant islands. All ranges/transits were laid out in magnetic rather than true readings —find me a navigator who hasn't made the mistake in coverting true to magnetic or magnetic to true— Any navigator who claims never to have made a mistake in this calculation is a either a liar or hasn't navigated too often. Some people complain that this is not proper as the magnetic variation changes each year. However, the magnetic variation is so small each year, that it would take 5-6 years to change one degree. —Find me the yachtsman who can either take a bearing accurate to one degree, or steer a course accurate to one degree.
Further, the charts are printed on waterproof paper, and on the back of the charts one can find sailing directions for inter island sailing, piloting directions plus tidal directions.
By setting charts up in the above fashion I reduced the number of chart stock on Iolaire from somewhere over 200 down to 54. Giving the same coverage, all updated and all accurate.
Twice a year we supply to all our chart agents a summary of the corrections that have occurred the previous six months. These corrections will be published on this web site approximately every six months.
We have also done charts of the Atlantic Islands. Each island group is covered by one single chart and in the margin of the chart you will find the harbour plan for the harbours of each individual island. Over the last ten years there has been a tremendous expansion of harbours and marinas in the Atlantic islands. Thus we are redoing our Atlantic Island charts and on the back of these charts you will find the plans for all the harbours in the island group. In this way we are keeping each island group covered by a single chart.
Meeting the changing demands......
Finally, we are in the process of compiling a new TransAtlantic Chart of Gnomic Projection, where a straight line is a great circle course. It is amazing when looking at a course line of Gnomic Projection: Bermuda to the Azores, if you swing north to pick up the prevailing westerlies you discover you are very close to the southern limit of the ice bergs. On the face of this chart we will be showing the position of distinctive icebergs that have been recorded through the years. One of them almost reached Bermuda and a number of them have drifted down as low as 30°.
Also on this chart are shown the major port to port courses, for going both eastwards and westwards across the Atlantic
On the back of this chart you will find weather charts for May, June and July; October, November and December. We are only showing those months, as boats should not be trying to cross the Atlantic, sailing to or from the Caribbean outside those months. The weather charts will not only show roses for every 5° square, but it will also show the areas and frequencies where gales are expected, also areas and frequency where waves can be exptected of 12 feet or more. May, June and July weather information will show where the icebergs can be expected, and areas where the growlers have been recorded regularly. There will be brief sailing descriptions of the various routes to and from the Caribbean, from the United States and Panama. Plus the transAtlantic routes. This chart will be available hopefully by the fall 2003.
Notice to Mariners are published. They will appear on this web site twice a year.
ERRORS IN BRITISH ADMIRALITY CARIBBEAN CHARTS AS ACERTAIND BY D M STREET JNR., WHO HAS SPENT THE LAST 50 YEARS CRUISING, EXPLORING, CHARTERING AND WRITING ABOUT THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN.
In 2004 the British Admiralty brought out a set of Caribbean leisure charts.
D. M. Street Jnr., went through them carefully and made a list of all the errors he found. He gave the list to a number of Imray Iolaire chart agents.
That list of errors somehow or other ended up back in the Admiralty hands.
They admitted IN PRINT IN NOVEMBER 2004 Yachting Monthly, that there were errors in the British Admiralty Leisure Charts. They said the errors would be corrected using satellite imagery. However, they continued to sell uncorrected harts that THEY KNEW TO BE IN ERROR!!!!!!!!
In 2006 they reissued the charts, the errors had not been corrected.
In contrast to the errors noted in the British Admiralty Charts twice in the winter of 2007 it was announced in The Compass that Imray was completely redrawing the Imray Iolaire Charts electronically as the Head Draughtsman Alan Wilkenson who has been working for Imray for 48 years was coming up for retirement. It was requested in The Compass, the free nautical newspaper that is distributed throughout the Caribbean, that sailors that knew of any errors in Imray Iolaire Charts, would they please contact D M Street Jnr., at firstname.lastname@example.org. No corrections or suggestions regarding changes have been received. Thus, it can only be assumed that the Imray Iolaire Charts are correct.
THE US COAST GUARD USES IMRAY IOLAIRE CHARTS WHY DON’T YOU.
MCA Compliant Yachts are required by law to carry on board the British Admiralty Charts relevant to their area. BUT THE VAST MAJORITY OF OLD TIME CAPTAINS THAT HAVE A LOT OF TIME IN THE CARRIBBEAN THOUGH THEY CARRY ONBOARD THE BRITISH ADMIRALITY CHARTS, THE CHARTS THEY USE ARE THE IMRAY IOLAIRE CHARTS.
Talk to Brian Harrison of Dione Star, Phil Richards of Chanti al Mar, Mark Fitzgerald of Sojana, Phil Wade of Timoneer 11, Hans Hoff (now retired), John Barden of Creole, Jessica (now Adix) Shenandoah, Steve Carson of Adela, Steve Goss of Adix, they and many others rely on Imray Iolaire Charts rather than the British Admiralty Charts. There follows the list of errors found, and there are probably others.
ERRORS BA LEISURE CHARTS
5641.12 Barbuda area south and southwest of Spanish Point nuts area east of Toucan Rock nuts. Customs is in Codrington not at the small boat harbour, area west of Cocoa Point Nuts. Hotel east of Martello Tower, derelict and overgrown, Martello Tower not shown.
5642.2 No information on River Salee, three bridges not shown, no opening times, river depths, nothing.
5642.6 Saints Shipyard in Marigot Bay, derelict, abandoned ten years ago or more. Guadalope no info River Salee nor is the new harbour Port Louis shown, completed about Oct / Nov 2005.
5642.9 Fort de France inadequate coverage, few soundings
5642.10 Yacht anchorage established by Fort Louis about late 05 not shown and it is important yachts only anchor in yacht anchorage because of ferry traffic. Wreck in Anse Mitane gone for over 20 years, Trois Islet anchorage not shown.
5642.11 NE Marin Nuts St Ann forbidden anchorage not shown.
5643.9 Rodney Bay channel dredged to 12' about 2000 or 2001, Castries yacht centre gone 10 years ago, depths in St. Croix Roads nuts (north side by Pigeon Island and causeway,
5643.7 St. Vincent Blue Lagoon SW channel 2.7m – No 11'
5643.8 Cannouan Hotel and big dock for Mooring Fleet not shown. Bequia Admiralty Bay soundings north side of bay nuts. There has not been a BA chart agent in Bequia for 15 years. Belmont Shoal not correctly shown.
5643.9 Shoal north of Admiralty Bay Petite Martinique does not exist. 1.6m shoal in south east entrance to PSV anchorage does not exist. Shoal west of Palm Island has only 7/8' over it, range/transit to avoid this shoal on Imray Iolaire chart and Streets Guide. No ranges/transits to enter the south entrance for Tobago Bays.
5643.10 Hillsboro works in progress 1994 completed 2003 or 2004, no range transit shown to avoid shoal off Craigston Point, shoal has nabbed a number of boats. Tyrell Bay scale no good, construction in progress north east corner of harbour since 2004 not shown nor Grenadine Yacht Services that has been hauling boats since about 1998.
5643.11 Halifax harbour no overhead wire shown
5643.12 St. David’s harbour has been buoyed since 2004. 8' rock entrance to Port Egmont not shown, nor rock south of Port Saline, no one knows exactly where the rock is but there is a box on the Imray Iolaire chart has a warning, Iolaire, Kim and a number of boats drawing 7'6'' have bounced off it and kept going.
New marinas Spice Island. Boat yard moved 2003, Imray Iolaire chart completely up to date as Mick Jarold of Lilly Maid and Alan Hooper brought it up to date giving GPS positions for all new buoys BUT there is a warning not to trust the buoyage system as it may not be well maintained. No ranges / transit shown on BA Charts to avoid rocks and shoals to enter harbours. Imray Iolaire is loaded with ranges and transits.
5640.3 Entrance to Paraquita Lagoon is listed as depth 06m yet when hurricane approaches the Tortola bare boat fleet uses this as a hurricane hole so draft must be 7' or a little more.
5640.4 St Johns construction dredging south of Moravian Point has been in progress for about 2 years to create new commercial harbour south of Cruz Bay. Mary Creek marked 06m yet there is 6’ at bar more inside, Jersey Bay noted buoyed channel but no depth, depth 6/7'
5640.8 Road Reef Marina marked 03 and 04m yet it has been the home of Tortola Marine Management charter fleet for twenty years. We have sailed Iolaire drawing 7' 6'' in and out of there late 80’s early 90’s.
The British Admiralty stated that they sent a survey crew to Roadtown to survey the harbour for new chart but above error???? land fill about 200' out into harbour between hospital and Government house not noted. Plus construction in progress north side of harbour. Dredging and marina in Sea Cow Bay not shown. 10' channel dredged 2004.
5640.9 Anguilla Pt. shoal across channel shows 2m yet Iolaire and other boats drawing 7/8' have used this channel for over 40 years. Oyster Rock has been buoyed for 10 or more years.
5640.10 Check Imray Iolaire chart A234 does not agree with BA chart.
No space to tell story as to how I developed the C’stead Harbour chart, but Imray Iolaire is correct. Dish antenna excellent landmark eastern end of St. Croix not shown. Reefs on north east coast not quite correct Imray Iolaire from NOAA unpublished survey 1982, BA chart from NOAA 1932 survey!!!!!
5640.10 Overhead cable in Krum Bay was there when I first arrived in St. Thomas November 1956!!!!! not shown on BA chart
5641.2 Falmouth harbour depths off, no plans for any of three marinas, Ordinance bay English Harbour dredged (allegedly) to 18' summer 06.
5641.3 St Barts Ile De La Pointe reefs wrong, Gustavia sounding absolutely nuts.
5641.5 Anguilla no light Windward point for 20 years. Anguilla point light out for at least 10 if not more years
5641.6 Depths between Ilet Pinel and Petite Cliff wrong. Iolaire has sailed through here. Rock off Pt Molley Smith that has nailed a lot of boats, rock not shown.
5641.7 St Martin Marigot new breakwater at Ft. Louis marina not shown, basically completed March 06. Depths in harbour nuts channel from the north French side to the south Dutch side in Simson Lagoon not shown. This was dredged at least 25 years ago. Depth of channel into lagoon on French side not shown, nor is bridge width shown. Depths in Oyster Pond nuts, same Groot Baai. Entrance channel depth and bridge width Dutch side not shown.
5641.9 St. Kitts Nevis harrows, no ranges transits shown for clearing shoals in the narrows, nor do shoals match up with Imray Iolaire cross check I would not go through the harrows on BA chart. Old British Admiralty charts had excellent ranges/transits to clear dangers in narrows – why eliminated on modern charts?
5641.10 English Harbour leading lights have been out for years.
5641.11 Crabs Marina and yard have been out of business for at least five years.
ERRORS IN BA BIG SHIP CHARTS
130 Anguilla light north east end of island has been out for years as also Light Road Harbour.
197 St Criox Roadstead north side depths nuts, Rodney Bay Harbour dredged to 12' entrance channel 2002/03, light at Veux Fort has been out for years. Massive new development in Marigot Bay.
254 Barbuda, whole area south of Spanish Point nuts, same Coco Pt Gravenor Bay. R/T in Codrington good landmark not shown shoal area east of Tucon Rock not correct.
371 Martinique Fort de France inadequate works in progress finished years ago new yacht anchorage not shown, wreck in Anse Mitan gone 20 years ago, Trois Ilet depth nuts.
470 Mona passage OK.
474 Chagaramus yacht restricted anchorage not shown. Heavy fines are levied for anchoring outside of restricted are, ruined pier Caranage Bay has been rebuilt to attract mega yachts, done about 2000.
478 Puerto Rico, Bahia Jobos, Boca de Inferno, depths nuts
487 Serpents Mouth don’t know
485 St. Croix from US NOAA 1932 charts, Imray Iolaire chart from unpublished NOAA 1982 survey, plus exploration by Iolaire 1990, with information supplied by local yachtsman, plus dredge company survey of C’stead Harbour which was not correct dredging. They did not put the dredging on the north eastern side of harbour on survey turned over to harbour department. D M Street Jnr re-surveying in dinghy found and corrected errors
487 Saba Fort Bay probably correct
489 St Kittis Nevis excellent ranges to avoid shoals that were on the old Admiralty charts have been deleted but they are still on Imray Iolaire charts
491 Marie Galante depths in Grand Borg completed out, does not show breakwater built 2004, or new marinas established 2005
494 Martinique Cul de Sac Marin completely out of date, at least 15 years out of date
502 Barbados no good information on Port St. Charles they just refer to admiralty sailing directions
505 Tobago, crosscheck with Imray Iolaire chart Imray Iolaire correct
508 Tobago no depths in harbour
583 Sombrero to St. Kitts light eastern end of Anguilla out for years
584 St Barts to Antigua OK
585 Nevis to Guadalopue OK
593 Guadalopue crosscheck with Imray Iolaire, Imray Iolaire correct
594 Guadalopue to Martinique OK
506 Martinique to St. Vincent lights NE and SE ends of St. Vincent either out or should be marked very unreliable. St. Lucia light Moule a Chique/Veu Fort has been out for years.
597 St. Vincent to Grenada. La Felicadad shoal not 5 meters but 15' if 58 La Felicadad probably would not have hit. Depths between Peteit Martinique and Petit St. Vincent nuts
618 Southern Grenadines to the Saints scale such that you cant pick out errors.
697 Dominica light on Scotts Head re-established about 2004 plus very distinctive strobe lights established about the same time not shown
797 Grenada warning on 7' rock south of Pt Saline, hit by Iolaire , Kim and a few other boats not shown, nor warning given. Grenville no range (was on old chart, deleted on new chart, no progress, going backwards) no ranges, no new fishing pier , built 2003
793 Cannouan Moorings base dock hotel not shown, La Felicadad shoal shown 58 whilst in actuality it is 15'.
794 Union Island Frigate Island is shown as an island but it was connected to the mainland Union Island by a causeway about 1994.
795 Carriacou to Grenada Hillsbore noted works in progress 1995, things go slow in Caribbean but the 95 works in progress were completed about 1998, no warning on semi-active volcano off Isle de Ronde. That warning should have gone one about 2003 or before. Shoal north of Petite Martinique between Petite Martinique and Petite St. Vincent nuts check Imray Iolaire chart, PSV anchorage nuts, shoal water south east entrance to PSV anchorage nuts. No range to clear shoal east of Craigstone Point Carriacou, shoal periodically nails boats. No detailed plan Tyrall Bay. Wreck shown in Tyrell Bay gone by 1995, combination worms and hurricane.
799 Grenada St. Georges harbour GYS derelict since 95. St. Vincent Blue Lagoon SW entrance is 11’ but warning should be given about obtaining a free pilot from Barefoot, TTM TTM of Sunsail. Admiralty Bay depths north side of harbour nuts.
804 Guadalopue Pointe a Pitre depths at entrance north side of river Salee dubious, all three bridges not shown, no warning about being stuck between the bridges, Carenage depths nuts. New harbour at Fort Louis, not shown, built 2005.
1025 Guadalopue to Anguilla, Anguilla lights out for years.
1042 Monserrat to St. Lucia OK.
1043 St. Lucia to Barbadoes, St. Lucia and St. Vincent lights out or should be marked very unreliable.
1480 Tobago to Tortuga probably OK no detail.
1963 Venezuela same.
2005 BVI Road Harbour, nuts across check against Imray Iolaire, Brenner Bay buoyed channel no depths Enghen Pond dredged and 12' buoyed channel 2006 Sea Cow Bay 10' buoyed channel dredged 2004 Cruz Bay no depths, Mary Creek 04 6' over bar 8' inside West End, no marina shown marina there since 1990.
2006 All US and BVI one chart scale such that no detail so can not pick our any errors.
2020 Road Town, Road Reef marina marked 04. That was dredged out 8/9' about 1980 to 83. Buoyed 8' channel not shown Sea Cow Bay dredged to 10' about 2004, Nanny Bay shown as 24 dredged to 12' 2005 but one 11.6' rock still in channel. Paraquita Lagoon entrance marked 04 but there is 6' plus a bit. Maya Cove depths nuts. Virgin Gorda area between Anguilla Pt. and Mosquito Island marked 18 yet Iolaire, Te Hongi and Poseiden all drawing 7' plus a bit have used this entrance since back in the 60’s see Streets Guide Puerto Rico co Spanish US and BVI page 204/06/ for directions. Oyster Rock has been buoyed since about 2000. Passage south of Saba Rock has 9' not 24m.
2047 Lights Road Harbour and at eastern end of Anguilla have been out for years.
2064 Antigua Ordinance Bay dredged supposedly to 18' summer of 06. Buoys Falmouth Harbour not correct, no warning about unreliable buoys. Falmouth Harbour range lights can not be seen too low and too much back lighting, English Harbour range lights have been out since about 2003. Crabbs Marina gone since about 2000.
2065 Crabbs as noted above.
2079 Anguilla Road Bay light gone, Oyster Pond depths west side nuts marigot southern breakwater on marina built 2006 not shown, depths Marigot Bay way out, no controlling depth in channel into lagoon nor bridge width given, nor 7' channel connecting north and south parts of Simson Lagoon shown despite it being dredged back in the late 80’s Philipsburgh depths nuts, Breakwater north of Pelican pt Simpson Bay not shown built back in late 80’s no controlling depth of channel into Simson Lagoon, nor bridge widths, depths in lagoon not shown nor are marina show that were built in 95 to 2000.
Gustavia depths completely wrong. Depths on inner harbour are at least forty years out of date. West side baulkhead for yachts 2003 shoal water west of Ile de La Pointe, shoal does not exist.
2452 Tortola to Culebra scale such that errors cannot be pin pointed.
2485 Barbados OK.
3408 Puerto Rico general scale such that errors cannot be checked.
2183 St Thomas passage between Hassel Island and St. Thomas 48 nuts, boats drawing 10' have to proceed at dead slow. Krum Bay obstructed by cable since early 50’s, no buoy on Packet Rock, that was buoyed when I first arrived in VI in 1956. Yacht Haven rebuilt 2006.