I was first introduced to Terry Sargent's Valhalla site( http://www.yachtvalhalla.net ) by Jane and Clive (s/y JaneG) in Port Dixon. This is a site that every cruiser really should visit. The amount of work Terry has put in to help us with electronic charting is staggering. From there I learned about GPSU and more recently the exciting possibilities of using Google Earth with Open CPN.
As I have written under the "Two Magical Things" link, this Library could not exist without Alan Murphy's amazing GPSU program (http://www.gpsu.co.uk ) and I am particularly grateful for Alan's patience with all my stupid questions.
We had not used other folk's tracks for planning purposes until Bluesipp's circumnavigation was nearly complete. Marge and Vic (s/y Ice Maiden) had given us a copy of s/y Alb's track when we were in Thailand but I didn't use it at all until we were approaching Salalah in Oman. And there in fact it - and my only slightly old chart, was misleading. The harbour wall had been lengthened by nearly 2km! Thereafter however Alb's track became a huge help when I was singlehanding up the Red Sea. The daily fresh head winds meant that starting well before first light was a near necessity. Having my own incoming track to an anchorage was almost essential and having Alb's in and out tracks was a great comfort indeed. Anyway all went well.
In addition to Alb, the names of all the other yachts that have contributed their tracks are included in the track descriptions and I have thanked them individually. Without their generosity this would be a pretty thin Library.
Having come to the conclusion that it would be an interesting project to try to collect tracks I was almost immediately puzzled about how to index the collection. In trying to develop a web site I read about making lists and constructing tables. It all seemed pretty clumsy. Then I came across s/y Balvenie's site. There Amanda has used Google Maps as an index for their excellent cruising Blog. And there suddenly was just what I was needing. So apart from being one of the most cheerful and efficient radio net controllers Amanda had solved a major problem for me. Many thanks Amanda.
Mark and Amanda have their Blog at http://yachtbalvenie.blogspot.com