The nautical instructions are official documents, published by the hydrographic services, bound for the navigators who attend the maritime zones and the ports under the responsibility of these services.
The nautical instructions contain in theory all the necessary informations with the navigator, like:
- physical description of the zone of navigation
- oceanographical and weather description (weather currents, winds, waves, modes, seasonal variations, risks of storms, cyclones, etc)
- main roads of navigation
- description of the separation devices of the traffic
- principal beaconing
- access to the ports and shelters
- various formalities to reach the ports
The nautical instructions must be used in complement of the Sea charts official, and of the Livres of fires (which count and describe the luminous beaconing and its characteristics).
Intended a priori for all the navigators, the nautical instructions in practice are rather directed towards the satisfaction of the needs for the navigation of trade more than the pleasure.
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