Friday, October 24, 2014

Reader review of "Massacre in the Seine"

Hello again Tom

It has taken me a bit longer than expected due to other commitments, but I finished "Massacre in the Seine" late last night - what a page turner!

Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the book - it worked for me on multiple levels.

First, my great interest in European waterways (and French canals in particular) enhanced the reading experience as I could personally identify with some of the places encountered in your book.

Second, the plot was extremely well constructed with multiple twists and turns. The use of actual events, especially the Algerian situation, showed the quality of your research.

Thirdly, your writing style is compact and easy to follow. The excellent use of dialogue added greatly to developing your main characters.

Lastly, the book was very well paced. Even the quieter sections generated lots of interest, and as the climax built, it was riveting. Well done!

I hope you have another tale underway, or at least working on the screenplay for "Massacre". It would make a terrific movie.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

A ‘Cruising Thriller’ Novel by Tom Sommers

I am pleased to announce that, after 14 years of producing cruising guides for the waterways of Europe, I have now completed a novel, a virtual trip from Groningen, Netherlands, to the Mediterranean at Saintes Maries de la Mer and on to a destination at Toulouse. The book is written with my usual attention to accuracy of geography, history & place.

It's the story of Piet Roefs, a Dutchman has retired after 30 years on the Rotterdam Seaport Police and left a loveless marriage to seek a new life in the south of France. He travels on his Dutch tugboat from the far northern corner of the Netherlands south through Holland, Belgium, and France to the Med. He ends up in Toulouse, finding a new love, new friends and new experiences, but also becomes involved in a terrorist plot for revenge on the police of Paris.

Because of the French history that Piet learns about in Toulouse the novel is titled Massacre in the Seine and subtitled A Dutchman in Toulouse. You can view details of the book here:

Buyers will receive a copy signed by author if ordered from that web page. The book is also available in most countries on Amazon (paperback and Kindle versions) and Apple iBookstore; search by title or author.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Another Comment from a EuroCanals subscriber

Tom -

As someone who recently bought a canal boat and knows nothing about canal boating in Europe, I subscribed to your online library. Last night I spent about five hours reading about the Netherlands — where my boat is now — and parts of France. Your guides are providing me with exactly the kind of information that I've been looking for but not finding, or at least not finding in such a clear and understandable form, in other books on the subject. In particular, I love the suggested routes for each area, as they give order and clarity to what otherwise would be just be an overwhelming amount of information.

Thanks, Richard

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Comment from a EuroCanals subscriber

Hallo Tom

I am back in Norway with my boat. We started at Losne May the 5. Went Doubs to Basel , Strasbourg, Saar, Mosel, Rheine, Holland, EMS, Oldenburg, Weser-Elbe canal. Kiel and home thru Lillebelt in Denmark. Sweden and home in the west coast of Norway. Thank you for your help the 4 seasons I have traveled on the rivers and canals. Your maps and info have been good to have.

Kind regards

Thursday, August 7, 2014

USB Flash Drive replaces CD-ROM

I am today the owner of a new Apple 27" iMac; it replaces my early-2007 Mac Mini. I was forced to do it because the hardware in the Mini is now so outdated that many applications cannot be updated. Even Safari and Google Chrome web browsers are no longer supported. Besides, I am eagerly looking forward to the terrific new screen, along with a huge increase in RAM and memory.

I write this news because it has convinced me to switch from offering the EuroCanals Guides on CD-ROM, which I have done since 2003, to a USB Flash Drive. I have been thinking about doing this for a while, then when I researched Macs on the Apple website I noticed that only one Mac model still includes a built-in CD drive, the 13" MacBook Pro. And I am sure that Apple will drop the CD drive on the next update of that model.

Since many users of the EuroCanals Guides take a laptop on their travels, and many of them are Mac users, it now is more convenient to use the Flash Drive instead of a CD-ROM. It seems a good bet that ALL laptops now include a USB port, so usability is guaranteed. And the flash drive is smaller, more easily transported and more durable.

Another benefit is that the EuroCanals Guides take up only 1 GB on the 8 GB flash drive, so users have plenty of space to add their own files. On my own flash drive I have installed PDF files of paper charts and chartbooks (from other publishers) for all European waterways. Now I have full information on all European waterways in my pocket.

EuroCanals Guides display very well on smartphones and tablets, however none of those devices (so far) include a standard USB Type A port, because there is not enough space on the device. The guides can be installed in those devices by syncing through a laptop or desktop computer, or by direct download from the EuroCanals website.

See the flash drive here:

The flash drive case shown in the photos will eventually be customized with the EuroCanals logo.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

EuroCanals maps for Belgium

The skipper of WB Avalon is using the EuroCanals Guides while cruising across Belgium, and posting frequently on the blog

The post of May 20 shows the EuroCanals maps for the area cruised so far.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


A few weeks ago I received this email message:

Let me introduce myself, I am Valerio, naval architect, sailor and owner of a old dutch boat ....
I am part of a crew of boaters/moviemaker/communication experts.

We are setting up a project called GINGER / EUROPE IS AN ARCHIPELAGO.

We will sail an old dutch steel yacht, built in 1965, from the north of Holland to Ventotene island. A small tiny island, 20 miles offshore, half way between Rome and Naples. On this island there was a prison; in this prison Mr Spineli wrote the European Community manifesto.

During the trip we will collect interviews/images/stories/ to answer the question: "Europe is an archipelago?" All the material will be turned into a documentary and then an open archive. This is a social project, run by a network created with the social media.

I kindly invite you to visit our website and to follow us on facebook:

kind regards, Valerio

EuroCanals Publishing has joined this project by donating a subscription to the EuroCanals Guides Online Library, which the crew has utilized to plan a route from Amsterdam south along the canals and rivers of the Netherlands, Belgium and France to the Mediterranean Sea. The project and the route are described in a PDF document which can be downloaded from the website.

Ginger will weigh anchor in Amsterdam on the 26th of April 2014. We wish them a successful cruise and look forward to viewing the documentary.

Tom Sommers