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Old 16-02-2012, 16:42   #1
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Winter North Atlantic Passage - A Bad Idea

I am a former Coast Guardsman who has done both the International Ice Patrol and Ocean Station duty through some unbelievably bad weather.

For those tempted to do very late fall or too early spring passages, dont be tempted. I have seen storms where the average wave was 30 to 40 foot; often a verticle wall of water .... every half hour you will get a series of two or three 60 plus foot waves..... one time we hit a very bad storm that repeatedly broached our Cutter........that was in the last week of January "67

And oh yes, once you have seen one Ice Burg you have seen them all.....
the most dangerous ice burgs are the "burgy-bits" about the size of a duplex house...... you cant see them until you are right on top of them......

Lewis in San Diego
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Old 17-02-2012, 09:37   #2
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Re: Winter North Atlantic Passage - A Bad Idea

Is there any data on how many yacht owners attempt this? After hearing my late father's tales of merchant convoy crossings in Jan/Feb. storms, where bashing off the weight of accumulated frozen sea spray was more anxious work than looking for U-boats, I had not seriously considered picking any but the safer months of late spring/early summer.

In other words, I'm not sure who seriously considers this in the first place outside of commercial traffic.
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Old 17-02-2012, 13:41   #3
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Re: Winter North Atlantic Passage - A Bad Idea

Lewis, Have you any evidence that Yachts are trying this. I haven't heard of any.

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