So we've been daysailing for a few years now, while we've been restoring/refitting the ol' gal to get her ready for a big trip. We're based in Belgium, and have set our minds on an Atlantic crossing
in 2016 to the Caribbean
, returning across the Atlantic again in 2017.
After many, many hours of reading Jimmy Cornell's books
, the Atlantic crossing
guide and countless forum/blogposts I've come up with a general plan. It's a pretty standard "roundtrip Atlantic", with two little quirks I guess:
- Belgium - Falmouth in may-june 2016
- Biscay crossing when the weatherwindow is right (before september)
- Down the Spanish/Portugese/Morrocan coast to the Canaries
- Canaries to Cape Verde islands
- Detour up the Gambia river (or the Casamance river in Senegal)
- Atlantic crossing with landfall in Suriname (stopover in the Cape Verdes)
- Stopover in the Orinoco delta on our way North to the Caribbean
- Season of sailing in the Caribbean, working our way North to Antigua
- Crossing back over to the Azores (possible stopover in Bermuda)
- Azores to the UK (and home through the English Channel)
Since my only experience with "routeplanning" has been my shorter daysails, I'm a bit uncertain on how the finer points of planning such a route
work. The prevailing winds, weatherpatterns and oceanic currents obviously have a great inpact on the routeplan, but I assume there's more to it than just reading up on those and then picking a general direction and freestyling it towards the destination
... Certainly when sailing closer to shore and rounding capes I can imagine matters to be slightly more complex.
Anyway, how would you guys suggest going about working out the details of such a route-plan? Or better yet, is there anybody on here who's done a similar trip and would like to share his/her experiences with me?