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Old 26-01-2012, 01:17   #1
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Gibraltar to UK in the summer

Does anyone have an idea about the best route sailing from Gibraltar (S Portugal) up to the English channel in July? I know it's quite a short trip, but I only have until early August until I need to be back home in Scandinavia.

I don't want to have a constant "tack route", preferably try to find sailable winds, that even with a detour would lead me to where I want.
I have an idea myself, but I could also have use of your experiences.
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Old 26-01-2012, 02:13   #2
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Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

Here are the bare facts...
Pick up area and month, click to have the 0,5x0,5 panel and hover your mouse on the map to get the wind rose...

(not easy, done Gib to North Brittany on a 38', the Portuguese 'trade winds' are mostly againt you, maybe a large loop towards the Azores to start with, wouldn't fancy to do it again, I want straight through, though...)

Climatology of Global Ocean Winds - COGOW
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Old 26-01-2012, 02:58   #3
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Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

Most of the time motoring. From Gib to Sao Vicente reasonable winds, hence the Portuguese North which is not always north but in July not existent (sometimes) or weak. Biscaya is better sailing, but the nursery of all (bad) weather are the Azores.

Certainly do-able. Gib-La Coruna = abt 4-6 days, under engine abt 4; La Coruna - Falmouth approx 3 days give and take a day or so.
The return trip to UK is always worse than the go to the Med.
Take for the whole a fortnight. That should cover any eventualities.
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Old 26-01-2012, 03:51   #4
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Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

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Originally Posted by MacG View Post
hence the Portuguese North which is not always north but in July not existent (sometimes) or weak ... the nursery of all (bad) weather are the Azores.
I can't really agree with that part.
The (almost) permanent heat Low over Spain directs N winds over the Portugal coast (that's the tricky bit)
Near the coast, afternoon sea breeze (strong temperature contrast between land and the cold sea) adds to the trend. Wind is quieter during the night.
See statistics below
The Azore High may reinforce that trend when it sends a E ridge, but is not the 'source' of bad weather in the summer.
When the Azore High is weak, or too far south, Lows can sweep across the Biscay Bay (not to mention Brittany and the Channel) but this not common in late July -early August and easy to forecast.
Beware of the Levanter (strong E wind, often B7-8) within and outside Gib, lasting several days.
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Old 26-01-2012, 04:36   #5
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Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorF54 View Post
Here are the bare facts...
Pick up area and month, click to have the 0,5x0,5 panel and hover your mouse on the map to get the wind rose...
Climatology of Global Ocean Winds - COGOW
Thanks for the link, it seemes very useful.

My idea was to make it partly a delivery and partly a leisure trip, with as little motoring as possible. Therefore I thought of starting with Madeira (or Porto Santo) and from there head for Sao Miquel in E Azores and then head NE to catch the Westerlies for the channel. Of course it is a long detour but my guess is that it would give the most chance to sail as much as possible without unnecessary motoring. Maybe head a little South of Sao Miquel and motor North the last part.

I sailed Florida - Scandinavia in 2010 and found Azores well worth visiting again, and as long as I can make it without stress in about 6 weeks, everything will be okey.

Looking at the Climatology link it seemes better to perhaps avoid Madeira and head straight for Azores instead, trying to avoid the tacking issue.
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Old 26-01-2012, 04:36   #6
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Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

Last time I did it was late in July and could motor all the way from La Coruna to Sao Vicente. Had to deliver a boat in Benalmadena.
Between LC and SV was no wind at all ........hot, hot, hot......

The Levante has some before warning: foggy weather forbodes an upcoming one.
I sailed one season twice monthly between Maroc an Gib.
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Old 26-01-2012, 04:46   #7
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pirate Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

Ahhhh.... my back yard..
Leave Gib in an Easterly and don't worry to much about a F6-8 at Tarifa... you'll be running before the wind and in 6hrs or so you'll be out of the accelleration zone... the important thing is to leave Gib 1hr before the W bound current starts... that'll save you facing a wind over tide situation as you get past Tarifa and give you that boost to get away...
Once the lights of Cadiz fade over the horizon the wind usually dies to near nothing and its engine on and a direct course for San Vincente which you should reach 40-50hrs after leaving Gib...
Past SV the winds are usually N'ly 4-7 so pinch up and go for it... don't tack in as you've a way out to go to clear Lisbon/Cabo Roca...
once level with Roca tack back in which usually gets you as far as Peniche/Figueira.... often from Fig to Porto winds tho' still N'ly are usually light to 0...
Lisbon-Porto is the section where I usually have to switch on the engine to maintain speed going either way...
From Porto its a choice... tack out and then back in to clear Finisterre or follow the shorter route and motor sail the rest of the way to Bayona.. good marina/facilities/shelter....
I would not use La Coruna as a departure point for the Biscay... wait for a SW'ly which are fairly regular there then fly outa Bayona with it N to Ushant(why Falmouth) and swing right up the Channel and set your course for the Solent... after that follow the UK coastline... plenty of good ports to duck into that are not drying out like the French side... and slightly weaker currents to fight...
But other may disagree
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Old 26-01-2012, 05:10   #8
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Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

No, you are quite correct, Bayona is nicer than LC but I happen to know LC and Falmouth, which I like a lot as a jumping board for the Biscaya.
If you have a couple of weeks to spare you can take any route you wish.
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Old 26-01-2012, 05:38   #9
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pirate Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG View Post
No, you are quite correct, Bayona is nicer than LC but I happen to know LC and Falmouth, which I like a lot as a jumping board for the Biscaya.
If you have a couple of weeks to spare you can take any route you wish.
I share your liking of Falmouth... for going S.... La Coruna I also know fairly well having pulled in from time to time since the mid '90's... however to me it only presents feasability if S bound and you meet strong SW'ly's approaching Finisterre... somewhere to wait it out before continueing S
N bound however its an unessecary detour... and Falmouth the same... mind the Chain Locker Pub from Thurs-Sun could be worth it....
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Old 26-01-2012, 07:20   #10
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Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

...but if I only look at the liesure side of it and if I enjoy sailing and with as little motoring as possible, wouldn't a giant tack leg over Azores work then?
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Old 26-01-2012, 08:01   #11
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Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

I haven't been exploring UK Southcoast that much - too busy and too unfamiliar. Once I had to fill up gasoil in Poole on the bunkerstation mid-river; that's all I have seen after Wight. This summer I will try to make a tour around Britain if the weather is cooperating.
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Old 26-01-2012, 08:47   #12
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pirate Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG View Post
I haven't been exploring UK Southcoast that much - too busy and too unfamiliar. Once I had to fill up gasoil in Poole on the bunkerstation mid-river; that's all I have seen after Wight. This summer I will try to make a tour around Britain if the weather is cooperating.
Ahhh... next to Brownsea Island... thats actually the 2nd largest natural harbour in the world... the river mouth is about 4 miles W of there..
I can recommend from the Solent W'ward... C'church/Mudeford, Poole, Lulworth Cove, Weymouth... the Exe river, Dartmouth, Brixham, Salcombe/Kingsbridge... not to keen on Plymouth tho'... up river has some nice spots tho'...
Coast www.visit-dorset.com - YouTube

South Devon's beautiful bay - YouTube

DARTMOUTH THE RIVER DART AND ITS CRYSTAL CLEAR WATER. 01/07/2010. - YouTube

If it were not so wet and cold most of the time I may never have left....lol
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Old 26-01-2012, 09:11   #13
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Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

I still remember well the heavy tidal current and the peasoup fog when we went out.
Quite a busy port and I felt a bit uneasy with all those unknown sandbars around. In that sort of area' s you must have local knowledge if you want to sail in foggy situations.
Saw your links and played the two and yes, beautiful area. I am leaving mid-May for the Whisky tour and plan to sail eastcoast in 100 nm steps - that is the period I can go w/o sleep. The westcoast is totally unknown to me so that I will do as slowly as time allows me.
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Old 26-01-2012, 12:51   #14
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Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG View Post
No, you are quite correct, Bayona is nicer than LC but I happen to know LC and Falmouth, which I like a lot as a jumping board for the Biscaya.
If you have a couple of weeks to spare you can take any route you wish.
May I suggest Camarinas (just N of Cape Finisterre) as an nice alternative to Bayona or A Coruna, and Camaret, just W of Brest if you're running out of whatever you take at sundown...

BTW, Falmouth is a favorite of mine too...
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Old 26-01-2012, 12:58   #15
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Re: Gibraltar to UK in the summer

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Originally Posted by tolly View Post
Thanks for the link, it seemes very useful.

My idea was to make it partly a delivery and partly a leisure trip, with as little motoring as possible. Therefore I thought of starting with Madeira (or Porto Santo) and from there head for Sao Miquel in E Azores and then head NE to catch the Westerlies for the channel. Of course it is a long detour but my guess is that it would give the most chance to sail as much as possible without unnecessary motoring. Maybe head a little South of Sao Miquel and motor North the last part.

I sailed Florida - Scandinavia in 2010 and found Azores well worth visiting again, and as long as I can make it without stress in about 6 weeks, everything will be okey.

Looking at the Climatology link it seemes better to perhaps avoid Madeira and head straight for Azores instead, trying to avoid the tacking issue.
IMHO That big 'vuelta' is a definite possibility (and I see no reason to go all the way to Madeira) but it depends on the strength and position of the Azores High.
The new marina at Santa Maria (SE corner of Az.) is a delightful place, far from the madding crowd...
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