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Old 18-09-2014, 04:49   #1
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La Rochelle to the Canary Islands

We plan to go from La Rochelle, France to The Canary Islands for the ARC this November and would welcome advice from anyone who has done this also wondering how much time to allow / thanks !


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Old 18-09-2014, 04:58   #2
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Re: La Rochelle to the Canary Islands

try not to get stuck in la coruna,you will have to be very weather aware,aim to make bayona your first stop after biscay if coast hopping.

lows coming into the gulf of cadis will also bring SW winds off the african coast.

best advice leave earlier than november if you can!
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Old 18-09-2014, 04:59   #3
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Re: La Rochelle to the Canary Islands

Thank you!!!


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Old 18-09-2014, 06:28   #4
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Re: La Rochelle to the Canary Islands

November is awfully late and you must be extra careful in Vizcaya (as well as further down the road, off course). You may opt for coasting all the way to la Coruna - if weather windows are not long enough for longer sails. There are many harbours on this coast BUT mind some of them are very tricky to go in in bad weather.

Along the Portuguese coast, you may be able to sail it in one longer sail that hopefully gets you to the Algarve coast. Remember there are no good shelters in the lower portion of the Atalantic facing coast. Mind some Portuguese harbours are NO-NO in heavy swells.

From Algarve you want one long window that should see you all the way to Lanzarote. In November there tend to be long spells of unsettled weather so pick your take off carefully.

How much you need will depend on how fast you sail and how many times you stop. Distance/speed + stopovers = time required. Add some extra in case you have any breakdown that cannot be addressed while sailing on.

If you have good wx capability onboard (radiofax+gribs+brains) and a strong crew you may be able to sail the whole thing in one or two stages.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 18-09-2014, 06:31   #5
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Re: La Rochelle to the Canary Islands

I love all the detail in your advice !
Thank you. !


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Old 18-09-2014, 08:18   #6
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Re: La Rochelle to the Canary Islands

I think November is too late.
Theres a saying about being south of Finnisterre before October 15th..

As most people who die cruising do so by sailing in dangerous water out of season all i can suggest is to leave earlier or wait 6 months.
Bay of Biscay is not to be trifled with
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Old 18-09-2014, 20:29   #7
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I think November is too late. Theres a saying about being south of Finnisterre before October 15th.. As most people who die cruising do so by sailing in dangerous water out of season all i can suggest is to leave earlier or wait 6 months. Bay of Biscay is not to be trifled with
The prevailing North was late this year. We had a couple of heavy SW depressions on Biscaye in our crossing from Plymouth early June, struggling against the SW for three days, not able to make our desired 210 heading and eventually had to divert to Gijon because of water in the boat. The rest of the week we were battling to get around La Coruņa against big swell and SWerlies, and had to wait sveral times for the conditins to improve.

All this taught me that you do not want to cross Biscay against SW winds, it is just making life too hard. So I agree, Mark, go before November.


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Old 19-09-2014, 03:31   #8
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Re: La Rochelle to the Canary Islands

Ive done a few deliveries south in November through Biscay, and its a crap shoot. Lows spiral in from finnesterre making it tricky to get a good window, all the way to Bayona.


we are approaching the autumnal equinox , and thats in my opinion a bad time of year. ( 2 weeks either side),

I would agree, if at all possible head for Bayona, but again getting round the corner can be very tricky,

Furthermore in any large swell, a lot of the portuguese coast can be a no go, personally Id prefer to be 30+ miles offshore given a choice.

You need to be comfortable with your heavy weather abilities and boat. If not one option is to coastal hop, taking a much longer time, with options of sheltering in Gijon, or Coruna, waiing for a gap to dart to Bayona. ( Coruna is a long way in though).

Tricky Tricky time of year, windows are closing best of luck

Dave
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Old 19-09-2014, 06:05   #9
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Re: La Rochelle to the Canary Islands

Comming from La Rochelle, the boat wouldnt happen to be brand new and the crew's first long ocean passage?
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Old 19-09-2014, 07:03   #10
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pirate Re: La Rochelle to the Canary Islands

If its a new boat wait for a 2-3 day window of W'lies veering N then run for Viviero.. its in the Nth-most Ria E of La Coruna opand give you a good run over the top of NW Spain to take advantage of any windows.. should you get caught out and have to spend a few days there.. lovely little town..
Your engines will need running in for 50hrs at manufacturers rec's so use them to get across ASAP..
2 days is all you need with 1 engine at a time.. sails assisting..
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Old 19-09-2014, 07:45   #11
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La Rochelle to the Canary Islands

Yep you can do a single overnight to gijon but might get stuck there with westerlies, or double overnight to la coruna or nearby. The yanmar service agent is good there at marina seca if you manage to clock up close to 50. Hrs each for the first service. Good luck, you can probably follow boaty down the coast

Oh yeah and take head of phils advice on the engine run in, read the manual prior to delivery. I think they need to be run at wide open throttle less 400RPM for the first 50 hrs with occasional 10 minute runs at WOT.
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