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Old 12-01-2016, 01:36   #16
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Crossing: Leave Bermuda or Antigua?

A friend of mine too 1,300 litres of diesel and used it all!
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Old 12-01-2016, 01:47   #17
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Crossing: Leave Bermuda or Antigua?

Had a good friend make landfall in Azores after a solo passage from Bermuda. Spoke highly of the islands.

Had three fellow cruisers visit Madeira this season as part of going south. Not one of them recommended stopping there - expensive, not much space, now seemingly catering predominantly for cruise ships.

I know which one I'd rather make landfall at after a month at sea.....

n
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Old 12-01-2016, 03:50   #18
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Crossing: Leave Bermuda or Antigua?

At Azores you get a bottle for same money you pay for a glass, at Bermuda($10-12 and wine is better).Espresso,or Cortado= 60 cents..
But, famous Peter sport cafe is waisting of time - you wait 1/2 hour before a waiter look at you. There are more frendly places nearby: Volga, Iceberg etc.
Climbing on Picu worth efforts.
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Old 12-01-2016, 04:53   #19
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Crossing: Leave Bermuda or Antigua?

I went from Antigua to Azores - second week in May.
I studied a lot, but only did it once, so my experience is limited.
Observations:
We took a lot of fuel (2 X 200 l in tanks, + 100l in cans.). I arrived in just 18 days and used less then 100l. Do not count on being that lucky. Our boat is Beneteau Oceanis 473 with 75 HP engine. When under power we motored at about 1800 rpm.

We started N-N-E and sailed as close to the wind as it was comfortable (true wind angle about 60). We were able to go more and more E with time.

When confronted with calm we pushed thru it with the engine.

Having possibility to obtain weather forecast is essential on this route (as opposed to going E to W, where fresh weather forecast is not that important).
We observed many boats who took north route from Bermuda to Azores to come with substantial damage (broken spreader, torn sails, torn dodger, rudder problems, ...).
Boats taking more direct route came with less or no damage.

Waiting for wind mid ocean is frustrating to me as the movement of a sailboat with no sails is not nice, but if you leave a main it is not nice to the sail. The swell is still there even if the wind is gone. So if you can push thru no wind zone with the engine.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:21   #20
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Crossing: Leave Bermuda or Antigua?

hey guys . . . .

#1 you know you can weather on route and play it a bit by ear. Leave the caribbean with as much S in the wind as you can find, sail NE as close as is comfortable for you and your boat, and then see how the weather (and boat and crew) develops. No point in forcing a plan if the weather (or boat or crew) develops against it. Where the azores high and related weather is going to be is impossible to know now and it will determine what will work well and what won't.

#2 if you favor staying south, then going earlier makes sense. If you favor north them later makes sense.

#3 if you make landfall at horta - then you (arguably) have already missed the most attractive azores island. Mark J, perhaps you are tired of islands . . . but the Azores are damn nice.

#4 madeira harbour is a mess, and the main town is a tourism trap, and customs are corrupt as hell, but if you get out of town it is a very attractive and pleasant island. truly excellent walking.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:38   #21
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Crossing: Leave Bermuda or Antigua?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
. . . If there's no wind its slow. But who cares? I spent 7 days drifting in 9 Degree Channel off India and enjoyed it.

Another week at sea is a week in paradise . . .
YES! I never understood why sailors hate so much to be becalmed. I love it! As long as you have enough provisions and reading material on board. And also a good chance to fix things. It's like time stops.
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Old 12-01-2016, 11:02   #22
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Crossing: Leave Bermuda or Antigua?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
YES! I never understood why sailors hate so much to be becalmed. I love it! As long as you have enough provisions and reading material on board. And also a good chance to fix things. It's like time stops.
Have been becalmed a few times in the Caribbean and in the Atlantic going north from the Leewards. Would rather be in a (moderate) gale. Every time I was becalmed there was still a decent swell and the boat rolled like mad.

Keep the main up to dampen the rolling and the sail slams back and forth on every roll and I mean slams. Drop the main and the roll is a worse and everything on the boat rolls back and forth. I've spent hours stuffing towels, rags and spare clothing into lockers to stop bottles, cans, parts and what-have-you from clanking around.

If you don't have a boom gallows then no matter how tightly you pull the main sheet and rig preventers the boom still swings back and forth. In the Caribbean with no breeze it can get really, really hot.

Becalmed with just enough breeze to keep a sail filled is one thing. Dead calm is a pain.

Just my opinion.
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Old 13-01-2016, 10:21   #23
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Crossing: Leave Bermuda or Antigua?

Hey Guys, thank you sooooo much for taking the time to reply to the thread. I appreciate every one of you. Also, I have some item specific questions and comments. See below...

Thanks again!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I take the safest route at the safest time.
I was thinking of being in the area around mid-May. Leaning toward boatman's plan with the Azores (why not?) When do you think you're leaving? Sorry I missed you last year, but maybe I can catch you this year.

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Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
Azores were amazing and I wouldn't miss them for the world.... but Mediera is even more amazing.
Yup, looking like Azores. Thanks for the advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
You are not telling where you take off is so shorter/longer we must trust your word.

So, to sum up, my advice is to sail a late (very late May / June) passage from Antigua via the Azores (or not) if you are in a sailing boat. a SAILING BOAT = one that will sail well in 5 to 10 knots).
Right now I'm in the Rio Dulce, heading back to Utila for school, then taking March, April, May to make it to the NE Antilles. I think I've pretty much ditched the Bermuda idea. But the idea was that I could go up the East coast as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I spent 7 days drifting in 9 Degree Channel off India and enjoyed it.

Another week at sea is a week in paradise

But not in 50 to 60 knots!
I guess I've been too shadowed by the storm tactics book I've read, but I thought the general idea was the faster the passage, the better to slim the chance of getting hit by the 50-60kts...? I ask in earnest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
Leaving from St. Martin, is it just a straight shot to the Azores, or do you head east and then turn north just before hitting Africa?
Cornell's book basically says to East as much as you can at the start then take the remaining rhumb once you pass 40W. Buttttt a lot of guys here are saying a more NE or NNE (though that was probably because of their specific departure scenario)

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
At times the early two or three days out one must keep going N and NNE as the wind can be still a bit to E'ly to punish the boat and the crew with sailing close to the (still strong) wind.
Duly noted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
We applied the following mentality...
Clearly I'm not on your level yet. I'm going to have to pick your brain over some beers. haha

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomaz473 View Post
So if you can push thru no wind zone with the engine.
This has been my normal M.O. When I started sailing it was about getting there fast. More and more I let the boat speed down. Now it's only when the boat tosses too much in calms to keep it comfortable for the crew.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
#1 you know you can weather on route and play it a bit by ear
#3 if you make landfall at horta - then you (arguably) have already missed the most attractive azores island.
#4 madeira harbour is a mess...
1. Aye, I think that was assumed.
2. What do you suggest for a good tour of the islands? And landfall at Flores?
3. Another down vote for Maderia.. Yup.. dropping it from the list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Have been becalmed a few times in the Caribbean and in the Atlantic going north from the Leewards. Would rather be in a (moderate) gale. Every time I was becalmed there was still a decent swell and the boat rolled like mad.
Aye, this has been my experience. I've always turned the engine on. So, it'll be interesting this passage. Might not have the option.

A note on the gallows. I've got 'em, but have never used them in a calm. I always figured even a well sheeted boom would have a little give gor slamming back an forth. Would it be wise to she the boom in the gallows? I mean, then there'd be zero shook absorption...



Thanks again!

Stone
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Old 13-01-2016, 10:51   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JStone View Post
Cornell's book basically says to East as much as you can at the start then take the remaining rhumb once you pass 40W. Buttttt a lot of guys here are saying a more NE or NNE (though that was probably because of their specific departure scenario)
Stone
You will be doing well to average a NNE heading till after the Stream.. unless your lucky and get a SE for a few days..
Remember the Stream is around 20+nm/day plus your leeway as you beat N.. once over the Stream you'll start getting the S'lies for your Easting..
Good sailing..
PS;; Even when I sail from Florida I avoid Bermuda.. over the top of the Bahama's then ride the S'lies.. and run from the N'lies..
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Old 13-01-2016, 10:56   #25
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Crossing: Leave Bermuda or Antigua?

We left from Rio Dulce too, but by the time we were able to get East, it was a lot easier to leave from the US east coast then try to go out further East and down to the caribbean first.

Matt
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Old 13-01-2016, 11:29   #26
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Crossing: Leave Bermuda or Antigua?

What most people have said, sail a comfortable close reach out of the Antilles (I like provisioning in Sint Maarten, ) the winds should clock as you get further North and East. I've found I can dial in wind strength by shortening or lengthening the radius of my long curved course.

Remember to take paint supplies to paint your boat's name on the dock in Horta.
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Old 13-01-2016, 19:24   #27
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Crossing: Leave Bermuda or Antigua?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JStone View Post
Aye, this has been my experience. I've always turned the engine on. So, it'll be interesting this passage. Might not have the option.

A note on the gallows. I've got 'em, but have never used them in a calm. I always figured even a well sheeted boom would have a little give gor slamming back an forth. Would it be wise to she the boom in the gallows? I mean, then there'd be zero shook absorption.
If I had gallows I would certainly secure the boom there. Properly locked down I don't see how it would suffer any shock loads.
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Old 13-01-2016, 20:34   #28
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Re: Trans-Atlantic Crossing: Leave Bermuda or Antigua?

Bermuda is nice and breaks up the trip. Sailing from the Caribbean to the Azores starts out in the trades, then the variables, then the prevailing westerlies. A good time to exit the trades does not necessarily mean a good time to enter the prevailing westerlies. I like Bermuda in May and the Azores in June. You will not regret a Flores landfall in June. Be careful, this voyage is a roll of the dice. You must be confident in your boat.
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