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Old 14-08-2015, 15:03   #1
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when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

Hi all,
I am new here, just registered after reading and learning a lot in this forum.
I plan to cross the Atlantic next year and trying to plan the route and the time.
I read in ARC website that they do their Crossing Atlantic Rally on May every year, but they start from Bermuda.
I would like to start much south, from the Caribbean or even more south from the French Guinea.
  • Did anyone do this crossing?
  • At what time of the year is it favorable considering wind current and of course waves?
  • Where can I find some information before I start to buy all the expensive books?
Gabriel
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Old 14-08-2015, 16:38   #2
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

Where do you want to end up?
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Old 14-08-2015, 17:21   #3
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

Sorry, I forgot to mention.
I thought about Cap Verde or Canaries Islands
Gabriel
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Old 15-08-2015, 06:36   #4
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Gabriel.
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Old 15-08-2015, 09:25   #5
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

We went in June to Ireland, once from Cape May and the other time from Newport. The best source at the time was The Atlantic Crossing Guide written for the RCC.
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Old 15-08-2015, 09:29   #6
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

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Originally Posted by NY2TLV View Post
Sorry, I forgot to mention.
I thought about Cap Verde or Canaries Islands
Gabriel
mmmm . . . I am sensing you don't know much about prevailing winds and currents - is that correct? If so, you might get two things :

(1) the pilot charts. These show the prevailing winds and currents for each month of the year. You can get them free (download) here http://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.por...2&pubCode=0003 Here is the relevant one for May (http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/St...106/106may.pdf)

and

(2) Jimmy Cornell's book on world cruising routes (http://www.amazon.com/World-Cruising.../dp/007159289X) this is the bible for route planning.

Going east toward the Canaries is dead upwind against the trades. It is not something you want to do. You can loop up further north (to about 38 degrees) into prevailing westerlies and then drop back down to the canaries. late April into May/early June is (usually) fine for doing that.
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Old 15-08-2015, 09:52   #7
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

If you want to use trade winds your path will take you nort/nort east to Bermuda, then to the Azores then to Portugal/Spain and then to the Canaries. From the Canaries you can sail to Cabo Verde.
Direct leg to the Canaries may seem short but is not practical. Check estarzinger leads.
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Old 15-08-2015, 09:53   #8
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

Sail North from French Guinea and calculate to be in Bermuda Sometime May early June - then follow the trades to Azores. Then go to Portugal and sail near the coast towards the Canaries. It is longer but most of the time you have favorable winds - waves and the current - Happy Sailing
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Old 15-08-2015, 10:39   #9
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
(1) the pilot charts. These show the prevailing winds and currents for each month of the year. You can get them free (download) here http://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.por...2&pubCode=0003 Here is the relevant one for May (http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/St...106/106may.pdf)

and

(2) Jimmy Cornell's book on world cruising routes (World Cruising Routes: Sixth Edition: Jimmy Cornell: 9780071592895: Amazon.com: Books) this is the bible for route planning.
Good advice. Jimmy Cornell's book is excellent, worth every penny. I think I memorized the section on crossing the atlantic from west to east (trade wind route) before I actually went.
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Old 15-08-2015, 10:45   #10
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

I left Antigua for the West coast of Scotland 16th April 2014, a little early I know. Had a couple of poor weather spells, one half way to the Azores and 4 days of NNWs 5 days out of Hora. Being siglehanded in a cat i think on this occassion i might have made better proress in a monohull. Just meant instread of going up the east side if ireland I hit th Still is and sailed via Wales to Scotland However nothing near unmanageable and had far worse for 3 days, crossing at "the right time" early in December 2015 returning to the Caribbean 600 miles so of Canaries.
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Old 15-08-2015, 11:35   #11
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

I wrote a book about prepping the boat and sailing across the Atlantic. Clever title "Renovate a Sailboat and Cross the Atlantic" 10 bucks on Amazon. I chose to leave from St. Pierre, the island and head straight to Baltimore Ireland, an official port of entry. We left in June with the winds behind us all the way to Ireland when the wind changed to the SE. On the nose. The trip took us 13 days, I didn't want to go via the Azores as my Pearson 36 couldn't carry enough fuel or water for a long trip.

Tom Lohre, one of the crew has the story also on his website. His version anyway...

It was just cold. Didn't see any icebergs or ships. We were well north of the main shipping lane between NA and Europe.
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Old 15-08-2015, 11:47   #12
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

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Originally Posted by George DuBose View Post
I wrote a book about prepping the boat and sailing across the Atlantic. Clever title "Renovate a Sailboat and Cross the Atlantic" 10 bucks on Amazon. I chose to leave from St. Pierre, the island and head straight to Baltimore Ireland, an official port of entry. We left in June with the winds behind us all the way to Ireland when the wind changed to the SE. On the nose. The trip took us 13 days, I didn't want to go via the Azores as my Pearson 36 couldn't carry enough fuel or water for a long trip.

Tom Lohre, one of the crew has the story also on his website. His version anyway...

It was just cold. Didn't see any icebergs or ships. We were well north of the main shipping lane between NA and Europe.
George,

Which St. Pierre?
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Old 15-08-2015, 13:12   #13
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

You have received a number of legitimate answers. I particularly agree with the ones mentioning Jimmy Cornell's, "World Cruising Routes" and suggesting pilot charts, because it is best to learn to figure it out yourself with resources you should have available, and then use the specific answers, when available, to check what you have concluded.

That said, I guess my own of, "any Wednesday," would be poorly taken.
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Old 15-08-2015, 17:39   #14
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

We have done it twice in June. It was OK. Small boat, weak crew. Guadeloupe via the Azores (direct route) to Europe (Lisboa and the Canaries).

I have heard of many boats getting in trouble in May, so probably in some years May can be too early for small boats.

Doing it too late exposes you to a higher probability of getting smacked by a post tropical system and that's as bad as a bad low passing to your N (or over your head) in the 'too early' scenario.

As the boat gets bigger and the crew stronger, you time frame expands.

PS Can be done from Guyana too, on top, or below, the High.

PS All my clients and friends do it between April and July, depending on boats, schedules and other limitations. I would only go outside of this 'window' in a very strong boat and with skills to match (this means, I could not drive).

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Old 15-08-2015, 18:19   #15
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Re: when is the best time to cross the Atlantic east?

As others have said dont go early. April is too early so is most of May.
Remember 6 were killed last year and one this year.... All early.

My rule is only to sail in the correct season.
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