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Old 04-04-2015, 20:57   #1
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Sailing to Bermuda

I am planning to leave from the west end of Lake Ontario end of May.Going up the St. Lawrence to Halifax then leaving there the beginning of July hoping to be in Bermuda in 8 to 10 days.I have lake sailed over 20 years but this will be my first offshore passage.Would love some feedback from the forum if it is realistic passage planning.
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:49   #2
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

I never know how to react when I hear a request like this. The variation in skill sets of people who have sailed "20 years" is sometimes mind boggling...
Assuming you are a "competent" sailor and no less important your boat is well prepped and maintained...(another area with wild variations of reality) then...

One of the biggest challenges that can present itself in sailing to Bermuda is the Gulf Stream. It is an amazing body of water! It can be as docile as a sleeping lamb or as wild as a deranged Tasmanian Devil. You have to be prepared for whatever face it shows and figuring it out in advance can be tricky. I have met cruisers who have circumnavigated who say that nothing in the circumnavigation prepared them for the Gulf Stream... It can be that challenging!

The Safety at a Sea seminars offered by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club are really enlightening and very helpful training, participation is mandatory for enrollment in the Newport to Bermuda race.

I would scour the CCA website (see link) as a starting point. It is a place to start...
https://cruisingclub.org/seamanship/...hip_safety.htm
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:13   #3
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

...and July is early hurricane season, but I assume unlikely that far north. I would leave a bit earlier just to be safer. Ive sailed to Bermuda in June for Mass.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:25   #4
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

Pilot charts are a good place to start. I think the winds are mostly from the southwest that time of year as is the Gulf Stream which means you will be going uphill the whole way. If it was me I might go down the Hudson to Sandy Hook and leave for Bermuda from there.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:14   #5
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

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Pilot charts are a good place to start. I think the winds are mostly from the southwest that time of year as is the Gulf Stream which means you will be going uphill the whole way. If it was me I might go down the Hudson to Sandy Hook and leave for Bermuda from there.
+1 on that.

That is what I did and what I'd do again. You'll be pressed to move quickly all the way up the St Lawrence then all the way down to Bermuda, and with the inevitable delays you'll be sailing to Bermuda deeper in the Hurricane season.
A few days to New York thru Oswego, Erie and Hudson, then 5 or 6 days to Bermuda from there is more sensible at this time of the year, in my opinion.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:31   #6
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

I would stage in Massachusetts for the passage if I were you. As mentioned its getting into hurricane season at that point. What are your plans after you hit Bermuda? Are you doing this solo or with crew?
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:49   #7
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

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I would stage in Massachusetts for the passage if I were you. As mentioned its getting into hurricane season at that point. What are your plans after you hit Bermuda? Are you doing this solo or with crew?
that's my first thought, as well.. What comes next, where to from there?

Seems really a shame to rush out the St Lawrence, and miss some of the awesome cruising grounds that ring the Gulf of St Lawrence - the Gaspe', the Magdalens, Newfoundland, the Bras d' Or and the rest of Nova Scotia, some of the finest summer cruising to be found anywhere...

Unless the plan is to leave the boat in Bermuda until November, and return and continue onto the Islands, not sure I see the rationale for this one...

And, as already mentioned, mid-July might already be getting a bit dicey for that trip... Last summer, I spent part of the July 4th weekend riding out Hurricane Arthur on Martha's Vineyard, for instance...
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Old 05-04-2015, 15:36   #8
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

Thanks for the replies and yes I want to head for the islands in November.I have taken numerous CPS courses including Fundamentals of Weather and Global Weather and according to Jimmy Cornells's Cruising Routes early July seems to be the best time to do the Bermuda/Halifax leg.As for crew I am currently looking for crew but will be prepared to single-hand.As for the boat it has had a total retrofit during the last 4 years with all new electronics,dinghy,AIS,epirb,plb,M 802 and new Lewmar Ocean Hatches.I think I am ready now.
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Old 05-04-2015, 15:56   #9
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

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Thanks for the replies and yes I want to head for the islands in November.I have taken numerous CPS courses including Fundamentals of Weather and Global Weather and according to Jimmy Cornells's Cruising Routes early July seems to be the best time to do the Bermuda/Halifax leg.As for crew I am currently looking for crew but will be prepared to single-hand.As for the boat it has had a total retrofit during the last 4 years with all new electronics,dinghy,AIS,epirb,plb,M 802 and new Lewmar Ocean Hatches.I think I am ready now.
Trouble is what to do next. If you plan to leave the boat in Bermuda till November then that's fine, but spendy. Would not be a good time to head south though.

Crusing more Northern waters for the summer sounds like an excellent option to me...then head south.

If single/shorthanded you might consider a near coastal/inland route to Florida/Bahamas and then jump off for points further South.
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Old 05-04-2015, 18:22   #10
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

The Internet is riddled with stories of single handlers that have extensively refit boats, and then headed offshore in such a manner, only to find out that something is amiss. The boat, the water supply, fuel, engines, the skipper. The result is that they lost the boat. All smart people, all good boats, but no matter.

You would do yourself much better working down the coast until you have some sea miles, and the boat has some sea miles.


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Old 06-04-2015, 10:49   #11
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

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...according to Jimmy Cornells's Cruising Routes early July seems to be the best time to do the Bermuda/Halifax leg.,,
Yes, but if you are in Lake Ontario, why go to Nova Scotia instead of taking the canals? The best option like mentioned before will be to head south thru the Erie Canal in late summer and hop down the east coast shaking down and tweaking the boat as you go, then head offshore.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:21   #12
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

Many cruisers I believe make their routes for many reasons.I have researched every route possible and decided on the route I chose and was asking advice on that route not other possibilities but thanks for your input anyway.
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Old 06-04-2015, 19:05   #13
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

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Many cruisers I believe make their routes for many reasons.I have researched every route possible and decided on the route I chose and was asking advice on that route not other possibilities but thanks for your input anyway.
The OP:

"...Would love some feedback from the forum if it is realistic passage planning."

Sure Sailorboy not a problem - I was just providing my feedback to your ask... best of luck with the trip.
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:46   #14
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

It sounds like a great trip. I hope you post your experiences or create a blog. If you do, please email me: jeaton237 at gmail.com.
As you say, people choose routes for many reasons. I used to live in Northern Michigan, in Suttons Bay, on Grand Traverse. I've been thinking recently that it would be an amazing trip to sail north to New York, east along Long Island Sound, up to the Gulf of St Lawrence and all the way down to the Welland Canal and through the Great Lakes to Michigan. I see it as a multi-year project. I actually live in Albany, NY, so of course I know about going the Erie Canal route. But the point is not to get there: it's to see things along the way.
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Old 30-01-2016, 05:03   #15
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Re: Sailing to Bermuda

How did the passage go?
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