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Old 15-10-2015, 15:26   #1
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Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

Short story - while hauling out in the Azores, the yard got the strap across our prop, bending the shaft, prop, etc. After two months, we finally have our new parts and expect to get back in the water next week. We will be then looking for settled weather with the hopes of crossing to Gibraltar. In good conditions, we should be able to make the 1100 nm passage in 8 or 9 days.

So, we have a few questions. Since we are much later in the season than we expected, anybody have any experience with late season crossings to the Med? We have a SSB and Pactor modem for receiving GRIBs while underway, and a NAVTEX for when we get close to the coast.

Also, we will be in Gibraltar, not La Linea, due to Schengen restrictions. We have gotten very used to affordable prices here in the Azores. How does this compare to Gibraltar? Should we stock up before leaving?

Appreciate any input. Cheers!

Steve
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Old 15-10-2015, 16:03   #2
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

you need to leave asap,by the end of the month you will have depressions passing every 5 days or so with 50knot plus winds in the fronts.

I recommend making your way to santa maria,and jumping off from vila do porto,which has a nice new marina,also being slightly further south the worst of the fronts pass to the north.

also aim for lagos or portimao if you have easterly levanter winds in the straits,you can anchor free inside the breakwater in portimao

mainland Europe is cheaper than the azores,but worth stocking up on the good quality locally bread beef cuts if you have a freezer.

best try to book a berth now in gib as they fill up fast for the winter.
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Old 15-10-2015, 16:11   #3
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

another month and this is what the weather looks like around the azores.
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Old 15-10-2015, 16:27   #4
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

Atoll - Yes, we are anxious to get underway! The new propshaft will be ready Tuesday, so we will get in the water as quickly as we can. If we get a one or two day window, we can get to Santa Maria pretty quickly. We are in Terceiria now.

We will look at Lagos and Portimao as places to sit out weather. It will shorten the passage a bit to stop in Portugal. We can get in there since we have extended stay visas for Portugal.

We have no desire to go through 50 knot winds. If caught out, we can cope with them, but we certainly won't purposely sail in such conditions. The trip from Bermuda was pretty uneventful, only one day of squally 25-30 knot winds. We will do what we can to avoid heavy weather.

Would a better strategy be to head a bit south first? I don't want to lengthen the trip appreciably, but if it makes sense to duck south, we can certainly do so.

I sent an e-mail to the Gibraltar marina tonight asking for a berth. We'll see what they come back with.

Thanks!

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Old 15-10-2015, 16:45   #5
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

you should have north easterly winds until the prevailing low pressure systems move further south at the end of the month with the onset of winter,then there will be a fairly abrupt change in the weather around the azores.

I would aim for lagos on leaving st maria,then alter once in the gulf of cadiz if the weather is favourable to transit the straits.

in forcaste 25knot easterlies in Alboran/gib you will have 40 to 50 knots in the straights making it impassable by small yacht,you can also tie up alongside a fishing boat in tangier if you get stuck on that side,tangier yacht club is very helpful and will arrange clearance for you,good stop and cheap

you might contact CF member Pablo the sailer who is currently in gib for the winter,im sure paul would be happy to advise
see link below
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...lor-49991.html
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Old 15-10-2015, 17:23   #6
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

Why are you headed to the Med in the first place?? Its a terrible place to sail in the winter. If I were you I'd drop down to the Canaries, then the Cape Verdes, and sail to Gibraltar next June.
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Old 15-10-2015, 23:02   #7
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

the bay of Cadiz has several marinas, in Cadiz and Puerto de santa maria, which are cheap and well protected.I spent the last winter there , and enjoyed the various penas de flamenco.Not much bad weather.
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Old 16-10-2015, 01:28   #8
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

check out of the Azores ie EU before you leave and save some Schengen days. Lagos works as an interm stop if you need it and you check in there and then bounce along the coast to Gib using some anchorages along the way. But you need to get underway.

By the way when we came across we had trouble finding an ssb station for a lot of reasons most of it our ignorance.
For gribs try stations try these stations -- HB9AK,HB9AW, HB9MM,LZ1PKS,

You can also try a network a guy runs for the westbound ARC and should be up and running it is on 8.297 at 0815UTC

hope this help and get out of Dodge NOW - fair winds
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Old 16-10-2015, 02:42   #9
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

Thanks everyone. Yeah, we are working to get going as soon as we can. Critical path is the propshaft, which has been promised Tuesday.

Because we have been in the Azores since early July, we have burned up all of our Schengen 90 days. We have an extended stay visa to allow us to stay in Portugal an additional 90 days (until December 27) but it is not valid in any other countries.

Our options are Portugal, or a country outside of Schengen. Thus, the Canaries, Madeira, Cape Verde, Spain, etc. are not possibilities.

I have heard great things about the Canaries and a few EU-flagged boats have headed that way for the winter. It's just not one of our choices.

Cheers!

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Old 16-10-2015, 02:56   #10
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckr View Post

By the way when we came across we had trouble finding an ssb station for a lot of reasons most of it our ignorance.
For gribs try stations try these stations -- HB9AK,HB9AW, HB9MM,LZ1PKS,

You can also try a network a guy runs for the westbound ARC and should be up and running it is on 8.297 at 0815UTC
Thanks, Chuckr. We had to drop the backstays in order to fit the travel lift, so I won't be able to try these until I get back in the water and reconnect the antenna. This is a big help. I'll see if we can connect.

Looking forward to being in your neck of the woods, perhaps next winter.

Cheers!

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Old 16-10-2015, 15:17   #11
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Why are you headed to the Med in the first place?? Its a terrible place to sail in the winter. If I were you I'd drop down to the Canaries, then the Cape Verdes, and sail to Gibraltar next June.
Noting the comment that the Med is a bad place to be in the Winter. Last time I was there, along the Spanish coast were plenty of open slips in local marinas.
How bad can it be to hole up there and have all of Western Europe to visit.
And sail again in the Spring?
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Old 16-10-2015, 15:26   #12
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

FWIW, AFAIK, Cape Verde is not a Schengen country, but it would be a tough beat back north in the spring.
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Old 16-10-2015, 17:26   #13
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

You are late and so keep very sharp eye on your wx. It is not a very risky jump, but it is not exactly risk free.

Right now there is a system sitting right atop off Canary Islands (roughly centered over Madeira) that is forecast to head for Gibraltar next, where it (is believed by some very intricate computer models) to re-group then slide down towards the Canaries before finally making for the open water again.

How much of the above scenario will eventually happen no one knows. Make sure you understand what the system is and how it is forecast to move, then act accordingly.

Do not expect Gibraltar anything to be inexpensive. But prop shafts get bent less often by boatyards. You are making on the swings what ...

PS If you feel you are stuck with your wx options, email me and I will be able to discuss the current wx and the outlook with you.

Cheers,
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Old 16-10-2015, 17:39   #14
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

I have just looked up Boston graphics and the gribs. It does not look like you have a window right now.

Hopefully the forecast will not develop as the models suggest. Or else you may be tempted to sit out till the situation clarifies.

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Old 16-10-2015, 22:45   #15
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Re: Leaving the Azores - headed to Gibraltar

Friends of mine are leaving Mallorca tomorrow headed for Canaries via Madeira on their Bavaria 50 so I'm watching weather. Thunderstorms are predicted 19 Oct through 26 Oct, there is currently a gale just west of the entry to the Str of Gibraltor, and a trough coming down on the Canaries.

Be safe! Schedule not necessarily the best reason to leave a safe port.
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