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Old 02-04-2008, 14:29   #1
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Carib to Gib direct - Serious thoughts please :)



Hi Folks,

Serious pondering question here. I know the traditional route trans Atlantic to go north keeping west of the Atlantic High to 38 and then turn to the Azores. More modern method is to 30 deg N.

What I am pondering is a direct rhumb line from St Martin end of the Caribbean direct to Gibraltar. i.e NE straight through the middle.

The North Atlantic Pilot shows a couple of areas of head winds and winds from anywhere and everywhere. Some areas show calms of 20 to 24% for the months of May and June. The areas on the more northern route near Azores show 16 to 18% calms, so it not all that much more than the traditional way.

Given that I sail in calms and not motor; and have sailed the doldrums without motoring; have no time limits etc; don't mind headwinds; and there is a saving of 500 miles +:

Questions:

1) Whats your thoughts?
2) Have you been through the Sargasso Sea and the Atlantic High?
3) Have you, or have you heard of others going this route?
4) What problems would you expect from this route?

Thanks for your help and advice.


Mark
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:04   #2
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Hello? <<echo>> hello hello hello ....


Hmmmm. No thoughts from anyone. Either they think I'm nuts or still on the floor laughing




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Old 03-04-2008, 12:13   #3
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Hi Mark,

I'll take a stab at it. Why not follow the flow and hit Bermuda and the Azores (well, umm, figuratively)? Can't imagine the route you propose will be quicker but never having sailed it I can't really say. I'll run the route on Max Sea though and see what it yields.

Or maybe, you've had bad experiences with "dark and stormies"?

Joli

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Hello? <<echo>> hello hello hello ....


Hmmmm. No thoughts from anyone. Either they think I'm nuts or still on the floor laughing




Mark
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:56   #4
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OK, ran the route using our polars and todays grib. Trip distance is 3220 nm GC and 3368 as sailed. Sea time is 11 days St. Martin to Gib.

The route brings you within 400 nm of Bermuda and 150 miles of San Miguel. Me, I would be tempted to stop. If you want I'll add via's and force the boat onto the GC route?
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Old 03-04-2008, 13:33   #5
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OK, ran the route using our polars and todays grib. Trip distance is 3220 nm GC and 3368 as sailed. Sea time is 11 days St. Martin to Gib.
The route brings you within 400 nm of Bermuda and 150 miles of San Miguel. Me, I would be tempted to stop. If you want I'll add via's and force the boat onto the GC route?
GC route I get is 3210 and 750 nm from Bermuda and 300 south of San Miguel. But only 120 miles from Medira! How can we so different? I'm using Garmin Crapola, Google earth gives the same and Raytech is having a bad day and wont load at all! OK it just loaded and told me the same (who wants to buy that comapany out? The executive sallerys must be cheap, because you only feed them peanuts)

The idea is is to just to plot a route without taking into consideartion ideas made for sailing ships, and keeping to warmer climes

I wonder what the horse latitudes are really like for a modern cruiser? An old sailing ship would be becalmed as in little movement at all under 10 knots where we would be do 6 into it.

Mark
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Old 03-04-2008, 14:26   #6
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If you are sailing, why would you care about a few hundred miles more? Especially if you ARE actually sailing, and not bobbing about waiting for the wind to shift. Now, if you were motoring - obviously less miles = less fuel consumed.

I think that I interpreted the above two routes to have a difference of about 15% - not an insignificant number, but duration would look to be about double going the shorter route. Time you get done with additional meals cooked and associated supplies necessary to travel the "shorter" distance... ::shrug::

My PERSONAL preference would be to sail longer, but actually be sailing. And, for me, the logistics of such a longer (duration) trip would be more problamatic.

But - you all have cruised those distances before, and I have not. You CAN gimmie change from my 2 cents worth.
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Old 03-04-2008, 17:17   #7
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I've never sailed this passage, but think the beauty of sharing past experiences is for others to take advantage of them.
If traditionally the more northern route has been proved to be best not just over years but centuries, then by all means try one more south, but fully expect it to be worse.
Keep us all posted.
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Old 03-04-2008, 18:39   #8
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not just over years but centuries, then by all means try one more south, but fully expect it to be worse.
Keep us all posted.
JOHN
I do fully expect it to be on the nose the whole time, and making northerly when forced to be above the northern extent of the trades (which is marked on the pilot charts) when it should be favorable enough to work the wind changes to finish the trip. But I understand there will be no wind up the bum, and when theres a calm I've got a .2 knot current against me.

Its just got me intrigued to see if its OK with a modern boat. Mind you I need to check the boat first! It may be a dog upwind! In which case I'll go the normal way.
On the direct route if there is a problem of not enoguh wind I can just work further north.

Quote:
Now, if you were motoring -
Nah, I won't be motoring. And I'm not in a hurry. I expect to take longer this way, or the same time at best. It wouldnt be more than 30 days.

If we do decide to do it I will write a note about it when we are finished

Thanks for everyones advice

Mark
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:10   #9
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Hi Mark,

You are correct, GC is 750 miles from Bermuda but our routing software advises us to go north on starboard for the first 80 hours or so. Bermuda and the Azores become potential stops since the first three days are to the left.

Are you thinking you would go right at the onset, port tack? That would make Santiago the logical stop but you would have to beat the entire way, eight days. If you go to Las Palmas our routing software brings us north on the same track as if going to Gibraltor.

Your tough, eight days of condo jumping.



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GC route I get is 3210 and 750 nm from Bermuda and 300 south of San Miguel. But only 120 miles from Medira! How can we so different? I'm using Garmin Crapola, Google earth gives the same and Raytech is having a bad day and wont load at all! OK it just loaded and told me the same (who wants to buy that comapany out? The executive sallerys must be cheap, because you only feed them peanuts)

The idea is is to just to plot a route without taking into consideartion ideas made for sailing ships, and keeping to warmer climes

I wonder what the horse latitudes are really like for a modern cruiser? An old sailing ship would be becalmed as in little movement at all under 10 knots where we would be do 6 into it.

Mark
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:29   #10
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Hi Mark,

If you go to Las Palmas our routing software brings us north on the same track as if going to Gibraltor.

...eight days of condo jumping.
I was thinking starting on starboard tack making North to NE to the northern extent of the trades and then playing the wind shifts while following that line.

The below pilot chart - yes, I know is not brand new but its what is on my 'puter to show you - indicates its possible.

The route would keep we south of the Sargasso sea and its weed. (mind you that would be fascinating to go through!)

Not thinking of the Canaries as we will do them on the way back. But Madeira is close if we need r&r.

Your 8 days looks a bit quick for me, Id be looking at 22 to 25 days

Its fun figuring it out.
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:04   #11
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Sounds like it will be a fun trip!

I used MaxSea routing software, our polars, and 15 day grib (which is not realistic) to develop the route. It looks like the trades will take you north about 600 miles then the breeze backs north then west then finally south at the finish (again this is based on one grib file).

I don't think we would push the boat this hard unless we were crewed up.

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I was thinking starting on starboard tack making North to NE to the northern extent of the trades and then playing the wind shifts while following that line.

The below pilot chart - yes, I know is not brand new but its what is on my 'puter to show you - indicates its possible.

The route would keep we south of the Sargasso sea and its weed. (mind you that would be fascinating to go through!)

Not thinking of the Canaries as we will do them on the way back. But Madeira is close if we need r&r.

Your 8 days looks a bit quick for me, Id be looking at 22 to 25 days

Its fun figuring it out.
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:25   #12
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Sounds like it will be a fun trip!


I don't think we would push the boat this hard unless we were crewed up.
We have a month to work out if we want to do it Thats the sort of experiement we are champing at our little bitties about

I like the predictive routing of your software! Sounds good (and expensive!)


Thanks for your advic

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Old 04-04-2008, 08:46   #13
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You could vist us Yanks? There are lots of nice spots on the East Coast to see.

Unfortunatly Max Sea with routing is not cheap. I bought it because routing is a personal weakness.

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We have a month to work out if we want to do it Thats the sort of experiement we are champing at our little bitties about

I like the predictive routing of your software! Sounds good (and expensive!)


Thanks for your advic

Mark
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:53   #14
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I do fully expect it to be on the nose the whole time, and making northerly when forced to be above the northern extent of the trades (which is marked on the pilot charts) when it should be favorable enough to work the wind changes to finish the trip. But I understand there will be no wind up the bum, and when theres a calm I've got a .2 knot current against me.

Mark
So, if I understand you correctly you want to virtually guarantee yourself a 3000-odd mile bash to windward when there is a tried and tested alternative. Mate, you need to get the doc to change the medication
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Old 05-04-2008, 04:30   #15
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So, if I understand you correctly you want to virtually guarantee yourself a 3000-odd mile bash to windward when there is a tried and tested alternative. Mate, you need to get the doc to change the medication
All I can sugest is you follow your own signiture advice: "The final destination is known but the route is open to discussion."

I like being where the butter melts and don't like the idea of going 800nm north the distance Sydney to Townsville; London to Lisbon; New York to Florida; the length of the Red Sea which has the breeze on the nose too but a hell of a lot stronger.

But its just discussion, we may go through to the Pacific this year, or stay in the Caribbean.
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