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Old 12-04-2018, 06:48   #1
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Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

We are planning on doing the ARC this year and I'm wondering what is the latest we can reasonnably plan to leave Gibraltar to be in Las Palmas on time? Absolute latest we can arrive in Las Palmas is the 18th November and I'm assuming 8 days to go non-stop. I'm just not sure how much to allow for weather at that time of year?

We're planning on stopping in at Almerimar for a few days for some maintenance so also need to allow for potential delays there.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:19   #2
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

My log book says it took us 5 days in a slow 55 ft yacht averaging 4-6 knots occasionally more.

Are you using the Sea Wolf? assuming a pleasant forecast 6 -7 days tops. I assume you are stopping at Almerimar first, then sailing on to Gib before heading off to the Islands.

There is a light on the top of Tenerife which we could see probably 60 miles away, useful nav aid to steer by on a dark night rather than peering at the compass.

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Old 12-04-2018, 07:34   #3
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

Thanks Pete. This will be in a Sun Odyssey 45 so a bit quicker. (I've removed the Seawolf from profile as it's now on the hard until it is sold.)

And yes, my rough plan is to aim to be in Almerimar at the very start of October. I'm expecting the work to be done in a week but will allow two for planning purposes, which should have us leaving Almerimar mid October, and being able to leave Gibraltar any time from 18th/19th October onwards.

That should give us 2 - 3 weeks allowance for waiting in Gibraltar for weather.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:41   #4
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

You should do the Arc in the Seawolf, you would be guaranteed the biggest cheer on arrival. Been there with a round Scotland rib race in the smallest boat to enter that year. Even have a video clip of a bystander saying "they won't make it" just before we set off for one of the legs. 6 hours later we crossed the finish :-)

First day out of gib was 'orrible, with a nasty chop. Day two and away from the entrance things calmed down.

Should be a great trip in the Jeanneau.

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Old 12-04-2018, 08:42   #5
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

The sooner you go, the lower chance that you will hit bad weather.

They do boat work in the Canaries too, but things get a bit crowded before the ARC.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:02   #6
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

It took us 6 days from Almerimar to Gran Canaria. But that was after waiting 2 days for some big westerlies to finish. Aside from the usual weather concerns, the Gibralter straight has its own concerns...strong tidal current and usually west wind. So a weather window of east wind, or at least light west wind is needed, unless you have a fast boat.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:16   #7
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

Might be of interest...

Gibraltar Straights
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:28   #8
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

Terah,
I have made that trip about a dozen times, and I bet half of them I spent a day hove to due to something strong coming up from the south, so you might throw an extra day or two in just in case.

I have never done the ARC, I prefer to leave later as the winds are better, and due to the crowds in Las Palmas I usually go down to Mogan and lay there until I am ready to depart.

The trip to the West Indies (In my opinion) is the nicest, easiest, most comfortable ocean crossing there is. No bad weather, no traffic, perfect winds, plenty of fish. Often (once down near the Cape Verdes) I will throw the chute up and not take it down until Barbados. Every time I have made that crossing with folks aboard, when I tell them we should see land in the morning they always say “do we have to stop?” .

Good luck to you, enjoy the trip and have a bunch of fun,

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Old 12-04-2018, 10:40   #9
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

Terah,
We are going also...first time. Will follow along on your thread :-)!

Captmikem,

Sounds great. As above, our first time, 2 kids on board, too. What's the best way to secure a couple of people who have a lot more experience with watches Etc to join us? Anyone you would recommend?

Thank you!
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:34   #10
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

@pete7 Doing it in the Seawolf would be interesting, but I don't think Mrs Terah would agree!

@donradcliffe I haven't looked into boatyards in Canaries yet, as assumed they would be busy pre-ARC and likely more expensive, but it's probably worth getting some quotes from them.

@hamburking That's seems pretty decent time from Almerimar. A couple of days wait isn't to bad. Just concerned we might get stuck for a couple of weeks.

@conachair Thanks for the link. Some useful stuff in there - hadn't got as far as planning route after the straights. That traffic density map is slightly frightening...
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:35   #11
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

@captmikem We did think about going later, but for our first crossing the ARC has quite an appeal. Not least the chance for our kids to meet up with other kid boats.

I've been thinking about this for years and now we're doing it it's pretty exciting. I'm a little more nervous about the return trip though!
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:36   #12
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

@fieldtrip400 Great. Look forward to catching up! Are you doing ARC or ARC+?

We're also planning to take crew on, possibly from Gibraltar onwards. Be interested to hear how you get on with finding people.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:33   #13
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

Ahoy!

I would like to sail as part of a happy crew across the Atlantic. So, if you or another captain you know needs a steady hand for passage assistance, please contact me.

I am experienced crew, and eager to add more miles any time this year.

So far I have several thousand offshore miles in the Atlantic and Pacific, (including crossing from Hawaii to California, and from Norfolk to Newfoundland), plus years of coastal and lake sailing and racing in San Francisco Bay and offshore along the rugged California Coast too. I have spent 30 days non-stop on a passage, and another 30 days on a remote cruise, so I know what the conditions can be like and how to get along with others on a long voyage, help fix things, provision, cook delicious meals, and much more. I am also very good with kids (with great references and testimonial letters you can read before making any commitments).

If you want to know more, view my CF Profile About Me page and then send me a Private Message telling me about your planned voyage. I can provide you with extensive background info and references upon request.

Also it is easier for me to join the boat in Gibraltar or elsewhere in Europe, so please consider that too. For example, I could join your boat in the UK or France or elsewhere to make the initial voyage to Gibraltar and then to the Canaries.
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Old 12-04-2018, 13:06   #14
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pirate Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

Dont overstress about the Straits.. its a doddle... stay on the N side about a mile offshore and clear of the shipping lanes.
Wait till 5nm past Tarifa before turning South.. by then the commercial traffic has sorted itself out and its much less crowded.
I always go 1hr before high water and motor till past Tarifa.. get the benefit of 3kts of tide to help me through.. So am past Tarifa by slack water.
Watch out at the entrance to Tarifa for the fast Catamaran Ferries to Tangiers.. they gun it at the entrance however you can spot the topsides over the harbour wall as you approach.
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Old 12-04-2018, 13:10   #15
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Re: Gibraltar to Canaries for ARC

Quote:
Originally Posted by captmikem View Post
The trip to the West Indies (In my opinion) is the nicest, easiest, most comfortable ocean crossing there is. No bad weather, no traffic, perfect winds, plenty of fish.
Mostly true, but there are no guarantees. My westbound crossing (Jan 2009) was rough, with confused seas, overcast skies, and several squalls each day (with the exception of the first day or two). Most of the time we were flying the staysail, or even storm staysail. We did encounter freighters moving east but the AIS gave them warning so they passed 3-4 miles away - in those sea conditions visual contact was very difficult at that range. We were occasionally pooped when the crests from the two wave trains met just at the quarter - one time solid water came down the companionway, splashed off me and went under two pots to extinguish both burners. It was a very wet and uncomfortable trip. My point is that, as always, one must be ready for anything before departure - this trip may usually be a milkrun but that is not always the case.

I would advise not delaying departure until November, or even late October - Gibraltar is not so far south as to be free of the effects of the autumnal gales, once they set in. Getting out of the Straight can require waiting at Gib for days for the winds at Tarifa to come down - Force 6 (on the nose) seems to be the norm there, with stronger winds frequently experienced. The later in the season the greater likelihood that longer delays will be necessary to find a good window for the passage. If you delay you will be forced to sail to a schedule - the cardinal no-no for cruisers.

Greg
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