Just an FYI from our experience. Left Halifax
on June 15, 2011 for Oban, Scotland
on the heels of a gale. We were on the great circle route. Arrived Cork, Ireland
July 4, 19 days later. We were pinned on 45 lat by 4 major consecutive gales. The last was a 970 mbar low and we spent 3 days side stepping it.
At one time we were 300 miles off the coast of Spain
before we could turn left.
Wives had airfare to Glasgow, Scotland
with a stop in Dublin, Ireland
. They got off the plane in Glasgow instead. No extra charge.
Lessons learned in North Atlantic:
1. Have good weather forecasting as it will save you getting spanked.
2. You will be forced by Mother Nature to be flexible in your schedule and route. It won't be your decision.
3. Have a well prepared boat.