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Old 04-08-2011, 15:17   #1
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Northerly Trip Over the Atlantic

My home is little south of Copenhagen but in Sweden. I have a 30 feet small sailboat. I equip the boat for tree persons, but it could be that I sail alone. In security equipment I have both AIS transponder and radar. I have planned to start my tour in middle of May.

I sail from home up to Norway and then along the Norwegian west cost. The part north of Stavange shall be the second most beautiful cost in the world. After one and a half month (around midsummer) I will be in Narvik, Lofoten N 68° 27’. This is 1100 M from start. The first 300 M I have done several times, so that part will be done in 4 days. The rest I do in day sailing of 30 to 50 M, but I don’t sail every day.

From Narvik I sail almost strait west to the northeast corner of Island. There is around 750 M. The current is in favour but the wind is wrong. I count that it will take 10 days. I think I will get some sleep even if the sun is up 24 hours a day. Along Island north and west cost I do in the same way as in Norway, day sail 30 to 50 M. I cont that I will be in Reykjavik at the end of July. There is 400 M along Island cost.

From Reykjavik I go out 200 M from Greenland cost to avoid iceberg, and go to St. Johns in Newfoundland, Canada. That is 1400 M. Again the current is in favour but the wind is against. I hope to be in St. Johns at the later part of August. From there I go to Charlottetown in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Here I need some advice. Is it to late to sail in this area in September? I have planed to go up the Saint Lawrence River and spend the winter in the Great Lakes, perhaps in a marina near Toronto. I know it will be cold (lack of heat) and wet (condense), but I hope it’s possible. The alternative is to spend the winter in Charlottetown. I don’t think St. Johns is a good place for a pleasure boat in the winter. Give me some advice.

The next spring and summer, I spend in the Great Lakes. In August I take down the mast in Chicago, go down Illinois River to Ottawa, Illinois. In Starved Rocks marina I hope to get some help to put the mast back on may boat. I need 52 feed to go free under the bridges and the bridge in Ottawa have only 47 feet clearance. I have understood that for a pleasure boat it is beater to take the Tenn-Tom waterway down to Mobile, Alabama than Mississippi River.
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Old 04-08-2011, 15:23   #2
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Re: Northerly trip over the Atlantic

What a great trip. Take lots of photos.

cheers
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Old 04-08-2011, 16:50   #3
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Re: Northerly Trip Over the Atlantic

I have some limited experience in Newfoundland.

My first advice would be to email Peter Watkins at the Lewisporte Yacht Club and ask for his advice. He has written the Cruising Guide to Notra Dame Bay and is quite knowledgeable. http://lewisporteyachtclub.com/

My understanding is that the best sailing is in September. I am generally there earlier in the season. Even then it can be a bit wet and damp.

St. John's is NOT acceptable to store a boat. There are few options in Newfoundland. One would be the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club on Conception Bay Welcome to the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club. I believe there is another in the near vicinity but may be mistaken. This is sort of near St. John's but on Conception Bay.

The other option is Lewisporte Yacht Club which I can highly recommend. Very reasonable price, good people, very helpful. I was there two weeks ago and there were several foreign sail boats there including a German chap just down from Greenland and a club boat from Switzerland. http://lewisporteyachtclub.com/

Cruising guides will list "Marine Service Centers." They generally are NOT a desirable place to store a boat, trust me.

In any case I would recommend some form of heater such as an Espar. I ran mine almost every night for two weeks in July.


BTW Beth Leonard thinks Notre Dame bay is one of the best place on Earth to sail. I agree.

Best of luck, I may see you.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:56   #4
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Re: Northerly Trip Over the Atlantic

Tanks for the tips on sites. A problem for me as foreigner is that I need as first harbour in a country go to a port of entry. An according to Noonsite, the only harbour on Newfoundland east cost is St. John.

That is always a dilemma; first I need to go to St. John to get my papers in order. If I then go up to Conception bay, that’s ok. Even to go up to Lewisporte is ok. But after that. Shall I continue and go around Newfoundland north end in to the Golf of Saint Lawrence, and from there go up Saint Lawrence River. I don’t think I have time enough to go down to Charlottetown. An alternative is to from Lewisporte, go south back to St. John and around Newfoundland south end, and maybe go though Canso Canal, Nova Scotia and then in to Charlottetown. A third alternative is from St. John go direct south and skip Lewisporte and Notre Dame bay. A fourth alternative is from Island go direct to Lewisporte and from there go south. Then I have to hold my thumps that no one notice that there is a Swede in a 30 feet boat.


I have bought a heater and ONE of the things on my list is to install it. Isn’t it possible to let the boat be in the water and live in it over the winter? If I in the next summer is on the Great Lakes, I don’t need to paint the bottom.
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Old 06-08-2011, 15:14   #5
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Re: Northerly Trip Over the Atlantic

Whew, boy, you are fighting the wind all the way. Once you get into the Gulf of St. Laurence you are fighting the current and wind. I think you are going to be in for quite a pounding.

Instead of entering at St. Johns you could enter at Sidney NS, or enter at St. Johns and then head for Sidney. You have choices there of where to spend the winter, at Sidney or in the Bras d'Or at St. Peters.

Another alternative is to head to Montreal and winter there. Much more to do in Montreal over the winter.

Please do install a "good" diesel burning stove and hopefully you will insulate at least part of your little ship if you are planning on staying aboard.

Good luck and please keep a blog and let us know what the link is.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:53   #6
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Re: Northerly Trip Over the Atlantic

Check out this page here on the Cruisers Forum wiki

Canada - a Cruising Guide on the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki

Harbor Grace is another "Point of Entry" option.

Fortune and Argentia are on the south coast, but you could swing by St. Pierre if France is of any interest to you.

Corner Brook is on the West Coast and not very accessible.

But, FWIW, I would check a little deeper into arriving at a non-standard port. I think you might find that it is doable by phone. Or you may have to pay for officials to make a visit. Gander is fairly close to Lewisporte, about an hour each way, and that may be a reasonable alternative.

Also Puffin Press has a very good Newfoundland cruising guide that they maintain online. You might want to get that and/or check with them on the current practices.
Pilot Press - Cruising Guides to Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

FWIW, we have a second boat in Delaware. Last year we kept the boat in the water all winter. The temp here was BELOW Bonavista all winter. I installed an Espar D4 heater that worked a champ.

If you are going to leave the boat and return home then you will need to chat with customs. They will want to know why you are leaving the boat. Having some substantial amount of work done seems to be the most common reason.

Pats Boating is another font of information. Pat's BOATING IN CANADA

As to how to go around Newfoundland depends upon what you want to see. The North and South routes both have their charms. The South has Placentia Bay, St. Pierre, and the nearly humanless fjords. The North has more quaint towns, the Viking site, and sites in Labrador.

When considering you may want to think about if you want to visit the Madeline's and/or Bra's de Or regions.

Oh so many choices! You luck dog.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:40   #7
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You seem to know what a trip to weather will entail, and it sounds like a great adventure!

The one thing that would worry me is winter on the great lakes. I know there are marinas with bubblers where people live aboard, but they may be hard to get into and expensive.

You may want to pull your boat out for the winter. This is what most do there as the lakes freeze. Then you could go out west for an extended ski holiday in the Rockies. And generally bum around north America until you can get the boat back in the water.

Either way, figure out costs and availability of moorage wherever you end up as it can be a surprise!
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