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Old 16-05-2011, 08:53   #1
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Sailing the N. Atlantic Eastbound

I am reasonably experienced and a sailing instructor but have not done trans atlantic, although understand the principles etc.

I am planning to bring a 47ft cat back in September. I know the best time seems to be around May, but does anyone have first hand info on weather. My route would be Caribbean, Bermuda, East coast until gulf stream and over close to Azores and down to Med.

My timing has to be then or wait until next year. I know this shouldnt be the criteria and I would obviously look for weather windows and take advise from Herb etc on routing. I just need to know whether the weather is always poor then, unsettled, generally good or whatever. If there is a chance of settled weather I will plan and do further research but if not, then the planning can take longer.

Thanks for any advice (especially if you have done it)
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Old 16-05-2011, 09:29   #2
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Re: Sailing the N Atlantic Eastbound

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Originally Posted by newlife View Post
.

I am planning to bring a 47ft cat back in September. I know the best time seems to be around May, but does anyone have first hand info on weather. My route would be Caribbean, Bermuda, East coast until gulf stream and over close to Azores and down to Med.

I just need to know whether the weather is always poor then, unsettled, generally good or whatever. If there is a chance of settled weather I will plan and do further research but if not, then the planning can take longer.
Weather: I guess unsettled would be the best description. You can get absolutely marvelous weather, but you can also get vicious storms with the remnants of hurricanes coming up out of the tropics and the northern lows starting to come down. On average, the incident of gales is 3%, the winds will be behind the beam, and the air temps will be about 20C . . . but that average hides a lot of both year to year and day to day variation.

Routing: Not sure why you would go to the east coast from Bermuda - that's the wrong direction! In that season, you might even want to also skip Bermuda depending on the weather pattern/high location. We sailed direct from BVI to Azores (Flores) to Ireland and had great winds all the way (one gale just before Flores). You can keep a bit south to stay out of the path of the northern lows, but you need to keep a real eye out or the lows/hurricanes spinning up out of the tropics as they can track right along your route.

Net net, its quite doable, but be careful of the hurricanes.
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Old 16-05-2011, 09:39   #3
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Re: Sailing the N Atlantic Eastbound

Thanks for that estarzinger. thats just what I need. I have only looked at typical trans Atlantic crossings so far hence that route, but guessed that you would normally try to get high enough out of the way of tropical storms and low enough to avoid the northerly lows and icebergs!

time for more reading...........
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Old 16-05-2011, 09:55   #4
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Re: Sailing the N Atlantic Eastbound

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Weather: I guess unsettled would be the best description. You can get absolutely marvelous weather, but you can also get vicious storms with the remnants of hurricanes coming up out of the tropics -------------You can keep a bit south to stay out of the path of the northern lows, but you need to keep a real eye out or the lows/hurricanes spinning up out of the tropics as they can track right along your route.

Net net, its quite doable, but be careful of the hurricanes.
We are talking about MAY here. There are no tropical hurricane in May...
they start in June but really are there in July august september..
May June should be free of any Tropical Hurricane
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Old 16-05-2011, 11:51   #5
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Re: Sailing the N Atlantic Eastbound

What is happening this May in the North Atlantic? There appears to be a Bermuda LOW and a Biscay HIGH giving easterlies at 40 N for the past several weeks .
I'm hoping to cross W-E at this latitude in 2013 and wondering how often such persistant weather occurs. (And yes, I know the pilot chart indicates not so much, but...).
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Old 16-05-2011, 12:44   #6
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Re: Sailing the N Atlantic Eastbound

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We are talking about MAY here. There are no tropical hurricane in May...
they start in June but really are there in July august september..
May June should be free of any Tropical Hurricane
Sorry Alecadi - I did actually say that I know that May is the "normal best" time to go but that I planned for Spetmeber if feasible.

Appreciate you taking the time though
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Old 16-05-2011, 12:55   #7
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Re: Sailing the N Atlantic Eastbound

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Sorry Alecadi - I did actually say that I know that May is the "normal best" time to go but that I planned for Spetmeber if feasible.

Appreciate you taking the time though

Sorry, you're right I missed that.
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Old 16-05-2011, 14:18   #8
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Re: Sailing the N Atlantic Eastbound

September's probably the worst month for your route. The Cape Verde storms are still active and tend to veer north and northeast, right along the same path you'd be taking, and for the same reason--that's where the winds guide them. By October the Cape Verde storms are subsiding and the western Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and East Coast of the US become more active.

You can find a lot of info on the NHS website. Here's a page showing historical storm tracks by month: Tropical Cyclone Climatology Look at September and tell me if you'd like to roll the dice!

Some years are much more active than others. I was in the eastern Caribbean in 2005 and the late season storms were quite prolific. From the Unisys site:


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Old 16-05-2011, 16:37   #9
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Re: Sailing the N Atlantic Eastbound

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Sorry Alecadi - I did actually say that I know that May is the "normal best" time to go but that I planned for Spetmeber if feasible.
way too late to be closing on the Northern European landmass,

Dave
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Old 16-05-2011, 17:02   #10
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pirate Re: Sailing the N. Atlantic Eastbound

Ive done 3 crossing in the last 10yrs... April.. and the other two mid June...
all generally good runs except one which involved a serious 4 day blow approaching Flores which had me laid ahull for the duration... visibility was 150 metres due to torrential rain... when it lifted I was just 5miles of Flores which had what looked like 100 waterfalls of the Western cliffs.... I was coming from NC-Bermuda...
I never go via Bermuda from the Islands and have been lucky (actually I choose the moment) in as much as I've always had SEly's when I've set off to help me across the stream...
But September... if its your boat I wish you luck... if its a delivery I hope your being paid well...
Mind.. thats if your boats not hit by a hurricane before then while its waiting to sail....
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