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Old 07-12-2010, 07:15   #16
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Seems like your skipper has his routing all mixed up - I would always go south with the Trade winds, Canaries and then Caribbean, BVIs probably and then north with the Gulf stream. Most delivery skippers only call in at the Azores when coming eastbound from the states. Have you checked out the skipper's credentials?
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:48   #17
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thanks for the advice guys.
i pretty much expected that things are looking dangerous.

i think the plan is to head towards florida after azores - that would mean sailing between 28 and 35 degrees N...
then when we reach the gulfstream sail up towards chesapeake.

i wonder if that's good enough ...
I don't think any course via the Azores will be good. Is the owner for some reason completely set on going to the Azores? I don't think you mentioned where you are starting in France. If leaving from NW France on the English Channel or the Bay of Biscay I guess I can see why he wants to go via the Azores. Still by that route if you head from the Azores "directly" towards Florida is still too far north. You will be subject to head winds or no winds and storms.

You should go south to the Canaries and forget the Azores. From the Canaries take up a course for the Northwest Providence Channel or even towards the Virgin Islands.

Even though this route on the map looks longer I guarantee it will be much faster and much easier. Have you or the owner looked at the Pilot Charts that show wind directions and current? You should go to this site and study the charts.

http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/St...106/106jan.pdf

You are sailing and must follow the winds and currents. Direct routes only make sense for big cargo ships.

Forget the Azores, forget the northern route. Go south. If the owner demands going to the Azores at least from the Azores go south until you reach the trade wind belt.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:18   #18
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starting from bay of biscay after 15th of december.
only thing skip seems to be concerned is getting out of biscay.
he's got more than 100000 nm experience incl. a circumnavigation.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:26   #19
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starting from bay of biscay after 15th of december.
only thing skip seems to be concerned is getting out of biscay.
he's got more than 100000 nm experience incl. a circumnavigation.
You have to get out of Biscay whatever route you take..... His way, you then have a a good chance of severe weather for a couple of thousand miles.

I guess this is with a delivery company - if so, does it start with R?
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:43   #20
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Yes and it is the same company. i know what happened in 2005.
but route is not company's call, it's skipper's decision.
we don't have any deadlines... we'll have to discuss stuff...
i'm meeting the skipper in person on friday...
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:49   #21
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Yes and it is the same company. i know what happened in 2005.
but route is not company's call, it's skipper's decision.
we don't have any deadlines... we'll have to discuss stuff...
i'm meeting the skipper in person on friday...
2005 was not the only one! I know of another incident off the coast of N America.

Take care - I had some 'interesting' skippers and delivery experiences.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:53   #22
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what other incident? is it in the atlantic?
besides the 2005 2 incidents of reliance - one in pacific s of seattle and 2nd in atlantic around bermuda, both with cats, i don't know other ones?
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:03   #23
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I've PM'd you - sorry everyone else!
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:05   #24
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In the very old days, people went South East-to-West and North West-to-East because the boats and ships didn't point very well. More recently, East-to-West folks head to the Canaries and on to the Caribbean for one of two reasons: to get warm as early as possibly or because everyone tells them they should. *grin*

My East-to-West experience is in May, not December or January. We went from Plymouth to Azores to Bermuda to Norfolk to Annapolis. Good time, very little bad weather once past the English Channel, and very rarely pointed higher than a close reach. We spent a couple of days on a spinnaker run. A quick look at the pilots indicates that historically wind speeds will be higher in December than April or May but not necessarily a beat across.

Looking at the current North Atlantic conditions and the forecasts (you are talking about leaving this month, right?) it doesn't look too bad. For a well found boat, with heat on board, and a good weather forecast before you head out it should be fine. Sail starboard tack as high as you can without getting above Azores and provision enough so you can head straight to Bermuda if conditions dictate.

On a delivery you keep the boat safe, go as fast as you can, and try to have a good time in that order. The owner doesn't owe you a cruise. If those priorities aren't okay with you don't sail on a delivery.

Based on what information you have provided I think the delivery skipper is making a reasonable call.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:37   #25
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In the very old days, people went South East-to-West and North West-to-East because the boats and ships didn't point very well. More recently, East-to-West folks head to the Canaries and on to the Caribbean for one of two reasons: to get warm as early as possibly or because everyone tells them they should. *grin*

My East-to-West experience is in May, not December or January. We went from Plymouth to Azores to Bermuda to Norfolk to Annapolis. Good time, very little bad weather once past the English Channel, and very rarely pointed higher than a close reach. We spent a couple of days on a spinnaker run. A quick look at the pilots indicates that historically wind speeds will be higher in December than April or May but not necessarily a beat across.

Looking at the current North Atlantic conditions and the forecasts (you are talking about leaving this month, right?) it doesn't look too bad. For a well found boat, with heat on board, and a good weather forecast before you head out it should be fine. Sail starboard tack as high as you can without getting above Azores and provision enough so you can head straight to Bermuda if conditions dictate.

On a delivery you keep the boat safe, go as fast as you can, and try to have a good time in that order. The owner doesn't owe you a cruise. If those priorities aren't okay with you don't sail on a delivery.

Based on what information you have provided I think the delivery skipper is making a reasonable call.
Sorry but I beg to differ. First, weather in Dec vs May is not the same. Then, the OP has not said exactly where they plan to head in the US but if anywhere north of Miami they will be crossing the Gulf Stream in Jan far enough north that they are almost guaranteed to catch at least one front. Not a good idea.

I assume you are aware of the recent Carib 1500 and the weather they experienced?
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:44   #26
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Sorry but I beg to differ. First, weather in Dec vs May is not the same. Then, the OP has not said exactly where they plan to head in the US but if anywhere north of Miami they will be crossing the Gulf Stream in Jan far enough north that they are almost guaranteed to catch at least one front. Not a good idea.

I assume you are aware of the recent Carib 1500 and the weather they experienced?
The weather below the mid-ocean high--where ever that is at the time--is generally not so bad.

The OP did say where they are going: Chesapeake Bay.

Front's off the East Coast can be unpleasant. Some years are worse than others. They do seem to follow patterns. Last year was ugly. The year before was pretty gentle. The pattern should be in place before they leave. Regardless, it isn't terrible, just unpleasant.

I'm very aware of the sad experience of Rule 62. There is a huge difference between trying to get into a very narrow cut in the Bahamas during a rage and entering the Chesapeake. The Chesapeake is a very friendly entrance.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:48   #27
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East-to-West

Two minor comments....

1) While Dave is correct in what he wrote, and I know others who've made East-to-West crossings in the summertime (in the month of June, from Gib to Maderia to Bermuda to US), you can do this passage.....

I stand behind my original thoughts...
"You might make it fine, but I'd certainly NOT recommend anyone doing it as their first passage....."
It will be cold, wet, and upwind....


2) Biscay is a BITCH in the winter....
My father lost a finger sailing there.....cut off half of his ring finger, pulling in a reef, while sailing the Bay of Biscay in November....


Don't know what else to write, except for wishing you good luck and fair winds!!!


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Old 07-12-2010, 13:33   #28
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My East-to-West experience is in May, not December or January. We went from Plymouth to Azores to Bermuda to Norfolk to Annapolis. Good time, very little bad weather once past the English Channel, and very rarely pointed higher than a close reach. We spent a couple of days on a spinnaker run.
We ourselves have done east to west in the north, but we went up to the faroes and above iceland and had a spinnaker run much of the way. But that was during the summer, and even then we did have a force 9 snowstorm above iceland (June 4th if I remember correctly and we saw it coming and were snug at anchor).

In the winter all we can say for sure is that it will be cold at night and the weather unpredicable.

For what its worth, here is the current grib forecast for the 15th dec. Its too far away to be accurate but is suggestive . . .
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Old 07-12-2010, 13:38   #29
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Actually it looks like you've a nice window for getting outa the Bicay starting Sat coming up.... the next few days look like light winds and minmum swells.... thats MagicSeaweed....
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Old 07-12-2010, 13:57   #30
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Here are the key parts of the dec pilot chart.

13% chance at any given day of a gale (Force 8 or more) leaving the Bay of B. 1200nm roughtly from the Bay to the azores, lets say 8 days, which gives you a 67% probability of greater than force 8 sometime during that leg.

The wind direction is predoment headwinds leaving the Bay of B, shifting to slightly more equal from all directions around the azores. But even in the best case, completely equal from all directions means headwind 25% of the distance.

It can certaintly be done. And it might be a great adventure. But I would for sure want to have absolute confidence in both the boat and the skipper, and be sure I was personally up to working thru winter storms.
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