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Old 16-07-2014, 13:46   #1
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Transatlantic West to East, October

Hey guys,

I'm inspired to buy a sturdy 70's monohull after the summer and sail eastwards to Europe or Morocco. I'm currently in Newfoundland but will start from where the boat may be - either the Great Lakes or Eastern Seaboard.

How does this plan sound to you? I'm doing my research on weather windows but a specific response would be awesome. Lets say Eastbound from New Jersey by mid-October.

When are the main crossing windows for the North atlantic? Is it ill-advised at other times of year?

Thanks!
Will
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Old 16-07-2014, 14:57   #2
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Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

Please make sure you carry a good epirb

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Old 16-07-2014, 15:25   #3
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Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

and a satphone,make sure you remember to top up..............
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Old 16-07-2014, 16:32   #4
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Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

Quote:
Please make sure you carry a good epirb
Quote:
and a satphone,make sure you remember to top up..............
Or not...
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Old 17-07-2014, 05:27   #5
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Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Will.

Generally, May through July are the favoured months for eastbound crossings (Americas to Europe).
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Old 17-07-2014, 05:36   #6
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Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

The previous responses may not have been the advice you were looking for. However, not many will advise you to cross the Atlantic during hurricane season.

If you want specifics on when are the best times and other info, check out any of Jimmy Cornell's books on passage planning. They have exactly the data you need to make a safe passage.
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Old 17-07-2014, 05:44   #7
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Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

I wouldn't do it. Not only are you still in hurricane season but crossing the Atlantic that far north you are at high risk of an early season Nor'easter. For a well known example, remember the book and movie The Perfect Storm? That started late Oct.

I second the recommendation that you check some sources for weather patterns. Jimmy Cornell's boot is good but you can look at the pilot charts free on the net. Link to the charts for Oct in the north Atlantic ocean here.

http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/St...106/106oct.pdf
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Old 17-07-2014, 06:29   #8
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Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

By the way, regarding windows. Looking at specific weather and windows of good weather are good for a few days. After that you will be at the mercy of whatever comes your way.

If you are asking about a season where the odds of severe weather, gales, etc is lowest then mid to late spring is your best option for crossing to Europe from the NE USA.
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Old 17-07-2014, 07:54   #9
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Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

There was a fellow who tried sailing across with a small kite driven boat recently around that time of year. He was besieged by one storm after storm until he finally had to abandon his boat and voyage in the middle of the Northern Atlantic.
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Old 17-07-2014, 08:21   #10
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pirate Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

Considering your end game includes Morocco why not sail S down to N Florida then hang a left over the top of the Bahamas and head for Madeira.. its balancing yourself along the top of the S'lies as you head E between 25-30N..
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Old 19-07-2014, 09:31   #11
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Transatlantic West to East, October

As GordMay says, May to July is the usual period. You want the steady favorable Westerlies of early summer without the hurricanes, or the storms of winter. Last time I did one it was very light winds so get those jerry cans of fuel loaded also. Head for the Azores.
I remember one of the worst storms to hit the UK was around October that developed over the USA and dashed across the Atlantic.


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Old 20-07-2014, 16:37   #12
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Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

Great info guys thanks for the replies. I'm flexible on departure after September, and given that hurricane season ends late October would November be a better time?

Looking at the wind and current charts it seems I'll have wind on the stern if I go for the northern route, wind on the bow if I head south and across. I realise the north sounds more intimidating but more realistic surely?
Destination also flexible, at the moment I'm thinking of unloading the boat in the UK for a profit, or storage.

I've got my heart set on the crossing before Christmas. I don't have much blue water experience, so if it was you, what would your plan of action be?

Cheers,
Will
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Old 20-07-2014, 17:42   #13
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Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildWill View Post
I've got my heart set on the crossing before Christmas.
Planning a sailing trip based on a personal schedule or some deadline can be a recipe for disaster. Going to sea the #1 priority in planning is safety and very high on the list for safety is weather.



Quote:
Originally Posted by WildWill View Post
I don't have much blue water experience, so if it was you, what would your plan of action be?
Wait until spring.

Bottom line, you might get lucky leaving Nov and have good weather or the weather might only be moderately bad and you just get your butt kicked a little. Or you might get unlucky and hit a major gale and 50-60' waves, not unheard of in latitudes you'll be sailing.

Crossing oceans always brings some element of risk. When I incur risk I prefer to stack the odds in my favor as much as possible. Leaving late fall to cross the north Atlantic for my taste is putting too much on the wrong side of the equation.

But seems like you've already made up your mind, so go ahead and do it. You will probably make it.
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Old 20-07-2014, 20:09   #14
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Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

Agreed. November is the time for east to west closer to the Tropic of Cancer. If someone asked me to sail West to East during Summer I'd jump at the chance. During November I'd run screaming!


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Old 20-07-2014, 21:11   #15
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Re: Transatlantic West to East, October

On the topic of weather, I'm from England so grew up watching the BBC weather forecasts and the images of isobars and low pressure systems approaching from the N Atlantic. It's not a pretty sight!
I was in the Fastnet disaster of August 1979. Not in the race, but out there in the English Channel on a ferry from France. Hollywood couldn't have dreamed up the images I still remember of a 600 foot ship crashing through seas from Force 10/11 winds. Experienced sailors may not get scared but they get bloody miserable from days in foul weather gear with waves crashing over the bow. Sailing's to be enjoyed not endured.
I do envy your plans though and wish you luck, but hopefully with better weather.


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