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Old 22-11-2009, 00:54   #1
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USA / Caribbean to Capetown

I'm looking for information on the best time of year, and route, to sail from USA/Caribbean to Capetown. The fact that I haven't found anything on any of the threads probably means there is no easy way, but I'd be interested in comments from those who know.
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Old 22-11-2009, 01:41   #2
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Caribbean to Cape Town

Very difficult to sail around top of S America W to E as against winds etc. If I recall correctly must sail N to nearby Caneries then let winds bring you S and across the equator to coast of Brazil ( Natal ) then sail down coast of S America till 35-40 S and catch the roaring 40's to Cape Town. Not a pleasant trip, motor will be needed, extra fuel etc.
Good sailing,
Clyde
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Old 24-11-2009, 03:58   #3
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According to Jimmy Cornell you wouldn't need to go as far south as the 40's. His waypoint for turning to Cape Town is at 30S. Basically he suggests making easting along 35N to about 45W, then turning SE down towards the Cape Verdes. Turning SW at 5N 25W until about 30S 30W then turning for Cape Town (33.55S 18.26E)
He suggests the best time to leave the northern seaboard of the US is November. If you were leaving from the Caribbean I think I would try and make a cruise of it. Leaving the Caribbean early May for the Azores, then down to Madeira/Porto Santo in August. Down to the Canaries in September, down to the Cape Verdes October/November and pick up the other route from there.
If you leave from the Chesapeake area it's 7003nm, from a place he mentions called Brenton (41.25N 71.16W never heard of it) it's 7980nm. Best stay in the armchair and dream about it, I reckon
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Old 24-11-2009, 15:34   #4
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According to Jimmy Cornell you wouldn't need to go as far south as the 40's. His waypoint for turning to Cape Town is at 30S. Basically he suggests making easting along 35N to about 45W, then turning SE down towards the Cape Verdes. Turning SW at 5N 25W until about 30S 30W then turning for Cape Town (33.55S 18.26E)
He suggests the best time to leave the northern seaboard of the US is November. If you were leaving from the Caribbean I think I would try and make a cruise of it. Leaving the Caribbean early May for the Azores, then down to Madeira/Porto Santo in August. Down to the Canaries in September, down to the Cape Verdes October/November and pick up the other route from there.
If you leave from the Chesapeake area it's 7003nm, from a place he mentions called Brenton (41.25N 71.16W never heard of it) it's 7980nm. Best stay in the armchair and dream about it, I reckon
Thanks for that. Your last sentence is the true gem in it, and probably the pick of the advice. It's no wonder your pilgrim fathers decided to settle in the USA and left the Cape to the Dutch!

It almost seems worth it to make a real adventure cruise of it and whip through the Med., down the Red Sea, hang a right with open season on the sea creatures off Somalia, and eventually drop the pick in the shadow of Table Mountain with a glass of the local red!
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Old 24-11-2009, 18:40   #5
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There are some who will beat inshore along the NE coast of S America. Inshore, because the current is less there. Apparently this can be done. My friend has just sailed from Tobago to French Guyana and he says it was upwind, but not impossible. He has a decently upwind capable 46' mono (Comet).

Have you tried to find out from Pilot Charts if there is any time of the year when the stretch to say Fortaleza is easier? Beyond the hook it is OK.

I would not reject this option unless you have loads of time - then off course Azores, Canaries, Brazil ...

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Old 28-11-2009, 11:05   #6
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Ah, actually I'm a Brit...so the Pilgrim fathers are a bunch of quitters
In sept this year I sailed from Tobago down to Guyana (and back up, I'm currently in Grenada). The trip down was slow and a bit bumpy. We were able to sail at night but at sunrise the wind invariably veered and headed us, which meant motor sailing. I agree the counter current is said to be less inshore BUT my southbound track was only 10nm further east than my northbound track and what a difference!!! Southbound we had maybe 0.5-1.5kts against us most of the time whilst northbound we experienced up to 3kts with us on occasions. I would love to say this was due to meticulous planning but my mother always said not to tell fibs! In this particular case had we headed further inshore (southbound) the current would have been worse.
The pilot charts show what is referred to as an equatoral counter current, which flows to the south from about 150nm east of Trinidad. This gradually turns more to the East then disappears. I think that in terms of time it could well be as fast to take Cornell's route, unless you were starting from the Trinidad area in which case I might try it.
I have to say that when considering routing, it usually pays to stick to the tried and tested. Bearing in mind the SE Trades, you would have to sail/motor sail approximately 2400nm from Trinidad south to be able to turn for Cape Town. This begs the question why would you want to do that? Surely better (i.e. faster and more comfortable) to go with the prevailing wind.
Finally, following Cornell's suggested route, you wouldn't actually go to the Azores or the Canaries (unless you wanted to make a pit stop).
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Old 28-11-2009, 13:03   #7
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... Finally, following Cornell's suggested route, you wouldn't actually go to the Azores or the Canaries (unless you wanted to make a pit stop)....
Mr. Cornell has the right (and probably a good reason) to suggest this. But, frankly, the food and drink in both locations are too good to miss them ... ;-)))

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Old 28-11-2009, 16:58   #8
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Ah yes, Peter's sports bar in Horta. Not to mention a little restaurant we found that cooked steak on a hot stone..... actually you cooked it yourself, at the table. The Portuguese Vinho Verde is a very quaffable wine, as is Dao (red wine).
The 'meat on a skewer' that you had delivered to the table in Porto Santo (I can't pronounce this and certainly can't spell it but some thing like Eshkepada). They would bring a sort of 'gantry' to the table which held a skewer of meat. At the very top was a knob of garlic butter which dripped down over the meat into a dish in which you could mop up the sauce with the local bread.
The Canaries...umm, well. The new potatoes 'Canary style' were OK, but personally I found the food in the Canaries nothing too spectacular.
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Old 28-11-2009, 18:17   #9
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[QUOTE=Troutbridge;366531]Ah, actually I'm a Brit...so the Pilgrim fathers are a bunch of quitters

I thought everyone had to be American these days..... you mean we've got choices??

With the whole idea of cruising being to have a good time, meandering through the Azores and Canaries sounds pretty good.

The comments anf feedback have been very interesting.
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Old 29-11-2009, 08:22   #10
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Ah yes, Peter's sports bar in Horta ... The Portuguese Vinho Verde is a very quaffable wine, as is Dao (red wine) ... The Canaries...umm, well. The new potatoes 'Canary style' were OK, but personally I found the food in the Canaries nothing too spectacular.
Vinho Verde is OK and Dao is both red and white. You can also get some quite amazing Moscatel from the region of Setubal - I found it is finer than the French and Spanish varieties, including the famous Alicante.

What you called 'Canary style new potato' are not new potato at all. It is a special variety - (or a variety that does not grow any bigger in partly sandy local soils). But they are not 'new potato'. The Canary style is named 'papas arrugadas' - they are cooked in (formerly) sea water (now I believe just water with salt added) untill the water boils out. On top of it we have mojo - which is a thick sauce (many varieties) that happens to be a historical import from ... Portugal. You will find the same mojo sauce amongst Portuguese-root people in RSA (part of whom are simply refugees kicked out from Portuguese Mozambique).

And papas arrugadas with mojo are just the tip of the iceberg. It takes a dive into local life to see the remaining 9/10 of the iceberg (as anywhere else).

Last but not least, the Malvasia from Lanzarote and some reds from Gran Canaria are probably amongst the best wines we ever had. The only issue here is that they are very pricy - 7 Eur, or more, per bottle (a bottle of decent continental wine here starts at 2.50 Eur, so Malvasia IS pricey).

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Old 04-12-2009, 16:20   #11
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When you started your reply with "Vinho Verde is OK", I just knew I wasn't going to agree with you about much
I think the Canarian wines in general are over-priced (but some are very drinkable, no doubt about it). Sorry, but I found (on several visits) the local cuisine very 'limited', however I don't intend to get into any form of 'P*ing contest about it. If you like it, I'm delighted for you, we should all be in a position to eat and drink what gives us the most pleasure
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Old 04-12-2009, 17:22   #12
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OK. Maybe it's not the BEST cuisine of the world (my mate claims the best food she ever had was on Reunion, an it was a French restaurant). I think what drags down local cuisine (in peninsular Spain too!) is the Spanish unwillingness to experiment and loan from foreign cuisines. Too bad for them, I'd say. You will meet many Germans cooking with olive oil, but very few Spanish using sauerkraut.... Monotony kills good cooking.

2nd & True. The local wines are pricey. Some are very good too. Local Malvasia is, however, GREAT, and anybody claiming otherwise will have to stand and deliver as soon as the sail in within my canons' range ... ;-)))

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Old 05-12-2009, 04:47   #13
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That cook your own meat bar in Horta is great. But back to the main point.

USA / Caribbean to Cape Town. Easy. Go west.
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Old 05-02-2011, 21:36   #14
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Just checking to see if you received any info on your route request =USA to Cape Town,

regards Alan
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Old 05-02-2011, 23:18   #15
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Just checking to see if you received any info on your route request =USA to Cape Town,

regards Alan
Hi Alan, and welcome to the forum.
I thought the members in the posts above covered the question rather well, but I've had no further advice since then.
Vic
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