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Old 21-03-2014, 05:31   #106
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

Even if there were not other reasons, we would want to go to the Azores. A special place. Islands in the middle of the ocean that sailors have long depended on. A unique land. We'd hate to just pass them by and never experience them. And when we do get there, it's not going to be just to fuel and head on. At least a week, maybe two, each way. And if it's a week but weather says we need to extend, then we'll do so with pleasure. Some of our best times have come from having to stay over somewhere longer than planned.
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Old 21-03-2014, 05:59   #107
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
On alcohol: I never meant to suggest that non-drinkers should start drinking. I suggested that they participate in the "happy hour" event because of it's importance as team building opportunity. The Virgin Mary's that I suggested are non alcoholic.

Consuming alcohol in the amounts that I indicated, has no noticeable effect on dehydration when enough water is consumed also. Like so many things, a little is not bad while too much can kill. Even water can kill you if you consume too much of it.

Furthermore, this tradition of a drink together is not about a macho culture. It is a centuries old custom that exist for very good reasons.

If a non-alcohol boat is looking for crew, it may be best to select all non-drinkers. Probably same for smoking.
I agree with Nick here. I believe that life on passage should be as comfortable and as near normal as possible. It helps make the transition to a watch schedule easier and it also can reduce fatigue. We provision and eat in the same manner on passage as when cruising. If one's daily routine is to have one glass of red wine with dinner, have your one glass of wine.

If you keep your water intake up where it should be, consuming a small amount of alcohol will not affect your hydration.
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Old 21-03-2014, 06:08   #108
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

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Now the Azores -- we can not say enough about the azores and the people and the culture -- we just wish we could have spent more time -- it is simply an incredible place and not to be missed -- our problem was the schengren agreement and the need to move on or we would have spent more time and visited more islands -- we liked it so much the admiral wanted to move there
chuckr,

We were equally taken with the Azores. For those of us who to abide by the 90/180 day Schengen rules, make Ireland or the UK your next stop to get some non-Schengen time.

P.S. They changed the Schengen rules lightly. It is no longer 90 days in the 6 months after your first entry. It is now a rolling 90 days out of the last 180 days. see DGs - Home Affairs - What we do - ...Schengen, Borders & Visas - Border crossing
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Old 21-03-2014, 06:25   #109
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

SWMBO and I race and cruise double handed. We think extra crew are something of a liability also they need food and water, besides all the gear they bring with them. Tiredness is a non-issue with our relaxed 3hr scchedule.
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Old 21-03-2014, 06:58   #110
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

I've done 3 crossings E to W each one different only one was to the Acores two were from Newfoundland 1 direct to France and the last direct to Ireland. I agree mostly with what has been said here. But I think the most important thing to watch out for is Fatigue! If your not well rested then even little things can quickly become major ones. what works for us is my wife does the night shifts as she can sleep anytime or anywhere. where as I have a really hard time sleeping during the day.
So do whatever works for you But don't get over tired!
Oh and Hi Sestina will sent an email.
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Old 21-03-2014, 06:59   #111
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

The picture in your last comment kind of baffled me tbh Atoll...

As far as I knew the safe time to cross Biscay was june/july before rough weather starts getting into that area in september/october, possibly even august. Then making your way down to the tradewinds at ease to arrive "where the butter melts" no earlier then november. The big crossing would then start somewhere november/december.

Looking at your picture, that would make for quite an unpleasant sail, no? Even being south enough to miss the highest windspeeds you'd be battling building seas and sailing against the wind...
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Old 21-03-2014, 07:44   #112
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

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The picture in your last comment kind of baffled me tbh Atoll...

As far as I knew the safe time to cross Biscay was june/july before rough weather starts getting into that area in september/october, possibly even august. Then making your way down to the tradewinds at ease to arrive "where the butter melts" no earlier then november. The big crossing would then start somewhere november/december.

Looking at your picture, that would make for quite an unpleasant sail, no? Even being south enough to miss the highest windspeeds you'd be battling building seas and sailing against the wind...
what you need to realise is that the azores are situated in the "variables,or what was know as "the horse lattitudes",during the summer,the azores high pressure system is situated more or less over the azores islands.

north of the azores high you have westerly to south westerly trade winds,inside the high you have light and variable winds,and to the south you have your north easterly-easterly trade winds.

the position of the high is governed by the north atlantic jet stream,and north atlantic low pressure systems that track east,taking their energy from the warm gulf stream and the cold jet stream.

during the winter as the earth tilts,that area of variables also moves south,putting the azores more in the path of atlantic low pressure systems,and making them more vunerable to severe weather,something to be avoided in a small yacht!

i belive you could easily leave from the azores in december,and head due south untill you find the north easterly trades 4-600 miles to the south with a good weather window,but leaving early in the season for the caribean you would also run the risk of a late season hurricane to the south of you.

crossing the biscay can be done in relative safety as late as november,as there are relatively short distances between safe havens to wait for weather window on your trip south.

however heading direct to the azores from northen europe after the end of september is not something i would reccomend!
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Old 21-03-2014, 07:59   #113
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post

here is a picture of the grib files from passage weather last december,taken at about the same time as yachts started leaving the canary islands for the caribean.......a picture is worth a 1000 words!

this is know in the trade as a "Pizza Weather Forecast".
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Old 21-03-2014, 08:12   #114
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

Whoa, Chuck....don't go yet..
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
i am out of this thread now as i have had my say - and john is much better writer and sailor than i will ever be and says it better
'Cause I disagree with you 100%....I'm NOT a better writer and sailor than you....






Seriously, we actually AGREE on just about everything...(fuel, water, Azores, etc. even the weather)....just use different wording...
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
second in terms of a weather window - i will disagree with john a bit but not much -- we look at both the short term forecasts and get an idea for the next day or two but we also look at the long range forecast and in particular the fronts and some of the timing or projected timining - while only a guess it does give us an idea and using some acquired knowledge we try to interpert them as to the probability of them coming down on us and then make our decisions - we did that when we crossed last year and while the models showed the fronts a bit farther north than where we would be sailing i did not like what we saw and thought they might come farther south and if they did it would not be a good day and in the end they did go south and were glad we waited - but it is a bit of a guessing game and you have to be prepared
I just don't like the term weather window....
In many newer cruisers, it seems to conjure up ideas that you can "pick" a time to go and all will be fine with the weather enroute....this concept is true for those heading from S. Florida to the Bahamas, etc. where all you need is one day of favorable weather...but it is not true for crossing an ocean...

Doing what Chuck did (and recommends) is GOOD....and will teach you a lot about ocean weather as well..

I just don't call it a "weather window"!



Fair winds...


John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 21-03-2014, 11:49   #115
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Whoa, Chuck....don't go yet.. 'Cause I disagree with you 100%....I'm NOT a better writer and sailor than you....






Seriously, we actually AGREE on just about everything...(fuel, water, Azores, etc. even the weather)....just use different wording...
I just don't like the term weather window....
In many newer cruisers, it seems to conjure up ideas that you can "pick" a time to go and all will be fine with the weather enroute....this concept is true for those heading from S. Florida to the Bahamas, etc. where all you need is one day of favorable weather...but it is not true for crossing an ocean...

Doing what Chuck did (and recommends) is GOOD....and will teach you a lot about ocean weather as well..

I just don't call it a "weather window"!



Fair winds...


John
s/v Annie Laurie
thanks john and chuckr, i totally agree that the term "weather window" is misleading,and really only applies to shorter passages,5 days fairly accurately and (10 days at a maximum in tropical trade wind conditions.)

in the north atlantic weather systems track across at the rate of one every 3-5 days once you get above about 30-35 north during the summer.
meaning that at some stage of the trip you will have to deal with at least one weather front with 40knot plus winds passing over you if leaving from the caribean,more if coming from the west.

a weather window would apply more to timing your departure from the azores to make a landfall in the straights or mainland portugal with favourable conditions
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Old 21-03-2014, 12:29   #116
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azores 2014 how safe is it?

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your best routing for that from the english channel would probably be to work your way out of the english channel and head directly for the azores in may june,then on to madeira,morrocco,canaries ,gambia for the winter.



for the return trip from gambia ,you can head for the azores via the cape verdes any time from april to october.

hurricanes do start to form off the west african coast,but generally do not develop untill much further west.



if only using the azores on the return trip as a stop over,i would say october would be the latest in the season to depart from the azores before the really severe atlantic storms start.



a friend of mine did the gambia,cape verde,ponta delgada azores trip the year before last,then onto the algarve in his catamaran,with no major issues.

apart from the marina authoraties in the azores insisting he had 3rd party insurance!

Atoll, I do not think you read the original post by Orchidius correctly. He said, after exploring The Gambia, he then wanted to go to Cape Verde before crossing, ie crossing to the Caribbean. My route south would be from the Channel across the Bay of Biscay and then coastal hop south, cross the Gib approaches well off and then coastal hop down the Morocco coast. Personally, I would not go to the Canary Islands, but continue down to Cape Verde to provision before heading up The Gambia River. After exploring that, I would return to Cape Verde (Mindelo) and prep for the crossing towards the end of the hurricane season. I would keep south and keep a good eye on any late tropical weather. I would not head anywhere near the Azores on the southbound trip, but retain that stop-over when returning from the Caribbean.

John
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Old 21-03-2014, 12:56   #117
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

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Atoll, I do not think you read the original post by Orchidius correctly. He said, after exploring The Gambia, he then wanted to go to Cape Verde before crossing, ie crossing to the Caribbean. My route south would be from the Channel across the Bay of Biscay and then coastal hop south, cross the Gib approaches well off and then coastal hop down the Morocco coast. Personally, I would not go to the Canary Islands, but continue down to Cape Verde to provision before heading up The Gambia River. After exploring that, I would return to Cape Verde (Mindelo) and prep for the crossing towards the end of the hurricane season. I would keep south and keep a good eye on any late tropical weather. I would not head anywhere near the Azores on the southbound trip, but retain that stop-over when returning from the Caribbean.

John
yes sorry if it was misleading ,he sent me a pm wanting to know routes to the azores from europe,and posed the question of why not to head to the caribean direct from the azores,not because he was thinking of doing it ,but as a theoretical question discussing west bound passages..or at least that was my understanding
see the paragraph below posted by orchidius.

my quote above was a discussion of that theoretical route,and why it would not be ideal compared to the more traditional "milk run" route in nov- dec

Originally Posted by Orchidius
Do you think there is enough interest to open a second topic discussing weather/routing for the Westbound passage, or to integrate it in the existing topic at all?

edit now i read it again you could be correct he was not talking about that at all"!,
but the west bound milk run route in december via canarys,which is probably best discussed in another thread
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Old 21-03-2014, 13:04   #118
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

as a further aside from discussing west bound routes,there are quite a few boats from france and england that winter in the gambia and senegal.

generally leaving the uk around september and arriving in the gambia around november,spend the winter there,then return to the uk from gambia via the azores in april-may- june.........with nice suntans!
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Old 21-03-2014, 13:15   #119
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

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as a further aside from discussing west bound routes,there are quite a few boats from france and england that winter in the gambia and senegal.
Really? Most excellent. Need to follow up research on this.
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Old 21-03-2014, 18:52   #120
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Re: azores 2014 how safe is it?

i have borrowed this from weavis,as i think it raises good points on safety at sea,relevant to the discussion,from a single handers point of view,and from a crews point of view on safety.

Keeping Watch at Night ?


Re: Keeping Watch at Night ?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Greetings from not so sunny U.K. this morning. I love threads like this. For an observer, it certainly is entertaining to see the personalities involved. For the record, Im English, worked abroad in the medical field for the last 25 years, Australia, Europe and 12 years in the USA. As of now Im back and forth to Spain and Italy teaching.

My background in sailing is mainly inland waters and coastal. Had a Seawych 19 and an Eventide 24 (in U.K.) plus assortment of USA offshore power cruisers (up to 45 foot) mainly used for Gulf fishing in Florida. Not what I would call extensive experience compared to you guys, but would be out there 3 or 4 days a week sometimes overnighting. The Gulf can blow up nasty as you are aware.

The one thing I note is that my 'response' to posts is very English. We as a race tend to veer towards understatement, sarcasm, humour and self or other deprecation. We as a race, are not averse to calling B.S. and dont suffer fools gladly, and at the same time we, in the main, couch it in a relatively polite manner but dripping in sarcasm for those that can read between the lines.

I have experienced the rigidness of the USA system of absolutes, as well as in some European countries, and have tried to adapt to their rules, their ways, but in the end, we are who we are and that will always be there.

All the experienced posters writing on this forum, are still alive. They achieved that by applying methods that culture, study and common sense made it so. However, other sailors did it differently and are still alive. That tells me that in the main... a lot of different techniques work. Some maybe better than others, some not as well.

Now I like the style of Boatman, his writing style and oulook on life make me laugh. But more than this, I am sure his competence as a skipper and sailor is far above the norm. His concern for the vessel and safety is imbedded so deep that it is instinctive to do the right thing at all times from training and experience. I also note some of the more 'rigid' and dogmatic skippers have equal amounts of experience and competence, but express it through ways in which it suits them to get things done, for them.

All of us want to be safe. All of us are concerned for the wellbeing of crew, vessel and others, not to mention ourselves. We have different backgrounds, some military, some laid back travelers and some just who we are.

The basic reason with a set of laws is of attribution of blame in the event of something going wrong. If blame is attached for an incident involving an unattended watch, then REGARDLESS of the reason for it not being observed, the law stands. Each skipper has to determine how to avoid consequences on his or her vessel.

Safety is paramount. Each skipper has to live with their conscience if an event happens out of his or her control. Some tighten up routine, some impose harsh rules of operation, some do this some do that. Some boat rules seem opposite to what we would do but hey, its their boat... either sail on it with knowledge of their ways or.......... dont.

I sail alone for the most part because if I want to get somewhere, Im not committed to returning at a set time. I dont always end up where Im going. I have never done a trip more than 150 miles solo, and in a motor vessel this can be done quickly, and if in a sailing vessel, Im used to staying up 24 hours or more at a stretch. I can power nap for 30 mins in 12 hours for days then need to sleep for 4 hours to recharge. Others do not have my background training or experience and I do not expect them to do what I do. My instincts on a vessel is to always be on the deck if alone. If I need to whizz... I whizz over the side, If number two is brewing, I make sure Im ready to part with it and start to finish its done in 5 minutes in the head.

If Im crewing, and I know the skipper and he knows me, he is aware of my self protectionist attitude and reluctance to hit a moving vessel or be hit by one. He sleeps easy and so do I.

As far as lights go... if I need to read a chart, I have a red light.. If I dont have a red one, I have a low powered white one. I gave up trying to read in the dark years ago. I also have a pair of those enclosed dark sunglasses so popular with older folk.. I put them on if have to go below for a dump or to boil water. Even in cabin light, it negates night blindness by just allowing you to see and no more. And that is the point of light, to stop you pouring boiling water over your legs instead of the mug and to place your posterior where the heads opening is..

Skipper is the boss. Hopefully not an ego maniac or have an arrogant persona. We have to decide what we are capable of and capable of putting up with, and if his or her estimation of our talents differ, then we need to find another berth. Im not as experienced as many of you and will bow to and bend to your knowledge. I have mild difficulties when that knowledge is couched in absolutes and personal preferences which are dictatorial in nature. No need to elaborate, we all know people like this.

Thank you all so much for sharing your experience and knowledge so freely, with your quirks and personalites and differences. I have learned so very much.
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