Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-12-2014, 02:02   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 62
Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

Hi fellow sailors. We are crossing the Atlantic, going from St Helena to Tobago, have just left St Helena. I'm wondering which is the best place to cross the equator? Perhaps someone can recommend a good article on the subject, or anyone who has done it could tell me what they recommend?

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rose
__________________

__________________
SailingMum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-12-2014, 04:59   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,592
Images: 240
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

You might Google "Clipper Route".
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-12-2014, 14:29   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 216
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

Done that route about 34 times - it is very easy but you need to keep your depth more than 200 metres at all times so you do not snag any crab or lobster pots off the northern coast of S/America.

Here are the waypoints to keep you in the current, which can flow up to 5 knots off that coast and cut at least 3 days off the trip:

From Jamestown put in a waypoint at 04D 44.8m S / 034D 45.0m W and keep within a reasonable distance from that line, making sure you arrive as close as possible to the waypoint.

Next waypoint is 03D 45.0m S / 037D 30.0m W which will keep you at least in a depth of 500m and keep you passing south of two fishing banks.

Then to a waypoint 01D 45.0m S / 040D 15.0m W

Then to a waypoint 05D 30.0m N / 050D 45.0m W

Your last waypoint is your approach to Tobago, which you need to figure out yourself.

You need to remember that after crossing the equator and getting quite a bit northwest of the delta, the water colour will change in a blink of an eye from blue to brown and remain like that all the way into the Caribbean.

Also, off the coast of French Guyana and Suriname you may come across some extreme upwelling for miles at a time. For the uninitiated, it can be frightening and, due to the silt in the water, your depth sounder may show a depth of only 1 or 2 metres. It is only the silt causing that and just carry on and ignore it. Make sure that all crew are informed of this in case you do come across it.

If you do want to stop off in Fortaleza, let me know and I will give you the waypoints for that diversion off the route given above.

A lot of people may disagree with me but I have found Tobago a place to miss and normally route just north of the island and make my landfall at Prickly Bay on the south coast of Grenada. A much more pleasant experience in my opinion. Good anchorage and friendly customs and immigration folk as well.

Enjoy your Christmas at sea - Dorado and sailfish take the lure after about a week from St Helena, all the way to the Amazon delta, thereafter mostly Bonito and skippies.

You will cross 2 shipping routes just before you get to the Brazilian coast. You also have a lot of shipping all the way up the coast into the Caribbean and need to keep a constant and good watch. John.
__________________
__________________
The Delivery Guy
Now retired after sailing over 400,000nm
JohnT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-12-2014, 18:22   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 62
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

Thank you John! I appreciate that and will pass it on to the skipper. The main problem so far is it's a dead downwind run and not enough wind so a bit floppy. I was hoping for some info on when to cross the equator, so thanks. Google is not helpful because it's all about the route from Europe. Thirty four times is very impressive!
__________________
SailingMum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2014, 02:19   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 216
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

There is no "best time" to cross the equator on this route - the "best place" is where the route I gave you intersects with the equator, which is around 042D 46.0m W.

The section from St Helena to the Brazilian coast is normally light airs out of the ESE and ideal for a spinnaker - as you said, pretty much on the bum. The section up the north coast of South America normally has good winds from off the starboard beam to starboard quarter. The equator runs through the Amazon delta and the ITCZ lies a few degrees above the equator but is very narrow. Sometimes you do not even realise you have passed through it as it is in perpetual motion - you can sail into it and before you know, it has moved south of you and you are north of it with a good easterly breeze. It can also work the other way with a few days of motoring in dead calm.

If running low on fuel when reaching the first waypoint I gave, the best place for fuel is to stop off at the Marina Park Hotel in Fortaleza. It is a bit of a swine navigating in and the marina is pretty crap but doable. There is a fuel station right across the road from the hotel or the marina manager can organise a fuel bowser for you if you need a lot. Just remember that most diesel in Brazil is biodiesel, which is not always "friendly" to your engine. John.
__________________
__________________
The Delivery Guy
Now retired after sailing over 400,000nm
JohnT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2014, 03:30   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 62
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

Thank you John. Could you please tell me how much shipping there is in that area? Would you recommend that a singlehander stay further offshore? We have a radar alarm and AIS alarm so big ships are not so bad, but it is hard for a singlehander to sail through a fleet of small fishing boats. We were thinking it might be better to maybe go outside Fernando de Noronha for this reason.

We don't usually motor at all but are needing to run the generator on this passage because of the light winds and some cloud.

Also I am wondering whether you need to check in at Fortaleza or is it possible to just refuel and leave?

Thanks, I do appreciate the help.

Rose
__________________
SailingMum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2014, 04:40   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 216
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

Rose, I would just stay on the route I posted. There is a lot of shipping and, due to this, they tend to keep a very good watch themselves. The route keeps you away from any of the fishing fleets - that is why I said that you must not proceed into any depth shallower than 200 metres as that is where you get the fishing pots and thus the fishing boats. You will still get lots of shipping that routes north of Fernando de Noronha but then you have little or no current assisting you up the coast.

You mentioned the boat has AIS - is this receive only or both receive and transmit?

You must remember that the commercial shipping off the coast do monitor Ch 16 but the local fishing boats are manned by locals who do not speak English and do not care about the rules of the road (or simply do not know they exist) - if you try and call them on the VHF, you will not get a reply.

I cannot reply on the open forum to your query regarding a fuel stop in Fortaleza - you can contact me directly at zs1jnt (at) gmail dot com if you so wish.

What size yacht are you and what is your draft? Also, what nationality on board? I will post the waypoints into Fortaleza for you tomorrow. John.

Ps: Happy Christmas!
__________________
__________________
The Delivery Guy
Now retired after sailing over 400,000nm
JohnT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2014, 06:35   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: still in a roll of fiberglass around Cape Town
Boat: Leopard 40 (new model)
Posts: 1,202
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Just remember that most diesel in Brazil is biodiesel, which is not always "friendly" to your engine. John.
+1 It pays to know what are your fuel tank gaskets made of, and take some Viton to make gaskets that will survive any variety of biodiesel. I have spent a few days in Salvador learning that!


Sent from my GT-I9300 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
svlamorocha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2014, 06:45   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: still in a roll of fiberglass around Cape Town
Boat: Leopard 40 (new model)
Posts: 1,202
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailingMum View Post

Also I am wondering whether you need to check in at Fortaleza or is it possible to just refuel and leave?
You cannot speak for you about your NEEDS, but Brazilian rules are that you MUST clear. In Fortaleza it will take a taxi ride to the three offices. Only cost is the taxi; no fees apply.

Experienced delivery skippers will at times skip the paperwork when refuelling in Rio Grande or Fortaleza, but their experience will also give them tools that will help them avoid trouble if later on they need to land in Brazil again and people ask questions. They are also less likely to be confused with long-term illegal permatourists.

I can show you a few nice boats that were confiscated from sailors who thought they were not bound by Brazilian rules. In fact in that Fortaleza marina there is a nice confiscated cat that is now used by the Fire department.


Sent from my GT-I9300 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
svlamorocha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2014, 13:55   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 412
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

Hi John, I'm thinking maybe you've delivered a Robertson & Caine or two in that 400,000 miles. I'm thinking about their 47 Power Cat which I may buy in Florida, Bahamas or BVI and eventually take to the US West Coast and then to Hawaii. (Monterey CA to Hilo 2,020nm.) I've seen a video (maybe of you) where they appear to be running the 47PC single-engine. A friend of mine has done that between Hawaii and the US Mainland with other power boats. I'm thinking of two 200 US gallon bladders plus 50 or so gals of emergency fuel and maybe flying a kite off the foredeck. If possible I'd like to get the one-engine fuel consumption/speed/range/power setting numbers if you have them or can direct me to someone who does. Thanks. Jack
__________________
jmschmidt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2014, 14:53   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 216
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

PM sent.
__________________
__________________
The Delivery Guy
Now retired after sailing over 400,000nm
JohnT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2014, 18:15   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 62
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

Thanks for your responses.

I guess we will be clearing in then. In East Africa we seemed to be the only people who bothered. It is a little tricky when the navigator/paperwork doer/cook/homeschooler (ie me) was not on board, so the skipper left the yacht registration certificate in Cape Town. He got through St Helena with a photocopy. Since we're now ahead of all the boats we crossed the Indian Ocean with, we don't have anyone to find out how the officials will react in Brazil or the Caribbean.

John, it's an Australian registered ship with a kiwi skipper aboard. We have AIS that both transmits and receives. I am emailing your responses to the skipper. He has crossed oceans before but never the Atlantic.
__________________
SailingMum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-12-2014, 05:14   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 216
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

Okay Rose, here are the directions into Fortaleza. You need to try and arrive at the previously given waypoint (03D 45.0m S / 037D 30.0m W) in the early hours of the morning, preferably just around sunrise. The reason is that the next waypoint I give you will take you all the way to just outside the Fortaleza commercial harbour and you will be sailing through the fishing grounds that have LOTS of fishing vessels from about surfboard size to some rather large ones. The rather large ones drop off pots (traps) and a marker normally consisting of a chunk of foam with a stick and flag (often black). They are unlit, so this is the reason for having daylight to be able to avoid them as you do not what to snag one of the lines in your prop or rudder.

From the above waypoint go to 03D 41.0m S / 038D 29.0m W which, as mentioned above, is off the commercial port.

Then head for 03D 42.870m S / 038D 31.350m W. This takes you through the commercial anchorage area to just off a rock breakwater. It may appear strange but there is a wreck out to sea and you need to keep well land side of the wreck and the sandbank that has formed around it. The next waypoint is only 1 cable away (1/10 nm) but takes you over the sandbank with about a depth of 3 metres at low tide.

Head for 03D 42.923m S / 038D 31.459m W then 03D 42.899m S / 038D 31.600m W, round the breakwater towards the fishing boats and then turn starboard into Marina Park Hotel marina.

Next warning! The marina is really crap with a floating row of metal pontoons and a bad surge. You have to drop your anchor and reverse onto the pontoons Med style (stern-to). You must make sure the anchor is well set for this as you do not want it to drag and bash your stern on those pontoons. Also, the wind is always from the east, right on the starboard beam, so you need that anchor rode kept tight - I have often put out two anchors for security, one slightly up-wind and one dead ahead of my bows. Also, when entering the marina, the skipper must look out for any lines strung across the marina to the far wall.

Armando is the name of the marina manager (known as "The Fat Man" to delivery skippers) - a pleasant but pretty useless individual. He speaks only a smattering of English. There is nothing free at the marina but you can use the swimming pools and open air pub at the pools. There is no internet in the marina. In the past I have taken a taxi to a 24 hour supermarket in town which has a coffee shop with good free internet. If staying in Fortaleza for a few days, there are some really good restaurants on the beachfront section of the city, opposite the flea market. It is very dangerous to walk in the area outside the hotel perimeter day or night - take a taxi. Also, when paying for anything with a credit or debit card, never let it out of your sight - skimming cards is a favourite pastime in that city!

To get out of Fortaleza is quite easy but again, depart early morning to be able to get off the continental shelf before dark. From the marina go to waypoint 03D 42.7m S / 038D 32.3m W then head for waypoint 02D 55.0m S / 038D 45.0m W. Do not go west of this line as, on the continental shelf, there is a large oil field and it is a restricted area. At this last waypoint turn NW and you will be back in the deep water with no fishing boats to worry you - just go to the next waypoint I gave you in my first post.

Hope the above helps! John.
__________________
__________________
The Delivery Guy
Now retired after sailing over 400,000nm
JohnT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-12-2014, 13:01   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 62
Re: Crossing the South Atlantic, route suggestions?

Thanks very much John. Very helpful and I have passed it all on to the skipper.

Rose
__________________

__________________
SailingMum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
route

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crew Available: Atlantic Crossing from Europe to South America eiasu Crew Archives 0 24-06-2014 14:34
Is it better do W to E Atlantic Crossing via the Southern "Straight" route? foolishsailor Atlantic & the Caribbean 30 18-04-2013 10:56
Crew Wanted: From South Florida -Atlantic Crossing to Spain LuckyBlueAqua Crew Archives 7 14-08-2012 09:34
Preferred Route ? Route #1 or #2? Fitzhume Monohull Sailboats 4 23-05-2012 07:03
How to Convert "*.route" Route File into ".*wpt" File To Be Used in Maxsea V.10 doiroda Navigation 6 10-07-2011 00:53



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:53.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.