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Old 26-10-2011, 15:55   #1
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Preferred Route: Annapolis to Bermuda in March ?

Hello all.....looking for preferred route(s) to sail a Island Packet 35 to Bermuda this up coming March; understanding to take the weather / Gulf stream eddies into consideration?
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Old 27-10-2011, 06:46   #2
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Re: Preferred route: Annapolis to Bermuda in March?

If I were you, I'd head down to Hampton or Little Creek and wait for a front to come through. After the front passes the winds usually clock to the SE and are light as a High moves in, so you can motor-sail out of Hampton Roads into the Atlantic. If you leave at noon, you should be across the Gulf Stream by sundown the next day. Make sure to check the forecasts for what may be coming next, because the next front will likely catch you before you get to Bermuda. I recall seeing systems with winds up to 100 knots out there in March a few years ago--sent 15' swells all the way down here to Nevis. Your IP 35 should able to handle the "normal" weather you might see in March; just watch out for the extra-strong systems.

The Gulf Stream current and the cold eddies east of the Stream are factors to consider. Pick a narrow point in the Stream to cross, if you can. Once across, you can gain or lose a couple of knots in the eddies. There are a number of sources of info. You can hire Jenifer Clarke to come up with a custom route for you, or you can try to figure it out for yourself.

Here's one link...

Ocean Prediction Center - NCOM Model Ocean Currents in Gulf Stream Region

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Old 27-10-2011, 16:51   #3
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Does anyone have experience with purchasing either routes or route specific weather?

So with the eddies being a knot or two....is it worth heading north to catch and eddies rotation back south or just deal with the delay?
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Old 28-10-2011, 06:50   #4
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Re: Preferred Route: Annapolis to Bermuda in March ?

It's definitely worth playing the eddies, if you don't have to go waaaay out of the way. If you get a good current chart, you can do the math.

I've used Commander's Weather and Chris Parker for weather routing advice and can recommend both, although I'm not certain Chris extends his routing advice that far north. Jenifer Clarke does the best job with the offshore currents.
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