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Old 13-09-2016, 08:19   #1
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Atlantic Crossing West-East in Winter

Hey guys,

I am new to this forum and also foreign - so please excuse my English skills. ;-)

I sailed my OVNI 345 from Europe to the Caribbean last year. In mid-February 2017 we plan to sail her from Antigua/St. Maarten to the Azores. We were thinking about Cornell's direct route ("track north-easterly towards the Azores and stay south of 30 N until 40 W direct from Caribbean") in order to avoid some of the bad weather further up north. I checked the Pilot Charts, information from other sailor etc. and I am aware that February is probably not the best month for the crossing.

Nevertheless, I am wondering whether anyone in this forum did an Atlantic Crossing from the Caribbean to the Azores in Winter and who would be willing to share his/her experiences with us.

Thanks a lot

Hermann from Austria
SY Boreval
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Old 13-09-2016, 09:33   #2
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Re: Atlantic Crossing West-East in Winter

Not sure of his route but this guy had a rough time on a winter crossing to the UK.

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Old 17-09-2016, 12:06   #3
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Re: Atlantic Crossing West-East in Winter

Welcome to CruisersForum, helu54
There have been some discussions about west-east Atlantic crossing:
West US Coast toTrans-Atlantic Passage
2015 Another bad year in the Azores..?
The N Atlantic ocean is not a recommended place to be in winter.

Alain
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Old 17-09-2016, 12:58   #4
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Re: Atlantic Crossing West-East in Winter

It is very early, too early, given the boat and the intended route.

I have clients sailing this route every year, a couple of boats each year over last 7 years or so.

My standing advice is: do not depart before mid-April: big boats with pro crews. Smaller boats and weaker crews not before mid-May.

The passage can be done any time of the year. Not by a pleasure boat with amateur crew though.

If forced to sail early, I would not go as far N as Azores. Your main challenge being lows passing W to E and at times getting way below the islands. These lows drag long tails (fronts) with associated VERY NASTY conditions.

Look up BA NP 136 or else Cornell's book for more feedback.

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PS Once done reading this thread, should you feel in need of any further discouragement, feel free to contact me via a pm.
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Old 17-09-2016, 13:27   #5
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pirate Re: Atlantic Crossing West-East in Winter

I took a Lagoon from Ft Lauderdale to SE Spain leaving in Feb 2014.. sailed over the top of the Bahama's then back down SE to dodge the N'lies.. tracked E'wards but was forced N to the Azores by electrical problems.. then light winds slowed me right down as I could not start engines due to flat batteries (mystery dump during electrical storm).. the resulting CF farce caused me more hassle than the flat batteries..
Its no big deal just stay well S riding the S'lies and grab as much Easting as you can before heading N..
This may be of interest.. or not..

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Old 18-09-2016, 05:28   #6
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Re: Atlantic Crossing West-East in Winter

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Hermann.
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Old 21-09-2016, 00:23   #7
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Re: Atlantic Crossing West-East in Winter

Hey guys,

thanks a lot for your replies! Luckily we were able to modify our timeline: now we are going to spend a few weeks in the Caribbean during winter before flying back to Europe. We then come back in June to sail her back to Europe.

In the meantime I talked to a few sailors who do 1-2 crossings during winter every season. They also said that is high risk and hard work and such a passage should be avoided if possible!

Hermann from Austria
SY Boreval
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