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Old 24-01-2021, 02:47   #1
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La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

Hi - we are currently taking delivery of our new 50ft catamaran in La Rochelle and with Schengen and Covid, its going to be impossible to hang around the Mediterranean for a season as I originally planned. Therefore I'm looking at crossing the Bay of Biscay at the start of April (as I did with my last boat) and heading straight for the Caribbean in April/May before the hurricane season. We will spend the hurricane season in the ABCs as we have done before, before pushing onto the Pacific.

I've previously crossed the Atlantic in November, but haven't been able to find much information on crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean much later than normal in Aril/May and are keen to get some feedback.
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Old 24-01-2021, 03:16   #2
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Re: La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

We did the ARC at the beginning of November, free meals and drinks.
https://www.worldcruising.com/arc/event.aspx
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Old 24-01-2021, 03:41   #3
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Re: La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

Enjoy the summer in Europe / Africa then sail to the Caribbean in November.


Morrocco


Tanja Marina Bay - Vivez l’experience d’une marina urbaine au coeur de la baie de Tanger
Plus others along the Med and Atlantic coasts


or even the UK or Ireland, neither are in Schengen.
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Old 24-01-2021, 05:19   #4
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Re: La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

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Originally Posted by Tupaia View Post
Enjoy the summer in Europe / Africa then sail to the Caribbean in November.


Morrocco


Tanja Marina Bay - Vivez l’experience d’une marina urbaine au coeur de la baie de Tanger
Plus others along the Med and Atlantic coasts


or even the UK or Ireland, neither are in Schengen.
It may have escaped you theres a pandemic , its unlikejy there will be any travel in Europe before autumn. The eu is currently debating new restrictions , and its most unlikely either the uk or Ireland will allow in anyone soon ( they are considering a joint island bubble strategy )
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Old 24-01-2021, 05:49   #5
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Re: La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

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It may have escaped you theres a pandemic , its unlikejy there will be any travel in Europe before autumn. The eu is currently debating new restrictions , and its most unlikely either the uk or Ireland will allow in anyone soon ( they are considering a joint island bubble strategy )

Point taken about Covid, I was more addressing the Schengen issues.


Since the OP mentioned Schengen I assumed he is not an eu citizen so unless he is already in France, it will be a problem anyway as getting in is virtually impossible at the moment.


"The French government has defined essential travel as entry by French citizens, residents of France, all foreign (including United States citizen) students (with appropriate visa or residence permit), and spouses and children of French citizens".


There again a lot can happen in a few months, but being delayed for any reason could put him arriving in the Caribbean at the start of the hurricane season.
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Old 24-01-2021, 05:51   #6
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Re: La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

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Point taken about Covid, I was more addressing the Schengen issues.


Since the OP mentioned Schengen I assumed he is not an eu citizen so unless he is already in France, it will be a problem anyway as getting in is virtually impossible at the moment.


"The French government has defined essential travel as entry by French citizens, residents of France, all foreign (including United States citizen) students (with appropriate visa or residence permit), and spouses and children of French citizens".


There again a lot can happen in a few months, but being delayed for any reason could put him arriving in the Caribbean at the start of the hurricane season.
I agree , and getting out of Atlantic France , is tricky weather wise at best until late April , may
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Old 24-01-2021, 09:42   #7
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Re: La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

Sail to the Canaries and spend the summer sailing around the islands, they are lovely and Covid is very low,,, then in November make the crossing across the pond, that way youll avoid the hurricane season.
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Old 24-01-2021, 09:56   #8
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Re: La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

Whilst you obviously have been across the pond previously, Les Weatheritt, in his book "Your First Atlantic Crossing", bemoans the fact that they had not allowed sufficient time to explore the West African coast. They had spent a few days there and regretted not spending more.
In any event, what are you going to do in the Caribbean from June til October?
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Old 24-01-2021, 10:12   #9
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Re: La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

Not sure how Covid plays; but Tunisia and the Morocco - both Med and Atlantic are excellent areas to visit. Also ideal places to get things done at value prices. Marinas reasonably cheap.
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Old 24-01-2021, 10:19   #10
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Re: La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

I did it from La Rochelle in (too) late May across a calm Biscay via Madeira and encountered a couple of tropical depressions before reaching Panama. Required a lot of fuel and hazy along the trafficked Portuguese coast - hairy.
Next time in April out of the Mediterranean by the Canaries and Cape Verde - a perfect sail with almost no fuel consumption.
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Old 24-01-2021, 11:43   #11
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Re: La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

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Sail to the Canaries and spend the summer sailing around the islands, they are lovely and Covid is very low,,, then in November make the crossing across the pond, that way youll avoid the hurricane season.
The Canaries are within Schengen.
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Old 24-01-2021, 11:55   #12
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Re: La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

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Originally Posted by stull61 View Post
Hi - we are currently taking delivery of our new 50ft catamaran in La Rochelle and with Schengen and Covid, its going to be impossible to hang around the Mediterranean for a season as I originally planned. Therefore I'm looking at crossing the Bay of Biscay at the start of April (as I did with my last boat) and heading straight for the Caribbean in April/May before the hurricane season. We will spend the hurricane season in the ABCs as we have done before, before pushing onto the Pacific.

I've previously crossed the Atlantic in November, but haven't been able to find much information on crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean much later than normal in Aril/May and are keen to get some feedback.
Heres another option. If you need to get out of The EU for reasons of COVID and Schengen regulations, head down to the Cape Verde Islands (stopping in Atlantic Morocco and the Canaries on the way), spend the summer exploring the Cape Verdes - you wont be disappointed - and head to the Caribbean in November.
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Old 24-01-2021, 12:11   #13
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La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

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Originally Posted by psp2psp2 View Post
Heres another option. If you need to get out of The EU for reasons of COVID and Schengen regulations, head down to the Cape Verde Islands (stopping in Atlantic Morocco and the Canaries on the way), spend the summer exploring the Cape Verdes - you wont be disappointed - and head to the Caribbean in November.


Hopefully the sea based pcr testing facility will be open by then , 50 miles away from the verdes so you can happily arrive with a negative test. ( as required )
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Old 24-01-2021, 14:05   #14
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Re: La Rochelle to Caribbean in April/May

You should look at extending you Schengen visa.

I read somewhere that because of the pandemic situation, there are possible exception allowing you to ask for an extension. It may not be an easy request, but it is probably your best chance. I would explore that route before any thing else.

If you are currently in France, you may ask for some help from a french speaking person, because I know the bureaucracy there is terrible.
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