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Old 29-06-2020, 10:22   #1
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Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

Hello:
I am modeling an Atlantic Circle voyage this year in anticipation of having my boat ready for next Spring and doing it for real then. I hope the world is more open.

For the model, I am watching the weather and sea conditions every 6 hrs on www.ventusky.com. It has been very interesting though not daunting or discouraging.

Planned route: Cape Cod-Azores-Maderia-Canaries-Eastern Carribean-Bermuda-Cape Cod. Start and finish in June.

Any forum readers familiar with the route and have comments? I'd love to hear from you. Of particular interest is information about cruise-ability of the Atlantic Islands and the general provisioning and repair/maintenance capabilities.

My vessel is an Aphrodite 101 which is an old ocean racer designed for the North Sea and Baltic. She is very sea kindly, easy to sail, and in very good condition. I like her but have not ruled out a similar sized vessel with headroom.

I look forward to comments.
Norm
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Old 11-07-2020, 19:23   #2
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Re: Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

Hi.
How are you?

Pleasure to share this passion with you.

I'm messaging you in case our cruise time fits.
We never know.

My name is Johan (32 years old), I am currently living in Australia.

I'll be back in Brittany ( France) October 1st 2020 and I'm looking for a boat as a crew member to cross the Atlantic winter 2021, wherever the place of departure.
Available from November 2020
Arrival: Caribbean sea

I have the project to buy a sailboat, I'll try to find my happiness in the Caribbean.

To introduce myself in a few words,
Sea experience 12 years.
Multipurpose boating technician INB
Yacht master sail offshore RYA
And especially happy to share new experiences.

Happy to reply for more details.
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Old 11-07-2020, 19:43   #3
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Horta in Faial is a good place for lift outs/repairs as it gets a large annual influx of passage makers, it also has a large local fleet.
Madeira not so much though some facilities do exist. Las Palmas Gran Canaria no problem and in the Caribbe St Martin is your best/cheapest bet though there are other islands with facilities.
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Old 13-07-2020, 07:38   #4
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Re: Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

Thanks Boatman61 and Jon:

Jon, I am modeling a solo cruise. Nothing personal. First, I have a small boat and second, I like sailing alone. I've spent over 20 years in the charter biz. Done with people.

Boatman 61, thanks and what do you think about the costs in those islands compared to St marten where I have a lot of experience? Is there any "cruising?" Anchoring out?

Norm
Cape Cod
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Old 13-07-2020, 07:43   #5
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Re: Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

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Hello:
I am modeling an Atlantic Circle voyage this year in anticipation of having my boat ready for next Spring and doing it for real then. I hope the world is more open.

For the model, I am watching the weather and sea conditions every 6 hrs on www.ventusky.com. It has been very interesting though not daunting or discouraging.

Planned route: Cape Cod-Azores-Maderia-Canaries-Eastern Carribean-Bermuda-Cape Cod. Start and finish in June.

Any forum readers familiar with the route and have comments? I'd love to hear from you. Of particular interest is information about cruise-ability of the Atlantic Islands and the general provisioning and repair/maintenance capabilities.

My vessel is an Aphrodite 101 which is an old ocean racer designed for the North Sea and Baltic. She is very sea kindly, easy to sail, and in very good condition. I like her but have not ruled out a similar sized vessel with headroom.

I look forward to comments.
Norm
Cape Cod
Be aware of the EU tourist visa restrictions

Your cruise might not allow it

Typical canaries , Caribbean trip is after Christmas

Also be aware that the places you wish to visit are small... many boats these days , port fill fast

Be alert
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Old 13-07-2020, 08:16   #6
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Thanks Boatman61 and Jon:

Jon, I am modeling a solo cruise. Nothing personal. First, I have a small boat and second, I like sailing alone. I've spent over 20 years in the charter biz. Done with people.

Boatman 61, thanks and what do you think about the costs in those islands compared to St marten where I have a lot of experience? Is there any "cruising?" Anchoring out?

Norm
Cape Cod
You can anchor inside the harbour at Horta but youu will be charged harbour dues, theres also an anchorage at Paria Vittoria, Terciera but apart from those two I think its limited mainly to fair weather/lunch anchorage's.. check your charts for anchor marks.
The Azores are gorgeous, make your first stop Flores the Western most island where you can go alongside or anchor, limited facilities. Each island has its own character so visit as many as you can..
Theres some on Madeira's S coast and also at Porto Santo the other island.
Canaries I would PM Barnakiel as he is a long time liveaboard there.. I only know a couple on Gran Canaria.
Barnies best on up to date prices as well.

In the Azores labour is pretty cheap but hardware is expensive with the 18%vat.. eating out can be as cheap or expensive as you choose.. Chops, chips and salad, beer and coffee €10 in a small cafe/bar or €25 in a restaurant..
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Old 13-07-2020, 14:16   #7
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Re: Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

You might change your cruise plan .Azores, Madeira , canaries ... then Cape Verde

Cape Verde is not a very nice place unless you are a diver , but it out of the Schengen region and is a good place to position for a transatlantic

https://travel.padi.com/d/cape-verde/N

You could also do a left turn at Madeira ..then hide out in Gibraltar , non schengen and wait for transatlantic time

The UK is also non schengen . you could use the Uk to compliment your circle Atlantic regime

In general your trip should be a two year cruise ... much first class sailing to be done on Europe and the coffee comes in mugs , not styrofoam cups

The weather on that side of the Atlantic is aggressive
One week is not seven days long

Much time in port looking for weather windows
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Old 13-07-2020, 14:32   #8
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Re: Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

We went Miami, Bermuda, Madeira, Canaries, Carribean and back to Florida in 2014... absolutely awesome trip and I highly recommend it.

There are a few anchoring spots in the Azores, but they are all really weather dependent since you're often just roadsteading in a small indent with little real protection. The only all weather anchorage is Praia da Vitoria on Terceira. The good news is that the marinas aren't expensive like the US, so it won't kill most budgets.

We also stayed in the Marina in Funchal Madeira, but there is an anchorage on the North East side. It limits access to a lot of things, but it's there if you need it.

We got chased into a marina for a weekend in the Canaries when heavy weather was coming in, but the rest of the time was spent at anchor.

Navionics has a lot of user imputed anchorage locations and was the best "guide book" we had.

Matt
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Old 13-07-2020, 14:57   #9
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Re: Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

Well, you are not very specific, are you. Hard to guess what exactly you want to know.


The boat you have is man enough for this job. Are you?


The part related to Cape Cod I do not know.


The part from the Azores round the coasts and to the Bermuda I know. It is very easy. But the part to Bermuda from Cape Cod and the part from Cape Cod to the Azores will be the challenge you will face. I believe The Cape Cod to Bermuda may be the most difficult as you hit the offshore immediately and the waters are known to be tough at times.


The other parts are easy, a lot of off the wind or beam reaching, some tight reaching maybe but in another year maybe not.


Are you going alone?


If so, I would invest in top notch wind steering. Something like a new Hydrovane, or else a s/h Monitor.


Next I would buy a top notch modern AP unit, a powerful one. I would fit it under the deck.


Next I would get one new or near new kit of sails - main with 3 reef points, and a jib - a very very flat one with a quality furler.


Then I would decide if I want a kite, if so, I would fir a furling G kind of North Sails ourside your stay (it is low on Aphrodite, so this is a super simple task for your boat). But skipping the kite and sailing wing and wing with your jib poled out a Star-way is just as good, for you have a hell of a main and a very sleek hull.


I would fit plenty of canvas - round the cockpit and also a bimini. Your cockpit is very exposed as is.


I would pull and check the chainplates and the rudder. I would replace chainplates if found iffy. I would also replace the critical ones of the standing rigging - unless they are new or near new.


I would apply 4 coats of Chukoku pink prior to departure (Micron 66 just as good). 4 not 2.


I would take good care of energy onboard OR ELSE skip the AP part.


I would buy a modern SOTDMA ais transponder.


etc etc etc


Since I do not know how well prepared you already are, I only listed the things off the top of my head.


A-ha - that way you go June July, from Canaries or Cabo Verde to Indies not before October.


There is often not enough wind and somehow there is always too much disgusting crossing swell. Freaking Northern Atlantic, do not mention.



Good luck!

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Old 14-07-2020, 06:48   #10
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Re: Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

Slug, Matt, and Barnakiel:
Thanks, very much the sort of info I am looking for. Barnakiel, I completely agree with your analysis of an Aphrodite 101. They are a lot drier than one might first think. Compared to the usual flat bottom condos I deliver, my boat is a smooth plush ride. It is the boat I have.

The goal is to visit some of the Atlantic islands and see what the cruising is like. I have done USA East Coast, Caribbean, and Bahamas extensively. Sort of a compare and contrast idea. Maybe completely wacky... or not. What do people who have been there think about it?

To fill in some background. I am a retired/nearly retired charter and training cruise skipper. In the process, I have made many New England to Bermuda and Caribbean trips so I know that stretch of water pretty well. Interested in seeing some of the other Atlantic islands. Since I live on Cape Cod that's where I'd start. Yes, Cape or Newport to BDA is a snotty stretch of water. Once on the "other side" of Gulf Stream, I find things settle down a lot.

I know I need a wind vane and it needs to be a good sturdy unit. No corner-cutting there. The rest of the boat, chainplates, too, is in very good shape.

My "modeling" is to use the www.ventusky.com site to watch the weather every day, several times a day, and advance the imaginary boat according to wind and sea conditions. Presently, virtually in Azores after 14 days, last few in calms. Probably start a leg to Maderia soon. I know about the preferred seasons and will run models during them, too.

Meanwhile, summer guests here (distractions!) and working on the boat which is on the hard near the house. It is nice to have this as another motivation. Appreciate your insights.

Thanks, Norm
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Old 14-07-2020, 09:02   #11
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Re: Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

The Azores are amazing - friendly, interesting, cosmopolitan, great food, great continental wine (White Ports of Malvasia, Setubal Moscatels, etc.) - a pleasure to be, a shame to sail away after every visit. I love Sao Miguel which is less crowded and has a very fine marina, while many sailors like Horta for her sailing spot husstle busstle.


The Madeira I do not know, but it has good opinions. There is a small island just next to it called Porto Santo where many boats anchor on passages.


Next stop is Atlantic coast of Spain And Portugal. From Baiona to Gibraltar it is all good sailing and interesting cruising with all the good things. Mind the top end between Baiona and Vigo can get periods of sea fog. On sea fog days it is best to stay put as there is quite some fishing and cargo traffic along this whole coast. This coast can get some hearthy Northerlies in July-August. Fast sailing but to some it is a bit nerve wracking and often wet. But I like this as our boat goes well in heavy ddw run.



Beyond Gibraltar you have Marocco with many interesting places there to stop and enjoy their culture. Mind some ports are actually but fishing ports and there you tie to a rough concrete wall or else to a trawler. Some ports have marinas though.


Next come Canary Islands. This is where we live when we do not live on Martinique. Canary Islands are awesome, open minded, tolerant, friendly, can be inexpensive and have predominantly good weather. Some spots will have in excess of 350 sunny days a year. We have an amazing world known carnival here in Las Palmas and the biggest Drag Queen contest in this hemisphere. Las Palmas marina used to be a fine place to stay but now they have a very nasty manager there and she can make life very unplesant to proper cruisers. She seems much geared for business and your credit card rather than you comfort. Locals say she will become the boss of the marina after planned privatisation and is 'cleaning up' the docks. I hope she is no longer with us when you come down to visit then!


Other than the unfriendly Las Palmas Marina, you have a great choice of marinas and anchorages in Canary Islands, so just pick a place you like and explore from there.



From the Canaries you sail on to the Cabo Verde, which I know pretty well but I visit only if I have a good reason to do so. Cabo Verdes have amazing landscapes, poor provisioning, mixed prices and the kind of culture I do not enjoy quite as much as many other sailors do. So do try and see how this place fits you.


Imho the best thing they have there is the nature - not yet ruined by mass tourism (which is a major problem in all Med and in the Canaries too).


Then some sail to Senegal and Guinea and others cross.


If you cross, you can land in places from the Guyanas upwards. You elect what you like and I am mostly driven by culture and food so I land on a French island (as I am a EU citizen). But many others land on Barbados or Trinidad and start sailing upwards (N) from there.


If you are not decided on what you like, then go to French Guyana first, then onwards to Trinidad and Tobago and so on - sailing N thru Windwards and then moving on to Leewards as the season moves on.


One can make a dash to the ABC islands too, but the sail back to e.g. Mona Passage is sort of let's call it errr challenging at times. Easy on paper, but proven some difficulty to more than one of my clients (I am a weather router).


And so you are back on top say in the Virgins and ready to sail on to Bahamas, Bermuda etc. But I have never been there myslef, so I will not share opinions (which are excellent for both places).


Cheers,
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Old 14-07-2020, 09:46   #12
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Re: Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

Barnakiel. Very helpful.

I agree with you about the French islands. Very good food and provisioning. I am a pretty good cook and live well aboard, especially when I find good provisions ashore! I have not had any trouble going to French Caribbean islands without a Schengen Visa. As a US citizen aboard a US flagged vessel is that an issue on the Atlantic Islands I am discussing?

I have not been to any of the Guyanas and would like to try those. As for the Eastern Carib, I have been to every island from PR to Tobago. I do like the EC but want to see some of the rest of the world before I am too old.

Best, Norman
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Old 14-07-2020, 09:55   #13
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Re: Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

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Barnakiel. Very helpful.

I agree with you about the French islands. Very good food and provisioning. I am a pretty good cook and live well aboard, especially when I find good provisions ashore! I have not had any trouble going to French Caribbean islands without a Schengen Visa. As a US citizen aboard a US flagged vessel is that an issue on the Atlantic Islands I am discussing?

I have not been to any of the Guyanas and would like to try those. As for the Eastern Carib, I have been to every island from PR to Tobago. I do like the EC but want to see some of the rest of the world before I am too old.

Best, Norman

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/us-citizens/


They say 90 days in a 180 days' period. Sounds like plenty of time to see everything.


The only challenge the move from Canaries to some places in the Windwards - this is done November / January, hence you are not clearing the 180 days' tail!



I believe, but I may be wrong, that only days spent in port count. Ask other US travelers for this.


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Old 14-07-2020, 10:26   #14
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Re: Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

Barnakiel
Thanks so much as my search did not get this as a result.

Good thing I am doing this as a model so I can build in the Schengen regs. The weather issues I know pretty well being on the arrival end of many hurricanes.

Off topic. I use Pettite water based white paint with good results. Someone who's opinion I respect said never go offshore with a white bottom. What do you think? The white bottom looks pretty sexy on the race course which is where we are usually showing off. I am leaving the black sails behind. Maybe I should leave the white bottom behind, too?

Norm
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Old 14-07-2020, 12:13   #15
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Re: Atlantic Circle Questions/Discussions

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Barnakiel
Thanks so much as my search did not get this as a result.

Good thing I am doing this as a model so I can build in the Schengen regs. The weather issues I know pretty well being on the arrival end of many hurricanes.

Off topic. I use Pettite water based white paint with good results. Someone who's opinion I respect said never go offshore with a white bottom. What do you think? The white bottom looks pretty sexy on the race course which is where we are usually showing off. I am leaving the black sails behind. Maybe I should leave the white bottom behind, too?

Norm

Our friends had white antifouling on their cat during ours/their circumnavigation. Never heard them complain.


We buy pink antifouling (Chugoku) or light blue (Micron). I like both. I would not use anything very dark - as I like to see where the growth appears first and most - helps me on each next trip - to apply one more coat just there.


Pink bottom is very sexy. Everybody stops to ask.



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