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Old 24-11-2018, 01:25   #1
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Icebergs in May?

We’re planning an Atlantic crossing from Nova Scotia to the Azores beginning the second week in May. Will there be a problem this time of year with icebergs? We have radar onboard.
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Old 24-11-2018, 02:58   #2
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Re: Icebergs in May?

Hello Kenomac.
I crewed on a boat crossing the atlantic from Nova Scotia ultimo may 2008. We left Yarmouth may 28th, but due to the ice cold Labrador Current and lots of reported icebergs, we had to go quite a bit S before pointing E. Seem to remember we sailed to 40N 50W before turning E. Sure eased my nerves on night shifts. Even in the cold water, we had the company of dolphins during the moonless, starry nights right after leaving Canada. I´ll never forget those pieceful night watches.
We had predictable steady winds all the way. Averaged 6,5 knots all the way to Brighton, England. Heavy displacement 45 ft Swedish center cockpit boat. Wonderful trip. Perfect time for the crossing.
You are gonna have a blast.
Enjoy!

-kjetil-
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Old 24-11-2018, 03:19   #3
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Re: Icebergs in May?

Thank you
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Old 24-11-2018, 04:13   #4
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Re: Icebergs in May?

FWIW: s
N.L. Iceberg (season) tours generally start May 1

“The icebergs come through Iceberg Alley (±480N) from spring to early summer. As you move north, the season stretches a bit longer. April and May are the months when bergs are most plentiful, but they may be locked up in sea ice, so we suggest late May and early June for best viewing.”
From ➥ https://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com...ceberg-viewing

https://icebergfinder.com/
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Old 24-11-2018, 04:33   #5
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Old 24-11-2018, 07:45   #6
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Re: Icebergs in May?

Icebergs become more numerous in late spring when the ice in the north breaks up allowing trapped bergs to drift south on the Labrador current. They may or may not show up on radar, I think the lack of vertical surfaces on some do not send back a radar return. Icebergs are nearly invisible in the fog until you are very close. If you do get near one, pass upwind of it to avoid the growlers.
Since you are not heading north, use the ice charts to plot your course away from them. It's also available from the Boston weather fax for underway updates.
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Old 24-11-2018, 07:55   #7
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Re: Icebergs in May?

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment...onditions.html
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Old 24-11-2018, 08:15   #8
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Re: Icebergs in May?

Canadian modification-Rule 10 s. COLREGS


Stay south of Sable Island & the Grand Banks of Newfoundland



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Old 24-11-2018, 09:29   #9
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Re: Icebergs in May?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
We’re planning an Atlantic crossing from Nova Scotia to the Azores beginning the second week in May. Will there be a problem this time of year with icebergs? We have radar onboard.
Yes and No.

April is the traditional height of ice season it lasts into The summer.
The bergy come down south along the Newfoundland coast with the Labrador current in the spring. When they meet up with the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream carries the back up to the north and east and back to the arctic.

Along with the bergs there are the more dangerous ( hard to see) smaller bergs bits and growlers. Growlers tend to be awash and well rounded. Make ing them virtually invisible to RADAR.
So RADAR may not be a big help.

The good news. You are heading out from N.S. heading for the Azores. Even even leaving from Cape Breton. Avoiding the ice area shouldn’t take you out of your way
Ice Shouldn’t be a problem.

Head out on a rumb line or on a heading south of the rumb line to 44n 40 w if I remember right. Then set your course for the Azores
Should keep you clear.
The international ice patrol keep track of all the ice bergs coming south and there is a regular report on where the ice is along with the weather.
The patrol is a joint US Canada venture and both Canadian and Us CG provide updates on the ice limit.

Although good sense and seamanship advice is to stay south. I might be tempted to go and have a look at an ice berg. If I did I would do so inshore near the Newfoundland coast. And head back south along the coast before I headed out.

The area of the Grand Banks with the cold Labrador current, is particularly known for fog. The combination of fog and ice makes it one of the more dangerous pieces of ocean.

May should be a nice time to make the trip. At least as nice as the NA gets.

Have fun
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Old 24-11-2018, 10:39   #10
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Re: Icebergs in May?

I know it is a bit old-fashioned, but the ice limits are shown on the weather faxes that are updated daily with satellite data, long range radar, forecasts, and ship reports. If you are sailing in these waters it is a vital resource.

http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax/PLAZ01.TIF

If you do not have capability to get radiofaxes, they are available by email if you have satphone connectivity.

For seasonal expectations, the range of ice expected month-by-month is shown on the North Atlantic Pilot Charts. Probably a much better and more reliable source than anecdotal information from random strangers on the internet.
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