Here are some comments to help "tighten your shot group" for such a trip.
West to East needs to be as early in the year as wind
and weather permit
. One can read planning guides based on accumulated data, and there are several books
on global sailing, conditions, route
planning. If you have not read it, I suggest "the Long Way" as an entertaining and thought provoking read. Then dig in to the Route Sailing books
West to East: there is a window between the end of Winter storms and the beginning of Hurricane
Time frame and budget
. Longer than you thought, and more expensive.
For consideration, one could make there way to St Martin
in the early Spring and enjoy the island while waiting for a weather
window to cross to The Azores
. That weather window usually stabilizes at the end of May/beginning of June. The crossing takes about 21 days. Some folks plan to stop in Bermuda
, which will add several days to the trip.
are amazing, so a quick reprovision stop can easily turn in to 2 weeks of exploring, drinking, and eating. I spent three weeks. If you like really great food
, super fresh and tasty seafood, and great company to enjoy it with, the Azores is the place.
Once you decide you have had enough, the crossing to Europe
is the next step.
Budget: i guess some folks do this on a shoestring budget and it works for them. Other folks spend a lot of money
, and it works for them too, so really the budget is what you make it. You will need offshore gear
Life vest. I got a Spinlock deck
vest. In that deck
vest i installed an individual AIS
and an individual EPIRB
. I also had a fixed blad rope
knife for emergency
cut away, and a Leatherman Wave multi-tool, and a little stuffed monkey for a mascot. My vest was heavier than some others, but I felt confident that whatever happened when I was on deck, if I somehow ended up in the water
, that I would be ok and recovered, and I had a little monkey to keep me company as I floated around. The cost of that setup was about $1,700 USD.
Foul weather gear
. This is a spot where good money gets good gear
money gets stuff that works but can be uncomfortable. My recommendation is spend the money to get good, 3 ply gear. 3 ply gear will keep you dry and keep you feeling dry, warm and "not clammy". The middle of the Atlantic is an odd, cold, incredibly wet place. It is hard to describe the penetrating damp of the ocean: the water
is wet, the air is wet. Everything is wet. During my crossing, we kept watch in full foul weather gear
- boots, bottoms, tops, gloves, hat. We did not need this gear for the whole crossing, but there was a period, about 2 weeks out of St Martin
, where night watches required full gear. I was in a pinch for time and my good foul weather gear was in another country. I had to buy new, and all I could get was Gill 2 ply. It kept me dry 100% and worked well, but I felt wet and clammy. My crew mate who had the three ply was dry and not clammy. The budget for foul weather gear is $1,000.
. It is great to be off the grid and tell the world to piss off for a while, but it is also good to be able to communicate with the world as needed. I had a Garmin
In Reach with unlimited subscription. $500 for the device and $65/ subscription. I have kept this gear and service
for my other travels around the globe, India
, etc, and I found it to be essential. It also gives you a nice map and record
of your adventures.
I rented a satelite phone
. Before my next crossing, I will buy one. The cost is about the same actually. $1,500 or so plus service
as time goes on. I never used it for emergencies, but I was able to call people on birthdays and stuff.
Good, waterproof, rechargeable headlights - multiple, redundant. I had 5 with me. Budget $75 each. Get spare batteries
, of course,
Omg, the gear list is long.
, dry sacks for your stuff.
Waterproof bags for your gear.
First aid kit.
One thing to consider is that the Ocean will eat and break everything, it is just a matter of time. If you have something that is critical for you, then have multiples of it.
Space is a premium consideration as well. One has to have all the gear, but still only occupy a limited amount of space. I cut down on space by reducing the amount of "civilian" clothes I brought with me. I really cut that down to bare minimums.