First a question. Are you familiar with the Pilot Charts
? You can find them here.
Maritime Safety Information
There are charts
for all of the oceans including North and South Atlantic. Since Barbados to the eastern tip of Brazil
crosses the equator your area of interest is split between the north and south Atlantic charts.
There are pilot charts for each month of the year and they show:
- average wind
- % of the time that the wind blows from each direction
- main ocean currents
You really need to spend some time studying the Pilot Charts. You should also get a copy of Ocean Passages for the World
, check out passageweather.com and maybe a copy of World Cruising Routes
by Jimmy Cornell which I have heard is mostly the information from Ocean Passages with some new commentary.
As to your question about heading east then south, that may or may not help. If you head
SE along the coast directly toward the corner the average winds a more frequently from the SE. If you stay further north by heading due east the winds in that area tend to be more from the E or ENE so either way you are going dead into it.
According to the pilot charts there areas along the coast where the currents are stronger and slower further off. But also areas along the coast where you may pick up a counter current
to help a little.
No matter which plan you try you will be fighting to make easting. Could be going E against SE or SE against E or NE against SE but bottom line you are in sailing terms "going up hill". To get out of the east trade winds you could have to go as far north as north Florida
. In the long run this might be easier.
A lot of boats from the US trying to reach the USVI have a similar though to a lesser degree, problem. One tactic is called taking I-65. This means before you get too far south you sail straight out into the ocean until you reach 65 W longitude or due north of the VI and turn south. In your case you would have to sail east to 35 W Long. From Florida
that's roughly 2700 miles east out into the ocean before you turn south and then you would have a similar distance to reach Recife.
If I had
to make this trip I think I would go for coastal cruising and try to do it in hops when the winds are calm. Play the land/sea breeze effect where the heating
over the land causes the winds to blow onto or off the land, especially in the afternoon evening or early/late morning. But again, check out reports for security
and crime along these coasts (noonsite.com is a good place). I have never been past Venezuela
and am not up to date on Guyana, Suriname or French Guiana but I do know that parts
of Brazil can be very dangerous.
Bottom line, there is no easy way to do what you want to do. You have to choose between a tougher route or a longer route.