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Old 12-22-2009, 08:05 AM   #1
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I wanted to look up the time window for an Atlantic passage from the med to caribbean. (I have noticed a boat which want to take it at february, calculating 2 weeks for it...) I could not find meaningful info in the wiki. Please tell me everything what is needed to know about it, I will enter it to the wiki.

What I know, or think I now:

From the Med to Caribbean:

You wait until the hurricane season is over in the Caribbean (Is it November? When the window closes?) The traditional route is the 20/30, which goes south to 20N, 30W to reach the trade belt, and then goes straight to Caribbean. This route is also helped by the current. It is a 3 week passage with steady winds (you should also count on the occasional swells), which makes good provisioning and dealing with chafe in the rigging a must.

Usual stopover is Gran Canaria.

Possible departure point is Cape Verde

There is the ARC rally, which takes this route every year. It is well organized, and offers a lot of information and help for cruisers taking this passage. (Maybe more should be said in this.)

What one should now about the Intertropical Convergence Zone in regards of this passage?

From the Caribbean to the Med:

It is in the north in the Gulf stream. This is all I know...
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:41 AM   #2
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Thanks Magwas - good project for the Cruising Wiki - HERE

C'mon everyone - information please!
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:01 PM   #3
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Timing may depend on where in the Med you start from. Winter weather can be nasty but if you are talking western Med, then end of Feb is realistic.

Would not go to Canaries, rather straight to Cape Verde and onward from there, exact routing will depend on your destination.

Depending on boat capability, allow 3 weeks from Cape Verde, but you may get away with closer to 2 weeks if a quick boat.

ARC is in November every year, now finished for 2009.

Hope this helps
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:53 PM   #4
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I'm certainly no expert, but...

It's usually best to avoid Hurricane / Cyclone / Typhoon Seasons when crossing oceans.

The old rule of thumb for crossing the Atlantic was to sail south from Gibraltar until the butter melts... and then turn right.

I'm glad we stopped at the Canaries... and the Caribbean is a delightful reward.

To Life!

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Old 12-22-2009, 07:40 PM   #5
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Hurricane season in the North Atlantic is officially over 1 December. That doesn't mean that there are never any hurricanes after 1 December, but they are very rare.

I think most trans-Atlantic sailors would agree that winter in the North Atlantic can be dangerous. February is a month of severe northers that raise dangerous seas and swells all the way down to the Caribbean. One reason the conventional wisdom is, as Kirk said, sail south from Gibraltar until the butter melts, then turn right. These are usually dangerous only near land, when they become "rage seas" (in the Bahamas, particularly) and breaking waves in most north-facing anchorages in the Caribbean.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanneP View Post
February is a month of severe northers that raise dangerous seas and swells all the way down to the Caribbean. [] These are usually dangerous only near land, when they become "rage seas" (in the Bahamas, particularly) and breaking waves in most north-facing anchorages in the Caribbean.
Are these the same as Christmas winds?
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:48 PM   #7
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Timing may depend on where in the Med you start from. Winter weather can be nasty but if you are talking western Med, then end of Feb is realistic.

Would not go to Canaries, rather straight to Cape Verde and onward from there, exact routing will depend on your destination.
Does the Cape Verde suggestion refers to february (perhaps because ICT is more south that time?), or it is your preference for crossing over Canaries?
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:27 PM   #8
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The Cruising Wiki page is developing nicely - HERE

Well done "Magwas".

Keep the information flowing everyone.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Does the Cape Verde suggestion refers to february (perhaps because ICT is more south that time?), or it is your preference for crossing over Canaries?
No need to go to Canaries first if starting from Med, time of year is immaterial, I consider it a shorter, faster route Depends on your personal preferences and how much of a hurry you are in. If I was coming from Northern Europe, I would probably go to the Canaries and kick off from there, missing the Cape Verde Islands. From the Med, I would not bother with the Canaries (been there, done that) and just go Cape Verde and away from there.

Leaving the Canaries can be interesting as there are wind acceleration zones, caused by the wind funnelling between the islands, so there are frequently gale force winds that persist for 8 hours or so after departure.

I would not worry too much about the ICT

Hope this helps
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
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[good info]

Hope this helps
Thank you, I have incorporated this information in the Wiki.
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