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Old 08-30-2013, 02:47 PM   #1
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Question Essex, CT to Finisterra, Coruna, Spain - Route?

I am considering sailing my 34 feet sailboat home from the US to Europe in lieu of having it transported. As time is not of the essense and as I may be sailing shorthanded, the crossing will be planned to follow winds and currents rather than to reflect the shortest distance. I hope that the forum may offer some thoughts on route and time of year for such voyage

Best Regards Jan, S/Y Kringle
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:55 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard!

We sail the West Coast and don't really know the best timing for your trip across the Atlantic. But there are several experienced cruisers here who should be able to assist you. In the interim, enjoy the forums and contribute where you can.

Fair winds,
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:11 AM   #3
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Thank you for the welcoming, redbopeep! I am pleased to have found your forum and am looking very much forward to reading inspiration from other cruisers.

Actually I did the crossing some 30 years ago, when I was a crew member at a fully rigged tall ship (Italy - Tenerife - Martinique - West Indies - Florida - Norfolk - Azores - Coruna and up north to Scandinavia). The return voyage Norfolk - Azores - Coruna was (at least as far as I remember) done in late April / early May. Remember when reaching the Azores - green, mountanish islands coming out of a mist - Fantastic. It took us some 28 days to cross and we eventually reached Copenhagen in late June.

Both before that voyage and ever after I have had and have sailed sailboats built in Denmark or Sweden. My first was a 22 feet Lilje built of Plywood. Sailed nicely, but wet, wet, wet. When I met my wife - then and now a keen dinghy sailor - we switched to a 24 feet Spækhugger, which is probably the best sailing boat we've ever had (we were young). However, we switched - 3 children down the line - to a 34 feet Omega, which provides significantly greater comfort and which is a great yacht for shallow Scandinavia waters. However, tank volumes and deplacement are a challenge when considering blue water sailing.

For some reason the current generation of children seems to be more interested in computering than sailing, so now it is time for a short handed voyage back to Europe.

Best Regards, Jan, S/Y Kringle.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kringle View Post
I am considering sailing my 34 feet sailboat home from the US to Europe in lieu of having it transported. As time is not of the essense and as I may be sailing shorthanded, the crossing will be planned to follow winds and currents rather than to reflect the shortest distance. I hope that the forum may offer some thoughts on route and time of year for such voyage

Best Regards Jan, S/Y Kringle
Hi Jan,
best time to start is April/May from the US-Coast, depending on how far north you start.
When shorthanded, it might be a good idea to do the crossing with two stops on the way: Bermuda and Azores.
In June, July and August it als also possible, but it might be better to skip the stop on the Bermudas as it is as far south as possibly old hurricanes could affect that region in July and later.

Many years ago friends did a direct crossing (on the great circle route) on a rather small boat from New York to Falmouth/GBR and they found it to be rather strenuous.

And before setting out from the Azores you should think about where in Europe you have your final destination: When planning to sail to Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar or the Med, it is fine to make a landfall anywhere between A Coruna/Spain or Gibraltar. Nice sailing most of the time.
But when choosing to sail on to Northern Europe (Great Britain, France Scandinavia) it might be a better idea to leave the Azores on a northeasterly course and plan the landfall in Cornwall (GBR) or in the Bretagne/FRA (or even in Southern Ireland, as we did some years ago). The reason is that when you end up in Northern Spain (or even further south) with a final destination in Northern Europe, you have northerly winds prevailing on the portugese and spanish coast and even on the southern part of the Biscay. The reason for that is a stable high pressure area that sits over the Azores most of the summer, creating westerly winds to its north, that are somtimes affected by frontal systems with its SW-ly to NW-winds. But the further south you are (Biscay and spanish portugese coast), the winds are from the Northwest to North...

And when the final destination is somewhere in Northern Europe, it might be a good idea to reach it around mid-September, as daytime gets shorter, nights get chillier and as especially in Scandinavia the sailing ends and everything is closing down...

Best regards

Uwe
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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Default West - East, Timing and Route.

Hi Uwe

Thank you for your comments, which are much appreciated.

We (or I, if need be) will be departing from 41 North and will preferably be leaving in early June. We are (eventually) heading for Scandinavia, so considering your note below, skipping Bermuda and going straight for the Azores from the harbour of departure and from there NE to e.g. Falmouth appears to be a sensible master plan starting point.

Although time is not of the essence the plan would be to do the trip via the Azores to the UK destination in about 1½ month and the remainder in another 1 month's time or less.

BRg Jan, S/Y Kringle


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaria View Post
Hi Jan,
best time to start is April/May from the US-Coast, depending on how far north you start.
When shorthanded, it might be a good idea to do the crossing with two stops on the way: Bermuda and Azores.
In June, July and August it als also possible, but it might be better to skip the stop on the Bermudas as it is as far south as possibly old hurricanes could affect that region in July and later.

Many years ago friends did a direct crossing (on the great circle route) on a rather small boat from New York to Falmouth/GBR and they found it to be rather strenuous.

And before setting out from the Azores you should think about where in Europe you have your final destination: When planning to sail to Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar or the Med, it is fine to make a landfall anywhere between A Coruna/Spain or Gibraltar. Nice sailing most of the time.
But when choosing to sail on to Northern Europe (Great Britain, France Scandinavia) it might be a better idea to leave the Azores on a northeasterly course and plan the landfall in Cornwall (GBR) or in the Bretagne/FRA (or even in Southern Ireland, as we did some years ago). The reason is that when you end up in Northern Spain (or even further south) with a final destination in Northern Europe, you have northerly winds prevailing on the portugese and spanish coast and even on the southern part of the Biscay. The reason for that is a stable high pressure area that sits over the Azores most of the summer, creating westerly winds to its north, that are somtimes affected by frontal systems with its SW-ly to NW-winds. But the further south you are (Biscay and spanish portugese coast), the winds are from the Northwest to North...

And when the final destination is somewhere in Northern Europe, it might be a good idea to reach it around mid-September, as daytime gets shorter, nights get chillier and as especially in Scandinavia the sailing ends and everything is closing down...

Best regards

Uwe
SY Aquaria
Bretagne/France
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