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Old 01-08-2010, 11:23 AM   #1
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Hello!

I'm looking for information about the Atlantic transit westward from South Africa. I'm wondering if it's possible/if people make the trip from South Africa to the States (or to the caribbean) in November/December? It seems like a good time to sail the south Atlantic, being toward the warm part of the year down here, but are the winds there for it, and are the seas safe? Any advice or information would be much appreciated - Thanks!

Graham
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:42 PM   #2
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Hi Graham

See the Cruising Wiki page on the South Atlantic - HERE

Also, contact Tony Herrick in Durban - his contact details are on the Cruising Wiki page linked above. Forum member "JohnT" should log on sometime and be able to offer some advice - he has done the crossing many times.

Anything else, just give us a shout here.
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:42 PM   #3
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Thanks very much for the contacts - we'll send a message off to them. The wiki page on the south atlantic has a great graphic of prevailing winds (they look to be great for a south africa-caribbean transit) but doesn't have much about autumn crossings - we'll check with Tony Herrick and JohnT for more. Thanks again!
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:03 AM   #4
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Hello Graham,

Info :- Member JohnT left Cape Town on 27th December arrived in James Town - St Helena on 7th

January, Yesterday 17th position 9° 34' South x 22° 11' West - Destination Tortola, Caribbean - however, may need to call in to Fortaleza, Northern Brazil for fuel .

Here is today's wind chart

Todays_Wind_Chart.jpg

Note :-

Once in the doldrums (anywhere between 8° either side of the Equator) Sailing winds may disappear.

So in answer to your question, no problem leaving mid November >> December - What one needs to do is to wait for a favourable weather window to leave CapeTown as the first 400/500 nms may be lumpy - The South African weather service is excellent in being able to provide accurate forecasts of sea and wind conditions.

Richard
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:33 PM   #5
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Thank you very much for the update on JohnT - for how long does he anticipate being out of web contact? And are you aware of any other vessels that make the trip from south africa to the americas that might take passengers (who are willing to work?) We're really hoping to be back in NY by Christmas, and we can't really get to south africa earlier than the beginning of November - we'd gotten the impression that 6 weeks is a pretty short window for making the transit under sail.

Thanks again for anything you can tell us!

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Old 02-06-2010, 11:43 PM   #6
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Hello Graham,

Are you a sailor? Or are you thinking about hitchhiking as a passenger? December through to March is OK.
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrinor View Post
Hello!
I'm looking for information about the Atlantic transit westward from South Africa. I'm wondering if it's possible/if people make the trip from South Africa to the States (or to the caribbean) in November/December? It seems like a good time to sail the south Atlantic, being toward the warm part of the year down here, but are the winds there for it, and are the seas safe? Any advice or information would be much appreciated - Thanks!
Graham
Hello Graham,

We made that trip starting in Dec, and it is the second best passage only to our trip from Chagos across the Indian Ocean to SA. Winds and currents are favorable that time of year, expect broad reaching and reaching for a big percentage of the trip, and further north to current becomes favorable and significant (check out the pilot charts and Ocean Passages for the World) and St Helens and Ascension are great stops. If you have any questions, drop me a line.

Fair winds,

Robert
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:35 AM   #8
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Hi Graham,

November / December / January are good months to do the crossing. To start you should have good winds on your port quarter for the first week then the winds normally drop a bit and are then from behind, until you reach St Helena. The section from St Helena to the NE Brazilian coast are normally light in December / January and, if you wish to make a quick trip, consider doing quite a few days of motorsailing on the 1800nm leg. Up the northern coast of South America you should experience northeast winds, making for a good beam reach. If you know where to find the fast flowing current up that part of the coast, expect to make some very good daily runs – we normally can do 4 or 5 days of close to, or in excess of, 200nm per 24 hours in 38, 40 and 46 foot catamarans without gennakers.

If you need further information, I should be back in Cape Town in a week and will be able to help you further.

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Old 02-22-2010, 04:06 PM   #9
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Hello Graham,

Are you a sailor? Or are you thinking about hitchhiking as a passenger? December through to March is OK.
I have 4 months of experience as an intern and then deckhand aboard 'tall ships' (50'-110' traditionally rigged sailing vessels) in the northeastern United States, but no experience on the open sea (2 months on the Hudson River, 2 months on the Long Island Sound, primarily day sails for school groups). I'm not sure if that sort of experience gets me anywhere (I know basic knots, can throw a dock line, tend and furl a jib sail, and I know what it means to trim a sail but I'm no expert); I'm certainly aware of what I don't know and I'm familiar with the chain of command and the importance of following orders, but I pick things up quickly as well. My girlfriend (who would of course be looking to come aboard for the transit as well) spent a month aboard the schooner Virginia during the Gloucester, PEI and Chesepeake Bay schooner races in 2008; however, her position was as the nanny for the captain's 4-year old; she stood watch but did not really do much work with the sails.

We're definitely looking to come aboard as working members of the crew, if it's deemed that we qualify. We're willing to work hard, and we can also both cook. We were hoping to make it to NY by Christmas 2010 (perhaps with a flight Caribbean- or Florida-NY if necessary), but we are talking about the feasibility of a later arrival if everything else seems to be working out.

Thanks to everyone who's responded so far - the trip sounds like an incredible one, and we're really hoping to make it work! We'll be in Cape Town this November, so if anyone is making the trip and looking for crew, please let me know and we'll see if we can work something out!

Thanks again!
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:22 PM   #10
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Hi Graham,

You need to contact Louis Makendlana at TUI Marine (SA) when you arrive in South Africa. His telephone number within SA is 021-448-5938. He is the person who keeps the data base of persons looking to crew on deliveries of the new catamarans out of Cape Town. There are normally two or three boats leaving for the Caribbean each week at that time of the year. There is no charge to you as a crew member except you need to pay your own fair to the boat and from the destination on the other side. Food is all supplied. You will also be responsible for any visas that may be required for the trip.

You can PM me if you want his email address.

John
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:54 PM   #11
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Hello all,

I hope you can help me. I am from the U.K but currently residing in Cape Town. I have been volunteering here in South Africa. I would love the opportunity to work on a yacht and currently trying to find any information I can about working at sea. I have no sailing experience but am eager to learn and i'm hoping there may be positions available without experience? I have been told I need to complete a safety course STCW-95 in order to get a position out at sea. I am currently enquiring into local courses. If anyone can give me any information or if someone is based in Cape Town I'll happily help out n order for me to gain so basic experience.

Kind reagrds Aaron
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