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Old 12-08-2010, 01:15 AM   #1
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I am currently looking for someone to take me on as crew for an Atlantic crossing from the east coast of the U.S.A. or the Caribbean, to Europe, sometime during the spring of 2011. Will I be able to find such a gig? What is the most favorable time of the year for west-east crossings? I'd like to leave around the beginning of April, at the earliest, and no later than the beginning of June. Is this possible?
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:09 AM   #2
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Spring and early summer are about the best times to cross the Altantic but I would not do it in a gig as a gig is a long light sailing ship's boat, usually reserved for use by the ship's captain.

Joking aside, you have pretty much chosen the best time to cross. The time not to cross is from August - November, i.e. during the hurrican season or during the winter.

Will you get bad weather at the chosen time of year? Probably but it should not be as extreme or last as long as at other times. For more information, I recommend you study the routiong (pilot) charts. They used to be available free for downlaod from NOAA but I cannot find them on their website at the moment. They can, however, be downloaded HERE. The British Admiralty also produces routing charts. These, in my opinion, are superior to those produced by NOAA but they have never been free of charge.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:02 PM   #3
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Every Spring, in April and early May, the boats gather in Simpson Bay Lagoon, Sint Maarten; Marigot, St. Martin; and the Virgin Islands to head back to Europe for the summer. In St. Martin, French boats dominate the fleet, in the VIs it is more the British and American boats. Another place might be Rodney Bay, St. Lucia which is the terminus for the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers.

Another option might be the World Cruising Club's ARC Europe. I'm not familiar with it, but you can find out more at ARC Europe news

good luck

J
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for the encouraging tips!! Much appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:04 PM   #5
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Hi whedlesky,

You'll find plenty of sailboats going back to Europe en looking for crew members in this web site:

www.stw.fr these are mainly French people but most of them speak English.

Note: you will not get paid for your help, instead you get a free travel to thank you for your time on deck or at the helm. Start looking NOW, it might be already a little late. There are lots of crew members candidates, students, backpackers etc... willing to go to Europe for free than there are boats available. Weather should be ok, sometime very very calm so choose a fast and light sailboat with good engine. There are charter boats delivered back to Europe by professional skippers and private boats. You'll reach the north west part of Europe (Ireland). If by Europe you mean "Italy, Greece, Spain", I'd recommend to at least pass Gibraltar

Good luck
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:50 AM   #6
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Hello everyone. If possible, I'm interested in crossing the Atlantic the opposite way, east to west. Am I correct in assuming that I may be cutting things close if I want to leave this summer? I would like to make it home to the States by sea this summer/fall, but it sounds like late summer and fall is out of the question. Is it common for boats to make a west to east transatlantic crossing around this time of year?

Thanks!
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:19 AM   #7
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See our World Cruising Wiki page - Hitch-Hiking the Oceans as Sailing Crew.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:50 AM   #8
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Thanks Lighthouse, that's a great chart. Looks like I might be in for a few months of waiting if I want to leave from southern Europe though...
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:35 PM   #9
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I'm just testing the waters here, so to speak, but since the "Crew Searching" forum is blocked, I guess I'll ask here.

Aside from the ARC, which usually runs in November, right after hurricane season, does anybody know of any flotillas that regularly cross in, say, February?

Bob Bateman
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:31 PM   #10
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Bob, the rallies for cruisers are organized for the optimal crossing time. You won't find much of anything besides commercial freighters crossing the north Atlantic in winter. Too cold, guaranteed bad weather, too dangerous.
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