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Old 04-06-2016, 03:45 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Home Port: Durban
Vessel Name: Selected Risks
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Default Atlantic south to north

Hello all,
I'm busy planning to sail from cape town to england. It is my first time planning an ocean crossing, my previous experience is coastal trips on the east coast of africa and traversing the med from west to east, so it's time to strike into the big pond! I have a rough plan: set sail jan/feb from cape town to st. Helena (20 days) > Ascension (10 days) > cross the equator at 27' (11 days) and take 3 long tacks to reach cape verde before end of april. If I can't hack it to windward, change course for carribean and cross to azores further north. Assuming i reach cape verde, set sail for azores beginning of may and arrive 20 days later. In june make the crossing to plymouth. I estimated 106 days at sea but maybe with good currents and favourable winds might make a better time. The yacht is a Flicka20 with hull speed of 6knots. I am assuming I can average 3 and a half knots. The motor is a 5hp outboard just for harbours etc, but I'm wondering if it would be any help across the itcz? I can stow 60 days of food and water, maybe more at a push but obviously I will need to provision at one of the islands. Does this sound feasible? Before I go buying all the wrong books and charts I would be grateful of any advise. Particularly an alternative route if I can't make cape verde...and where best to provision...and crossing the itcz...any helpful information welcome. Interested to hear anyones experiences along this route. Thanks, looking forward to your input.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:17 PM   #2
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Leon, I have done this trip many times, but not in a small boat such as yours - they have all been in 37 foot or larger catamarans.

To make your journey easier and more interesting, look at Cape Town to Luderitz to Walvis Bay to St Helena. Then sail past Ascension, leaving the island to starboard or stopping if you really need to, then head towards the African coast just east of the Cape Verde Islands. Doing this you will be hard on the wind and should be able to make Mindalo on Sao Vincente. It is a good stop and you will be able to get fresh water, fuel and provisions. From Mindalo you head towards the Azores, keeping hard on the wind for the first week or so when the wind directions change slowly to permit you to aim more directly for the Azores. From there it can still be a crap-shoot to the English coast, depending what fronts are sweeping over the N Atlantic. If you want more info, I can go into more detail but will be away for the next week or two. John.
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Old 04-08-2016, 06:30 AM   #3
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Thanks John, would love more detail when you're back.
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