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post #16 of Old 04-08-2014
Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Re: Sail From Nova Scotia To The Bahamas

Billy is giving good advice.

To the OP, it is not clear whether your desire is to get the Bahamas or to go sailing. If the former then you two choices, going along the coast to Florida, trying to stay inside the GS. This would be a pleasant enough trip but lots of motoring and quite slow. It also is quite safe. To get to the Bahamas directly you have the problem that lots of folks have every fall. If you leave to early (before beginning of November) you have serious hurricane risk. If you leave in November you get the risk of the beginning of winter storms. Certainly it makes sense to get east of the Gulf Stream and it really would make sense to stop in Bermuda on the way. You will certainly appreciate the break after the pounding you will tai to get that far south.

If your goal is to go sailing, I would suggest some variation of a North Atlantic loop. If it were me, I would head to Ireland. It is only 1700+ miles from St John's will a favourable current and generally favourable winds. It is likely to be chilly, foggy, and somewhat stormy. Don't know your boat, but our 45 footer I would assume 12 to 14 days from St John's. The question is when to leave Canada. If you go early it will be colder but you get more time to cruise in Europe. If you leave later and want to do the ARC you would not have much time to enjoy Europe. I would certainly stay a winter in Europe, either England or Med and cross the Atlantic the following November.

Cornell's book about world cruising routes is your friend for this type of planning.

After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
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