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post #1 of 20 Old 06-15-2008 Thread Starter
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Heading across the Atlantic in July

I have been mulling over the idea of heading to the Med this summer instead of going west, but I cannot find the necessary time off until July, most likely the latter half of it. I've been looking through the wonderful NOAA Historical Hurricane Viewer application and it seems that my chances of getting sideswiped by a major storm once I get more than 300 miles NE of St. Martin are pretty low.
Has anyone here done such a late crossing or have any additional information or comments? I don't have access to the pilots from here so I don't know what the wind patterns are going to be like at that time - perhaps the Azores High is going to be my enemy, not the chances of meeting up with an energetic tropical depression.


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post #2 of 20 Old 06-15-2008
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Heres a link to the pilot charts,

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post #3 of 20 Old 06-15-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks!!! I've looked at the charts for July and August from the site and it seems that I would need to go much further north than I had hoped unless I want to cross half the ocean close-hauled


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post #4 of 20 Old 06-15-2008
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Zan...

We left quite late from Houston to Cork.... about mid July 1992.

There really is a lot of energy in the air and it was not something I would do again. Three hurricanes threatened us... Andrew, Bonnie and Charlie. Andrew was a killing machine, Bonnie plied his trade south of Grand Banks and Charlie came north through the Azores.

Any of them would have sunk us, and easily.

Also, the book tells little of the fact that there is zero wind around them... you are on the motor, trying at 5.5 kt to get away from them, burning your precious fuel.

Trying to avoid Andrew was the most sobering 3 days I have ever spent. We motored through unbelievable calms and heat. The motor did not like it either. We carried fuel for about 500 miles. We culd have used more.

I will never forget the moment when us and hurricane Andrew passed the same longitude. We could expect to be free of him then. It was awful prior to that. He was making 9-12 kt and NW, we were making 5.5 kt, and NE, trying to get to Bermuda.

How we wished it was April, or December.

We quarreled with Bonnie too, or at least the edge of him. Endless hours of easterly winds off Grand Banks. It was a lonely place. I will never forget looking at the clouds scudding across the sky with the moon behind them. We also felt the swell from Charlie when we were north of him....

1992 Atlantic hurricane season - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The most welcome wind of all was a cool northerly for about the last 700 miles on the approach to Ireland. We close hauled, morale high, knowing that there was not enough heat around to generate another hurricane.

Please be very careful, friend.

I would not do it again, not at that time of the year.

Rockter.

Last edited by Rockter; 06-15-2008 at 07:26 PM.
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-15-2008
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Always nice to hear the voice of experience.

I have yet to do this, but my reading and gut tells me that if I haven't cast off at the latitude of New York by June 30th, I should reconsider going.
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-16-2008
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Val...

At least you would be starting at a higher latitude.

From my description, I did not include the better moments.

When the wind is right, you fly, and a 36 ft ship will reel of 140 mile days with little trouble. String a bunch of those together, and you are nearly there. The charts, still on board, speak for themselves... "downwind at last", is scribbled on one of them, as the wind, at last, gave us the quartering drive we really wanted.

This pretty lady can move, if the wind plays the game with her...

Image of Loch Oich, Scotland - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


That time of year seemed to lead to unsettled and confused weather. The amount of heat in the air made a nonesense of the prevailing wind charts and it was not unknown to have days of mirror calm, then days of stiff easterlies when you wanted to go west.

What's your ship?

Best wishes.

Rockter.

Last edited by Rockter; 06-16-2008 at 06:06 AM.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-16-2008 Thread Starter
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Rockter - thanks for the sobering words. I've got a 43 footer, and although I could leave next week I still need to get the radar and windgenerator installed before leaving. So perhaps I'll just head south after all. The Med isn't that great, after all.


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post #8 of 20 Old 06-16-2008
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Well, you could come to Scotland, it's closer, 2800 nautical miles to Glasgow from New York, and a 43 footer would certainly do it....

Sail Scotland

We have endless miles of classic cruising islands, in the West, especially.
The wind blows too.
The air is cool and the daylight hours are long and we have no hurricanes, well, not tropical hurricanes, anyway.
I'll buy you a beer, or two.

Rockter.
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I'd still have to make from the BVI.


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post #10 of 20 Old 06-16-2008
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Steer roughly NW.

Then watch for a very green island.... that's Ireland.

Stop at Cork, at the pub called "Cronin's".... then 3 days to Fort William, Scotland.

Summers are ace.

Daylight a-plenty.
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