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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 09-07-2004
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Florida to the Canaries

My question is: what is the best time and route to take from the east coast of Florida to the Canary Islands?

We need to move our sailboat from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canary Islands (what a great "problem" to have) this fall/winter. Obviously, we would wait until hurricane season is essentially over (the boat is currently in Texas). Beyond that time (November), the departure date from the east coast of Florida is up for grabs. I''ve already purchased and studied the Atlantic pilot charts, etc., and realize the gale frequency of the North Atlantic during the winter. Has anyone made such a passage and if so, please share your thoughts.

Marcus

s/v Ohana
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Old 09-08-2004
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tauras is on a distinguished road
Florida to the Canaries

Marcus: Not the best time to do this trip. It gets pretty nasty out there. The best time is to leave the bahamas in late april early may and sail to Bermuda and stay at the Bermuda yacht club. Be sure to go to the bar at the club it''s a great time. Waite for the Azores high to set in arround the middle of may to the first week in June. You must do some northering for a while until you hit the trades. Don''t set your course to the Azores to early when you are northering out of Bermuda. If you do you will more than likely be becalmed about half way there. Make sure you contact Herb (VE3LML, VP9LM) South bound ll. Herb provides a daily ship routing weather
forcasting service as a hobby on marine HF/SSB frequency 12359.0 starts at 2000 UTC until
2200 UTC 8294.0 and 16531.0 are his alternate
frequencies. Give him time to log you in and he will contact you at given time. In return he requests that you give him some information such as sea condition, temp, pressures, wind and such. He is very good and his routing is very accuate. Going when you want to go is very dangerous and very foolish. But the bar at the royal yacht club in Bermuda is a great place to meet fellow sailers and if needed pick up extra crew members. Have a great sail.
Tauras
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Old 09-14-2004
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Florida to the Canaries

Hi Marcus;

the best time is late spring.
using the book, world cruising routes might be of some help.
otoh..
what we plan on doing is taking my other half''s boat [a catalina 400] to a boatyard in savannah, having them drop the mast and pack it up and ship it over to spain on a freighter with us on the freighter as well.

I have do some research and the cost for this is almost the same as the cost of provisioning for the trip. Safer for us and the boat and we arrive safe and sound.

I have done this trip twice each way. I can tell you it is not hard, otoh... the last one back from the canaries was a bear.

shipping my small ericson would cost me and the boat $1700 one way. if that is of any help with the costs.
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Old 09-21-2004
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WHOOSH is on a distinguished road
Florida to the Canaries

Marcus, if the other posts don''t already get the main point across...you can''t get there from here. IOW you''ll have to sail very close to a Transatlantic before you turn S and the SW to arrive in the Canaries. If you have lots of time and can invest the money in your boat for this lengthy time at sea, then I''d recommend you look at it as two separate routes: Cross in late Spring/early Summer from FL to the Iberian Atlantic Coast, enjoy some local cruising or put the boat up one of the Rias for a while, and then leave in September/October for the traditional run down (via Madeira, perhaps) to the Canaries. This would provide a lot more fun, but over a lengthier period of time.

Departing in the Fall is not a wise choice.

Alternatively, you can ship it. But I would guess you''ll see no cost close to the $1,700 USD figure mentioned, unless you too have a very small sloop.

Jack
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Old 10-07-2004
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Billpjr is on a distinguished road
Florida to the Canaries

I''m an x merchant seaman. We used to carry "private" passengers and cargo along with the "official" stuff. Here''s how to do it for low bucks. Go directly to the ships at your local seaport and ask to see the chief steward or captain. Tell them what you want to do and be ready to load and go now. If they are steaming where you want to go it is a good chance you will get a cheap ride.
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Old 10-09-2004
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Florida to the Canaries


Marcus

I think I would pay attention to what the folks above have advised. The Global Challenge boats are right now off Portugal coming down towards the Canary Islands. Last night they were sailing in winds of 50 & 55 knots, and they reported at least one gust of 62 knots. That is knots not miles per hour.

Walt -------- Northern Michigan
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Old 10-31-2004
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Florida to the Canaries

Thanks all for the input. This was exactly what I had hoped for--a clear answer one way or the other. Obviously, we are no longer planning such a trip and will have to rethink our strategy of moving the boat to Spain.

Marcus
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Old 10-31-2004
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Florida to the Canaries

Marcus, right now Dockwise and other shippers should be finding much more business bringing boats from the Med to the Caribbean and other warm water NA destinations, rather than in the other direction. You might find this the best possible time to ship. I can refer you to a very inexpensive storage option above Lisbon, if you get that far in your planning.

Jack
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