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  #1  
Old 03-08-2014
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Atlantic Gyre cruise

This is a bucket list cruise one day. How would you schedule the voyage to allow sufficient time to enjoy where we are, but not trip on visa limitations (such as Shengan).

I will get it started. I think we would leave New England in late May to early June to head toward Ireland/England. So there I am for the summer and the clock starts ticking.

Eventually, we would want to work down the coast ("until the butter melts") and turn right toward the Caribbean. Of course, we want to stop along the way and enjoy ourselves. If we arrive in the British Isles in early summer, Altantic hurricane season is coming up. We could visit till it passes, but I think Visa limits come into play. Also, one would want to get south before it gets too cold. Then, once in the Caribbean, need to get back north. At one point, the dream included entering the Med, but I don't think that needs to be included.

So, how would you do it in general terms? It seems like one year would be rushed, we want to visit ashore. However, longer would be hard to manage visas and weather.
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2014
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Re: Atlantic Gyre cruise

other concerns are bay of Biscay and west coast of Portugal can be difficult from the little I know. One might think of leaving NE as soon as possible. Go to Halifax to wait for your window knowing after 5d its meaningless. Head to Ireland. Personally would like a detour to Baltic but need to be out of there before fall. Lay over in Rotterdam and tour Europe by train or go home. Other choice is go straight to southern Portugal and lay over there. LIsbos is gorgeous, friendly and not to dear. Jump to Pico/Azores. Then eastern Caribbean but out of there before june first. Was an article in Sail about doing it in one year sometime last year- I see if I can find it when I get a chance. It's on my bucket list as well. Brother of friend did it on his boat but decided to do Ireland/Shetlands/ Scotland/ North England then home. Left from NE - did not go into tropics/sub tropics but had good wind.

Wife and I have thought about doing this in about 3y from now. Haven't done the research so real interested in this thread. Maybe we can buddy boat ( grin)
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Old 03-08-2014
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Re: Atlantic Gyre cruise

If we are going to do it, decide in the next year or so, I think I would start in New England and go as quickly as possible to the SW corner of Newfoundland and spend at least a month there (or the whole summer and get hauled for the winter). Then St John's to Ireland which is something less than 1900 miles with favourable current and generally winds. Spend the summer in Ireland and Scotland and winter over on the boat in London. Next summer possibly head to the Baltic but with a view to crossing to the Caribbean in November/December. You could make the circuit in a year but far too much to see along the way. Or, if following the crowds does not appeal, be a rugged individualist, and do the same circuit counter-clockwise. Probably get to do an article for Sail or the Journal of Erratic Behaviour.
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Re: Atlantic Gyre cruise

Having done the North Atlantic Loop - from Florida to Portugal via Bermuda and the Azores and then back via the Canaries I would strongly recommend taking a couple of years. The transits alone take two to two and one half months... That does not leave much time to enjoy Europe.
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Old 03-08-2014
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Re: Atlantic Gyre cruise

Holy crap... 2 months?
What have you done that with? A bathtub?
Atlantic crossings are 3-4 weeks for a moderate cruiser, most of the times only less than 3...
If you stop for 2 weeks in bermuda you still have the best part of a month to spend in the azores before you exceed your timeframe...
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Re: Atlantic Gyre cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
This is a bucket list cruise one day. How would you schedule the voyage to allow sufficient time to enjoy where we are, but not trip on visa limitations (such as Shengan).

I will get it started. I think we would leave New England in late May to early June to head toward Ireland/England. So there I am for the summer and the clock starts ticking.

Eventually, we would want to work down the coast ("until the butter melts") and turn right toward the Caribbean. Of course, we want to stop along the way and enjoy ourselves. If we arrive in the British Isles in early summer, Altantic hurricane season is coming up. We could visit till it passes, but I think Visa limits come into play. Also, one would want to get south before it gets too cold. Then, once in the Caribbean, need to get back north. At one point, the dream included entering the Med, but I don't think that needs to be included.

So, how would you do it in general terms? It seems like one year would be rushed, we want to visit ashore. However, longer would be hard to manage visas and weather.
First off, if you arrive in the UK, why would the Schengen clock "begin ticking"? They're not in the Schengen zone, no?

I've not done it, but there seems to be almost universal agreement among those who've sailed direct to the British Isles early enough in the season to maximize the amount of cruising, that it turns out to be a much colder and wetter trip than anticipated... Sure, it can be fast sailing, but somewhat stressful due to the amount of fog, etc...

As others suggest, it's virtually impossible to see much more than Ireland and Scotland, maybe a bit of Normandy/Brittany, and then perhaps some ports in Spain and Portugal, in a single year's Atlantic Circle featuring the British Isles... Killarney Sailor's is the more reasonable plan, spend the first summer in Ireland and Great Britain, winter over at the St Katherine's docks in the heart of London, then head for the Baltic the following summer... Still, you'll really have to keep on the move, as you generally want to be heading across the Bay of Biscay by early October or so, at the latest. There certainly is good reason why not many Americans are cruising N Europe, the season is pretty damn compressed, and the distances not insignificant...

If I were to attempt to do an Atlantic Circle in a single year, I'd cut out Europe completely, and simply do a circuit of the Atlantic Islands... Head for the Azores (everyone loves the Azores, and all seem to wish they'd spent more time there), then Madeira, then the Canaries, and finally the Cape Verdes before heading back to the Caribbean (with maybe a side trip to Morocco thrown in, if you really ever wanted to set foot on a continent :-)) Such a trip would be a more relaxed pace to pull off in a single year, I think it would be a fantastic cruise...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
You could make the circuit in a year but far too much to see along the way. Or, if following the crowds does not appeal, be a rugged individualist, and do the same circuit counter-clockwise. Probably get to do an article for Sail or the Journal of Erratic Behaviour.
That may not actually be as far-fetched as it sounds, coming back home via the extreme northern route can be an interesting and practical way to go... It's really the only way one can "island hop" across the Atlantic, with no single passage longer than 6-700 miles, or so, jumping to the Shetlands or Faroes, then Iceland, Greenland, Labrador...

I think you really want to have a look at Jimmy Cornell's WORLD VOYAGE PLANNER, he really lays out all the possible circular voyages in every ocean, with departures from every continent... Coupled with Don Street's ATLANTIC CROSSING GUIDE, you'll have a wealth of planning information at your fingertips...
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Re: Atlantic Gyre cruise

Two years makes most sense to me as well. I particularly like the idea of visiting the Azors and/or Canaries too. Even the idea of going up on the hard and coming home for a spell would be fine. Maybe get home to spend holidays with family, see dentists/doctors, etc, for a month or two, however, the thought of staying out of the cold weather would be welcomed in the plan.

I guess getting to the UK, given their 6 month visitor Visa, is a good layover, but still pretty far north. If we layup there over the first winter and head south in the Spring, the following hurricane season is again upon us. I don't think I have the cadence quite right yet.

I feel like leaving New England in Spring to spend a month in Ireland, followed by a month or two in England gets me to Sept, then France, Portugal, Canaries to avoid hurricane season and cross to Caribbean in Nov? Island hop all winter and head north again in the late Spring? Seems sort of doable, but rushed. At some point, I can see just not wanting to leave, but hurricane season, cold weather and visas could apply pressure. If I layup in Europe for the winter, hurricane season becomes an issue again.
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Re: Atlantic Gyre cruise

Jon,

We posted at the same time. You're right, I confused the UK with Shengan. The thought of an island only cruise is very interesting.

The attraction to Ireland/UK is family, but we can see them on a flight sometime.
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Old 03-09-2014
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Re: Atlantic Gyre cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by capt vimes View Post
Atlantic crossings are 3-4 weeks for a moderate cruiser, most of the times only less than 3...
If you stop for 2 weeks in bermuda you still have the best part of a month to spend in the azores before you exceed your timeframe...
That seems pretty fast to me.

Falmouth to Azores to Bermuda to Norfolk is about 3500 miles. 125 (four weeks) to 165 mile days (three weeks), day after day, might be achievable if the wind is perfect the whole way across. My experience is that 75 mile days made good is pretty decent. I'm happy making 150 mile days and try to keep boat speed up, but even on a fast close reach with current and leeway the distance made good isn't nearly that high.

VPP using pilot chart information predicts 48 days for a 40' medium weight cruiser in June West to East. That lines up with my experience.
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Re: Atlantic Gyre cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Two years makes most sense to me as well. I particularly like the idea of visiting the Azors and/or Canaries too. Even the idea of going up on the hard and coming home for a spell would be fine. Maybe get home to spend holidays with family, see dentists/doctors, etc, for a month or two, however, the thought of staying out of the cold weather would be welcomed in the plan.

I guess getting to the UK, given their 6 month visitor Visa, is a good layover, but still pretty far north. If we layup there over the first winter and head south in the Spring, the following hurricane season is again upon us. I don't think I have the cadence quite right yet.

I feel like leaving New England in Spring to spend a month in Ireland, followed by a month or two in England gets me to Sept, then France, Portugal, Canaries to avoid hurricane season and cross to Caribbean in Nov? Island hop all winter and head north again in the late Spring? Seems sort of doable, but rushed. At some point, I can see just not wanting to leave, but hurricane season, cold weather and visas could apply pressure. If I layup in Europe for the winter, hurricane season becomes an issue again.
Couple of thoughts, the UK is pretty far north, but really quite mild because of the North Atlantic Drift. It may not be all that warm but not what you expect for latitudes >50N, although this winter was incredibly nasty. Also, getting to spend the winter on the boat in London is particularly attractive since it is such an expensive place to visit and stay in hotels. There is even a marina in downtown Paris, but I have not investigated the details there.

One comment about winter stays in marinas - they can be most cost-effective. We lived onboard in New York harbour (may do that again for winter 2015-6) for 18 months. Winter six months were $2000 (plus utilities), while summer was $8000 and summer was full and you could get space easily in winter.

About planning, Cornell is hugely useful and good fun to read on a winter night. Also, at times I have found it helpful to plan from the end of cruise working backward or from both ends toward the middle. Generally it works out pretty logically. If it does not it likely means the basic premise of the trip is wrong - likely there just is not enough time to do the things you want to do.
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Back in the water in Grenada - with new main and #2 and cockpit canvas (Santa came early). Will spend the winter and early spring in the Caribbean and then head to Bermuda and the northeast US. Still trying to decide if we will bring the boat to Canada, either in 2015 or 2016.
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