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Hi I am interested in making the sail from Halifax, Nova Scotia to The Bahamas none stop. I would have a crew of four on a 50ft ketch. What time of year would work best and how long would it take?
 

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With all due respect, hire a professional captain to make the trip and ask him.
 

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Hi I am interested in making the sail from Halifax, Nova Scotia to The Bahamas none stop. I would have a crew of four on a 50ft ketch. What time of year would work best and how long would it take?
Leave after atlantic hurricane season. Depends on how long you stay in Bermuda. Two weeks roughly.:) Oh, welcome to the Sailnet Forum.
 

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If this isn't just a death wish, and your serious, you should provide us with some imfo. on this 50 footer. The design, rig, nav.gear, sails etc. You will get good helpfull imfo. on this net from some very experienced sailors,so give us some details. There is one thing...most likely half of your crew will be sea sick an not much help. Hey welcome to the net!
 

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You're fighting the gulf stream the whole way, ouch--
Crossing it might be a better idea. Where to cross might depend upon finding a favorable meander. It is a pretty long trip. From Halifax it may take a week. A crew of just four is going to get very tired unless the weather is extremely fine and favorable. If you wait until the end of hurricane season, this is extremely unlikely.
 

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If this isn't just a death wish, and your serious, you should provide us with some imfo. on this 50 footer. The design, rig, nav.gear, sails etc. You will get good helpfull imfo. on this net from some very experienced sailors,so give us some details. There is one thing...most likely half of your crew will be sea sick an not much help. Hey welcome to the net!
How is any of that info going to help you describe the best time of year to leave and how long it will take? That is all the guy asked . . . no one has come close to discussing either question.

Hey - welcome to Sailnet! :)
 

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In a nutshell what you are suggesting is going the wrong way.
Nova Scotia to Bahamas is pretty much against the prevailing wind and current.
So expect a long hard slog to windward. Sailing almost twice the distance.
Or you could go down the coast. you might still find you are motoring a lot.
You could go as near directly South as the wind will allow until you pick up the trades. Hoping you wont find yourself becalmed.
In short you might find it easier to cross the Atlantic sail down to the Canaries and cross the Atlantic again.
Personally I would hug the coast.
Depending upon your draft, try the Inter-costal Waterway. I don’t know it. I just think I would enjoy it.

As for time of year. Not now seriously nasty of Nova Scotia.
Wait for Spring try to get it done by Summer.
Hurricane Season starts in June. My insurance which is good for the whole coast of North America specifically forbids sailing in area's subject to named storms from then till they are over in November.
My own opinion is early season storms tend to stay further south going through the Caribbean more likely to hit Bahamas area later in the season..

If I was doing a delivery key questions would be fuel capacity and speed. Id expect to be motoring most of the way if I went direct non stop.
 

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I've sailed, well....motored from Halifax to Delaware twice in two years. Shelbourne to Marblehead and down the coast.

Kinda says it all.

A more windward boat would do better. Still a slog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
With all due respect FSMike I have been sailing for over thirty years in the Great Lakes and have grown up around boats my hole life. I find your comment very insulting, I know much prep goes into a voyage like this. Thanks to all the others for there input I have lots of time for the voyage and think I will fallow the Gulf Stream to the Azores, then head to Europe south to the Canaries. From the Canaries I would like to join The ARC and head to the Caribbean. Take my time and enjoy the adventure.
 

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With all due respect FSMike I have been sailing for over thirty years in the Great Lakes and have grown up around boats my hole life. I find your comment very insulting, .
Yes, sometimes this forum beggars belief.

Going by the Azores and canaries is the easy but long way.

I havent done Nova Scottia to bahamas/Caribbean direct but the time to go is at the end of the hurricane season and before winter. As you'll note both seam to overlap!

Its only 1,500 miles so not far.

The route is down to 65 West (about where bermuda is, so a stop in is on the way, if desired to wait for a weather window), then direct to Georgetown in the southern bahamas.

Prevailing winds: up the bum to start, then variables and a tad on the nose and then up the bum from Bermuda.

Contrary to what some posters have written the gulf stream is well coastwards of the route except for the first three hundred miles, where it is on your beam and would help not hinder by keeping your easting.

The difficulty is if you hit a north atlantic storm from the great lakes, or a late hurricane, or as with Sandy, a combination of both.

The Azores, canaries, bahamas route is 5,400 so a completly different type of voyage. If you do that then stop in the Med for a season.



Mark
 

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I think the voyage is about the getting there ,not the got there.The long way about will offer the opportunity to compare the Med to the G Lakes (a worthy study in itself).The got there is often a bit anti climactic
 

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smotzy -

If I insulted you I apologize. To me your original post sounded like a neophyte ready to bite off more than he could chew. There was no info in that post to indicate that you had any experience.
 

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Smotzy,


I left Halifax last Oct. 12 and 16 days later arrived in Ft. Lauderdale. It was aboard my Downeast 32. There was only a crew of two, but we managed just fine. Not the easiest of trips as noted in the other comments warning against the stream. We went south and cut the stream closer to NS, then fought it a few more times working south. All in all it was an amazing experience. I would absolutely recommend it to experienced sailors.


Scratch
 

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The OP is probably gone by now but the advice above about sailing to the Canaries or Azores is way off base. I'll offer this in the hope some future reader is not misled.

Uricane, look at a chart of the Atlantic. Boats leave New England for the Carribean every year in early November, passing by or stopping in Bermuda, and then proceeding south to the BVI or points east and south of there. Halifax is two days max to the latitude of southern NE and the angle on the wind isn't that much different. If you're set to the east of Bermuda, it's no big deal as the NE trades will be found south of there.

The route most competent skippers would take if doing this trip non-stop (and that's a big if) is NS to Bermuda (stop if necessary) and then to Bahamas. Timing is challenging, but if going non-stop then leave on a cold frontal passage in early November and beat feet south as fast as possible so you hopefully only have to deal with one nasty gale along the way (odds are that time of year you'll have two). The biggest risk along this route is having to deal with an approaching gale or worse while in the Gulf Stream and/ or it's numerous eddies.

With a 50' waterline the NS -Bermuda leg would take a week plus or minus, and the Bermuda to Bahamas leg a day or two less.

The risk of encountering a strong gale in the Gulf Stream in November is very real and shouldn't be discounted. People have died and boats have been lost doing this passage in recent years. A better approach would be to cruise down the US coast during the summer or early fall and leave from Norfolk in early November.
 

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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.
 

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Ya this doom and gloom is so fruit less....I see this post is 6yrs old...did you ever make this journey...a guy that works at my marina has done several times...he leaves Halifax after November 1st stays 50 miles off the coast and says he's never had a problem...let me know how your sail was
 

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The OP is probably gone by now but the advice above about sailing to the Canaries or Azores is way off base. I'll offer this in the hope some future reader is not misled.

Uricane, look at a chart of the Atlantic. Boats leave New England for the Carribean every year in early November, passing by or stopping in Bermuda, and then proceeding south to the BVI or points east and south of there. Halifax is two days max to the latitude of southern NE and the angle on the wind isn't that much different. If you're set to the east of Bermuda, it's no big deal as the NE trades will be found south of there.

The route most competent skippers would take if doing this trip non-stop (and that's a big if) is NS to Bermuda (stop if necessary) and then to Bahamas. Timing is challenging, but if going non-stop then leave on a cold frontal passage in early November and beat feet south as fast as possible so you hopefully only have to deal with one nasty gale along the way (odds are that time of year you'll have two). The biggest risk along this route is having to deal with an approaching gale or worse while in the Gulf Stream and/ or it's numerous eddies.

With a 50' waterline the NS -Bermuda leg would take a week plus or minus, and the Bermuda to Bahamas leg a day or two less.

The risk of encountering a strong gale in the Gulf Stream in November is very real and shouldn't be discounted. People have died and boats have been lost doing this passage in recent years. A better approach would be to cruise down the US coast during the summer or early fall and leave from Norfolk in early November.
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Hi
Using this older post as a continue the conversation regarding a crossing from Halifax to Bermuda.
Currently in Halifax
boat is a Cape Dory 30 MKII 1987 hull# 3
Fitted with new Viking offshore liferaft
Vesper transponder
Garmin Chartplotter and radar
several tablets with electronic charts plus Bermuda paper charts
EPIRB and personal AIS/GPS beacons
Diesel tank 20 gls
Diesel jugs 4 total 20 gl
Engine Westerbeke 3 cyl well maintained with 2 racors 500 in line with independent connectors to maintain engine running when filters clogged plus a remote vacuum gauge to monitor filters.
Water 40 gl
Jacklines lines from the cockpit to bow,all center installed and extra line from the cockpit to deck around dodger\
autopilot and Monitor windvane
just purchased Iridium go to have communications /weather reports and sign out a routing/weather service when on route
Plus have Garmin InReach explorer II for texting/weather

Me 78 y/o (no comments please)
Have sailed and cruised either short or single hand for the last 40 years
total logged 10000 n/m
last trip 4 years duration from Morro Bay to ST Petersburg via Panama Canal
crew 2 more people aboard with sailing experience
considering a 3rd? the boat is small.
My plan?
leave Halifax to Bermuda first part of October and leave the boat on the hard to return in a couple of months after tropical storms season.
Why? stay positioned for a possible crossing to Europe or whatever considering my age do not longer buy extended warranties or draw long-range plans.
Advice and ideas sought out,I do not take offense if you point out to weakness
of my plans however, there is a limit due to my personality shortcomings.
The idea to sail coastal going south is considered but not sure in the long run is whort it, just finished motor sailing my boat from Morehead City NC and the tought of going back,well not exciting

thank you in advance
David
 
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