AN Azores to Canary Islands

Porto, a direct course can be set for WP AN1351 off Ponta do Pargo at Madeira's western end. From there the course runs parallel to Madeira's SW coast to the capital and main port Funchal. Funchal marina monitors VHF channel 16 during office hours.

Best time: Tropical storms: Charts:


Cruising guides: Waypoints:


June to August BA:4104

US: 143

Canary Islands Cruising Guide, Atlantic Islands.




RnulP AMlhA

AN1360 Delgada 37'44'N, 25'40'W

AN1362 Vila 36fc57'N, 25'07'W Kouti1 ANHtili AN1360 Delgada

AN1363 Graciosa

AN1363 Graciosa

AN1364 Palma 28'52'N, 17'45'W

AN 1364 Palma

La Sociedad 794

La Sociedad 746

Santa Cruz 675

Santa Cruz 622

Both winds and current are usually favourable on this passage. If the intention is to cruise the Canaries it is best to sail first to one of the eastern islands of the Canarian archipelago, such as Lanzarote. This will ensure favourable winds during the subsequent cruise and also allows the islands to be visited in logical order. The direct route from the Azores to Lanzarote (AN136A) passes so close to Madeira as to make a stop there almost unavoidable. Directions for the route to Madeira are described in AN135. The subsequent section from Madeira to the Canaries is dealt with in route AN41 (page 65).

The direct route from Ponta Delgada or Santa Maria to Lanzarote (AN136A) bypasses Madeira and goes NE of the Salvagem Islands. Landfall is made at WP AN1363, about 5 miles NW of Graciosa, before entering Estrecho del Rio, the channel separating Graciosa from Lanzarote. Although not a port of entry, boats may stop for a short time at La Sociedad, the main port and settlement on Graciosa, before proceeding to Lanzarote and clearing in there.

For most sailors contemplating this passage, the Azores are only a convenient stop on a longer voyage, and so is the stop in Bermuda. Horta used to be the traditional starting point for the passage to Bermuda, but the improvements to the port of Lajes, on Flores, now makes it possible to start one's voyage at the western extremity of the Azorean archipelago. However, as the recommended tactic is to reach the latitude of Bermuda as soon as possible, the advantage of starting from Lajes is minimal. From whichever port one leaves, it is essential to obtain a long term weather forecast. If westerly winds are forecast it is best to wait for a change rather than try to beat one's way westward. The recommended time, in June or July, is not necessarily the one with the most favourable winds, but with the best chance of good weather.

In summer the predominant winds on the direct route, and especially north of latitude 35 °N, are SW and there is also a contrary current, so it is rec

If the Canaries are only used as an intermediate stop to prepare for a transatlantic passage, it may be more convenient to only call at one of the western islands, such as La Palma (AN136B). Course should be set for WP AN1364 NE of the island's capital, Santa Cruz de la Palma. This is an excellent place for reprovisioning the boat for the onward passage.

ommended to sail as much as possible on Bermuda's own latitude. This may even entail going further south, to be assured of favourable winds. If westerly winds are encountered in the early part of the voyage, one should stay on the starboard tack even if it means going as far south as latitude 30 *N. In summer, the further south one sails, the higher the proportion of easterly winds. The one disadvantage of a late summer passage is the increased risk of hurricanes in or around Bermuda.

If leaving from Horta, from WP AN1371 set a first course to WP AN1373. Boats leaving from Lajes at WP AN1372 should follow the same directions and also set course for the same intermediate waypoint. From that point, the route should follow closely the latitude of Bermuda, as described above. Landfall is made at WP AN1374, two miles from Town Cut at the entrance into St George's Harbour.

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