AN Azores to Portugal

Best time:

May to September

Tropical storms:

None

Charts:

BA:4103

US: 126

Piiots:

BA: 67

US: 140, 143

Cruising guides:

Atlantic Spain and Portugal.

Waypoints:

Departure

Intermediate

Landfall Destination

Distance (M)

limit i1 AM VIA

AN 1330 Delgada

AN1331 Garça

AN1333 S Channel Lisbon

780

37-44TV, 25'40'W

37'42'N. 25'22'W

38'37'N. 9'20'W 38'41.5'N. 9'12W

AN 1332 Sta Maria

AN1333 S Channel Lisbon

757

36:56'N; 25WW

IlnuU: AM33K

AN1330 Delgada

AN 1331 Garça

AN 1334 Vincent SW

AN 1335 off Vilamoura Vilamoura

842

36C55'N, 9'00'W

37°03'N, 8'06'W 37°04.5'N, 8'07'W

AN1332 Sta Maria

AN1334 Vincent SW

AN1335 off Vilamoura Vilamoura

812

Favourable winds can be expected for most of the way if this passage is made at the beginning of summer. The winds in the vicinity of the islands are variable, with a predominance of SW winds. In May and early June a belt of calms is usually crossed somewhere between the Azores and the mainland before entering the area of prevailing northerly winds. At times the calms can be quite extensive and one should be prepared to motor. Steadier winds can be expected towards the middle of summer. During July and August the strong Portuguese trades, blowing at a steady 15-20 knots, make this a fast and exhilarating trip. Such northerly winds will be encountered from about 300 miles off the Portuguese coast. Occasionally, if the Azores high is located north of the islands, NE winds may be experienced all the way across to Portugal. Because of the prevailing winds, northern ports on the Portuguese coast will be to windward if a rhumb line is sailed from the Azores. This should be taken into account, and also the south setting Portugal Current, when final course adjustments are made for the port of destination so as to approach the coast slightly to windward of the intended port.

Boats that have cruised the Azores from NW to SE will find it more convenient to take their departure either at Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel, or Vila do Porto, on Santa Maria. In the former case, a direct course for the Portuguese mainland can be set from WP AN1331 south of Ponta da Garga, on Sao Miguel's south coast. If leaving from Santa Maria, the departure point is WP AN1332 off that island's Ponta do Castelo, on Santa Maria's SE extremity. Boats bound for Lisbon (AN133A) should make their landfall at WP AN1333. From there the South Channel leads into the Tagus River on whose north shore lies the Portuguese capital.

The route to Vilamoura, on the Algarve coast (AN133B), leads due east to WP AN1334, 6 miles south of Cape St Vincent. Avoiding the heavy traffic passing though the area, the course should be altered for WP AN1335, one mile SW of Vilamoura. The marina monitors VHF channels 16 and 20.

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