AN Canary Islands to Bahamas

Best time: troi'k m molim«-Charts:


Cruising guides: Waypoints:


March to May

June to November

BA: 4012

US: 120

Yachtsman's Guide to the Bahamas.




Distance (M)

AN540 Las Palmas 28'07'N. 15'24'W



AN542 Salvador 23'54'N, 74'32'W

Cockburn Town 24'03'N, 74'31.5'W


With the exception of Christopher Columbus, who sailed this route in 1492 and thereby established a permanent link between the Old and New Worlds, few modern boats attempt to sail nonstop to the Bahamas. In 1992, on the occasion of the quincentenary of that historic voyage, this traditional route was sailed by many boats, their crews commemorating in this way the deeds of one oi the greatest navigators in history. The route can be useful for boats intending to sail to the southern USA directly from the Canaries.

Being unaware of the hurricane season in the yet to be discovered lands he was heading for, Columbus made his passage from the Canaries in September and was extremely fortunate in having good weather throughout, or the history of the world might have been very different. Armed with modern knowledge about the behaviour of West Indian hurricanes, the passage should not be attempted before the end of November. For the transatlantic section of the voyage directions are similar to those detailed in route AN51. However, depending on weather conditions, it may not be necessary to dip as far south as do the boats going to islands in the Southern Caribbean. If the trade winds extend as far north as 20 °N, or even further, it should be possible to lay a fairly direct course across.

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