AN Canary Islands to Bermuda

The number of boats sailing nonstop from the Canaries to Bermuda is relatively small, probably because the best sailing conditions on this route coincide with the start of the hurricane season in the Western Atlantic. The greatest frequency of hurricanes in Bermuda itself has been recorded from mid-August to mid-October, June and July being considered relatively safe months.

For anyone in a hurry to return to the USA, this direct route has much to recommend it and fast passages have been recorded. If the voyage is made during the safe season, from November to April, the winter trades are so far south that a detour to find them would take the track so close to the Lesser Antilles that it would be just as easy to make a stop there. As the sun changes its declination and

Whichever course is chosen for the Atlantic crossing itself, on approaching the islands of the Eastern Caribbean, one should attempt not to sail below WP AN541 so as to stay well clear of such islands as Anguila and Sombrero, which have claimed too many ships in the past. From there, the course should stay well offshore to pass the Turks and Caicos group at a safe distance before closing with San Salvador, which is marked by a powerful light. After landfall is made at WP AN542, 5 miles SE of Sandy Point, the SW extremity of San Salvador, the west of the island should be passed at a safe distance before approaching the main settlement at Cockburn Town. Entry formalities can be completed there or one mile further north at Riding Rock Marina, which has a difficult entrance with a maximum depth of 7 ft at high tide.

starts moving north, the trade wind belt does the same and, in spring or early summer, a passage to Bermuda can be done between latitudes 20e and 25 8N. Constant NE and later E winds will be found along these latitudes for most of the transatlantic voyage. The temptation should be resisted to alter course for Bermuda too soon as this leads into an area of variable winds. One should therefore aim for WP AN551 so that Bermuda is approached from the SSE. For the remaining distance the winds should be from the SW, which are the prevailing winds in Bermuda during summer. Landfall should be made at WP AN552 east of St David's Head, in the approaches to the Town Cut which leads into St George's Harbour, where entry formalities are completed.

Best time:

April to May

Tropical storms:

June to November


BA: 4012


BA: 1, 70; 71 US: 140, 143. 147

Cruising guides:

Yachting Guide to Bermuda.



Intermediate Landfall


Distance (M)

AN550 Las Palmas

AN551 AN552 Bermuda E

St George's


28'07'N, 15"24'W

25'00'N, 60'00'W 32'22'N, 64'38'W

32"22'N, 64'40'W

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