AN Gibraltar to North America

have been experienced in that area. Boats intending to sail nonstop to Horta should set a course for WP AN365, 10 miles N of Sao Miguel. there the route passes north of Pico. If strong SW winds are encountered among the islands, one can either seek shelter in a port on the north coast of Pico, such as Sao Roque, or sail towards Terceira, where one can wait for a change of weather at Angra do Heroismo, on that island's south coast.

The direct route to Ponta Delgada leads to WP AN366, 3 miles south of Ponta da Garga, on the south coast of the island of Sao Miguel. Boats coming from ports south of Lisbon may prefer to make their first landfall there rather than further west. There is a good marina at Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores, which has the best facilities in the archipelago. Another good starting point for a cruise among the islands is the island of Santa Maria, at the southeastern extremity of the archipelago, from where the other islands can be visited in logical succession.

Ri-ii i.mi:

Tropical storms:

June to November



Pi'i) p*:


Cruising guides:

Azores Cruising GuWe, Yachting Guide to Bermuda, The Atlantic Crossing

Guide, Cruising Guide to Newfoundland, Cruising Guide to the Nova Scotia

Coast, Yachting Guide to the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Coastal Cruising

Guide fo ifte Atlantic Coast, Cruising Guide io ffte New England Coast

Way points: Departure

Intermediate landfall


AN370 Gibraltar 36C08'N, 5'22'W

Roule A\37U

AN370 Gibraltar


Routt1 .W'jrn

AH370 Gibraltar AN375 Bermuda E 32 22'N, 54 3S"W

R.nili? W37C

AN370 Gibraltar

AN376 Chesapeake 36-45A. 75 451V AN377 Brenton 41'24'N. 71'16'W AN378 off HaMax 44 25 N. 63 25'VV AN376 c:f S: JO-n 3 47'30'N, 52539'W

AN376 Chesapeake fllSwBw^^

AN37" B'S^on AN378 off Halifax AN379 Cîf Si Jonn's.

AN37S Cresaocflke

AN378 off Halifax

Ntwpor! Halifax

Newport Hi

Newport Ha'sfa> St John's

Newport Maria* St John's

3323 3044 2672 2290

3349 3110 2747 2331

3097 2730 2308

3544 3648 3973

The majority of boats bound for North America from the Mediterranean prefer to take the classic route via the Canaries, which, although considerably longer, has a higher proportion of favourable winds. The direct route (AN37A) has certain attractions, firstly because it can be done at the beginning of summer, and secondly because it can be much speedier. The best time for this passage is at the beginning of summer, but if it is undertaken after July, attention must be paid to the possibility of hur- * ricanes. This applies particularly to those sailing to ports in areas of the USA affected by tropical storms. On the other hand, boats bound for Canadian ports, such as St John's in Newfoundland, should avoid making the passage early in the season because of the danger of ice. Directions and waypoints as far as the western end of the Strait of Gibraltar are the same as those for route AN36. Having reached the open sea, the direct route across the Atlantic will depend entirely on existing weather conditions, which will dictate whether the Azores are left to port or starboard. A route south of the Azores direct to Bermuda (AN37D) has a certain attraction as the winds will be met at a better angle once the area of prevailing S or SW winds is reached close to Bermuda. Boats bound for Newfoundland and even Nova Scotia will probably peel off this southern route sooner, but those heading for ports south of New York may find a stop in Bermuda too tempting to miss.

As the direct route passes close to the Azores, most boats make at least a brief stop there after the first 1000 miles at sea. Whether a stop in the Azores is intended or not, directions for the route between Gibraltar and that area are given in routes AN24 (page 52) and AN36. If a stop in the Azores is considered, from WP AN371 at the western end of the Strait of Gibraltar, the direct route to Ponta Delgada (AN37B) leads to WP AN373, 3 miles south of Ponta da Garqa, on the south coast of the island of Sao Miguel. Although Ponta Delgada is closer to this route, and there is a good marina there, the traditional port of call remains Horta, on the island of Faial. The latter is probably a better starting off point for the subsequent leg across the Atlantic.

If intending to sail nonstop to Horta (route AN37C), from WP AN371 a course should be set for WP AN374, SE of the island of Terceira. Depending on weather conditions, from that point Horta can be reached by sailing either north or south of the island of Pico. In strong SW winds it is better to stay north of Pico and, if the weather deteriorates, one can seek shelter at Sao Roque, on the north coast of Pico, or at Velas, the main port on Sao Jorge. Terceira itself has a good harbour at Angra do Heroismo, although it is open to the south and should be avoided in strong winds from that direction. In strong SW winds, the channel between Pico and Faial, in the approaches to Horta, can be affected by violent gusts. These, and the north setting current, should be taken into account if attempting to enter Horta under such conditions. A last port in the Azores, where one can seek shelter and wait for an improvement in the weather, is at Lajes, on the SE point of Flores, where a new breakwater has greatly improved the protection of this port. From the Azores the voyage may continue nonstop to one's destination.

Those that have stopped in the Azores should be prepared to wait there until a good long term forecast assures a safe and speedy passage for the continuation of their voyage. Directions for the routes from the Azores to the USA and Canada are given in AN138 and AN139 (page 149). Boats planning to stop in Bermuda may be able to sail a direct course from the Azores to WP AN375, east of the entrance into St George's Harbour. Such a direct route from the Azores to Bermuda has the best chance of favourable winds. This is described in detail in AN137 (page 148). The most likely winds to be encountered on approaching Bermuda are from the SW, but if favourable conditions persist it is best to bypass Bermuda altogether and sail nonstop to one's final destination.

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