AN Routes from North Europe

ANll Europe to North America (northern routes) 39

AN12 Europe to North America (southern routes) 40

AN13 Southbound from Northern Europe 42

AN14 Routes across the Bay of Biscay 42

AN15 Northern Europe to Portugal 43

AN16 Northern Europe to Mediterranean 44

AN17 Northern Europe to Madeira 45

AN18 Northern Europe to Canary Islands 46

AN19 Northern Europe to Azores 47

North European boats than in the past, when a summer cruise to the Azores was not regarded as out of the ordinary. For most European sailors, the Azores are now mainly a convenient stopover on the way home from the Caribbean.

The opening up of the former Communist countries bordering on the Black and Baltic Seas is

AN10 Routes from Northern Europe

the Arctic Circle is no longer a rarity.

Because the sailing season in Northern Europe is limited to only a few months, most offshore passages take place between May and August. Earlier, the weather is still cold and unsettled, although for northbound passages the early part of the season has better chances of favourable, if strong, winds from the SW. With the onset of summer, the likelihood of NE winds is higher. After the end of August the weather becomes more unsettled and at least one violent storm can be expected either side of the autumn equinox.

Anyone sailing from the north has to pass two major hurdles before reaching the more benign southern part of the North Atlantic. Sailing from the North Sea towards the English Channel one has to put up with one of the highest concentrations of shipping in the world, and if the visibility is poor and the wind unfavourable it is better to go into a port and wait for a change. The next hurdle is the Bay of Biscay where even in a moderate gale the seas can become very rough. However, the notorious bay is only about 300 miles across and if one leaves with a favourable forecast from a place like Falmouth, one should be able to cross without being caught out by the weather.

AN11 Europe to North America (northern routes)

Best time: Tropical storms: Charts:

Pilots:

Waypoints: Departure

June to August June to November illf»

8A: 27, 40, 59, 67, 68, 69 US" -40. U2. 1-5 "91

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 to the Atlantic. Coast, Cruising Guide to the New England Coast.

hihnth'ilinlc

Landfall

Destination

Route ANUA

ANT 10 Lizard 49c55'N,5r10'W

Roil to A\1 IK AN111 Bishop 49c5Q'Nf 6e35'W

Route AN 11(

AN112 Wrath 58"J40'N, 5'10'W

Route AN 111) AN110 Lizard

AN11S Sable 43 30'N. Go ocr; AN116 Nantucket 40,30,k 69'30'W

MmNPm

AN"3 N A:K".c 55'00'N, 30°00'W AN'15 3sn,e AN116 Nantucket

AN113N Atlantic AN115 Sable AN116 Nantucket l|l|!Jiilii(|ijll|lil

AN114 Mid-Atlantic 51C26'N, 23C24'W

AN117 off St John's 47'34'N, 52'40*W ANV.So'f He. fax AN119 Brentan jil|ii|S|!|iSli|BilM

AN-17 or 3:. Jch--& AN118 off HaliMx AN119 Brenton

Halifax

St John's Ha ¡fax Newport

2337 2726

1802

2286 2675

AN117 off St John's St John's

2246 2621

1854

From the Vikings and the Pilgrim Fathers to participants in singlehanded races, the westbound transatlantic routes of high latitudes have been well sailed over the centuries. The great circle route from the English Channel (AN11 A) is probably the most difficult as there is usually a battle against headwinds all the way across. The alternatives are either to make a detour to the north, in the hope of finding more favourable winds (AN11B), a track closer to the great circle route from Scotland (ANllC), or to make a detour to the south, in search of warmer weather, as described in AN12. All of the northern routes can be affected by fog and ice and their timing is therefore crucial. In July, the maximum iceberg limit extends SE from Newfoundland to 39 °N, 50 in August the ice limit recedes to above latitude 41 °N, which limits passages close to those latitudes to a few summer months. As most of the Western Atlantic can be affected by tropical storms, this hazard should be borne in mind also, especially during late summer passages.

The prevailing winds on route AN11A are mostly westerly with the added disadvantage of sailing against the Gulf Stream. It can be counterproductive to try and avoid the contrary current by moving south, as this brings the possibility of straying into the Azores high. To avoid the effect of the Gulf Stream entirely one may.have to go further south along one of the routes described in AN12, or take a more northerly track. Timing on these routes is crucial and weather forecasts for as long as a week in advance should be consulted before deciding on the best tactic.

The main object of the most northerly routes (AN11B and AN11C) is to stay north of the lows that move across the Atlantic from west to east. Although the chances of finding entirely favourable winds are only marginally better than on the direct route (AN11 A), boats with good windward going capabilities have macfe speedy passages, as between the lows the' winds are most likely to be either NW or SW. These northern routes converge at waypoint AN113 from where a new course is set for the port of destination. As these routes pass through an area with a very high incidence of fog and ice, they should only be attempted later in the summer.

One of the shortest routes across the Atlantic is the great circle route from the English Channel to St John's in Newfoundland (AN11D). As the course reaches its northernmost latitude at WP AN114, in some years this could be perilously close to the ice limit. Early in the season, or in a year with more ice than usual, it may be worth considering route AN12A which keeps to the south of the ice limit. This limit fluctuates from year to year and month to month. The average iceberg limits for July and August are mentioned above, but a more northerly course can be chanced if up to date ice reports can be obtained by radio.

Boats bound for US ports should use WPs AN115 and AN116 to avoid the shallows off Sable Island and Nantucket Shoal respectively. Only a few intermediate waypoints are suggested as all of these routes should be approached with complete flexibility.

IJi'l 1iv.' :

June to August

Tium'k. u !»iu:i\te:

June to November

Cl) 1

Pilule

BA: 27. -JO. 52, ?3. 6?

jlfj^^

Cruising guides:

The Atlantic Crossing Guide, Azores Cruising Guide, Atlantic islands,

Yachting Guide to Bermuda, Cruising Guide to Newfoundland, Cruising

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

Nova Scotia, Coastal Cruising Guide to the Atlantic Coast, Cruising Guide

to the New England Coast

AN12 Europe to North America (southern routes)

Waypoints: Departure

Intermediate

Landfall

Destina tic

Distance (M)

Kuuk- \ \ 12 \

AN 120 Lizard

AN121 ^

49'55'N, 5'10'W

39'00'N, 35;00'W

AN 122 Sable

AN 127 off Halifax

Halifax

2758

43'30'N, 60'00'W

44'25'N, 63;25'W

44'38'N, 63'34'W

AN 123 Nantucket

AN128 Brenton

Newport

3127

40'30'N, 69*30'W

41'24'N,7ri6'W

4V'29% 71'20'W

KnuL- W12IJ

AN 120 Lizard

AN124 Graciosa

39'12'N, 27'50'W

AN 125 Sao Jorge

38'48'N, 28*20^

AN126 Faial .

AN127 off Halifax

Halifax

2811

38,32.5'N!28,35.5'W

AN 123 Nantucket

AN128 Brenton

Newport

3192

To avoid the headwinds and cold weather on the more direct transatlantic routes described in AN11, there is a choice of a more southerly course, which can be either direct (AN12A) or via the Azores (AN12B).

The prevailing winds on route AN12A are westerly with the added disadvantage of sailing against the Gulf Stream. It can be counterproductive to try and avoid the contrary current by moving south, as this brings the possibility of straying into the Azores high, so one must be prepared to either put up with the current or move far enough south to avoid it altogether. Fast passages have been recorded on this route, but this has been due mainly to the individual boat's performance as well as access to weather information. Weather forecasts for at least one week in advance should be consulted before departure to be able to decide on the best tactic. Passages in early summer should use WP AN121 to avoid the southern ice limit. West of the Azores waypoints AN122 and AN123 are given to avoid the shallows off Sable Island and Nantucket Shoal respectively.

Route AN12B is a fair weather alternative and also a continuation of route AN19 via the Azores (page 47). Although longer than the other routes, it has the advantage of warmer weather and a mid-Atlantic stop for rest and reprovisioning. The course westward from the Azores will depend both on the final port of destination and the weather encountered. Depending on the winds encountered, one should not move north of about latitude 37°N so as to avoid the southern limit of the Gulf Stream and possibly the Azores high as well. South and southwesterly winds prevail along this route in summer.

This route is likely to be affected by tropical storms after the middle of June, the risk of hurricanes increasing as summer progresses. For the same reason, a stopover in Bermuda is only recommended in an emergency as it involves a detour and also increases the time spent in an area affected by hurricanes. Route AN137 (page 148) should be consulted for details if a stop in Bermuda is envisaged.

AN13 Southbound from Northern Europe

Best time: May to mid-August

Tropical storms: None /

Charts: BA: 2128A, 2128B

Cruising guides: Cruising Association Handbook, Shell Pilot to the English Channel Vols 1 & 2, North Sea Passage Pilot.

For southbound yachts from the Baltic, the Kiel Canal offers a convenient access to the North Sea. From WP AN130 in the Elbe estuary, the route runs parallel to the Frisian islands. All routes from Scandinavia and Northern Europe converge into the Straits of Dover on their way towards the Bay of Biscay. The early summer months are the best time for these southbound passages as weather conditions and winds are generally favourable both in the North Sea and the English Channel. The winds from May to July are mostly northerly and the frequency of gales in the North Sea is low. Good conditions can be relied upon to last until about the middle of August after which the risk of gales increases. September has some of the most violent storms, usually associated with the equinox. Although not ideal, October can be a reasonably good month for a southbound passage allowing those who have dallied too long to join the boats heading south from Gibraltar and Madeira towards the Canary Islands. In this case sufficient time should be allowed and charts carried of bolt holes along the Dutch and English coasts in which to seek shelter in threatening weather. As this route intersects some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, particular attention must be paid to shipping, especially in bad weather and poor visibility.

AN14 Routes across the Bay of Biscay

Best time: Tropical storms: Charts:

Pilots:

Cruising cuides: Wayi'oînts:

Departure

May to mid-Aug fliif^^

South Biscay Pilot, Atlantic Spain and Portugal. Intermediate Landfall Destination

Diminua- Oïi

AN -13 L;z=-a

AN141 Villano

49'55'N, 5'1Q'W

43o10'N, 9'40'W

AN 142 Prior

La Coruña

520

43035'N, 8'24'W

43'S :¿3'W

Whether starting off from an English harbour or any port in continental Europe, it is advisable to make a last stop in Falmouth to wait for a good weather forecast before crossing the Bay of Biscay. This port in the SW of England has good docking and repair facilities and is excellently situated to wait for favourable conditions for the continuation of a voyage. A departure should not be attempted if SW winds are forecast, which are generated by depressions moving across the North Atlantic. As soon as the depression has passed, NW winds can be expected and with a reasonable long term forecast there is usually sufficient time to reach Cape Finisterre before another change in the weather.

Regardless of the forecast and the actual direction of the wind, it is wise to try and make some westing and not follow a rhumb line across the Bay. Taking as a departure point WP AN140, just south of Lizard Point, course is set for WP AN141, 20 miles west of Cape Villano and some 25 miles NW of Cape Finisterre, at the start of the shipping separation zone going around the latter. For the continuation of the southbound routes see AN15 and AN16 (below and page 44).

As a rule, while crossing the Bay of Biscay, if the winds are from the SW and one is sailing on the starboard tack, one should avoid being set too much to the SSE or SE, so as not to be embayed by a SW gaie, which is the usual direction of the worst gales. Because of the abrupt change from deep to shallow waters in the Bay of Biscay, seas can become extremely rough even in a moderate storm. The situation is sometimes exacerbated by a high swell generated by a hurricane blowing

Boats not intending to stop on the north Spanish coast should skirt the Bay of Biscay and make for waypoint AN151, approximately 25 miles NW of Cape Finisterre. This avoids both the Bay itself and the busy traffic passing close to Cape Finisterre. The best time to make this passage is in early summer, between May and July, when the weather is often settled and the winds favourable. Towards the end of the summer the frequency of gales thousands of miles away.

The best time to make this passage is in early summer, between May and July, when the weather is often settled and the winds favourable, probably from the NE. Towards the end of summer the frequency of gales increases and more attention should be paid to the forecasts from the middle of August to the end of September when some of the most violent storms have been recorded. Although called equinoctial gales these violent storms can occur on either side of the autumn equinox and the seas generated by them in the Bay of Biscay can be extremely rough.

With a good forecast, especially early in the summer, one may be tempted to stop first at one of the Spanish ports, such as La Coruna. The rest of the voyage can then be continued in easy stages along the western coasts of Spain and Portugal. Those planning to stop in Northern Spain can sail a direct route by setting course from WP AN140 to WP AN142, three miles WNW of Cape Prior, in the approaches to La Coruna.

increases and more attention should be paid to the forecasts from the middle of August to the end of September when some of the most violent storms have been recorded.

Having weathered Cape Finisterre, landfall can be made at WP AN152, off Rio Lima, a tidal river on the north shore of which lies Viana do Castelo, an attractive small town with a marina, which is a convenient place to clear into Portugal. Its main

AN15 Northern Europe to Portugal

hml i [vii:

May to mid-August

i'{i\«{'it -jokm^:

None

Charts:

BA:4103 US:126

Pilots:

BA: 22, 27,28, 37,67 US: 143. 191

Cruising guides:

South Biscay Pilot, Atlantic Spain and Portugal.

Waypoints:

Departure

Intermediate

Landfall

Destination

Distance (M)

AN150 Lizard

AN151 Villano

AN 152 Lima

Viana

540

49"55,N, 5'10'W

43'10'N, 9'40'W AN153 Berlenga 39J30'N. 9'40'W

41'42'N, 8°55'W

4V4VN, 8"55'W

AN 154 Raso

AN155 N Channel

Lisbon

730

38r42'N, 9"33'W

38'40'N, 9r20'W

38'41.5'N, 9'12'W

drawback is the bar across the river entrance where seas break in onshore winds. In such a case it is wise to look for an alternative.

If one is short of time, one can sail nonstop to Lisbon. From WP AN151, off Cape Finisterre, a course should be set for WP AN153, west of

Instructions for crossing the Bay of Biscay are similar to those described in AN15. Boats intending to sail to the Mediterranean nonstop should stay well offshore and pass Cape Finisterre at a safe distance by setting course for WP AN161. During summer the winds along the Portuguese coast are usually favourable northerlies, which will ensure a fast sail all the way to Cape St Vincent. From Cape Finisterre, the course runs along the 10°W meridian and passes close to the west of Berienga Islands to WP AN162. From there the course will be altered to WP AN163, 7 miles off Cape St Vincent.

From Cape St Vincent the course is altered for the Strait of Gibraltar to WP AN164, off Hoyo Bank, at the SW extremity of the shallows off Cape Trafalgar. The next waypoint to make for is WP

Berlenga Islands. From there course is altered for WP AN154, off Cabo Raso, in the approaches to Lisbon. Canal Norte (North Channel) leads into the Tagus River, the Portuguese capital being situated about 8 miles upstream on the/north shore of the river.

1022

1021

AN165, 2 miles south of Tarifa Island and inside the westgoing shipping lane. A course parallel to the Spanish coast will take one into the Bay of Gibraltar to WP AN166 off Punta Carnero and thence to WP AN167 off North Mole and the approaches to Marina Bay. Boats, proceeding into the Mediterranean without calling at Gibraltar should make for WP AN168, 3 miles south of Europa Point. At night boats transiting the Strait nonstop may find it easier to cross over to the African coast earlier and stay in the eastgoing shipping lane.

Once past Cape St Vincent, the Portuguese trades are normally lost and winds become more local in character. On summer days, a SW sea breeze occurs on approaching the Bay of Cadiz. This wind comes

AN16 Northern Europe to Mediterranean

Best time: TkmPUAI.morm-»:

Charts:

PIIOIC

May tc mc-A joust ffilltelifc^^B^^^^P^rt^tttfWM^fl^s^lffiii® SIM

Yacht Scene, East Spain Pilot, Spanish Mediterranean Yachtsman's Directory.

fnhnvit1iiits i «mludl

Destination

Dista

AN 160 Lizard 49'55'N, 5U10'W

AIMS' Fir.!s;tiriL W

AN162 3«yl'jnna 39:30'N. 9"40,W AN1G3 V ici-::: NIV 37WN, 9'08'W AM 54 Hovo 36 0-N. ó 20"W

AN167 Gibrí 3G Qh'k 5 22'W AN 165 Europa Fc 'it 36'04'N, 5C20,5'W

up around noon and lasts until midnight. If a strong Levanter is predicted in the Strait of Gibraltar, it is advisable to wait for a change in one of the ports along the Algarve coast (Lagos orVilamoura) or Bay of Cadiz (Puerto Sherry). Another convenient port is Barbate, which is not far west of Tarifa and is the closest to the Strait. Alternatively, one can find some shelter in the lee of Tarifa Island itself. Weather information, as well as other shipping news, can be obtained from Tarifa Radio, which operates a 24-hour service in both Spanish and English.

The Strait of Gibraltar separates Europe from Africa and at its nearest point the two continents are only 7.5 miles apart. A traffic separation zone operates along the 35 miles of the Strait, with westbound traffic using the north lane and eastbound traffic the south lane. Small craft can use the inshore lanes, and boats making for Gibraltar are recommended to keep close to the Spanish shore. However, one should be extremely cautious, particularly at night, as fishing nets are often set without any regard for shipping. These nets can stretch for several miles offshore and have even been set in the traffic separation zone between the two shipping lanes approaching the Strait from the west. The nets are normally marked by small lights, which are difficult to see from a distance.

Another hazard to watch out for are tidal races

AN17 Northern Europe to Madeira and overflows, the most violent occurring on the north side extending SW from Cape Trafalgar. Wind against tide can produce rough seas west of Tarifa with an easterly wind, and east of Tarifa with a westerly wind. The main problem is the strength of the currents and the unpredictability of the tidal streams. There is a permanent east setting current of about 2 knots through the Strait, being strongest at the centre and weakest at the edges. The current is weakest over shallow water where the flow can be reversed by a contrary wind.

Negotiating the Strait from west to east is usually easier because the prevailing current always sets from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean. By entering the Strait at the right time, a boat coming from the Atlantic can count on as much as nine hours of favourable current. However, conditions can become extremely rough if a strong Levanter blows against the current. Although tidal data in the Strait is not entirely reliable, it has been established that in the middle of the Strait the east setting stream starts approximately at the time of HW Gibraltar and the west going stream six hours later. It can also be assumed that the tidal flow from high to low water is to the east, while the flow from low to high water is to the west. The times of HW Gibraltar can be requested over the VHF radio from Tarifa Radio.

Bl i MM«:

N'.îy to min-Aug-st

"iKOIMl \1 -HWMs:

ifypp^

Ci Kills:

Ira

rii.ms:

BA. 1 ¡¡2.2.' 67

Cklimm. (.Lirns:

A:ΫÏ:Î!C '.ÎUi'.q:-, Made/: S Crising Gijick

\Vv\rm\i-«:

fh'i>urture

1 nh-mcdiiitc I and¡all

/)('*»(!IIifi¡Oil Pi-filKri- '\I)

AM7CLzard

AN1/1 Fm:s:tir.M\W

4S55'N 5 'O'W

4- 10 OC W

ipiWffiMfil

ANT'2 of* Madura

33 00 N. 16 32 W

AN" 73 Fo'î ANi74 Ga'Ejau

itnra

32 43 5"N. 1 c 3S"W 32 38"N. '3 5l3 W

AN'70 Lizard

AN'75 \o:;h Santo AN17G Cims SE

Po':oS^:c -13C

33'10'N, 16'15'W WOZNWWW

33 C3'N 16 '9'VJ

As the great circle route from the English Channel to Madeira passes at a safe distance west of Cape Finisterre, similar directions apply for the passage across the Bay of Biscay as for route AN15. As the intention is not to stop in Northern Spain or continental Portugal, some westing should be made after leaving the English Channel so as to have sufficient searoom should a southwesterly gale blow up while crossing the Bay of Biscay. On leaving the English Channel, a course should be set for WP AN171, some 60 miles NW of Cape Finisterre. Such a course avoids the shipping lanes that converge on Cape Finisterre. Having passed the latter, boats going to Funchal should set a direct course to WP AN172, west of Porto Santo Island. The island of Madeira is best approached from the NE by rounding Ilheu de Fora, a small islet on which stands a powerful light. From WP AN173, one mile E of the latter, course can be altered to pass south of Ponta de Garajau (WP AN174) and thence to Funchal.

Because the marina in Funchal, the capital of Madeira, is very crowded in October, when most cruising boats plan to stop there on their way south, a stop in Porto Santo is recommended at this time of year.

In such a case, from WP AN171 one should make for WP AN175 and approach the main harbour on Porto Santo from the NE and E. There are a number of dangers along Porto Santo's coasts and these are avoided by keeping well off the coast and leaking for WP AN176. From there the course can be altered for the port after Ilheu de Cima, the small islet off the SE extremity of the island, has beeivleft to starboard.

During the summer, winds'along this route are mostly favourable with the Portuguese trade winds blowing off the Iberian Peninsula and African coast. Also favourable is the Portugal Current which sets in a SSW direction.

In theory, this passage can be made at any time between April and October but the weather should be watched carefully. If a late start is made as part of a transatlantic passage, particular attention should be paid to the weather forecasts during September and October, as West Indian hurricanes can influence weather conditions even on the east side of the Atlantic. Some of the worst weather on this route has been recorded in September or early October with gale force south-westerlies generated by a passing front.

AN1B Northern Europe to Canary Islands

ßi.sr i i.\u :

IKOI'H-.M MORMS:

Nors

<"n \IMI:

BA-40-4

I'll (MS

■WmÊSm

t HI MM, l.um-l

CtVhV'y Isùnas Ctvlsmg Guide. Atlantic '.CÎIÏÛV

Df/iiir/iov

Intel multóle

It'MlhïJ/

ANH.6H, Fnsior'sNW

AN182 I¿'et?.

■395

■:g 55'K D -cv;

— OGN 10 COW

ZaOS'N :5 2j'W

AN'83 Aiecv.nza

28 ó'-N. 13 32.5V/

AN:64 Graciosa

La Sccit»dac

29 13 8 N. 13 30VJ

The direct course from the English Channel follows closely the route to Madeira and the same directions apply as for routes AN15 and AN17 to WP AN181 off Cape Finisterre. As such a nonstop passage from Northern Europe to the Canaries is usually attempted late in the season by boats hurrying to join the trade wind route to the

Caribbean, the weather can be less favourable and the likelihood of gales is greater than in summer. As suggested when discussing routes across the Bay of Biscay, such a passage should not be started unless there is a good forecast for at least 72 hours. This nonstop route to the Canaries is only recommended for those who wish to provision there before a transatlantic passage to the Caribbean. If planning to sail on to Cape Town, Brazil, or any other South Atlantic destination it might be better to keep to the west of the Canaries so as to cross the equator on a meridian where the doldrums are narrower than in the proximity of the African coast. Transequatorial routes are discussed in chapter 6.

South of the Bay of Biscay bad weather is usually associated with depressions moving across the Atlantic to the north of Madeira and generating strong SW winds. In the likelihood of encountering such weather, it is advisable to keep well off the Portuguese coast so as to be able to go on the starboard tack when the SW winds arrive. Once the front has passed, the winds will move rapidly to the NW. A course can then be set for WP AN182, north of La Isleta light in the approaches to Las Palmas. The conspicuous shape of La Isleta makes a perfect landfall. 2.5 miles further south

AN19 Northern Europe to Azores is the entrance to Las Palmas harbour, which in 1994 was undergoing extensive enlargement works. The eastern breakwater was being extended southwards and this may not be shown on some charts.

If the passage is undertaken earlier in the season with the intention of spending some time cruising the Canaries, the first landfall should be in Lanzarote, which lies to windward of all other islands in the archipelago. From WP AN181 course should be set for AN183 off Alegranza. It is also possible to stop first at Graciosa, a small island north of Lanzarote, which has a small but well protected port at La Sociedad, its main settlement situated on the north shore of the narrows separating Graciosa from Lanzarote. In this case landfall is made at AN184 west of Graciosa, from where the south coast of the island is followed around to La Sociedad. Entry formalities can be completed later in Lanzarote itself.

ulm uml:

May -c Aja^st

Tropical storms:

Nee

oiaki«.:

BA -'03 JS- 126

IMirus:

3A 22. 27. 28. 55 G7 JS. 140. H43

Cruising guides:

Azores Criii*tng Guide. Av^vc Iswa*.

mi\is:

Pt piirturc

luteum dialc

Lwdhill

IlicliiHilion Distance t\li

AN-&0Lizrc

Fc-:a Dûlçtîda

nhi

¿3 55 N 5 10'W

AN 192 Graciosei 3? "2'N. 27 50'W

37l50"N. 25 Ce'vV

37 44'N. 25 39.5 W

AN 193 Jcrgu

AN1S4 Esoala-nac«

immhmm

mhm

3? ¿cN 26 20'VV

38 32.5'N. 28 35.5 YV 38 32'N. .78 375'W

The best time to make this passage is in June or July when favourable conditions can usually be expected. Although the likelihood of W and SW winds is quite high at the start of the voyage, the frequency of N winds increases further south during the summer. It pays to wait before leaving the English Channel until N winds are forecast, as they allow a direct course to be set. Arriving from Northern Europe, the most convenient port of entry is the capital Ponta Delgada, which has a new marina. Coming from NE or E landfall will be made at the eastern extremity of Sao Miguel Island at WP AN191, two miles east of Ponta do Arnel.

Those wishing to sail direct to Horta, on Faial, should set a course for WP AN192 and, make landfall NE of Graciosa, the northernmost island of the archipelago. From there, the course is altered to pass west of Sao Jorge island (WP AN193) and thence to WP AN194 off Ponta Espalamaca in the approaches to Horta. 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 attempts are made to enter Horta under such conditions.

If W winds persist on leaving the English Channel, or strong SW winds are encountered en route, and a direct course to the Azores does not seem practicable, it might be better to change plans and sail there via Spain or Portugal. Such a route is described in AN15. On the subsequent leg from one of the ports on the Iberian Peninsula one has the benefit of the Portuguese trades, although such a detour can add about 300 miles to the total distance. However, the possibility of encountering westerly winds on the subsequent section to the Azores cannot be discounted and therefore such a detour should not be contemplated unless one has access to reliable weather information.

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Responses

  • kristian
    Is it rough cruising the azores and canary islands in september?
    8 years ago
  • gorhendad
    Why north atlantic sea route is more buseiet?
    8 years ago

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