AN Routes from the Azores

AN131 Azores to Ireland AN132 Azores to English Channel AN133 Azores to Portugal AN134 Azores to Gibraltar AN135 Azores to Madeira AN136 Azores to Canary Islands AN137 Azores to Bermuda AN138 Azores to USA AN139 Azores to Canada

Approximately 1000 boats pass through the Azores every year, the majority arriving there from the Caribbean, either direct or via Bermuda. During July a few boats arrive from North America and Northern Europe, but the traffic is confined mainly to the months of May and June, when most

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boats are on their way to either Northern Europe or the Mediterranean. These are the two main routes taking boats away from the Azores. Boats bound for the English Channel and beyond are usually faced with a tougher passage as the prevailing winds in early summer, when most of these passages are made, are from the NE. Those same winds make the passage to the Mediterranean an easier affair.

The weather in the Azores themselves is very changeable and this is probably the main reason why most people do not cruise the islands and instead confine themselves to only one stop, usually the marina in Horta. The opening of a second marina in Ponta Delgada and improvements to several ports, notably Lajes on the island of Flores, may well change matters.

The Azores boast an Atlantic climate, of which the dominant feature is the area of high pressure named after them. The position of the Azores high varies with the season, being more to the north in October and furthest south in February. It usually lies to the S or SW of the islands and in summer is often stationary, when prolonged periods of calm can be expected. At other times the winds are very variable in both strength and direction, although those from the western sector are slightly more frequent. Close to land the wind is deflected, especially where the coastline is steep and the direction of the wind varies from island to island and place to place. The weather in the Azores is also affected by the lows which pass across the Atlantic from west to east. These usually pass to the north, except in winter whefi they can pass directly over the islands. When one of these fronts passes, the winds change quickly, veering from SW to NW and bringing rain. Rain occurs in all months, although more falls in winter, especially associated with the Atlantic lows. Although not in the hurricane belt, extremely rarely a rogue hurricane has taken an abnormal path to pass near the Azores, but is generally weakened by the time it reaches that far. There is a moderate frequency of gales over the Azores, of which more occur in winter months.

AN130 Routes from the Azores

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