AN West Africa to Lesser Antilles

Whether leaving from a port in Senegal or the Gambia, steady favourable winds will be encountered on this route throughout the winter months. If winds are westerly on leaving continental Africa, winds can be expected in the vicinity of the Azores. There are several destinations in the Azores, such as Ponta Delgada, the capital of the archipelago. As the route passes closely to the island of Santa Maria, a first stop could be made at its main port of Vila do Porto. Because of the NE winds earlier in the passage, a more likely landfall will be further west, such as at Horta on the island of Faial.

The timing of this passage may also depend on the destination after the Azores. It is not advisable to attempt this passage before April to give the strong NE winds of winter a chance to diminish in strength. South of latitude 15 8N they are replaced in summer by the SW monsoon, which blows between Senegal and the Cape Verde Islands from June to October. The start of the SW monsoon is therefore the best time to leave West Africa for the Azores as it would ensure good winds at least for the early part of the voyage.

which is not unusual during the summer months, it is recommended to stay on the starboard tack. As one moves offshore, the winds will veer, allowing one to pass the Cape Verdes without tacking.

Best time:

December to May

Tki jpical storms:

June to Novemb

• Charts:

BA: 4012

■pallia

Pilots:

US: 140. 143, 147

l sing guides:

The Lesser Antilles, Sailor's Guide to the Windward Islands, Yachtsman's

Guide to the Windward Islands.

Waypoints:

Departure

Intermediate Landfall

Dentin,itiiw Di'lum r l\h

AN641 Vert

AN643 St Lucia

Rûd-ev Ei/

2518

14'45'N, 17'35'W

14'03'N, 60r50'W

14*04.5% 60'58.5'W

AN644 Martinique

Fort de France

252Ö

u^'N.eo'srw

14'36'N,6V05'W

AN6 - 5 Barbados

Briccetown

2449

13°02"N. 59 >3"W

:3 Ô'J'N. 50 33 W

2551

AN646 Antigua SE

English Hai

16*57^, 6r45'W

17°00'N, 61'46'W

AN642 Banjul

AN643 S: Lucia

Rccnev 3av

2564

13'35'N, 16J55'W

AN644 Martinique

Fo't do F-anct-

2574

AN645 Barbados

B-idçjetowr

2'-92

AN646 Antigua SE

Fngteh Harbour

2601

From the Cape Verdes onwards this route is similar to route AN62. As the Cape Verdes are so close to the direct route it may be convenient to stop there before proceeding west. If leaving from mainland Africa direct, especially from more southern ports, attention must be paid to the currents both in the vicinity of the coast and during the transat lantic passage. Sailing too close to the southern limit of the NE trades should be avoided as there is a danger of being pushed by a branch of the North Equatorial Current towards the doldrums and an area of less steady winds. More details concerning the Atlantic crossing are given in route AN51 (page 72).

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