AS Cape Town to Brazil

Best time: Tropical storms: Charts:


Waypoints: Departure

December to March


BA: 4022




Distance (M)

AS 140 Table N

AS141 Rio

Rio de Janeiro


23'05'S, 43'05'W

22'55'S, 43'12'W

AS140 Table N

AS 142 Bahia



IS'OS'S, 38e25'W

12°58'S, 38'30'W

AS140 Table N

AS143 off Recite



8'00'S. 34'¿9"W

8V4'S, 34'52'W

AS140 Table N

AS 144 Noronha S

AS145 off Fortaleza



3'50'S, 32'28'W

3'43'S, 38S27'W

3'43'S, 38"29'W

The great circle route to Rio de Janeiro and ports south of Cape Frio is well outside the southern limit of the SE trade winds, so it is advisable to make this passage between latitudes 20 °S and 23 °S where the chances of having favourable winds is much greater. The SE trade winds have their southern limit along a diagonal line that runs from Trinidade Island to the Cape of Good Hope. The initial route from Cape Town runs NW for about 1200 miles until steady SE trades are found. It then goes west as far as longitude 30 °W, from where a course is shaped for the coast. A similar tactic, taking full advantage of the SE trade winds, should also be used if sailing to ports lying further south along the coast of South America.

A more direct route from Cape Town can be steered to ports lying north of Cape Frio. As the ports on the Brazilian coast between Cape Sao Roque and Cape Frio are under the influence of steady NE winds between October and February and the current along the coast also sets SW, a subsequent passage from Rio de Janeiro northward should be planned for the SE season, from March to September.

Although intermediate waypoints cannot be given as the route across will depend entirely on weather conditions at the time the passage is made, landfall waypoints only are listed to ease planning: WP AS141 in the approaches to Rio de Janeiro, WP AS142 off Cape Santo Antonio in the approaches to Salvador (Bahia), WP AS143, three miles outside Recife. As explained in AS13, some boats use the island of Fernando de Noronha, off Cape Sao Roque, as a convenient stop on the way to the Caribbean. Landfall is made SE of the island at WP AS144. Although not an official port of entry, boats are allowed to make a short stop there. A convenient port of entry into Brazil, just south of the equator, is Fortaleza.

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