AT North America to South Africa

Best trwi;: Tropical storms: Cik.o:


June to November


US: 121. 123, 124, 140





Distance (M)

AT131 Chesapeake 36C45'N.75J45'W

AT 132

35C0Q'N,45WW AT133

30J00'S, 30:00'W

AT135 Tables 34'00'S, 18'20'E

Cape Town 33r55'S,fSl26'E


AT 130 Brenton 4r24,N,7ri6,W

AT 132

AT 133 AT 134

AT135 Tables

Cape Town


As in the case of boats leaving from Europe, the time of departure from the US east coast is dictated by the best time for rounding the Cape of Good Hope, which is between January and March. If the voyage is to terminate in Cape Town, the time of arrival is less crucial and the passage can be made at almost any time, although the winter months in the Cape area, from May to September, are best avoided.

A good departure time from any port on the US east coast is the beginning of November. Such a departure should avoid both the first of the winter northers and the risk of a late hurricane. As the NE trade wind belt will have to be traversed across its entire width, it is preferable to make as much easting as possible along latitude 35 "N, where NW winds prevail in November. After meridian 45 9W has been crossed (WP AT132), the route turns gradually SE to pass close to the west of the Cape Verde Islands. Some easting should be made south of the Cape Verdes so that latitude 5'N is crossed in the vicinity of the 25 °W meridian (WP AT133). The SE trades will be met at about this latitude and the recommended easting allows the equator to be crossed on the port tack. The point where the equator is crossed is governed by the width and position of the ITCZ and AT10 describes the optimum longitudes in which the narrowest band of doldrums can be expected at different times of year. On a passage to Cape Town, however, the skipper may decide to carry his easting across the equator, even if a wider doldrum belt has to be crossed and make use of the engine if necessary. Arriving in the South Atlantic further east will ensure that the SE winds will be taken at a better angle. Otherwise, for the recommended time of year, the equator should be crossed between longitudes 27°W and 29°W.

The SE trades are crossed at the best angle that the windward performance of the boat will permit. The southern limit of these trades extends normally to a line joining the Cape of Good Hope to the Brazilian island of Trinidade. The route continues SE into an area of variables to WP AT134. Roughly the same course should be maintained until latitude 35 °S is reached. The rest of the passage to Cape Town should be sailed along this latitude. See also routes AT11, AS22, and AS23 (pages 165, 189 and 190).

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