[Alberg30] Re: Nova Scotia to Bermuda?

Wally Moran helm at georgianbaysailing.ca
Mon Mar 18 07:04:25 PST 2002

Whoa guys - this is great stuff. Don't mail off the list and deprive 
the rest of us, please! Lots of us will want to know this material 
down the road when we set out.


>Having once been a migratory being who headed south every winter, I've made
>the trip to the Caribbean via Bermuda a number of times from both New
>England and the Chesapeake and can add a few cents worth...
>If you choose to sail down the St Lawrence to the Canadian Maritimes I'd
>advise you to do it in the summer, planning on being in Maine by September.
>Weather deteriorates early up by Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.  The window
>to head for Bermuda and the Caribbean is actually
>a relatively short one, as you're playing off the onset of winter storms up
>north (beginning about November) with hurricanes down south, with September
>being one of the busiest hurricane months and October quite dangerous as
>well.  Hurricanes have hit the islands even into December.  Most boats
>depart New England in the latter part of October for Bermuda, spend a few
>days there, and leave for the Caribbean in early November.
>I'd strongly advise a departure from south of Cape Cod - from the north,
>transit the Cape Cod Canal, and depart from the Newport area.  If you come
>down the Hudson, sail down LI sound to the same area and skip the New York
>traffic lanes.  You can do your
>provisioning, etc here, and you'll have good access to chandleries,
>yards, etc for last minute projects (there will always be some!).  At this
>point begin to watch your longer term weather for both developing tropical
>systems in the Atlantic and for lows heading for the east coast. When you
>take your departure from Block Island, you will reach the Gulf Stream in
>roughly a day and a half, so what you're looking to avoid is crossing the
>stream with a N'ly to SE'ly breeze, which can turn the stream into a nasty
>mess, tossing you around like trying to sail inside a washing machine.
>Ideal is to leave with the passing of a cold front and ride the cold clear
>westerly breeze behind it across the stream.  The gulf stream is quite
>obvious, even this far north, and within a short time you'll notice both the
>water and air warming significantly.  Time to put away the New England cold
>weather gear and shift to warm weather clothing!
>For a sound vessel sailed competently, the offshore route to the Caribbean
>will literally save many weeks of working to windward when compared to the
>ditch and the route through the Bahamas, etc.  You'll be drinking rum punch
>at Foxy's before other boats leaving at the same time even reach Florida,
>and they still have 800 miles to go to windward.  Coming from Bermuda, it's
>also easy to steer a few degrees further to the east and make your landfall
>at Antigua, for example, placing yourself at the windward end of the
>Caribbean and set up for a winter of coasting downwind through the islands.
>The ICW and Bahamas are certainly a great cruise, but if you're comfortable
>offshore then the Bermuda route to the Caribbean can't be beat.
>With proper preparation an A30 is certainly up for the trip.  A couple of
>friends of ours, Dave & Renee Cooper, sailed an A30 named COOKIN' (I believe
>from the Chesapeake area) from the Bahamas to Gibraltar via Bermuda and the
>Azores and at last report are currently in the Med...  and a number of other
>A30s have made the passage south as well.
>Please feel free to email off-list if there's any specific questions I can
>help with...
>Bill Burke
>Wild Elf #297
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The gods do not deduct from man's allotted span the hours spent in 
sailing. Anon
www.georgianbaysailing.ca for interesting reading for sailors
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