Which Way Around Newfoundland?

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Question:Based on your experience, would you do such a circumnavigation clockwise or the other way?

Answer: I used to recommend clockwise since the weather tends to be better on the east coast of Newfoundland later in the summer.

However, with the changes I’m seeing in recent years in weather patterns and particularly the position of the upper level strong wind belt, I now lean toward counterclockwise since that puts us on the west coast with the Island between us and the likely tracks of hurricanes and extratropical storms later in the summer when they are likely to be stronger due to warmer water.

This also gets us further to the west in easy stages thereby avoiding the long passage against the prevailing west winds from Cape Race back to Nova Scotia. A passage that can be a particular pain in the neck when there are storms around since there are no really good harbours from Fermeuse to Placentia Bay.

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for 25 years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 20 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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