Q&A: Timing, Caribbean To Europe

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Question: What is the best time of year to sail from the Caribbean to Europe?

Answer: Due to the earlier hurricane seasons of the last few years, you really don’t want to be out in the western North Atlantic any time after early July. So you probably want to leave the Caribbean for Europe in May. Of course, the amount of time the passage will take will depend on a number of factors including how fast your boat is, how strong a crew you have, weather conditions, how long you wish to stop in Bermuda and the Azores (if at all), etc.

For further information, I suggest the RCC Pilotage Foundation’s Atlantic Crossing Guide and/or Jimmy Cornell’s World Cruising Routes. Noonsite is a good resource too.

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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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