Analysis of the loss of two very different yachts in the North Atlantic. One fully crewed and one single handed.
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Question [Edited for brevity]: I’d like to move my boat, a 50’ Hinckley Yawl, from Mt Desert, Maine to Mallorca, Spain and “do” the Med for 12-18 months. I’ve been thinking about single-handing her across; from Maine direct to Gibraltar. The boat is in good condition but 33 years old, I am in good condition [...]
Collisions with whales and dolphins are becoming an increasing concern for offshore cruisers, as I outlined in a previous post. But up until recently there has been no serious attempt made to quantify the level of actual collision events, or to plot their geographical distribution. Obviously, having some idea of where and when collisions might [...]
We recommend that those who voyage offshore or dream of doing so take the time to do some racing, preferably offshore. Now I’m not suggesting that racing, and particularly ocean racing, is for everyone. In fact, despite having done quite a bit of it, or perhaps because of that, I have a fair amount of [...]
Question: I received a Cris Craft 32′ cruiser/racer as a gift. This is my first boat and I’d like to sail it to France from NYC. I’m preparing it for solo sailing and would like your opinion on it’s survivability. A Sparkman& Stephens design…it has a fin keel and a lovely interior. It has been [...]
Question: I am a fairly experienced Swedish sailor; however, I have never “crossed the pond”. We have decided to buy a MacGregor 65. There are several for sale at good prices in the US, but very few in Europe. We will miss the most appropriate season [to cross the Atlantic]. Hence, I want to ask [...]
Question: I’m thinking about sailing to Greenland from my home in Germany. My boat is a very sound 33-foot steel sloop, which I have singlehanded often. The natural way to go to Greenland from the German coast seems to be to use the stepping stones: Norway and/or Scotland/Shetlands, thence to Faroe and Iceland and on [...]
Another race, another whale collision, yet again ending in the loss of a boat and injury to a whale. Thankfully no loss of life, although one day that may not be the case. What is happening out on the oceans? Pirates everywhere, climate change driven hurricanes, and now homicidal whales? Well, the first and most [...]
I have written a lot about weather up to this point in the book, but in many cases routing for the combination of the prevailing weather and any current or tide can be the most important contributor to a comfortable and safe passage. In this chapter I look at a real Gulfstream passage and discuss what to look for.
Question: We are crossing the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia. I found a large scale chart of the Atlantic (Imray Passage Chart 100). This single chart shows the entire Atlantic Ocean taking the earth’s curvature into account and therefore does NOT have a compass rose to help steer by. I am having [...]
Question: I have my 36′ Aage Nielsen yawl in Norway and I need to bring her home to Maine. I would appreciate your comments regarding my choice of routes. One idea is down to the Azores and then over to the eastern US; the reverse of how I sailed to Europe. The other option I’m [...]
After spending much of the last four winters in Maine and Nova Scotia refitting Morgan’s Cloud, John and I agreed that a winter in the Bahamas would be just the ticket. So when the blazing fall colours and chilly temperatures of early October indicated that Penobscot Bay, Maine wasn’t going to remain the balmy summer [...]
Question [received July 11, 2008]: We’re in St. John’s, Newfoundland, waiting to cross to Scotland. We’re just about ready to go and the weather forcast is good for leaving. However, Hurricane Bertha is just south of Bermuda. The current forecast is for her to weaken to 55 knots within four to five days, and stay [...]
A friend of ours, who is a cruise ship captain, sent along the following list of links to everything, and I do mean everything, you have always wanted to know about the Gulf Stream. Some interesting stuff. Our friend is on the New York to Caribbean round trip run. Apparently the pay off for him [...]
Question: I’m planning an Atlantic Crossing from Boston to Scotland. How can I recognize the best moment weather wise to leave for the safest crossing? Answer: Since weather forecasts are only accurate for about four days, at best, there is no way to manage the weather for an entire crossing of that length by picking [...]