Q&A: Sailing From Halifax To Bermuda In November

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Question: I just brought my 34-foot sailboat down the Saint Lawrence to Nova Scotia, and I’m considering making the passage to Bermuda in November and then continuing further south for the winter. I’ve been hearing all kinds of differing opinions about the safety of heading out from Halifax in November, and I thought you could offer an experienced perspective.

The boat is a well looked after double-ender with cutter rig, storm sails, self-steering, etc. My experience with the weather systems in the North Atlantic is minimal, so any advice you have to offer is greatly appreciated.

Q&A: Trans-Atlantic Singlehanded

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Question: I’m at a point in my life when it’s time to live the dream that I’ve had since childhood and that’s to sail across the Atlantic single handed. I’m a complete beginner to sailing.

I’m currently doing a skipper’s course which will take me up to advanced cruising, coastal navigation and radio operation, although blue water cruising is not included since I’m based in Montreal.

I know it’s an achievable dream but I need to put some reality to it, your help and advice will be greatly appreciated. Where do we start; my guess is boat selection? My plan is, as I will be working in Boston next year, to get a boat to live on and get as many hours sailing as I possibly can. I’m not after a big boat, 24 to 27 feet will do, but obviously sea worthy.

Q&A: Maine To Ireland In June

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Question: I am a 46 year old professional in fairly good health and in good shape. I am wanting to reverse the steps of my great-great-grandfather, sailing from Belfast, Maine to Bantry Bay, Ireland. I plan to leave June 3rd, 2011. What is my best/safest route? What time frame should I use? I have calculated sailing/motoring at an average of 7 knots (I am planning to buy a Macgregor 26M)?

Q&A: BVI To The Chesapeake Bay In October

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Question: We are bringing our Beneteau 411 from the BVI via the Bahamas to the Chesapeake Bay,  leaving the end of October. The first leg of the trip, from the BVI to the Bahamas, is going to be the two of us (my husband and I). From the Bahamas to the Chesapeake Bay we will pick up two other crews. Since this is going to be our first time open sea sailing, I need your advice about what the weather will be like. My husband believes that the two of us can handle the sailing to the Bahamas with no third person but  I am not quite sure about this and quite worried. Please advise.

Q&A: France To Tortola In The Autumn

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Question: I have an opportunity to sail from France to the Canaries to Tortola, leaving the end of September through October. What can I expect from a weather perspective based on your experience?

My assumption is we will be in the area of hurricane formation (eastern Atlantic) for the first week then right in the middle of the area where storms build to hurricane force for the last 10 to 14 days. Would that be your assessment? Are there any other things I should know about a trans-Atlantic?

Q&A: UK To Boston Via The North In June

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Question: I wondered if I could seek your advice on a trip that has been suggested to me but that I have serious reservations about: Sailing from the UK to Boston, leaving around the end of May, taking the North Atlantic route. The skipper seems to be under the impression that we will have easterly winds en route but my pilot books don’t back this theory up. They say we’ll have it cold and on the nose most of the way. What about the ice? Satellite images show there’s more of it about every year.

Q&A: North Atlantic Circle Via Iceland

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Question: Next May we are taking our new (old) boat on a shakedown to Bermuda and back (our home port is Deltaville, VA, on the southern Chesapeake Bay). After that, we’ve been imagining a summer voyage in the Atlantic, maybe Azores-Ireland-Iceland-Canada-Chesapeake. My question is, is there a good route strategy for this trip?