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Caribbean to West Africa

By doina — last modified Jul 10, 2008 06:01 PM

Published: 2008-07-10 18:01:57
Topics: Atlantic Crossing
Countries: Namibia , South Africa , Cape Verdes

Could you please tell me what the safety of the West Coast of Africa is at the moment as a friend of mine will be coming from the Caribbean onto the Cape Verde Islands and down the West Coast of Africa and then Namibia and South Africa. Could you please inform me what the weather situation is like for the month of March along this route as according to World Cruising Routes it seems the right time is between Nov and May. I know nobody can predict the weather as it seems to be so topsy turvy at the moment even in the Caribbean. How long would you estimate this trip would take if all goes well say starting from St Martin and across to the Cape Verdes?

It is impossible to say how long a trip would take from the Caribbean to the Cape Verdes, as it is going to be hard on the wind all the way. There is also some contrary (west-setting) current. Personally I would not even recommend it. However, if your friend is determined to do it, I suppose November would be ok - provided he goes quickly as far south as possible to avoid any late hurricane. As the winter progresses, winds get more consistent and stronger, so late winter/early spring is not a good idea.

Onwards from the Cape Verdes is the same story: hard on the wind against SE'lies. There are places in West Africa you can stop, but your friend must keep an eye on the situation in countries like Ivory Coast, etc where there have been troubles recently.

Jimmy Cornell, noonsite