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Azores to Jacksonville, Florida

By doina — last modified Jun 24, 2008 06:10 PM

Published: 2008-06-24 18:10:38
Topics: Atlantic Crossing
Countries: Azores , USA

As with the Canaries, is January considered a safe month to sail a 44ft sloop directly to Jacksonville Florida from the Azores? Our intended route is to drop slightly south of Miami's latitude and then cross. Is this a sensible route?

The most difficult part of the proposed passage will be right at the start as weather conditions in the Azores in January can be quite bad. However, with a good forecast, you should try to drop down in latitude, perhaps even lower than the lat. of Miami. You will probably have SW winds (so will be hard on the wind), and if this is the case, you may decide to go onto the starboard tack, to hopefully get far enough south to pick up some NE'lies. If, on the other hand, you run out of wind soon after leaving the Azores, just make sure you have enough fuel to motor on a SW course and, once you find the wind, take the best tack that allows you to make westing but on no account go NW or you'll run into an area of winter northers.

It will not be an easy trip, but it is do-able...the alternative is to go S from the Azores until you are in the area of proper NE or ENE trade winds. It would be longer, of course, but probably much more enjoyable.

Bon voyage!

Jimmy Cornell noonsite