Nova Scotia, Halifax to Azores

Published 14 years ago, updated 4 years ago

I am planning to sail from Halifax to the Azores next year and to winter in the Azores before crossing to the Med. There appears to be no perfect time to cross it being winter in Nova Scotia until June and hurricane season from then until November. The best would seem to be August or September if one can find a hurricane-free window to get across the Gulf Stream. Does that seem like the right time to go or would you suggest something else?

The best time to sail directly is June or even rarely July when the risk of hurricanes is still very low early in the summer. Normally you should have W winds… but a friend sailed in late August/early September this year from Greenland to Azores (similar route) AND had strong SE winds all the way! Bad luck, obviously.

The longer but maybe easier route would be to sail down the east coast, then cross to the E. Caribbean (Virgins) in November… spend winter in Caribbean and cross from there to Azores in May or June.

Jimmy Cornell, noonsite

Robert Groves adds

We sailed our motorless Junk Rig Schooner, Easy Go, from Gaspe, Quebec to the Azores during the summer of 2007. We departed Gaspe on June 15 for a cruise of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and Prince Edward Island. We passed through the Canso Lock, between Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island just in time for the July 1 Canada Day celebrations in Port Hawkesbury. We got away from the Canso Straits on July 2 and made a very slow 23 day crossing to Flores. Light and contrary winds dogged the crossing. We went on to Faial, Pico and to anchor in Praia da Vitoria on August 13. The winds then went east for two months. Friends took three weeks beating against the wind to get to the Algarve. We have stayed in Praia for a very nice winter so far. Highly recommend laying up in Praia.

Yacht Commonground adds

I am planning to go to Europe from NS next summer (2009). I will leave from Lunenburg end of June or beginning of July on a 35′ engineless gaff cutter.

I did the same trip once in 1995 from Halifax to Flores on a 33-foot cutter. It took us 13 days. We steered SW until getting to 40 N then steered east until getting there. We’d left on the 8th of July and had to contend with Barry, the second post-tropical storm of the season. We were hove to for the night of the 5th day (give or take a day) out. We got no problems on the crossing.

Finding a weather window to leave should not be a big problem especially with the good forecast available on the internet.

We are planning to stay in Flores and Santa Maria and cross to Ireland in August, before going south again at the end of September to spend the winter in the Med.

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