Friday, April 25, 2014

Summer Plans

As the calendar pages keep turning and we get closer to June, we are finalizing our plans for hurricane season in the North Atlantic.  Our options include staying in the Caribbean south of the "hurricane belt" (Grenada or Trinidad are the usual locations), going to Aruba, Bonaire or Curacao (the ABC islands) in the western Caribbean, going back to the US or going further north.

After much consideration, including financially, physically, logistically and mentally, we have decided to head to Ireland via the Azores.  We have two friends, Daniel and John, that have decided to join us, which helps make the decision much easier as they can help with watches and any sail changes or emergencies that arise, and will be great company in general.  Our current plan is to change watch every two hours, subject to change based on weather or issues.  With two-on/six-off, each person will be able to rest for six hours before they are back at the helm.  The break on a long distance passage is critical to being prepared for an emergency.

Daniel arrives in Antigua this Saturday and John on Sunday.  Baxter and I are working hard to optimize the boat for the passage.  The route to the Azores, depending on weather is approximately 2,100 miles and should take anywhere from 15-21 days.  After a couple of days of R&R in the Azores, we will head back out to sail the remaining 1,200 miles to Ireland, expecting it to take about 8-12 days for a total of about 3,300 miles and 23-33 days at sea.

Obviously, if the need arises, we can always divert to another island in the Caribbean early in the passage and then Bermuda is an option the longer we go.  The route we hope to take will ride the eastern trades for a few hundred miles and as they fade, we will skirt the Azores High by going north.  When the winds fill in around the high and we can catch a west/southwesterly wind, we will begin moving east towards Flores.  The route to Ireland is a bit hard to predict this far out and will most likely be based on weather systems coming off the US east coast.

We are super excited about the passage and Kala is up for it too.  She said she is getting a little warm in the Caribbean and would like to meet other Border Collies in Europe. She has passport, will travel.

Part I

Part II


Sabrina and Tom said...

We are SO excited for you guys. What a terrific adventure you will have. We can't wait to hear all about it but until then, we will be thinking of you each day. Hopefully we will follow in your wake at some point and we can meet up again on the other side of the pond. Kala is a great boat dog. I hope she gets to put her paw print on the wall in the Azores. Have fun!

Molly Gillespie said...

Thanks Sabrina!! We miss you guys but hope to see you again. Have a great time moving south and keep us updated on all the new adventures. Wishing you all the best!

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