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Trans Atlantic Crossing (towards Caribbean)

Date: 2-22 December 2005
(all pictures are clickable)

There is not too much to say here... I sailed my boat singlehanded from Lanzarote (Canary Islands) to Martinique. It was a slow and uninteresting crossing. There was not much wind around the Cape Verde islands which is why it took me 21 days to cross the ocean. It was about one week more than I expected. A friend of mine did 28 days... And another one, who left 1 1/2 week before me, crossed in 16 days! After he left, a tropical storm came in the region and made the whole weathersystem go crazy.
According to a router (a person that gives the best route, taking the latest weather reports, to sailors), this lack of wind is since the last 4-5 years. Before that, end November, begin December was OK to cross the ocean. Now January and February are better.

But before leaving the Canaries, I had the opportunity to see the departure of the second leg of the Mini Transat. In 6.5m (!) boats, these persons sailed from France to the Canary Islands. The second leg was from the Canary Islands to Brasil! It was amazing. Here are some pictures of this departure and those boats.


Elaine, a competitor from Singapore (!)
http://www.elainechua.com
Racing the first miles to Brazil

Unfortunately for me, a tropical storm passed the Canary Islands a few days before my departure (28/11/06). The harbor authorities in Puerto Calero (Lanzarote) registered 72kn (+/- 130km/h) of wind in the harbor! It hasn't been seen for over 65 years! It was even worse in Tenerife and Gran Canaria... It damaged boats (including mine: I lost 2 solar panels) and brought a lot of dirt. Even a part of the breakwater was damaged. Judge by yourself.

Dirty ? Damaged breakwater There goes my solar panels Damage on the yard

This is the route I approximately did. It is the most common route: going partially down to the Cape Verdian islands and then direction Caribbean. The "ideal" distance is about 2950nm (about 5460km), and I did some 3100...

Some pictures of the crossing...

I'm so alone Company Windhoses

And the classic horizon views... I can't have enough of them.

Moonset A calm sea