November 26, 2018
First off, thank you for all who have responded to my Atlantic crossing post. I am getting a lot of advice, some interest and lots of questions.
Based on feedback, a few items are becoming clearer. We have decided to have Christmas in Canada to ensure we get to see family. On top of that we will be able to enjoy a few more weeks of ridiculously cold weather before going somewhere warm(ish) . . . yes that last sentence was sarcasm.
That makes my slower option (Option 2 in the prior post) the more likely scenario. My actual start date is not yet certain, but it will likely be in the 2nd week of January, and my crew selection will wait until that picture becomes clearer.
The route plan is a little more robust now, but may change depending on crew and time available. Here is an updated route diagram. The yellow bits are a bit harder to see from Sarande, Albania to Santa Maria de Leuca, IT and from Palma to Gibraltar.
Option 2 of the crossing plans looks like the one I will go with. I can’t yet be sure of my start date, and I don’t want to try to force a schedule, so my plan will be to start from the Athens area in early to Mid-January.
First Leg – Athens to Albania for fuel. The stop there will likely be just one day or perhaps even a few hours.
Second Leg – Albania to Calabria/Messina. The diagram shows a touch down at Leuca, but I would like to avoid the stop unless dictated by weather. Perhaps a bit longer visit in Messina, but nothing too long unless forced by weather.
Third Leg – Messina to Sardinia. Cagliari is the obvious port here, and perhaps a day or two in Sardinia, but with sufficient crew and good weather, a stop is not necessary.
Fourth Leg – Sardinia to Palma. This is expected to be the roughest patch with a greater opportunity for bad weather. Again, a short stop in Palma if appropriate.
Final Leg – This is where the options are vast. While my final destination will be Gibraltar, I may choose to spend some time in Spain depending on family plans. I am a cyclist after all and the mountains are calling!!
The boat will then remain in or near Gibraltar until the end of February.
The second phase of the crossing will begin around the first week of March, and I hope to have Jinhee on the boat for the trip from Gibraltar to the Canaries, with a 2-3 day stop near Casablanca (perhaps Mohammedia, although it is said to be very tight).
From the Canaries, and taking into account the weather, the trip will be about 19 days at sea if everything goes well (2700nm) and planning on a departure about March 11th, with an arrival in Antigua (if fuel is tight) or USVIs/BVIs (if crew and fuel allow) around March 31st.
Thank you to all of the people who have expressed interest in crewing . . . I am slowing down my decision making until Mid-December, and I know that some of you will not be interested based on my inability to make quicker decisions, but I will respond with certainty when I can do so.
Belated Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.