Six lessons we learned on the Atlantic crossing
1 For the last two years I have been part of a crew beginning a transatlantic in November, and for the last two years we have been thwarted by inconsistent winds for the first thousand miles. Next time I cross, I’ll wait until after Christmas when the Trades have established themselves. 2 The Cape Verde Islands are a great place to stop en route from Europe to the Caribbean. 3 Before we left, I put our route together according to the Great Circle line from Mindelo to Antigua. In hindsight, we should have followed the forecasts and aimed for where the wind was, and when we finally found the Trades we could have sailed a Great Circle route. 4 Trolling a pink-skirted squid lure with a large hook brought in almost a fish a day for us. For the 250 escudos in Cape Verde (about £2), we’ve never had a better return for money. Buy it from a local guy, they need the all the help they can get. 5 We’d perfected our goosewinging setup before the crossing and it served us perfectly. There were a couple of days we got the asymmetric up in light winds, but otherwise there is no need to complicate things. 6 Don’t long for the sight of land on the horizon. It won’t be long before technology allows a crew to spend their time scrolling through Facebook as they cross the ocean. Being out there is a privilege that involves getting away from that.
A decent lure was an inexpensive but immensley successful acquisition