Six lessons we learned on the At­lantic cross­ing

Yachting Monthly - - ADVENTURE -

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

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