WEATHER AND ICE
Alberto Duhau enlisted the advice of expert meteorologists in advance of his north Atlantic trip. He knew the voyage was possible in good conditions, but wanted a second opinion regarding timings. Further research revealed that the region’s quietest weather historically occurs between mid-july and the first 10 days of August. However, settled conditions can run from late June to the end of August. Autumn develops earlier the farther north you are, so it is generally a good plan to turn south by the second half of August.
1 NEWFOUNDLAND TO SOUTHERN GREENLAND
During July, high pressure is typically centred just south-west/ west of the Azores with ridging extending south-west/west towards Bermuda. There is a weak high over Greenland, with low pressure generally over north-east Canada (Baffin Island to northern Quebec) and near Iceland. To the north of the Azores high, the prevailing winds are west/south-west for much of the way to Iceland. Wind is usually stronger south of the rhumbline, and lighter to the north. July offers the lowest chance of gales, but occasionally stronger lows develop and move east/south-east from eastern Canada.
2 GREENLAND TO ICELAND
For this passage the main concern is the north-easterly wind near Greenland’s Cape Farewell. If the Greenland high pressure system is stronger than normal, beware of north-easterly winds along the south Greenland coast of 25-30 knots plus. Expect light conditions heading east toward Iceland. If south of the rhumbline, there is greater chance of stronger westerly/south-westerly winds, while a northerly route is more likely to encounter north-easterly/ easterly headwinds.
3 AROUND ICELAND AND TO FAROES
Circumnavigating Iceland at the end of July and beginning of August is the optimum timing with the smallest threat of gales, but you may have to wait out bad winds for a day or two for a window. The roughest weather is associated with low pressure passing to the west, north-west, or west, which correspondingly means the strongest winds are south-westerly, westerly, and north-westerly.