Right after dropping off our quad bike, we headed across the lagoon by dinghy to Island water world (a chandlery) which was putting on a free seminar about a west-to-east Atlantic crossing, including free drinks and snacks, so naturally we had to attend.
We didn’t see Blue Note or Extress there, but did once again meet up with Saga who were anchored outside the lagoon on the Fench side.
The seminar was run by 2 people, one of which has done one of two crossings, but the other who has done 19 since 2003.
There were various approaches discussed by the 2 hosts and also the audience, but the one we are likely to follow (roughly already the plan) is to stick close to the Azores high so you have enough wind to sail, but you can always head further into the high to avoid any approaching low pressures.
One person in the audience promoted their option of motoring all the way through the high, this way you get lovely flat seas, but light winds and you’re going to be burning lots of fuel!! To motor 2400 miles on Hannah, we would estimate some fuel usage at around 1440 litres. This would mean something like 60 jerry cans on deck to be sure.
There were some useful sites discussed.
- https://home.pivotalweather.com, a new site for us to look at weather data, including nice long-range forecasts from different models.
- https://www.sailnet.com, and online sailing community
- https://zoom.earth, live satellite images
- https://www.ourlifeatsea.com/, the sailing website of one of our hosts.
You can find all of the notes from the session on the Our Life At Sea website.
After the seminar, someone from Island Water World did their seemingly yearly liferaft demonstration where they set off some old and new liferafts to let people see what happens.
They lead with an old liferaft first, which experienced a similar set of malfunctions to the old liferaft that used to be aboard Hannah before we replaced it. These include tearing of the floor, tearing of some tubes, and lack of full inflation.
They also inflated a coastal liferaft. The most noticeable visible difference being the lack of an inflated roof/spray hood.
And last but not least an off-shore liferaft complete with a roof. (Obviously, there are other differences., but that’s for the technical specs of life raft manufacturers to tell you.
We had a quick beer with Saga after being in the sunshine for far too long, cruised back to the boats and started to think more about our upcoming crossing.