This is the trip of your life. The southern trade wind routes have very little to do with the northern route back to Europe and you can prepare to meet the wild forces of the nature. We have done it many times and every single trip jumps out of the script to become something of its own. The weather can take spectacular forms and the wildlife is something special with lots of whales and other sea mammals. The vast wild and all the time spent out there is an ample opportunity for self studies and contemplation. Your watch comrades and crew on the boat make friends for life. This trip changes and elevates people to become just a little better.
This is the first part of the complete journey to Europe. It starts in St Maarten and ends in Horta at the island of Faial in the Azores. If you want to sail all the way to the European mainland you need to join the Horta, Azores – Cherbourg trip as well. Whatever time we have left from the Caribbean – Azores leg we can spend at this lovely destination the way we want, waiting for the Azores to Cherbourg leg to start.
The starting date from St Maarten is 15.5 and you are welcome to arrive a few days in advance to get to know the boat and crew a little better before we leave. We have quite a liberal view on arrival dates since flights can be hard to match and we fully understand that everyone wants to get a piece of the Caribbean before we leave. The trip has taken us everything from 15 to 18 days to sail but we have, to be on the safe side, scheduled 20 days for the crossing. If you have signed up for the Horta, Azores – Cherbourg leg you don’t have to worry about departure but otherwise you have to be clear of the boat by 4.6 at the latest. This is to ensure any new arrivals space before departure for the next leg.
This trip requires that you have been on a sailing boat before. If you suffer from constant seasickness, not getting your sea-legs as we say, this might not be the trip for you. A combination of sun (dehydration) and seasickness (not being able to hold in liquids) is a bad combo and makes your trip a misery. On the other hand most of us feel seasick from times to times and nowadays there are remedies for that. Before you sign up, just give it a thought, if you are unsure of your capabilities to do the trip you are most welcome to turn to us for consultation. We feel responsible for all crew and want to be sure everyone comes along for the right reasons and equipped with the faculties and physical condition to meet the challenge.
You don’t have to be a salty dog to come along, we give you a proper introduction on location as well as constant help along the way to develop your skills.
Everyone onboard is expected to join in on everyday duties on the boat. If the weather gets rough we usually simplify the watch rota to ensure there is enough helm and decision power on deck. You are free to grab as much responsibility you want to match your experience and skills.
And of course we do this trip the “old fashion way”, meaning the traditional stopover at Horta – a beautiful small city at the island of Faial in the middle of the Atlantic. This place has been visited by many famous sailors like Sir Francis Chichester, Eric Tabarly and Joshua Slocum, just to mention a few. There is a small bar right next to the marina run by the Azevedo family for generations. They serve drinks and heavenly food to locals and passing sailors alike. There is also a tradition of painting your mark at the long pier among so many other crews. The whole place just vibrates with whaling and yachting history. The rest of the island is also astonishing in its natural beauty. You can hire a car or a moped and do the island in a day or two discovering one wonder after another. The seismic effect the atlantic ridge has had on the island is seen everywhere,collapsed volcanoes, peninsulas risen from the sea, all the vegetation and fauna that reflects on the local food produce. This is not an easy place to leave.
We charge a sailing fee of 2200€ for this trip including:
Price does not include:
We are happy to answer all questions, give flight tips and help in any way we can. Please send us a message.
Closing in on Faial from the East