S Africa to Caribbean

South Atlantic Passage is consider as more comfortable than N Atlantic Passage. From South Africa (Cape Town) to north of S America you don’t have to sail without any stop over. You can give breaks at St. Helena and Ascension Islands for repairs, provisions or if necessary to wait for a suitable weather.


At South Atlantic, the SE Trade Winds are usually very constant with an average speed of 15 knots. During winter months SE winds can reach up to equator or even further north. Please keep in mind that variable winds can occur in between 25˚ and 32˚S. Tropical storms do not occur at S Atlantic.


Between Cape Town and St. Helena; Although passage can be done all time of the year, best time between November to April. During summer, prevailing wind is SE which makes sailing easy and enjoyable. Rest of the year there might be strong NW winds. In that case it is advised to wait the passage of the front and leave just after it.


St. Helena to Ascension; Passage between St. Helene to Ascension is usually easy and enjoyable passage with gentle SE winds.


Between Ascension and Tobago; Passage from Ascension to Tobago might be the longest trip for yacht having a world trip. This trip is usually comfortable with light breeze. The doldrums are supposed to be narrowest just north of the eastern tip of S America. Yachts tend to head NW to this point and to north until they pick up easterlies.


Other possibility for this passage is going in to Brazilian island of Fernando de Noronha. It is a beautiful island but usually has a heavy swell which makes the anchorage difficult.


If you can sail WNW, you should beware of Amazon River delta. The river spews out waterlogged trees which can float more than 100 miles offshore. Furthermore, currents can be uncomfortable during that passage, especially the combination of light wind and strong current. Please also pay attention to unmarked fishing nets and fishing boats.


This adventure is compiled from guides of RCC Pilotage Foundation. Detailed information can be obtained from their website and published guides.

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Cruising speed km/h

50

Fuel consumption liters

30

Sailing time a day hours

12
Length 5679 km
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