1. 1ST LEG – ANTIGUA/ST MAARTEN TO THE AZORES
Approx. 2 600 nautical miles and about 15 days at sea – from 2nd May 2009
Northern Child will leave Antigua after Antigua Sailing Week on the 3rd May 2009. We will first sail to St Maarten, where we will spend a couple of days picking up the cruising gear and provisioning the boat. The transatlantic will start from St Maarten on the 6th or 7th May 2009.
Each year the weather is different but typically, our initial routeing takes us up along the west side of the high pressure as far north as roughly 30N, where we then start making easting to at least within 600 miles of the Azores, at which point we strike north-east. The leg takes between 15 and 17 days, is approximately 2600Nm and predominantly lovely beam reaching conditions in sunshine. We keep well south of the heavy weather systems to the north and the route is dominated by the Azores high pressure centre, and we should get extensive use of our asymmetric spinnaker! We have great weather resources on board including the SSB and satphone data connection to keep us informed of the weather situation.
We stop for 2 or 3 days in Horta, the Azores, to restock on fresh food and visit the island. This stopover is very enjoyable, the marina being great and yet the Island unspoilt by mass tourism, with the possibility of going whale watching or visiting the volcanoes.
2. 2ND LEG – HORTA TO THE UK
Approx. 1 250 nautical miles and 7 to 10 days at sea
After the stopover in the Azores, we head north-east for Europe and the conditions do change a bit. We tend to keep south as long as possible so that we are in good weather. The conditions in June could be anything from a gale coming out of the west to light winds to north easterly headwinds if the Azores High has moved north. It is quite an exciting leg of about 9 to 10 days and 1250NM and the nights can get chilly. Landfall will be made in the western approaches to the English Channel with France off to the south-east and England to the North. Our destination is the Hamble River, East of Southampton on the south coast of the UK, about 90 minutes by train from London.
Northern Child holds a UK MCA Category 0 charter licence. This code sets out requirements for Small Commercial Vessel and covers construction, stability, outfit standards, safety equipment and manning. The requirements for Category 0 are particularly demanding and allow the charter yacht to operate in an unrestricted area. Northern Child is equipped with EPIRB, VHF, SSB Radio, satellite phone for voice calls and emails, Navtext, water maker, Whispergen Generator, the latest navigation instruments, TV, DVD player, CD player, fridge and freezer… It will be Northern Child’s 17th Transatlantic in the past 8 years! As with all Swans, Northern Child is extremely comfortable and she sails beautifully.
Julian, the Skipper is a qualified RYA Ocean Yachtmaster Instructor and this is going to be his 21th transatlantic as Skipper and his 17th on Northern Child. The boat is professionally run as a charter boat for individuals, wanting to learn to sail in some of the nicest events in the world. Julian is a sailing fanatic and is really keen to pass on his knowledge.
Feedback from the 2006 Transatlantic crew has been, amongst others: Adrian: 'I thoroughly enjoyed the Northern Child experience (and I think that holds good for the whole crew) and would heartily recommend Northern Child to anyone that wanted to do something similar.' George: 'The trip was everything I expected it to be and I thank both yourself and Julian for a trip of a lifetime. I met some very nice people and I hope to keep in contact with them.'
This transatlantic crossing is open to individuals wishing to experience a lifetime dream of crossing the Atlantic on a yacht. No previous ocean experience is required.