Case Study

Sailing Westbound Transatlantic – Gibraltar to Antigua – S/Y Yanosha

In March 2015 we sailed Yanosha from Gibraltar to Antigua with a stop off in Tenerife. The first leg from Gibraltar to Tenerife is only 750 miles, so it’s just a matter of finding a weather window & getting south as quickly as possible. The second leg is a bit more tricky, with the distance from Tenerife to Antigua about 2750 miles. We left with 700 litres of fuel in the tanks & another 400 in jerry cans & a bladder. This would give us about 5 full days under engine or about 900 miles. This is also taking into account the daily use of the generator for charging the batteries & cooking on the electric stove and so we would need to sail the other 1850 miles or so.

I use Grib files to do my forecasting on the boat at sea.  For this passage I also got regular updates via email from Steph Ball (MeteoGib), a meteorologist from Gibraltar.

IMG_9700smallI have sailed this passage many times & the biggest worry is not strong wind but not enough wind as this can result in not having enough fuel to keep the boat working & moving. It was for this reason I wanted the extra help & details that Steph could provide to keep us on the wind, and also for the peace of mind that comes with having an outside forecaster to confirm my forecasts.

Steph did a fantastic job keeping us on the wind, especially on the last third of the trip when the wind became light. She gave us small details that helped predicting when to jibe and on one occasion she managed to conjure up some wind that was not on my forecast at all as if she had a hotline to the wind gods themselves! It was also brilliant to get other news like the rugby & cricket results that Steph would add onto the forecasts for us.

I would recommend Steph & her weather-routing service to any boat on any passage. I will most certainly be using her again for offshore passages.






Words & photos
Matt Sulley.
Skipper S/Y Yanosha.

Yanosha is a Shipman 63.
Length 19:20m
Width 04:95m
Depth 03:50m

© Stephanie Ball, 2015