Virgins or Puerto Rico to Bermuda, 830M, course 000
(north), April and May.
First half of passage – 0% gales, 3% calms. Predictable
easterly winds (i.e. blowing from the east to the west) F4 for both months with
a west-going current of 0.5 knots.
Second half of passage – 2% chance of gales in April, 0%
gales for May, 3% calms. Progressing north the most common wind direction
changes from E to W in April and from SE to SW in May (all F4), but winds are
more variable here so it could come from any direction especially in April.
Bermuda to Azores, 1700M, course 070-085, May and June
3% gales in May, 1% gales in June, (7% gales in April).
At 32N Bermuda lies in a latitude of light and variable
winds. Heading north of the direct line to Azores should give more dependable
and generally SW4 winds. Near 40N the winds are much better especially in June
but the conditions are colder and the risk of icebergs and gales increases. A
balance needs to be struck. Approaching Azores takes the route south of the best
winds once again (expect W or WNW4 with 5% chance of calm) but may provide a
welcome rest and the opportunity for re-provisioning.
Azores to Ireland, 1200M, course 050-060, June and July
1% gales, 2-3% calms once away from Azores
By mid summer the Azores high is well established driving
useful sailing winds in many places other than in the Azores themselves. Expect
light variable and possibly northerly winds for the first part of the passage
(5-7% calms in this area). A direct route to the English Channel risks being
swept toward the Bay of Biscay by NW winds and current of the Portuguese trades,
better to head north and catch more favourable W (average F4 and 0.5 knots)
winds and current. The pleasant sunny climate of the Azores will change to damp
and cooler 'English Channel weather' as you head north and catch the westerly