Blue water cruising

The Islands of Bermuda

Published on 01 august 2015 at 0h00

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A cruising crossroads

After another season in the Caribbean, the plan this year had been to head west for Panama and the Pacific Ocean. But we hadn’t gotten as far as we wanted last year when we cruised the US East Coast. That combined with the threat of an El Niño event this season (and I’ve crossed the Pacific before in an El Niño year), we decided to head north again to check out Maine and Nova Scotia. Setting out from the BVI, Bermuda seemed like a logical place to stop on the way.
Jimmy Cornell’s World Cruising Handbook suggests that Bermuda “has little to offer in the way of cruising”… but we were sailing in company with friends who have that most important navigational resource: local knowledge.
We cleared out with customs in Spanishtown, Virgin Gorda, and weighed anchor on May 16th. Quite a number of boats were headed our way around the same time, some bound for New England, others for Europe via the Azores. Bermuda makes a convenient stop for both these routes, one of the reasons it sees around 1,000 visiting yachts every year.

The islands of Bermuda

Making the most of Bermuda’s anchorages with our Athena 38 before heading North again.

Our passage north

Sailing conditions were just perfect for us: four days with an easterly wind between 12 and 20 knots, which moved slowly round to the south and died away to nothing on the fifth day. There was a reasonable swell out of the east, but this was no problem for our Founatine Pajot. We ...

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