The Atlantic plan

Uku is determined to sail Kvark across the Atlantic, east to west the latest in 2020. Ideally, taking the Estonian flag from Tartu to New York. This will set an Estonian record for the smallest boat having crossed the Atlantic.

North Atlantic currents, image courtesy Britannica.com

250px-Carte_Skagerrak-Kattegat2The journey will start from Estonia, from the Baltic sea. From there, she will sail to Denmak to enter the North sea. There are two ways to get to the North sea. Either via the Kiel canal or following the Norwegian “tiger throat” along Kattegat and Skagerrak, around the Jutland peninsula on which Denmark lies.

The kiel canal saves over 450 km of passage and potentially heavy weather. It may be navigated by pleasure craft only during daylight at given times. There are designated mooring spots and the laws are pretty strict. It is a commercial project afterall and big ships carry expensive loads. You can try out the official Kiel canal web-page to calculate your passage fees. After seeing that calculations there start at 6 m draught, 100 m length and other such figures you feel a bit out of place. Forum posts hint at about 50 euros for a small pleasure craft such as Kvark. You may not sail on the canal, motoring or motorsailing only!

From North sea, you have to get past England and Ireland to reach the Atlantic. For this, there are again two options. The longer way is to sail between the Faroe islands and Scotland, reaching the Norwegian sea. You will have to sail against the Norwegian current which branches from the North Atlantic drift. The second, shorter way is to take the strait of La Manche, in other terms the English channel. Yrvind, the famous Swedish sailor skipped La Manche on his first crossing to avoid heavy traffic. I guess tankers would mistake you a whale or drifting container when sailing in a nutshell like Kvark. Sailing singlehanded is a risk in its own. Either avoiding traffic on taking a solemn northerly route you will inevitably reach the Atlantic ocean. In the winter, this might mean:

naws

Image courtesy YouTube

Good for us that we do not plan to sail in the winter.

Yes, now you are on the North Atlantic ocean, ready to take on one of the most sought after adventures in the whole world. But here the guidepost is populated with many choises. For a small yacht, any of these mean a first long leg on commonly rather rough seas. Fafnir will take a southerly route, across the bay of Biscay.

2 Responses to The Atlantic plan

  1. Renato Bulhoes says:

    Hi friend. Do not forget to read the book ‘ Ocean Passages for the World: NP136 ‘ by British Admiralty. All the best for you.

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