Weather Woes, Ep. 204

It was a gamble booking a flight to northern Norway in May.

When we bought our tickets last September to fly home from Tromsø, we had to pick a return date – any date – to avoid the expense of two one-way fares. In Greece, May made sense. In A Coruña, Spain, it might mean some rain showers. No big deal. Even in Kalmar, Sweden last year, May seemed very doable. But as we now await the departure of our flight to Tromsø, anxiety is setting in. Two to four inches of snow and wind gusts of 30 knots are forecasted. The temperature will swing from a low on Tuesday of 17°F to a high on Wednesday of 64°F. Spring skiing anyone??!

Tromsø Weather Forecast

It’s not like a fresh helping of anxiety was being ordered off the menu. This season’s sailing itinerary was going to be our most ambitious yet. Simply on the basis of latitude only, we will be sailing from 70°North, above the Arctic Circle, to well into the tropics at 12°North. For our North American kin, that is equivalent to a starting point halfway up the Greenland Peninsula to the northern boundary of Costa Rica. In addition, we will be crossing the Atlantic. It is with heavy hearts that we will leave Europe and the Med behind, after seven seasons of sailing. The carrot, though, will be a juicy one. The lovable, sun-kissed embrace of the Caribbean!

The Sea Rose Itinerary for 2024 – from Norway to Grenada

This will also be the first season where we won’t stop for winter and we won’t haul out. In the Med, we once pushed the season to five months, but typically we would stay onboard for closer to four months. For this year, we will take those four months to sail down the Norwegian coast, cross over to the Shetland Islands, the Orkney Islands, the west coast of Scotland, the west coast of Ireland, and then a straight offshore passage down to the Gran Canaries. We will be joining up with World Cruising Club’s ARC+ rally, a fun, not-really-a-race crossing of the Atlantic from Las Palmas, stopping at Cape Verde, and ending in Grenada. We will be part of a flotilla of 100 boats from all over Europe, sailing to the warm tropical waters of the eastern Caribbean.

Sea Rose’s Northern Europe Itinerary for 2024

We will have an increasingly challenging set of offshore passages as a part of this itinerary. The first will be Ålesund, Norway to the Shetlands, about 250 nautical miles. This will be the shortest – at about two full days – but it is the North Sea, so anything goes. Our second will be from Kinsale, Ireland to the Canaries, about 1400 nautical miles. A typical route for this direction would include a stop in Portugal, but due to the continued threat of Orca attacks on sailboats in the coastal waters of Spain and Portugal, we will stay plenty far offshore and keep going south. Once we join up with the ARC+ rally, the first leg, from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria to Cape Verde will be 800 nautical miles. It is often windy on this leg, but fortunately it is typically a following wind. Last, the leg from Cape Verde to Grenada is 2200 nautical miles, following the traditional trade route to the Caribbean.

Once we get settled safely in Grenada, in early December, we will sail the eastern Caribbean throughout the winter months, possibly all the way up to the British Virgin Islands. The ARC+ rally is timed to put sailors in the Caribbean after the hurricane season, which ends in November. We will then haulout Sea Rose in the Spring of 2025, before the start of the next hurricane season.

We greatly appreciate the support and encouragement we receive from all of you. It means a lot to us that you get value out of our blog posts. We also enjoy hearing from other individuals that have ambitions of getting into long-distance sailing. Many people helped us get our start; we would be grateful to pay it forward.

I did a quick check of what the weather is supposed to be like in December in Grenada. I have been assured that there will be no snow nor freezing temperatures…let’s get this show on the road!

And, in the meantime, if you want a glimpse of what sailing in Norway was like for us last year, here’s our most recent YouTube video release of our trip to the charming city of Stavangar!

4 Replies to “Weather Woes, Ep. 204”

  1. Great to hear from you again. Good luck on your journey back to the Caribbean. We will be following your travels and look forward to reading your posts, Best to you, Bob and Linda

    1. Thanks Bob and Linda…we are looking forward to returning to the old ‘haunt’ of the Caribbean again! Take care.

    1. Thank you Bill! We will take all the fair winds and following seas that are dished out to us. Take care!

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