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Epic Voyage Ahead: Our Atlantic Crossing Plan is Here

If's official! We're doing an epic voyage and sailing across the Atlantic. SOON. Here's an update on where we are, and our crossing plan so far.

According to world famous yachting guru Jimmy Cornell, 1,200 boats cross the Atlantic East-West from Cape Verde to the Caribbean each year.  And our floating home Waiata is about to be one of them. It’s a rather exciting yet scarily daunting prospect to undertake such an epic voyage of adventure.

Our staging location is the Canary Islands, located in the North Atlantic Ocean, opposite the African continent Western Sahara. It is a popular staging spot for most who cross the Atlantic toward the America’s. Currently the ARC fleet is planning to depart here for their crossing on 20 November. Now with around 8,000 nm of sailing experience, we plan to cross a couple of weeks after the ARC.

The Canary Islands consist of about 8 islands. You will likely have heard of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. We are currently in an anchorage called Playa del Pozo in Lanzarote, but there are no avian canaries here.

You can have a look at our anchorage Playa del Pozo, Lanzarote here.

There Are No Canaries Here

The ‘Canary Islands’ are a cruisers’ paradise. And they just happen to be a tax haven. The islands are volcanic, wild, windy and beautiful. You might perhaps think you could find sunshiny yellow canaries here – but you’d be mistaken.  The origination of the name for this archipelago is derived from the Latin word for dog – ‘canaria’.  Apparently when the first Europeans arrived they were greeted with large dogs on the island of Gran Canaria. And Gran Canaria is ultimately where we will set sail from when we depart.

Waiata in the bay at our anchorage in Playa del Pozo, taken by our friends on “Water Wings”.

Family Crew And Support At Sea

Our son Nicholas will take a break from his television work and join us to crew the Atlantic crossing. He sails with RNZYS and recently completed the famous Coastal Classic race.  He has one of the craziest flight plan’s imaginable to get here.  He will depart New Zealand and ultimately go as far north as Finland on his multi-stop journey to arrive in Gran Canaria on 2 December.  He brings with him some important pieces for our trip:

  • Sims for our Sat Nav which were simply too difficult to arrange from here.
  • Electronic maps for the Caribbean.
  • A valve for our water maker that needs replacing.

He might even sneak in a jar of good old kiwi marmite and some Whittaker’s (the worlds finest crafted chocolate according to New Zealander’s like me) 

But crossing the Atlantic requires more than just Waiata’s family crew team of three.  We vitally need a land based crew too. We are grateful and lucky to have a land based support crew that will span both hemispheres.

Back in New Zealand our terrific son in law Matt will be taking care of communications and checking important factors such weather.  He will be ably supported by our great friend Mike, on the other side of the world, in England.  Mike and Julie holidayed on Waiata in Croatia earlier this year. They know our floating home well and regular readers might remember our hilarious dinghy incident after a day adventure in Dubrovnik a couple of months ago.

One of our land crew Mike (right), during our Dubrovnik play day.

Leaving for the Caribbean

Preparations are well progressed. There are new tasks such as soaking our sheets and lines (ropes) to remove salt. The captain is also popping on his mask and snorkel, diving under the boat doing a little scrub daily on our copper bottom to ensure a clean smooth hull.

The Captain dons his snorkel daily to scrub a little of the hull

Our envisaged departure date is 5 December.  We will sail to Cape Verde which is a 5 day transit.  We won’t linger there for long, maybe just a night or 2 so we can top up with fresh provisions, check technology and give Waiata a check over.   Around 11 or 12 December we expect to venture from Cape Verde and sail across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean island of Martinique.  

This means we will have Christmas at sea – somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic! 

Christmas at Sea

We will have a traditional Christmas onboard.  The oven will be fired up and we’ll feast on the usual fare.  But the four hourly night shifts and day watches will continue until we get to our destination of Martinique.  

It is famously a mix of French and West Indian cultures.  Where bananas, sugar cane and white rum reign.   And if the trade winds are blowing kind in our way, we’ll make it there by New Year’s Day. 

Our planned crossing map from our home page

Atlantic Crossing

Atlantic Crossing was Rod Stewart’s 6th studio album.  The title was influenced by the glam rockers departure from England to escape the 83% jet set income tax of Harold Wilson’s government, and referenced his move to Warner Bros.  

Featuring both electric and acoustic guitar, ‘Sailing’ is obviously the song from the album that most fits our theme today and into 2023. 

8 Responses

  1. So excited for you, wish it was us, love the ocean crossings.
    Will you have PW tracking happening so we can follow you and read the blogs?
    Happy to help with weather if needed.

    1. Hey lovely Leanne
      It is scary but exciting – and you have crossed bigger oceans before us. You’re an inspiration!
      Yes we will have tracking working by then – Greg’s onto it and we need the sims that Nick will bring for it to work on PredictWind.
      Your offer re weather support is very kind – we just might take you up on that.
      Fair winds and kind seas – and fingers crossed x

  2. Best wishes for this epic journey.
    Rod Stewart’s song Sailing was my departure song as I sailed across the Atlantic back in 1975 to my new home in NZ.

    1. Oh Honor that is so wonderful. From living near your former home when we were in England to sailing across the Atlantic Crossing and Rod! It was so great to see you in real life in January! Thanks for sharing your memories and we love that you’re coming along for the ride. X

  3. Oh Homor that is so cool. From us living near your home when we were in England to sailing across the Atlantic and Rod Stewart. It was great to see you in real life in January. Thank you for sharing your memories and coming along for the ride.

  4. Fantastic news guys, as folk say … sounds like a plan ha ha.

    Like Big Brother, we’ll be watching you.

    Good luck and of course here’s wishing you fair winds and following seas

    1. Alex,
      We, hopefully, will have a tracking page inserted into the home page of by the time we depart the Canaries. The Sims for the Iridium arrive with Nick on the 2nd and its my job to set it up and get it posted to before we depart on the 5th (hopefully anyway). That will have our course/position and daily comments on it we hope.

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