Passage Plan Azores to Southampton 2016


Vessel Serendipity 2008 Jeanneau 39ft 11.86m LOA

Departure planned 28th June 2016 Ponta Delgada Sao Miguel Azores

Planned arrival UK on 8th July 2016 first landfall probably Dartmouth to suit crew onward travel.

Crew 4 (three YM qualified 3 who own the boat and two with transatlantic experience)

Fuel tank 130L single aft tank; range on engine 270M max.

Assumed cruising speed 5knots Distance 1200nm at 5knots = 12 days

Water 355L split between 2 tanks

Plan to gain as much Northerly distance as possible in the first five days even at the expense of westerly progress to get better winds then head NE towards destination

Comms. VHF and Iridium Extreme 9575 SATphone with 2X 50mins air time

Suitability of vessel to expected conditions

The year of manufacture is 2008 and she is in good condition. She has been in current ownership since 2011 & has completed several offshore passages including crossing Biscay. She has this year been surveyed by manufacturer’s uk agent for a trade-in purposes – no problems identified.

There is no known history of groundings and the keel to hull joint has been checked as have the keel bolts.

Additional Vessel checks she will be lifted out & the hull keel and prop will be cleaned and inspected immediately prior to her departure from Portugal and the life raft serviced

Meteorological Conditions Expected

The Azores sit in the open Atlantic Ocean some 900nm off the coast of Portugal and are on a Latitude of 37deg N this is on the Northern edge of the ITCZ and enjoy a semi permanent area of high pressure known as the Azores High. There is a risk of periods of light variable winds. The chance of these conditions reduces with higher latitude. Moving north the prevailing winds during the summer months are Westerlies.

The trip is outside the season for Tropical Revolving Storms in this area however deep depressions and associated winds can still represent dangers to a vessel this size so it is important that good met is obtained and studied regularly both before and during the trip. It is unlikely fog will be encountered until nearing landfall. Due to the long fetch large swells can develop. The prevailing ocean current (North Atlantic Current) is favourable as it sets towards the NE of between 0.5 and 1 knot. [Ref: 1987 Ocean Passages For The World, Admiralty and World Cruising Routes, Jimmy Cornell]

Fire Plan

gas bottles are in outside locker drained overboard gas to be turned off when not in use under cooker

fire extinguishers in date and situated in cockpit locker; in companionway and in aft cabins. There is no automatic extinguisher for the engine compartment but two holes for this purpose are provided.

the escape routes are through the fore hatch and up the companionway

if a fire could not be controlled then abandoning to the life raft would be an option

Sail Plan

Sail area 70sqm The crew should be capable of night sailing without shortening sail to a great degree. For downwind sailing there is the cruising chute and spinnaker for upwind the Genoa and jib. The mainsail has three reefs and these are led back to the cockpit. It will be important to make the best use of the available wind at all times thus preserving fuel. We will need to be prepared to use the engine initially to clear likely calms to the N of the Azores. To avoid being set into the Bay of Biscay by Westerlies we should sail due North until 45°N has been reached then follow great circle route to the English Channel.

Fuel Management Plan Storage & Usage

Fuel is required to generate electricity for communications; to make safe entry into harbour; and to maintain a safe aspect to a dangerous sea so its usage should be considered a major safety issue.

Consumption: 4L per hour @ 6knots

capacity: 130L tank plus 50L cans (three small plastic approved containers with funnel)

Therefore we can go 270 miles on engine over whole trip max. That is max. 45 engine hours at 6 kn.

So only use engine in calms; keep accurate log of reserves and engine hours; do not break into cans except as last resort To carry extra cans would not change this calculation much over a 1200 mile trip so it is not worth the extra space or weight to stow. Diesel is treated to combat diesel bug.

Water Management Plan Storage & Usage

355L at 4L per person per day (consumption) is enough for 22 days. This means we should be able to use tank water very sparingly for personal hygiene so long as it is monitored.

In addition, we should carry enough to get to land if both tanks were contaminated or lost

Say 600 nm 6 days back or to nearest port 6X16L is 100L i.e. 10 separate 10L containers in lockers.

Electrical Power Plan

Cabin lights have been replaced by LED bulbs; minimise use of power-hungry equipment under sail eg by avoiding use of Radar in good visibility keeping lights to absolute minimum. Run engine daily 1hour to recharge batteries, monitor voltage of both batteries. Keep leisure and starting batteries isolated.

Crew Experience and Watch Plan

Since all 4 crew have ample experience plan to rotate watch teams every 2 days

watch pattern:- 4hrs with 3hrs at night

Day1      Day2      Day3

0080 – 1200          B            A            B

1200 – 1600          A            B            A etc.

1600 – 2000          B            A

2000 – 2300          A            B

2300 – 0020          B            A

0020 – 0500          A            B

0500 – 0800          B            A

TEAM A Day 1 Mick & Neal            Day 3 Mick & Dave            Day 5 Mick & Charlie

TEAM B Day 1 Dave & Charlie        Day 3 Neal & Charlie         Day 5 Dave & Neal ….repeats….

main hot meal of the day to be cooked by off watch at 1800

Passage plan route speed times

Serendipity should be capable of around 8knots under favourable sailing conditions

if speeds fall below 3 knots then, if fuel reserves allow, the engine could be used.

It is likely that the true wind will on average be on the Port quarter giving rise perhaps to an apparent wind on the beam, which is favourable. It would therefore be prudent to assume a speed made good of say 5 knots for passage planning. This gives approx. 100miles per day, making the trip 12 days overall. Clearly contingencies such as calms, gear failure or unfavourable winds should be allowed for.

Ports Of Refuge

 Obviously selection would be based on position & weather conditions examples:-

Lisbon / Vigo / La Coruna / La Rochelle / Brest /Cork / Falmouth

The important thing is we have the information on board to aid safe entrances.

Safety Equipment Carried

Sea Anchor drogue suitable for 45ft vessel (to be towed at 5 boat lengths) ; 60m warp to tow sea anchor

EPIRB batt exp July 2021 service due 2019; Life Raft serviced 2016 stowed under cover to rear of steering position – always accessible, protected from spray (NOT float free hydrostatic release)

Offshore in-date flare pack; Comprehensive toolkit including knife on binnacle and gear in cockpit to cut away rigging; Bilge Pump; Emergency navigational lights; Powerful torch ; Fitted Radar reflector on mast; Bosun’s chair; Life jackets and harnesses for all crew; Heavy weather head sails and third reef; Spare Parts such as impellers engine oil; fan belts; Fog Horns

Comms equipment and plan

VHF Radio Raymarine RAY55E DSC All Crew have VHF Radio Certificate.

Irridium Extreme 9575 SATphone with 2X 50mins air time

This connects to laptop to allow download of GRIB weather files on route

Latest Inshore and sea Area forecasts will be obtained in Ponta Delgada prior to departure

Hand Held VHF.

Plan is to use Sat phone only for routine weather data and emergency comms eg to obtain weather routeing information by email is adverse weather is encountered

Emergency and Evacuation Plan –

Grab Bag / Survival bag water food flares etc 4-6 persons in addition to that within life raft

Hand Held Compass / Flare Pack

Personal PLB at least 1 crew carries.

Plotting instruments; calculator; hand bearing compass; metal marine sextant

Waterproof Digital watch set to UT; plotting sheets; NP314-16 The Nautical Almanac (extracts copied) 

Navigational Equipment and charts carried

Ships lit binnacle compass with deviation card

Plotting instruments; calculator; hand bearing compass; metal marine sextant

digital watch set to UT; plotting sheets; / Marine Chart Plotter with display below and at Binnacle Position

linked to GPS system with fixed Antennae on cockpit rail

Overlaid display from Garmin RADAR with MARPA system for identification and monitoring of targets –

(shows Closest Point of Approach (CPA) and time to CPA all crew have all used this before)

AIS system both transmitting and receipt

1 x NP314-16 The Nautical Almanac 2016 1 x NP303(1) Rapid Sight Reduction Tables for Air Navigation Vol 1 Epoch 2015 1 x NP303 Rapid Sight Reduction Tables Volume 2 & Volume 3

Reeds Nautical Almanac 2016

NP735 IALA Buoyage Guide

Shell Channel Pilot South Coast plus North France

Planning Guide Atlantic Crossing – Les Weatheritt

SC5601 Leisure Folio Devon and Dorset

SC5604 Leisure Folio Channel Islands

SC560X Leisure Folio West Country

Chart Cape St Vincent to Faro Portugal

Plymouth Sound Chart

North Atlantic Ocean Passage Chart – Conical projection Imray100

Imray C19 Cabo Finisterre to Gibraltar

Imray C18 Western Approaches to Channel & Biscay

Imray C48 & C49 Atlantic Coast of Portugal

Navigational Routine time zones log book entries plotting

Universal time [UT] to be used as ships time for whole trip (add 1 hr for time in UK & Portugal)

Local summer Time in Azores is [UT]

The following to be logged hourly:-

Time[UT] heading [°mag] / log [nm] /boat speed [knots] /wind speed [knots] /wind direction [° true]

engine log [hrs] / visability [M;m] / fuel in tank [Ltrs] / water in tank [Ltrs] barometric press [mmHg]

GPS position LAT/LONG [deg/min]e.g. 034°35.8’N

sail plan in use / battery level [V and AmpHrs remaining]

other notes such as shipping seen or any maintenance done

following checks to be made on each watch:-

engine temp if motoring

quick pump of bilges to check empty

walk around deck check all rigging for chafe

plot position on current chart

following CELnav observations to be made (if available):-

daily morning sun sight

noon Meridian passsage sun sight

afternoon sun sight

twilight am or pm planet or star shot depending on watch rota

sight reduction and daily plot using prior day DR position

compass check

Following checks to be made every shift change (day1; 3 etc)

if engine has been used:-

engine oil level

engine water level

fan belt tension

Progress through food rations

Paperwork Required Customs VAT Insurance etc

Azores and Portugal same administration so part of Europe

Will need ships documentation & passports for all crew to harbour office to fill customs declaration as a minimum. Extra visits to immigration and police might be required.

First Aid Health medication and Welfare

crew have no known medical conditions

none of the crew are on any medication

Carry full in date first aid kit

extra first aid kit in life raft and also in grab bag

Two crew have first aid qualifications

First Aid Manual & The Ship Captain’s MEDICAL GUIDE 22nd Edn. On board

Personal Crew Kit List  

in a soft bag for stowing:


Suitable footwear, boots and deck shoes

Warm clothing – layers

Short and tee shirts in case it warm on arrival

Hats, gloves

Sleeping bag

Pillow case

Suntan cream


Head torch


Personal medication

Special dietary requirements


Money/Credit card

12 volt chargers for phone 

Victualling List

adjusted for 4 people on board for 15 days

10 x 10 litres Water

48 x 1 litre Water

*2 kg stewing beef

*2kg Minced Beef

*2 kg Fresh Chicken

20kg potatoes

20 kg carrots

60 cans soft drinks (various)

6 large orange juices

12 litres semi skimmed

8 loaves thick sliced

12 pack par tortillas

*8 x 6 slices packs of ham

*8 x 6 slices packs of turkey

8 x 6 slices cheddar

Cheddar 2 block

4 tins Corned Beef

4 tins Luncheon Meat

12 tins Tuna

4 large spreadable butter

4 dozen eggs

12 tins hot dog sausages

12 tins ravioli

12 tins soup (various)

12 tins baked beans

4kg pasta Penne

4kg rice

Breakfast cereal – alpen, cornflakes, frosties

2 Strawberry jam

2 Marmalade

2 Large jar coffee

2 Large box teabags

2 kg sugar

Coffee mate

Tomato sauce

Brown sauce

Salad cream


Selection of crisps

Salted peanuts

20 bananas

40 apples

48 satsuma’s

24 tomatoes

4 punnets cherry tomatoes

24 onions

4 cucumbers

4 ice berg lettuce

8 large pasta sauces

Spices chilli curry oregano pepper salt

12 packs kipling cakes (various)

4 packs jaffa cakes

4 packs ginger nuts

4 packs digestives

24 muesli bars

24 mars bars

24 twix

24 snickers

6 packs haribo

24 cans beer and 4 bottles of wine (for arrival )

12 x kitchen rolls

48 x toilet rolls

Nappy sacks

4 box of tissues

4 packs wet wipes

2 Washing up liquid

Toilet cleaner

Air freshener spray

2 Antiseptic surface spray

*at least half of these items should be frozen bubble wrapped and packed in insulated container at bottom of fridge

Note list should be adjusted when boat reaches Azores based on actual consumption during first leg of the voyage.