Atlantic tradewind crossing from Tenerife to Martinique. Adventure that is on many a sailor’s bucket list. Endless sunny days of running before the wind followed by nights under a sky full of stars. Great mile builder, opportunity to learn celestial navigation and get your RYA Yachtmaster Ocean qualifying passage.
The start and end dates are fixed.
Whole trip (27 days) per person:
- 2700 Euro (100 Euro / day) for a bunk. Deposit (50% of the balance) paid within one week of booking, the rest 35 days before the start date.
- 400 Euro (15 Euro / day) for consumables. Collected during the joining day for all food consumed onboard, harbour fees, and diesel. This is a realistic estimation. If there is anything left at the end of the trip you will get it back.
The trip is non-commercial and run in friends-sailing manner. The contribution per person is fixed no matter how many people booked the trip. The trip will run regardless of the number of participants.
What is not included:
- Optional expenses like rental vehicles or food & beverages consumed ashore
- Travel to and from the boat
- Personal travel insurance (highly recommended) - you can find some recommendations in the FAQ
- Personal laundry (some ports have facilities to do laundry if you need)
- Visas where required
- Standard foam lifejackets will be provided but you need to bring your own Automatic life jacket (example + lifeline/tether + light). You can store it in your checked luggage on the plane. Just don’t forget to unscrew the gas cylinder to avoid self-activation.
How much to bring in addition?
Generally, you won’t need anything in addition. We will spend most of the time on the water and there won’t be many occasions to eat outside and spend on other things like souvenirs or tourist attractions.
Who can join
You should have at least 1 week of sea sailing experience on board a sailing yacht to join the trip.
You will become an active member of the crew. You are not just a passenger. During a voyage, you will assist with helming, sail trimming and all the normal duties of a crew member whilst having the opportunity to learn about weather, routing, navigation, boat handling and many more according to your interest and experience. Above all, it should be funny and recreational for everyone.
If English is not your native language and you don’t know the English sailing terms, don’t worry. You will learn the necessary vocabulary in no time while on board.
Try the following websites to find the best flight connections:
Let us now and we can help you find the best connections!
Visa requirements in Martinique
For short stays no visa is required for the following nationalities: European Union, UK, US, Canada, and other (see here).
All non-residents must have a return flight ticket!
Marcin Wojtyczka: RYA Yachtmaster Ocean commercially endorsed, RYA Yachtmaster Cruising Instructor
What should you pack
You can download a complete checklist here.
The most important items:
- head torch for night sailing
- boat shoes that don’t leave marks on deck
- foul weather gear (if you have one), otherwise waterproof jacket
- waterproof boots (normal rubber wellies are fine as long as they don’t leave marks on deck)
- some warmer clothes for the night
- insurance policy
- payment/credit cards
- phone with charger
- sleeping bag
The trip will be focused on milebulding and training. In total we should log around 3000 nautical miles and 500h.
We will be maintaining a watch system to ensure everyone is well rested and meals are prepared on time and maintenance is undertaken when necessary.
Tenerife - Martinique - Cruising around Martinique depending on time left (e.g. Saint-Pierre, Grand Anse D'Arlet)
NEW OCEANIS 40.1 (2023) First Line (Performance)
She will be a new boat directly from the boatyard in La Rochelle. A new hull design makes her astonishingly stable while reducing resistance to forward motion. She is the sportier First Line edition with extra-long mast and keel offering exceptional performance.
She will be fully equipped for ocean sailing with bluewater gear like watermaker, satellite communication, solar panels, sextant etc. We will inspect the boat thoroughly before we set the sails to ensure that every bit of equipment is absolutely ship-shape. The boatyard will be doing extra engine check as well.
- Year: 2023
- Type: sailing
- CE design category: A – Ocean
- Hull: monohull
- Length: 12.87 m (42.3 ft)
- Berths (Bunks): 6
- Cabins: 3
- WC / Shower: 2
- Beam: 4.18 m
- Draught: 2.27 m - performance draft
- Air draft: 18.78 m - performance mast
- Engine: 45 HP
- Fuel capacity: 195 L (Diesel)
- Water capacity: 330 L
- Batteries: 230 AH for service, 120 Ah for engine
- Displacement: 7985 kg
- Performance running rigging
- Cascading backstay
- Twin rudder
- 2 composite steering wheels
- Sails: full-batten mainsail 43.2 m2, Furling genoa (105%) 36.5 m2, Code-0 61.1 m2, Storm Jib 9m2
- Solar panels
- DSC VHF radio
- Power inverter from 12V DC to 230V AC
- Handheld VHF DSC radio
- AIS class B transponder (Transponder/Receiver)
- Radar reflector
- Chart plotter with GPS and digital chartography charts
- Sextant Astra IIIB Deluxe
- Iridium satellite terminal (getting weather forecasts and contacting family offshore - available for the whole crew)
- PredictWind Offshore app (satellite-enabled license) - Ocean Racing proven, highest resolution marine forecasts
- Complete set of pilot books, almanacs and charts
- Pillows, bedlinen and towels for each crew member
Average weather conditions:
You can expect a pleasant temperature of 22°C during the day in Tenerife and 18°C at night. The temperature will be increasing as see move more south to the average of 29°C in Martinique during the day and 23°C at night. You can expect very little rain during the trip. Short lived burst of rain is usually associated with squalls that are typical in on the ocean in the tropical regions but are short lived.
Sea water in Tenerife in November is quite warm with an average of 22°C. In Martinique you can expect around 28°C. So we will be able to enjoy swimming in the ocean.
Wind and sea state
The tradewinds are the driving force for sailing across the Atlantic. The clockwise circulation of air around the Azores High creates east-to-west prevailing winds. Sailing conditions are expected to be great with the average wind speed along the anticipated route of 5 Bft. Squalls and gusts are often associated with tradewind sailing because they rely on a ready supply of warm, moist air in order to develop.
The sea state is expected to be moderate, affected greatly by swell generated from low-pressure systems hundreds of miles away.
The favourable current flows westward year-round and should add extra 0.5kt to our speed.
You will receive a certificate of passage to prove your sea time for sailing licenses. You will be an active member of the crew and we will provide practical trainings on board to ensure safety and improve your sailing skills.
We give a great amount of responsibility to each crew member in running the ship so that you can gain a good experience and learn new skills as much or as little as you want. The skipper is an instructor and will find it difficult not to teach or coach to anyone that shows the slightest bit of interest.
RYA qualifying passages
If you are an aspiring Skipper or Yachtmaster, it will be an excellent opportunity to gain bluewater miles, practice navigation, pilotage and COLREG skills so that you can be more confident and comfortable when taking a boat out to sea on your own.
The opportunity will also be there to act as a skipper (with guidance if needed from the skipper) for your RYA Yachtmaster Coastal or RYA Yachtmaster Offshore qualifying 60M passages.
The long ocean passage from Tenerife to Martiqniue can be used as a qualifying passage for RYA Yachtmaster Ocean, if that’s what you need. You will be able to get your mileage and required celestial sights during the trip.
Main topics that you can learn or brush up:
- Maneuvering under sails & engine: berthing, hoisting and lowering sails, reefing, tacking, gybing, sail trim
- Safety: use of liferaft, lifejacket, EPIRB, PLB, AIS beacons, managing emergency situations
- Equipment: use of Autopilot, AIS, VHF, Satellite communication
- Weather forecasts and weather routing
- Anchoring in swell (winch bridle and stern anchor)
- Ocean & coastal navigation: digital and traditional (including astronavigation)
- Night navigation
- Pilotage and passage planning
- Use of spinnaker and storm jib
- Storm tactics
- Life on board: organization of watches, nutrition, sleep management
Celestial navigation (astronavigation)
During the voyage we will practice traditional methods of fixing positions without sight of land. During the long ocean passages, we will navigate using celestial navigation. You will learn how to use sextant and how to calculate own position using sun, planets, moon and stars.
20 November: Joining day - Tenerife (Marina San Miguel)
There is a huge amount to prepare for an Atlantic crossing and we will get you fully involved. We will spend the first 2-3 days on training, preparing and victualling the yacht, going over the safety routines and practices, learning about satellite communication and weather routing, and getting up to speed with the boat and learning or refreshing all the basic sailing skills before we embark on the journey.
We will also use this time to get you out on the water. You will learn and revise all the critical sailing skills, from tacking and gybing to reefing sails in bad weather.
Tenerife is the island of thousand experiences. If there's one thing Tenerife can brag about, it's extraordinary natural spaces.
23 November: Tenerife - Martinique (~3000 NM / 21 days of sailing)
This free week passage will take us across the Atlantic, a route of thousands of miles of open ocean. A great adventure!
Martinique's tropical nature
Martinique is a tropical Caribbean paradise with a French and Caribbean fusion of cultures, with historic influences from both cultures. The island is mountainous with luscious green rainforest along with extinct volcanoes, including Mont Pelee, and beautiful beaches. A paradise in the Atlantic Ocean.
13-16 November: Cruising around Martinique
St Pierre has a large number of activities on and off the water including a museum, old fort, and a Caribbean open market. The town is backed by tropical rainforests which make the perfect places to hike and discover the exotic plants which call the area home. Closer to the water St Pierre offers great diving with sunken shipwrecks to explore, swimming in the bay or just exploring the black sandy beaches and volcanoes.
Petit Anse D'Arlet
Petit Anse D'Arlet is an ideal place to anchor, swim and snorkel for the evening, while also exploring the French Caribbean town and its delicious specialty Creole cuisine. On the way we will pass Diamond Rock, which is a rock formation which resembles the shape of a sunken warship. The English Navy named the rock formation HMS Diamond Rock during the Napoleonic wars.
16 December: Finishing day, La Marina du Marin
We will finish our trip in La Marina du Marin known for being one of the biggest in the Caribbean! An ideal place for a walk, its marina is dotted with many shops, bars and restaurants which make it a highly-prized tourist destination. The municipality of Le Marin also appeals to lovers of coastal landscapes, with the wild Cape Macré and its beautiful beach at Anse Baleine. The latter, only accessible on foot along a stony path, is a peaceful and relaxing haven of white sand and turquoise water.
Depending on your travel plans, you may wish to extend your Martinique vacation by spending some additional time in Le Marin soaking up the local French-Caribbean culture.