Atlantic Crossing Forum 2023 Notes

Atlantic Crossing Forum
We had a group of about 80 At Island Water World who are intending on sailing from St Martin in the Caribbean to Europe this season. I co-presented with Mike of Quinn the designer of Nimble Navigator “Navstick” an integrated USB chart plotter, GPS and included charts.

Resources and notes are in files below.

Above the Red line is the Gale Zone. The Green blob is the Azores High… its dynamic in that it moves every day. Use the GPX plot below as an example and update yours every day. I use a 10 knot wind line. And sail 100nms on the left side of it, ready to duck into the High if a Gale appears.
An excellent device when all else fails is a USB chat plotter with integrated GPS and charts. Its very affordable. Available in St Martin/Sint Maarten VHF#10 Mike on Quinn

My presentation I promised links and things, so here you go: Notes, resources PDF or in a Word File

The Azores High shown in this GPX file is mine. It was adjusted every day at sea and for weeks prior to the passage. The position moves and your course needs to move and follow it. My line is about the 10 knot wind line of the High. I sail about 100nms to the left of it and divert into it if a gale comes our way. GPX File for a chart viewer / plotter Right click and download

Above you can see my 2017 plot with 2023 weather laid over it. It still works. Into the Azores is 34 knot winds. Far too strong to enter the unfamilier harbour. But in the Yellow of the High you will see the winds are much lower. The Black line is a diversion I made to avoid a gale.

Back! Back! Back !

We are back on Sea Life, back in the Carribean and actually back on water!!!

After our wedding we flied back to Sint Maarten. Sea Life was gently waiting for us in Time Out Boat Yard (TOBY).

We took that time to tidy it, have a new wonderful anchor, welcome Rocna to the family, and a new chain!

There is some workshops located in TOBY. So, we took the luxury to have Pepper polishing our little treasure! He also painted the hull.

Mark has a special technic for painting : A blue layer first, then the black. It brings to advantages :

1 – the workers all around the world have to actually paint the other layers everywhere, you can see where it lacks.

2 – when the black wear out after being well used, the blue appears, and you know it’s time to paint again.

If you are wondering what type of paint to apply, hard or soft and what brand, René in Island Waterworld can very well direct you on that and actually explain you why they are different and what they are for. He also will tell you what to do if you want to change type of paint.

A good reason to paint in hard antifouling is if in the next years you are going to cruise a lot and will NOT go on the yard. Stay in water.

Toby before the launch
Mark and his new baby
You need to have fun in a yard !

We also change our oven! Youhou! We still have an Eno. It does fit well at the place of the ancient eno haha.

But you will learn that, depending if you buy your oven on the French side or the Dutch side, they don’t come with the same fitting.

Of course, after waiting for delivery delay, we bought it dutch side in Budget Marine. This store has renewed his seller team. And let’s say… They are not cruiser. So don’t ask to much question to them. Of course, we had the wrong fitting, and they were not selling other ones.

We ended up in some workshop of FKG where they remade us a good one!

You can understand than buying an oven ended up being a puzzle to resolve.

the new love of my life

After TOBY, direction Simpson Bay for few nights of joy in blue water. Then we passed the bridge and went to park our little butt in Lagoonies Marina.

And there is a good reason for that : more than having nice and helpful owners, the marina has the higher dock of Sint Maarten.

And this dock is just the perfect size when you install your new solar panels.

Yes! We have good electricity!

We saw the models with René in Island Waterworld, the man that knows everything you wonder. And for installation we called Adam from Nomad Marine Solutions.

He works fast and efficiently. He also fixed some other little things we had on the boat.

Simpson Bay – Sunrise
Simpson Bay – Nightscape
Adam’s Card from Nomad Marine Solution

So ready to go, even if no sails up yet we left to Île Fourchue, an unhabited island, to relax.

There is no internet in the bay but it is so peaceful and beautiful that you don’t need anything else.

As Île Fourchue is part of St Barthélemy, you have to clear in Gustavia. You can very well clear out 24h before departures and spend one night there on your way to Sint Maarten.

In the bay there is moorings and two little beaches. Not big white sand beaches more small landing place with dark sand and rocks. It tends to have waves going on the beach wich is also a bit steep. So the good thing is actually to swim to shore with your shoes in a dry bag and then go on the hiking track.

You can also have internet on top of the hills!

The island is full of rocks, hitching grass, cactus, some wildflowers and lots of lizards! Bref, Paradise! If you go to climb over the bay facing St Barth on the highest peak, you have good view on birds. They hang just in there.

St Barth from Ile Fourchue

After a week of calm we are back in Gustavia for the last celebrations of the year. The stores have a short of supplies because of the last surge. Some containers haven’t arrived yet so we will have to be creative for Christmas!

I wish you  to enjoy the last days of this year,



Marjorie and I tied the knot in Palavas-Les-Flots, France.
Loads of great food, fabby friends that flew in from all over the world.
Everything was just so sensational!

Selfy with the Mayor of Palavas
We were married by the Mayor of Palavas-Les-Flots in an amazing ceremony full of laughs and good cheer. Marjories Dad, Serge, on the left talking to the Mayor while I hang onto my new wife and take a selfy at the same time. Multi tasking!

The Mayor gave us lots of presents! A book of Palavassian cooking YUM!; A medal, commemorative plate and coffee cups. Such wonderful thoughts.
Crikey!! All the good food when you organise your own wedding! including Marjories favourite pate.

My sister, Deb, came from Australia!

Lynn and Emily (R) came from London to keep us laughing

La cité de Carcassonne

The castle of Carcassonne, le Château Comtal, was built in the 12th century.

October is off season, we did enjoy a quiet visit !

Porte de l’Aude

In 2018, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the inscription to the Unesco, an artist glued some foil paper on the castle’s walls to draw giant yellow circles. Up to now, we can still see the traces. During centuries, lichen grow up on the wall of this castle. The artist’s paper killed the lichen under it by deprecated it of light and oxygen.

Our accommodation right in the medieval city!

Here the website :

It was lovely, the owner is helpful and breakfast is included !

Best lunch spot of the city! On the Place Saint-Jean you can find several little restaurants right at the base of the inner castle. We choosed the Adélaïde restaurant where Mark ordered the local dish : cassoulet.

A cassoulet is beans cooked slowly during hours in duck fat with some pork sausages and some “canard confit”(best duck of the world) .

Dinner at the Ostal. Duck cooked on wood fire. Delicious! Good point : having dinner while a wine festival is happening in the moderne city. Nobody stayed in the castle. We were the only client! Wonderful!

Best part of our stay : walking around the battlements at night. It’s a 3km walk and it worth it!

For more information on the city of Carcassonne check up the tourism office website :


Yikes! We’re getting Married!

Crikey! It’s been so long that you probably thought we were lost at sea in the Atlantic. Updating can be a pain in the butt so today I’m learning to do it from my phone.

Marjorie & I are in France checking out the farm/stable/castle. She keeps asking what I want for the wedding reception. I say “Beer”. How can this be an inappropriate response?

“Should we have candles here?” “Beer”

Heading for the Caribbean today!!

Sailing out of Cherbourg, France, to St Martin in the Caribbean. A trip of about 4,000 nautical miles / 8,000 kilometres.
Its an interesting navigation exercise for Marjorie and me … and about 35 days of enforced togetherness. And fishing.

You can watch us trickle accross the ocean… see the links below.
Here is a guestimate of the course:

From Cherbourg we head South keeping a long distance off Carbo Finisterre as it gets stormy in a wind compression zone. Then continue on the blue line or the red line. The Yellow line is the southern edge of the light winds and SW storms so we will stay south of that. Then its onwards to the Caribbean! If we are lucky the wind will be good on the course we want, otherwise we need to go further south… that makes the trip a bit longer, but the fishing better! 🙂

If you want to see where we are right now:

SV_SeaLife (


Trip: Sea Life (

Mark 🙂 and Marjorie 🙂

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