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    Re: Optimizing Ocean Current Crossings
    From: Herbert Prinz
    Date: 2001 Jul 11, 9:48 AM

    This has nothing to do with Yves Arrouye's original question, the answer to
    which I do not know. But since the discussion of other sources of information
    about ocean currents has been raised, let me say that on this side of the
    Atlantic we normally use DMA Pub.106, "Atlas of Pilot Charts" as a planning
    tool. I only have those for the North Atlantic. They come in 3 sections (North
    Atlantic, Northern North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea). Each section contains 12
    Mercator charts, one per month, ca 60cmx40cm large, divided into 5deg x 5deg
    squares, each square containing a windrose and a current vector, besides other
    information such as avg. wave heights or iceberg sightings, etc.
    If  I get near the Gulf Stream,  I call up Jenifer Clark and request a
    Gulfstream analysis per fax or e-mail, which is good for a few days and
    certainly worth the few dollars.
    So far, the Gulf Stream is my only serious ocean current experience. Although I
    once have been able to ride it for 3 or 4 days, thanks to good weather, on a
    passage from Norfolk, VA to the Azores, my general perspective on it is that of
    a cruiser (who has all the time in the world) or delivery crew (who can't
    afford risks), and therefore directly opposite to that of racer: The goal is to
    get through and out of the Stream as fast as possible! For this strategy you
    don't need a book, just keep a heading perpendicular to the current at all
    I have a related question: In the English channel, are there regulations that
    would prevent a small sailboat from taking full advantage of favourable tidal
    currents, such as having to cross shipping lanes in shortest time (i.e.
    perpendicular), etc.? Or is this entirely left to the discretion of the
    skipper? Is this a practical problem for a small boat crossing from, say,
    Calais to Dover or Ramsgate? (I mean the shipping lanes in conjunction with the
    tides, not the tides by themselves.)
    Herbert Prinz (from 1368950/-4603950/4182550 ECEF)

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