|Tue 27-12-2022, 17:00Santa Cruz, Tenerife||Wed 04-01-2023, 09:00Sal, Cape Verde||Oosterschelde||8 Nights||OS271222|
Leg 2 of the annual journey to sail Oosterschelde to her winter cruising grounds is a perfect escape for sailors missing a warm breeze and sparkling seas. This might be billed as a mile building voyage, but it is a blue water passage with all the right ingredients to get you hooked on ocean sailing in warm places. Beginning in Tenerife the seas are already warm and as you approach Cape Verde the brisk North East trade winds usually give you fast sailing in increasingly tropical temperatures. Look out for flying fish and catch some wahoo or dorado for supper.
Those looking for a short ocean passage in the sun or a first taste of continuous ocean sailing. The clear and warm nights are great for star gazers and sunset watchers or those who want to try Astro Nav. It is also a great escape for those who hate dark Northern Hemisphere winter evenings.
This 8 day voyage begins in the Canaries on the same latitude as Florida, so the climate is pleasant winter sun, moving into hot tropical sun and stronger winds and cooling spray. Your destination of Cape Verde is 700 miles further South, on the latitude as St Lucia in the Caribbean, so if you are looking for a good bit of sun, blue seas and sailing in shorts and t shirt, then this is a perfect break for those who already know they love sailing. The Canaries are on the edge of the NE trade winds but Cape Verde islands sit slap bang in the middle so the sailing should be exciting too.
On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.
If you want to experience the long swell of a big ocean, without having to take a career break to accomplish it then this voyage ticks all the right boxes. Shoot the sun with a sextant, marvell at incredible sunsets and sunrises, bake bread, and learn to climb aloft on Oosterschelde on the open ocean. Even the horizon looks curved from the upper yard. single flights to Canaries are cheap and the flight back from Cape Verde can be done direct in under 5 hours to the UK with no jet lag.
This 8 day voyage offers you the chance to experience the true life of a sailor on a proper ocean passage. There are no stops between these island groups, therefore, this voyage is not meant for people who wish to go sightseeing or who know they suffer badly from seasickness.. You will be on board of a three masted topsail schooner sailing 24 hours a day in a watch rota.
A mile maker voyage is principally to get a ship from A to B. Oosterschelde is quite a fast ship so it is possible you may reach Cape Verde a day or so early. There are amazing white sand beaches to relax on and maybe you can enjoy some fresh fish from the local fishermen.
During the voyage you will be spilt up into watches, the normal duty rota is four hours on duty and eight off but this may vary with circumstances and crew abilities. This is a deep sea voyage and you will get into the rhythm of an Ocean Passage with time to unwind and enjoy the sheer beauty of the Atlantic. If you like to keep busy then there is always ships maintenence to help with. Oosterschelde has square sails so the brave can help the crew aloft to stow sails, but it is never compulsory.
In addition to bird life it is more than likely that you will see dolphins and whales as they too travel the coast of Western Europe Africa and can often be seen in vast schools. Nearer to Cape Verde the ship may be followed by bonito and tuna, and you may spot turtles in the lee of islands where the sea is calmer. Look out for flying fish as they take off from one wave and fly accross the wave troughs to the next crest.
If you would like some good trade wind sailing on the ocean but would prefer a bit more exploring ashore – why not look at our 11 day Cape Verde based voyages.
Oosterschelde was built in 1918 and is an extremely tough ocean going ship. She carries a worldwide operating licence and has sailed to the Arctic, Antarctica, Indonesia and around the world as a charter vessel. She carries a skipper, mate, engineer, 2 deckhands and a great cook, but the rest is down to you as guest crew, so if you want hands on sailing where your contribution to the ship is highly valued, or you are looking for sea time for a sailing career then this is a seriously good voyage to sign up for.
Less rough than leg one as you are moving South into different climatic zones. Once you get away from the volcanic slopes of the Canary Islands – which can create localised acceleration zones of high winds, the winds are pretty light. You are then sailing South into the North East Trades which offers some of the loveliest breezy sailing on the planet with winds around force 4-7. Climatically Cape Verde archipelago sits in the same sort of weather as St Lucia and Barbados. In fact it is usually drier than the Caribbean with great sailing breezes and tropical sun. You can get haze due to Sahara dust at sea level but the sun still beats down from above. Get a tan to make your friends jealous or sit under the sun awning…..or a bit of both.
Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.
We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.
Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01872 58 00 22 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
There are cheap flights to Tenerife from all over Europe as it is a major winter sun holiday destination. You can probably find a flight from regional airports too. There are too many discount airline options to mention.
The harbour in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is huge, with two marinas and miles of harbour wall and quaysides for cruise ships and bigger tall ships. Berths for tall ships are small fry for the port authorities as the bigger more profitable ships get priority, so the sailing ships captain will have to go where ever the port authority puts them, and they may not get to stay there for very long. Please book a flight that gets in at a sensible time for you to get to the ship on time, even if it means getting there the day before and booking into a hotel.
If your vessel is small enough to get into one of the marinas then we can usually be a bit more specific as to where to find the ship beforehand.
The ships exact location in port is often controlled by the port authorities and they will only allocate a docking position a few days before. You will be informed as soon as possible of their exact joining location.
Any changes will be communicated to you before your voyage start date. Make sure you make a note of the ship’s number found in your confirmation email in case of any problems on the day.
Take a Photo of your Ship
We recommend you take a photo of your ship with you to show taxi drivers so they can get to to the right ship!
You can usually see the ships masts on the other side of the harbour, but the taxi drivers will know the shortest route to get to that berth. If you are the independent type with a rucksack walking from the bus depot, chose your route with care, or ask a local, or you could end up walking miles without finding the cruise ship / public entry to the dock.
For joining Oosterschelde and Blue Clipper, and usually, any ship on the island of Sal see the above map for the port of Palmeira. It is about a 15-minute taxi ride from the airport (€15 approx). If you are staying over on the island before joining your ship, please see advice below on where is best to stay.
Voyages start and end from Palmeira which is a bay and small fishing port on the west of the island, nearer the airport. The large concrete commercial breakwater is cordoned off.
Wait under the shady tree near the bar, Chiosco, near the Chapel ‘Capela De Sad Jose’ where the local fishermen unload their catch on a little stone jetty. The ship’s dinghy will come in to collect you at joining time.
Suitcases take up a lot of room in a cabin, so it is better to uses soft bags in a ship. A small rucksack for going ashore is useful.
Together with my husband Bert we were on the trip around the Cape Verde on the Oosterschelde and had a great time. The crew was fantastic and very friendly. They showed us what has to be done to sail a beautiful ship like this. Made some new friends among the passengers and it was a trip I will not forget for a long while. And who knows when we will meet again. Thanks" Jenny H E. from NL Mar 2018
I've just completed my fourth voyage in four years and it was like a big family holiday! Familiar faces welcomed us aboard, we met up with guests and friends from previous voyages and the islands that we visited in the French West Indies were beautiful. The best part of the voyage was our last sailing day when the "lunatics took over the asylum". Maarten let the guest crew sail the Oosterschelde from St Lucia to Martinique (while keeping an eye on us to make sure that neither we or the ship were in danger) It was hard work but safe to say that I learned a lot more on that day, having to think about what I was doing, rather than just being told what to do. We are just about to book our next voyage" Richard D. British Columbia
What was the best bit?
Variety of sailing and the islands visited.
What was the worst bit?
One rough passage.
Why do you sail?
We enjoy the technicalities of sailing a large vessel and the passage planning involved. We generally enjoy off-shore sailing.
Any other comments
The skipper and crew were very friendly, helpful and informative. Accommodation and food was very good.- Phillip B - Cape Verde
What was the best bit?
A genuine feel for a bit of a longer ocean voyage with great people.
What was the worst bit?
Somewhat cramped cabins if sharing
Why do you sail?
Comraderie; understanding historical sailing voyages; seeing interesting parts of the world" Robbin C: Ocean Crossings
So happy to have sailed from Miramichi to Quebec! So good to be on this beautiful grand old lady with only nice and funny people. Miss you all! And for this moment especially Richards' breakfast. Thank you so much Jenny Edward Richard Jan-Willem Jurriaan and Maarten, and all the other guests for this wonderful and amazing time. Love and hugs xxx Ernst and Ellen V.
The dream come true! What a georgous trip I had between Québec and Halifax! A part of me will be onboard forever... Il will be back to you, most beautiful ship of the world! I will be back, Oosterschelde! What a crew! What a captain! Marteen, I could write a novel with you as the major character! You are an amazing guy, a good, a great man! Your team is fantastic! I am now back ashore but... "I must go down to sea again... "
" C'est pas l'homme qui prend la mer
C'est la mer qui prend l'homme "
Now is the hour that I must say goodbye, soon you'll be sailing far across the sea. We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when. Maybe in the south pacific or around Cape Horn. Captain Arian, I would sail anywhere in the world with you, your crew and Oosterschelde. Warren C. New Zealand
Just sailed on the Oosterschelde across the North Sea to the Netherlands! Great taste of sailing would recommend to anyone who is thinking of dipping their toe in. Loved every second of it, hauling ropes out in the elements (mainly with the Sun on my back) rolling around in the middle of the North Sea on the deck of an authentic lovely Dutch schooner brilliant! A life changing experience of the open sea, next stop RYA competent crew! Many thanks to Adam and Classic Sailing for all the arrangements at such short notice and thanks too to all the crew for looking after me and feeding me so well. Be warned though life ashore afterwards can seem very hum-drum." Rex aka Steve W
I want to thank the crew for the three magnificent days passed on board, between "Golfe du Morbihan" and "Le Havre". I sailed on numerous occasions on about ten different ships, and this sailing on Oosterschelde is the best experience I ever had. I was impressed by the good performances of the ship, and by the way the crew adjusts sails permanently so that the ship always gives the best ; it was an immense pleasure to participate of my best in all these operations. I regret that our different languages did not allow us to communicate more, because all the crew members were really very nice and very thoughtful with us. I have now only an envy: to embark again on Oosterschelde, to be on the deck to participate in the laborers of sails, to climb on the mast to help the crew, and to share again these excellent moments given by sailing on Oosterschelde !!! " Excuse my bad English, Gilbert P. Vernon, France
Three Masted Topsail Schooner Oosterschelde in action and images. Photos from Classic Sailing customers, ships crew and professional photographers. We hope it gives a flavour of her sailing, life on board, the people that come, her beautiful sailing grounds and what it is like to live below decks.
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