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Blog & News

Joker’s Atlantic tour EN & FR

July 28th, 2020 news
Joker

«Between Christmas and winter holidays with the family and then the period of lockdown, Joker’s tour of the Atlantic was organized in several major stages which will structure both my voyage and my account of it.

 

From Marseille to Santa Cruz de Tenerife

On November 4, 2019, Joker left her home port in Marseille for Santa Cruz de Tenerife. For this first stage, I left with my crew Alain, a seafaring friend, passionate about sailing and attracted by my transatlantic project. 1500 miles link Marseille to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, but coast-hopping round all the bays for shelter, we covered 1622 miles. After 25 days sailing, we reached our destination on November 28.

For the entire passage along the Mediterranean to Gibraltar we had headwinds and very rough seas. Once at the strait, we had to wait five days for a change in the weather to pass it. Once through the strait, we descended towards the Canaries in optimal conditions, with a northerly wind and sunshine. The spinnaker was set for some unforgettable sleighriding to Santa Cruz de Tenerife where Joker stayed a month under the supervision of the yacht club and Jean-Claude, a friend who lives on the island, so that I could come back to spend the New Year holidays with the family.

 

From Santa Cruz de Tenerife to Pointe à Pitre in Guadeloupe

On January 9, 2020, I rejoined Joker in Santa Cruz de Tenerife for the second stage of the trip, undoubtedly the one whichmakes you dream the most. This is the journey to the beautiful and warm: the Caribbean dream.

2,600 miles connect Santa Cruz de Tenerife to Pointe à Pitre, but by extending the route southwards in search of wind we covered 2923 miles. In order not to get lost in this watery desert, I gave myself waypoints (A, B, C) to motivate myself in stages.

Despite this detour, we took full advantage of the beauties of nature: the extraordinary sunsets, starry skies, the tropical softness that sets in, the exceptional moments of surfing down waves, the flying fish … not to mention the catch of the first dolphinfish, a feast of fresh flesh!

After 21 days of sailing, we arrived in Bas du Fort marina in Pointe à Pitre on January 30 under spinnaker, on an ocean covered in sargassum with golden reflections and with lots of flying fish and birds to accompany the reverie.

 

From Marin in Martinique to Funchal in Madeira

After a month and a half of Caribbean holidays spent welcoming the family, the so-called return crossing began in the haste of the lockdown period: March 18, 2020.

During this transatlantic crossing, I had planned to leave with a crew member who was not able to join me due to the lockdown being put in place. However, I was fortunate enough to meet Thierry, on the quay, who was supposed to crew on another boat that was no longer leaving.

This crossing is the most interesting in terms of navigation. The weather conditions forced us to go towards the cold and the bad weather but in increasingly impressive landscapes.

This trip would have been very different without Hubert, an oceanography researcher and sailing enthusiast, very qualified to be a router, and we are in regular contact by email thanks to the iridium satellite phone installed for the occasion.

At this point in the trip, Hubert informed me that a depression was expected over the Azores and that we were strongly advised against taking this route. He advised us to go further south and east,  a safer and more comfortable route. By following his routing, we took advantage of the good life – bucket showers on the stern deck, reading, music – and decide to stopover in Madeira to take on diesel, fresh food and to rest before the last stage.

 

From Funchal to Marseille

After two days spent in Funchal, we resumed our journey on April 12 for an arrival in Marseille scheduled for April 27. During the last 15 days, we felt the atmosphere of confinement, even at sea: few merchant ships, no aircraft in the sky … With the fear of being immobilized at any time, we looked for remote anchorages every evening rather than continuing under engine.

On Sunday April 26, the boat glides over calm seas as far as Planier, marking the entrance to Marseille harbor, where we arrived as if in a dream. At noon, Joker is back in her place after a six month voyage – 86 days of sailing and 9,600 miles covered.

Formerly a commercial sailor, I am used to being at sea in heavy weather. While this trip represents my eighth crossing of the Atlantic by sail, I am still fascinated by the beauty of nature. Each encounter – a sunrise and sunset, a fish, a bird – takes on an inestimable value in my eyes which gives me profound joy.

As for Joker, she is my sixth sailboat. I am particularly delighted with her sailing qualities which have given me a fantastic experience. I may have been happy to change boats before, but Joker will continue to sail the seas and oceans with me for a while longer. »

 

Hervé, owner of the J/109 Joker

Joker

« Entre les vacances de Nöel et d’hiver en famille puis la péride de confinement, le tour de l’Atlantique de Joker s’est organisé en plusieurs grandes étapes qui structureront tant ma navigation que mon récit de voyage.

 

De Marseille à Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Le 4 novembre 2019, Joker quitte son port d’attache de Marseille pour rejoindre Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Pour cette première étape, je pars avec mon équipier Alain, un copain marin, passionné par la voile et attiré par mon projet de transatlantique. 1500 milles relient Marseille à Santa Cruz de Tenerife, mais en faisant le tour de toutes les baies pour rester à l’abri, nous allons parcourir 1622 miles. Après 25 jours de navigation, nous rejoignons notre point de chute le 28 novembre.

Cette traversée s’est établie dans des conditions de vents contraires et de mer très forte tout le long de la Méditerranée jusqu’à Gibraltar. Arrivés au détroit, nous attendrons cinq jours un changement climatique pour le passer. Une fois le détroit traversé, nous descendons vers les Canaries dans des conditions de vent de nord et de soleil optimales. Le spinnaker est de la partie pour des glissades inoubliables jusqu’à Santa Cruz de Tenerife où Joker restera un mois sous la surveillance du club nautique et de Jean-Claude, un copain qui habite sur l’île, pour que je rentre passer les fêtes de fin d’année en famille.

 

De Santa Cruz de Tenerife à Pointe à Pitre en Guadeloupe

Le 9 janvier 2020, je retrouve Joker à Santa Cruz de Tenerife pour la deuxième étape du voyage, sans doute celle qui fait le plus rêver. C’est le voyage vers le beau et le chaud : le rêve Antillais.

2600 miles relient Santa Cruz de Tenerife à Pointe à Pitre, mais à la recherche de vent en allongeant la route vers le sud, nous parcourons 2923 miles. Afin de ne pas me perdre dans ce désert liquide, je me suis donné des points de repères (A,B,C) pour me motiver à avoir des étapes.

Malgré ce détour, nous profitons pleinement des beautés de la nature : les couchers de soleil extraordinaires, les ciels étoilés, la douceur tropicale qui s’installe, les moments exceptionnels de glissades dans les surfs, les poissons volants… sans oublier la prise de la première daurade coryphène, régalade de chair fraîche !

Après 21 jours de navigation, nous arrivons dans la marina de Bas du Fort à Pointe à Pitre le 30 janvier sous spinnaker, sur un océan chargé de sargasses aux reflets dorés avec beaucoup de poissons volants et d’oiseaux pour accompagner la rêverie.

 

Du Marin en Martinique à Funchal à Madère

Après un mois et demi de vacances antillaises à accueillir la famille, la traversée dite retour commence dans la précipitation de la période de confinement : le 18 mars 2020.

Lors de cette transatlantique, j’avais prévu de partir avec un équipier qui ne pourra pas me rejoindre pour cause de confinement qui se met en place. J’ai néanmoins eu la chance de rencontrer Thierry, sur le quai, qui devait rentrer sur un autre bateau qui ne partait plus.

Cette traversée est la plus intéressante sur le plan de la navigation. Les conditions météorologiques nous obligent à aller vers le froid et le mauvais temps mais dans des paysages de plus en plus grandioses.

Ce voyage aurait été très différent sans Hubert, chercheur en océanographie et passionné de voile. Très qualifié pour faire routeur, nous sommes régulièrement en contact par mail grâce au téléphone satellite iridium installé pour l’occasion.

À ce moment du voyage, Hubert m’informe qu’une dépression est prévue sur les Acores et qu’il est fortement déconseillé de prendre cet itinéraire. Il nous conseille de nous rendre plus au sud et à l’est, afin de pouvoir bénéficier d’une route plus sûre et confortable. En suivant son routage, nous profitons des bonnes choses : les douches au seau sur la plage arrière, la lecture, la musique, et décidons de faire escale à Madère pour se ravitailler en gas-oil, vivres frais et se reposer avant le dernier tronçon.

 

De Funchal à Marseille

Après deux jours passés à Funchal, nous reprenons notre route le 12 avril pour une arrivée à Marseille prévue le 27 avril. Durant ces 15 derniers jours de navigation, nous ressentons l’atmosphère du confinement y compris en mer : peu de navires marchands, aucun avion dans le ciel… Avec la peur de se faire immobiliser à tout moment, nous cherchons des mouillages aussi insolites les uns que les autres chaque soir plutôt que de faire route au moteur.
Le dimanche 26 avril, le bateau glisse sur une mer calme jusqu’à Planier, marquant l’entrée dans la rade de Marseille, où nous arrivons comme dans un rêve. A midi, Joker est de retour à sa place après six mois de voyage, 86 jours de navigation et 9600 milles parcourus.

 

Auparavant marin de commerce, j’ai l’habitude et l’expérience en mer dans le gros temps. Si ce voyage représente ma huitième traversée de l’Atlantique à la voile, je suis toujours fasciné par la beauté de la nature. Chaque rencontre : un lever et coucher de soleil, un poisson, un oiseau… prend à mes yeux une valeur inestimable qui me réjouit profondément.

Joker, quant à lui, est mon sixième voilier. Je suis particulièrement ravi de ses qualités nautiques qui m’ont permis de vivre une expérience fantastique. Si j’étais content de changer de bateau auparavant, Joker, lui, continuera à sillonner les mers et océans encore un petit bout de temps avec moi. »

Hervé, propriétaire du J/109 Joker

Joker

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