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20 Jun 2024

Balance 526 Atlantic Crossing, Bermuda to Azores with Outer Passage

Darren and Amanda of Outer Passage are experienced sailors offering adventure sailing experiences and training. Currently, they provide training on a 526 Balance Catamaran named Pippilotta.

They recently completed an exciting transatlantic passage from Bermuda to the Azores with their guests.

Below are some update videos showcasing highlights from this incredible journey. Stay tuned for more training opportunities on this one of kind catamaran!

Update: Day 4

Good morning from our Atlantic crossing to the Azores! It’s a picturesque day with clear skies and abundant sunshine greeting us aboard. Yesterday, we had an exceptional 24-hour run averaging 9.1 knots, thanks to flying the Code Zero with a reefed main—sometimes fully hoisted depending on the wind conditions over the past few days.

The sea state has been variable, offering us thrilling moments of surfing, including Darren’s impressive speed of up to 17 knots yesterday. Currently, we’re navigating between low pressure systems, adjusting our course to avoid an approaching front to the north while staying within the optimal breeze range.

As the rest of the crew catches up on sleep before their shifts, I’ve enjoyed my morning coffee and am focused on trimming the sails and fine-tuning our course to maintain speed in these unpredictable seas. Ensuring our sails are perfectly set ensures a smooth and efficient journey.

It’s shaping up to be another great day on the ocean. Wishing you a fantastic day ahead as well—cheers from our seafaring adventure!

Atlantic crossing update aboard Pippilotta – Day 4
15-22 knots of wind for the past couple days flying the Code Zero and Main off the wind 🌬️⛵

Update: Day 5

Greetings from aboard Pipilota, our stunning Balance 526, as we continue our Atlantic crossing towards the Azores. The past days have seen us navigating alongside a persistent cold front, but thanks to the exceptional performance of this catamaran, we’ve managed to keep pace with it.

After a prolonged chase, the front has finally passed us by, leaving behind clear blue skies and a refreshing northern breeze that has us close-hauled. As we sail, hopeful for a dinner catch with our fishing lines trailing behind, we’ve also been treated to freshly baked banana nut muffins courtesy of Panda—culinary delights that sweeten our journey.

With approximately a thousand miles remaining in our transatlantic voyage, we appreciate you joining us for these updates. Stay tuned for more stories from our voyage across the vast ocean.

Atlantic crossing update – Day 5🌬️
The cold front finally passed and we are on the other side with lighter winds from the north and a calmer sea state 🌊

Update: Day 6

As we sail through the Atlantic towards the Azores, today has been nothing short of eventful. Surpassing the halfway mark of our journey, we found ourselves in a tranquil lull between low pressure systems, prompting us to switch to motor power. But not before indulging in a mid-Atlantic swim—a cherished tradition aboard the Outer Passage.

With calm seas prevailing, we seized the opportunity to rinse off the accumulated salt from every corner of the boat and catch up on laundry, all while basking in the warmth of the sun. Eventually, a gentle breeze returned, allowing us to hoist the code zero sail once more. And then, a delightful interruption—a catch! Reeling in a sizable tuna, though challenging, rewarded us with a delicious dinner at sea.

As we continue our aquatic journey, we eagerly anticipate what the next day will unveil. Stay tuned for more updates from our voyage across the vast Atlantic.

Atlantic crossing to the Azores – an eventful Day 6 update 🌊

Update: Day 7 & 8

Our Atlantic crossing to the Azores has been marked by two exhilarating days of sailing under the asymmetrical spinnaker. Perfect wind conditions allowed us to achieve our new passage record with a top speed of 17.9 knots—a thrilling milestone for our journey.

Handling the spinnaker has been a team effort, with everyone taking turns at the helm to master trimming and preventing collapses, all while riding the waves with intense concentration. The sheer size and power of this sail have made every moment on deck both challenging and deeply rewarding.

Amidst our speedy progress, we’ve had delightful company from dolphins, who joined us at various times—morning, sunset, and night—adding an extra layer of magic to our ocean crossing experience.

As the winds begin to calm and shift, we’re determined to hold onto flying the spinnaker for as long as nature permits. Tomorrow promises new directions and adventures—we’ll see where the wind takes us next. Cheers to the journey!

Here’s an update from days 7 & 8 on our Atlantic crossing to the Azores filled with Spinnaker sailing and dolphins 🐬⛵

Update: Day 9 & 10

Sailing through the Atlantic towards the Azores has brought us to a tranquil halt in the heart of a high pressure zone. Today, we find ourselves becalmed, relying on our trusty motor to inch us forward. Every now and then, a gentle breeze sweeps by, teasing us with the hope of sail-worthy winds.

Despite the stillness, there’s a silver lining to this pause. It’s given us the opportunity to indulge in some unexpected activities aboard. From baking a cake to crafting fresh loaves of bread, catching up on laundry, and tackling essential maintenance tasks that are hard to manage while sailing. The crew even found time for a bit of splicing—a true testament to making the most of every moment at sea.

As we gaze ahead, we spot signs of wind on the horizon, a promising sight after a day of quiet seas and endless skies. Embracing the serenity of these moments, we’re reminded that even in still waters, adventure and preparation continue to shape our journey.

Atlantic crossing update from days 9-10 ⛵
We sailed into the wind hole (the middle of the high pressure system), calm seas and no wind means we are motoring for a couple days, waiting for some wind to fill in again as we approach our last days at sea to the Azores 🌊

Update: Land Ho! (Day 11)

Land Ho! Our Final Stretch Across the Atlantic

After 11 days at sea, the wind returned, allowing us to hoist the sails again and approach the Azores on a deep reach with the code zero and full main. At 30 miles out, we finally spotted land on the horizon. The lush green landscape, steep cliffs, and volcanic slopes made for a breathtaking landfall. After 1900 nautical miles, we anchored, checked in, and celebrated ashore with a burger and beer at the famous Peter Cafe Sport.

Land ho! Last day sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from Bermuda to the Azores ⛵