Sailing Route from The Nore to Halifax, Nova Scotia

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    Steve S

      Hello all,

      I’m looking for information on the route a British frigate might take from The Nore to Halifax, Nova Scotia in late fall or late spring of 1810. Some of my sources say they would touch at the Azores, yet some suggest they would cross directly. Any help (and especially references) would be sincerely appreciated.

      Frank Scott

        The first problem is to get from the Nore through Strait of Dover and then down the English Channel, all against the prevailing winds. This could be a very slow process.
        Once clear of the English Channel, in the Autumn months a ‘north-about’ route to Halifax, NS, works well in the right conditions, and occasionally an almost direct route is possible. However, the classic ‘Southern route’ to North American ports is ‘head south until the butter melts & then go west’, in other words go down past the Canaries before turning west across the Atlantic when you encounter the Trade Winds. On the southern route a diversion to the Azores would be possible, but would take you off the ideal line.
        The following British Admiralty publications are useful:
        Ocean Passages for the World. (Note that 2nd edition, London, 1950, is the last one which gives full guidance on square rigged sailing ship routes)
        Chart 5308, World Sailing Ship Routes
        Chart 5309, Tracks followed by sailing & low-powered steam vessels
        Chart 5124: Routeing Chart North Atlantic (appropriate months)
        USA DMA, Pilot Charts for North Atlantic Ocean, (equal to Chart 5124).

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