Christopher Columbus we sail from Las Palmas,
Gran Canaria to a Caribbean Leeward island like Guadeloupe,
Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia or Dominica. We have
to sail efficient and fast to beat the average speed
of Columbus fleet. His two fastest passages took 21
days, an excellent time even by today‚s standards. On
both voyages he sailed to the southwest till he met
steady northeasterly trade winds at 20 degrees North.
This essential rule of not setting
a course for the desired destination until well inside
the trade wind belt has been followed to advantage by
all navigators since.Leaving Las Palmas sail due south
till you are free from the island. Be prepared to cope
with an area of calms and variables the moment you are
south of Las Palmas. Than there are two options left.
One option is to sail south-southwest for about 1.000
miles to a point 200 or 300 miles west of the Cape Verde
Islands. Then point west. Another option is to sail
a southwesterly course to 20 degrees North and 30 degrees
West and 15 degrees North and 40 degrees west. You will
find the trade winds a bit later but the distance is
shorter and the chance you run into calms for days on
an end like at the SSW route is less.