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Old 02-08-2015, 07:25   #1
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Experience from North Sea sailing in November

Hi.
I'm wondering if anyone has sailed through the English channel and up towards Norway in November. I know this is the second worse month statistically in the north Sea but the other option is to hire transport for the boat. I live in Guernsey and have a 32 fot cruiser. Thanks
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:36   #2
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

The North Sea is a tough bit of water, and November is obviously not the ideal time, but as long as you have plenty of time to wait for weather windows, I would think you would be ok.

Where in Norway are you going? To Oslo, or around the outside? That's important. For sure you can go along the coasts of France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany, and dodge into ports as far North as Sylt, but I can't tell you about Jutland as I haven't been up that far. The Skagerrak is only 65 miles or so wide at the top. It's not like crossing the Bay of Biscay.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:44   #3
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

I always sail in the correct season because I don't want to die doing the thing I love.

November in the North Sea is the wrong season.

Is your life worth so little?
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:45   #4
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

Thanks a lot Dockhead for the quick reply

My plan would be to go as close to shore as convenient and have plenty of harbours available for bad weather. The plan is to go up towards Bergen on the west coast. There's many Islands along the coast that would provide a sheltered passage from the open sea along that part of the voyage. I'm leaving Guernsey for Stockholm but that voyage would prove to far in the month I'm planning whilst in between jobs. I've got a mooring solution in Bergen long term.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:47   #5
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I always sail in the correct season because I don't want to die doing the thing I love.

November in the North Sea is the wrong season.

Is your life worth so little?
Hi Mark: I would agree with you if this were Biscay, where you will be days away from land at certain points, but if he follows the coast he can daysail it all the way. If he's careful about the forecasts, it won't be dangerous. He could be waiting for a long time for a weather window, however -- that much is true.

The other good thing is that the prevailing winds are SW, and sailing North along the coast he will have favorable winds the whole way.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:48   #6
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

I wouldn't take any unnecessary risks MarkJ and certainly not endanger anyone's lives hence the reason I'm posting here. But it's always nice to get people's opinions and share experiences.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:52   #7
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

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The other good thing is that the prevailing winds are SW, and sailing North along the coast he will have favorable winds the whole way.
Are they SW'lys?

This November pilot chart wind rose indicates is the perfect wind rose from hell. All directions and none light.

Yes, coast hopping may be different. But that's what Lin and Larry Pardy said of that area when they lingered and went out into it in October and were nearly killed...
Their adage was to be south of the North Sea by 15 September.


Disclaimer: I don't have local knowledge and Dockhead does
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:55   #8
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

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Thanks a lot Dockhead for the quick reply

My plan would be to go as close to shore as convenient and have plenty of harbours available for bad weather. The plan is to go up towards Bergen on the west coast. There's many Islands along the coast that would provide a sheltered passage from the open sea along that part of the voyage. I'm leaving Guernsey for Stockholm but that voyage would prove to far in the month I'm planning whilst in between jobs. I've got a mooring solution in Bergen long term.
Yes, then, you should be ok. I would just advise you to study the charts very, very carefully, and plan your passages very carefully, keeping a sharp eye on the weather. You'll be on a lee shore most of the way so be careful.

The barrier islands are treacherous and there is less shelter than you might imagine. The gatts can be unnavigable in bad weather.

You might consider taking the inland "mast up" route from Vlissingen all the way to the Elbe. You might be able to do that on a boat that size -- check it out. This is supposed to be marvelously beautiful, and you will not care about weather. That way you can avoid the worst part of the trip which is the Frisian Islands and the gatts where there is very little shelter. From the Elbe North you'll have to do your own research -- I don't know that coast.

Check it out: Dutch Waterways : Mast up route
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:01   #9
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

... definitely wrong time of the year (for my taste).

Some good summery for weather in Bergen In November: https://weatherspark.com/averages/28...rdaland-Norway

With a 32ft cruiser? You have a good heating system on board?

Again, I would not sail the North Sea in November ...

Keep us updated!

Regards,

Carsten
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:02   #10
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Are they SW'lys?

This November pilot chart wind rose indicates is the perfect wind rose from hell. All directions and none light.

Yes, coast hopping may be different. But that's what Lin and Larry Pardy said of that area when they lingered and went out into it in October and were nearly killed...
Their adage was to be south of the North Sea by 15 September.


Disclaimer: I don't have local knowledge and Dockhead does
If you are used to the tropics, then that will look like the "wind rose from hell" , but for us this is business as usual. The OP is from Guernsey so sails the English Channel, which is very much the same conditions as the North Sea. We sail year round And we are accustomed to strong wind and rough seas.

You'll notice that the summer wind roses for the North Sea and English Channel are not that much different. Tough bits of water for sure.

One must be careful and watch the weather like a hawk. I got knocked down in the North Sea in a F9 just last May, so I can testify from experience In a 32 foot boat, the OP should not go out if the forecast is more than F6 (forecast of F6 means it can easily be F7 in reality). But I'm sure he knows that very well.
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:22   #11
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

Thanks a lot guys.
I am originally from the southwest coast of Norway and do have s lot of respect for the weather and how difficult forecasting this can be in the coastal areas. Especially the bad months.
I haven't decided to go ahead but I highly appreciate the feedback you've given me. I have in depth knowledge of weather reports and will not take on this journey if it proves too risky. I've had a look at the past two years surface pressure charts around November to analyse a trend and I'm not expecting a sunshine voyage. So I'm keeping the option of getting her on a trolley for transport open too.
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:33   #12
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

If your destination is Stockholm why not keep near Belgian and Dutch coast. Make a decent curve around the Dutch German islands and head for the kieler channel. Then it is a piece of cake even in November. Otherwise cross and keep along the British m/Scottish coast. Stay as high as possible and use the west wind to cross to Bergen. Good sail
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:05   #13
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

Thanks Huskybeer. I'm having a look now at the canal. I expected it to be more costly than what it is through there
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:06   #14
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Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

As someone who spends his working time somewhere in the middle of the North Sea I can assure you that there is no such thing as an ideal month in that stretch of water. I've seen storms in summer that come from virtually nowhere that shut down all drilling operations yet I have also seen some of the flattest seas and most beautiful sunrises anywhere in the world in mid winter.

As long as you are prepared for the worst and watch the forecasts carefully coastal hugging round to southern Norway shouldn't be too bad. Wrap up warm, have plenty of warm food available and make sure you have a Plan A, B, C & D with safe havens everywhere, including behind you.

One thing about this stretch of water is there are so many vessels out there plus all the oil rigs and platforms, their standby craft, the helicopters whizzing back and fore there is always someone to pick up a distress call and respond amazingly quickly. As long as you have a survival suit and a thermally insulated life raft it is survivable for several days but you'd be hellishly unlucky to be stuck out there that long. Even where my rig is currently we could have every fishing vessel, standby craft, anchor handling boat and any private vessels who wanted to help out of Peterhead and on site in under 10hrs and we are right in the middle of the sea.

Who knows the southern North Sea might have an Indian Summer and you'll have a glorious sail up.

Keiron
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:07   #15
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pirate Re: Experience from North Sea sailing in November

[QUOTE=Huskybeer;1881710]If your destination is Stockholm why not keep near Belgian and Dutch coast. Make a decent curve around the Dutch German islands and head for the kieler channel. Then it is a piece of cake even in November. Otherwise cross and keep along the British m/Scottish coast. Stay as high as possible and use the west wind to cross to Bergen. Good sail[/QUOTE

Sounds sensible to me..
Think I'd opt for the UK then across to Bergen in one hop when far enough Nth.
Likely faster as well..
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