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Old 21-02-2016, 09:59   #16
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Congratulations on your new Contessa 28. A fine boat. I nearly bought one when they first came out in 1978, but bought a house in stead! Jeremy Rogers builds great craft and is still in business in Lymington, so you'll want to pay him a visit at some point. Cruising the Dutch canals is a dream I have never fulfilled, but everyone who has raves about it. Hop over to the English south coast and cruise that area for a season or two. You can't go wrong. Bon voyage and keep us posted.
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Old 21-02-2016, 10:03   #17
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Depends on your time scale but if you are cruising the Thames you might also look at the UK east coast rivers north of there - its not my cruising area but there is lots of sheltered water with shortish sea legs one to another.

Otherwise, you might consider cruising the Solent area between the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth/ Southampton/ Lymington. Lots of sheltered cruising water & places to go but getting there in shortish manageable hops from Calais would maybe take careful tidal planning & reasonable weather in a 28 footer not to scare the wife....

I'm sure others here will have done it.
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Old 21-02-2016, 10:50   #18
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

I am an American living in Germany and keep my 11 meter sailboat in Enkhuizen on the IJsselmeer in The Netherlands.

Since your ship is already flagged for a European country, I don't think you need to worry about taking the boat out of the Schengen region. Your wife's visa will state how long she can stay where. It is always possible to get a longer visa and I would think that since she is your wife, getting an extension might be easy.

Since I am a US citizen and my boat is US flagged, I don't need a sailing license, I do have a radio operator license and the boat has a station license.

The IJsselmeer is a great place to cruise for a few weeks, there are many nice harbor villages and Enkhuizen is the best. Also, don't forget the Dutch Friesen islands, I find Vlieland the best and with the electric bicycles that one can rent there, one can tour the whole island with ease.

Helgoland is a great destination if one is heading east across the North Sea.

If you start with some motoring through the Dutch canals, then sail around the IJsselmeer for a week or two, then head to the Friesen Islands, your wife will be getting used to the boat and progressively rougher waters.

If you do come to the IJsselmeer, you can PM me and I would buy you a drink at our local bar in Enkhuizen.

...and you can tell your wife that Chinese ship anchors have been found along the coast of California.

Finally, from my experience, orientals seem to be a bit more susceptible to seasickness. Intradermal Scopalamine patches will take care of that.

Bon Voyage.
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Old 21-02-2016, 11:03   #19
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Cruising in summer is a great way to introduce your other half to the lifestyle - that's how I did it with the Admiral!

But seriously, the UK is very boat friendly (although slightly ), the Channel Islands are well worth a visit, and also France - if you can sort out the tides, they love boaters.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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Old 21-02-2016, 13:04   #20
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Quote:
Originally Posted by nebeluk View Post
John, the certification is called a CEVNI, and it gives you the do and do nots of sailing the canals, signs, speed limits, anchoring/mooring etc. You can get flip cards with all the designated signs, online. You can study an online course, but there is a physical examination (ie not online) Check with the RYA for further details. Happy sailing!

I would study the CEVNI signs and rules, but you don't need a certificate. In the Netherlands, Belgium, and AFAIK France as well you don't need a license for inland waterways as long as your boat is under 15m and doesn't go faster than 20 km/h. (You don't need anything at sea either...) As far as sailing related paperwork goes the Netherlands is as uncomplicated as the UK. You are required to have a copy of the rules and regulations on board, but the boat will probably already have them.

If I were you I'd first thoroughly explore the Netherlands. Lots of nice little harbours each just a few hours away from the next. Makes for a gentle introduction for your wife. Make a circuit of the Ijselmeer. Explore the Friesian lakes and canals. Take the standing mast route through Holland. And then explore Zeeland (the real one :-).
After that you could take the mast down, and continue through Belgium and France, visiting places like Antwerpen, Gent, Brugge...
Then pop in to the sea again in Calais and head over to the UK.



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Old 21-02-2016, 13:21   #21
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Wow, lots of posts while I've been asleep !! Thanks all. Very kind of you for giving me all this info. I am very busy today and tomorrow pick up my wife at the airport in Sydney and then drive 600 miles home. So, after that I can maybe digest some of this news. I have a few questions so will get back with them later.

I have a commercial Master 4 ticket so not sure if this is any help.Been the skipper of a Brigantine in the past, mostly long ocean deliveries after that. Maybe this might help, I don't know but I imagine my old brain should be able to get back into gear and study for these exams.

Looking forward to this coming summer and introducing her to this way of life. We might have to jump ship once a week to a B and B for a real shower rather than a bucket in the cockpit.

Great people here, had no idea, thanks again John
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Old 21-02-2016, 15:44   #22
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Just so you're not misled, you will need the ICC with a CEVNI endorsement in France and risk a fine if you don't have it (can't speak for the Netherlands and Belgium but if you join the CA they'll have all that info). You also will need a licence in France from the VNF, the inland waterways authority, and in part of Belgium as well.

Anyway, join the CA and you won't have to depend on conflicting advice from all of us!

GORDON KNIGHT
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Old 21-02-2016, 23:01   #23
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

I am also married to a Chinese wife of approximately the same age spread. I can tell by your wording that you are anticipating and hoping that she will take to this type of sailing life. If I might say a few things about the Chinese wife thingy....Their culture is so different than western culture. I don't even know how to begin. My wife can't swim a stroke so she has fears along those lines of sailing. The Chinese think, for the most part, that it is an extravagant and wasteful hobby...my wife is a northern Chinese lady. Maybe southern Chinese, like Guangdongers or south of there might be a little different. So, I hope that ugly horse's head doesn't become a friction between the two of you....about the money aspects that is.

I like your plan of easy introduction through canal systems. But I can tell you that it might be a very frightful experience for her if you get 'caught out' in any type of building sea and you begin to roll. You know what a small ship is like downwind either poled out or spinnaker runs....vomit comet?

I have a friend who pushed his Asian wife too far and it was a bumpy heavy ride in San Francisco Bay. She got deathly sea sick and hasn't been out with him on the Corsair F31 trimaran since then. One and done so to speak. That was on a Trimaran which has very little roll or yaw. You can imagine what a monohull can do in certain points of passage and sea states. Somehow the fear of the unknown plays its own part in inducing sea sickness...it is a psychological component that must not be underestimated.

I am not trying to alarm you. I just know how different Asian women think compared to Western men. I know you have a love of the sea and want to share this with her. Please do the Google advanced search about sea sickness medications. There are some very effective ones ...and even ones that can be introduced once it begins. Suffice it to say that if she becomes violently sea sick she may dig her heels in hard...then what?

It sounds like a great adventure and I wish you two the very best. I am dying to do it also..
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Old 22-02-2016, 00:25   #24
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Thanks Alan,
Yes, I understand this. We first met online 3 years ago when I was living in Canada. We emailed each other every day for 4 months before I bought a boat in LA, fixed it up in 5 weeks and sailed for Australia. I had a Sat phone on board and gave her daily positions. She knew about all the problems I had to overcome. I stopped in Hawaii and replaced the self-steering gear which went to the bottom a thousand miles short of Honolulu. It was late in the season and hurricanes were tracking to the south creating a very nasty cross sea. I next stopped in Vanuatu and invited her to fly and join me as Chinese don't need a visa there. She thought I didn't exist !! Had to photocopy my passport first!! She was very suspicious but her daughter ( who speaks English ) convinced her to go. That was two and a half years ago and since then I've taken her on my sportbike at over 200kms an hour, taken her surfing and had her rescued, had her sleeping in the car alongside highways, chasing big goannas that tried to eat our cockatoo etc. She now goes paddleboarding when here and has started surfing.

In short, I've forced her beyond her comfort level but she has great stories to tell her relatives and friends back in China. She's from Nanning which is a small city of 6.5 million down south.She knows that she will possibly get sick on the Channel crossing but will live through the experience. I have some Sturgeon to give her that I bought in Mexico.She seems to now understand that our lives are running out and and is prepared to give most things a try. I'm planning to wait for a weather window before we leave and there's a faint chance that she might even enjoy the challenge. All this is yet to be revealed of course.

I believe our relationship is sound but who really knows? She says she's an "alien yellow person" and we have many cultural differences which we encounter every day but in a way it gives us a challenge almost daily. I consider myself very lucky to have met such an exotic being. It's a total clash of East and West. I won't mention the foods she eats!!! We are doing this on a limited budget due to my recent divorce so it won't be a picnic.

This is an ongoing story. It will however end in death. At 71 I see it not too far off and intend live each day until some event forces the decision to end it. We have already discussed this. John
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Old 22-02-2016, 01:04   #25
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Sounds like a great trip and adventureous lady good luck.Thinking of the canals myself in the next few years.
Quite unusual for her if she is of similar age to you to have written English skills or are you proficient in Cantonese.Only say this as I lived in China for quite a few years and did not find too many of that generation Chinese who spoke or wrote much English unless involved with foreigners as a proffession such a translater etc.
Chris
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Old 22-02-2016, 01:45   #26
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Great plan. We might bump into you guys this summer since we plan to cruise the same waters. I'm not so comfortable with blanket statements about different nationalities. Sure there are cultural and even physiological differences, but then again, personality and individual variation trumps those.
I think it's awesome that she has started paddle boarding and surfing, sounds like she is open to new things.
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Old 22-02-2016, 01:51   #27
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Hi Chris,

No, she only speaks Mandarin but can also communicate in Cantonese. Does not help me though. She tries to teach me but think my brain's shot from the 60's. Her English skills are less than kindergarten level so we use a translator which is about 70% accurate. Makes for some very interesting situations!!! Especially when I am driving.This is a very weird and wonderful relationship. I embrace it. I guess we both do. Helps keep us alive. 2 days from now we will be back up the north coast and she will be feeding the wild rainbow lorikeets by having grapes in her mouth!! This always amazes her as she eats birds back in China, also cockroaches,dogs,worms even placenta as a child !

What do the French say.....Vive la difference. OK I get it.! John
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Old 22-02-2016, 01:59   #28
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Sorry Sandibar,

Did not mean to make a blanket statement. Guess we are just suited to each other. It can happen. She just seems to realize that her life is running out and it's time to embrace a new way of life. Her friends are not like that.
John
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Old 22-02-2016, 02:34   #29
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Unless they have changed it since I was there last the UK has some very strong regulations on propane installations ( when it was British waterways so probably privatized now). Lots of sea boats have to have the stove redone to pass. Look it up before you go to avoid cost and delays.
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Old 22-02-2016, 02:49   #30
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Thanks Roland,

If it's a problem I would get a butane camper stove. No problem. Have to adapt. Nice to hear from Canada. I was on an island in BC for 25 years. Have a beautiful Canadian wife with lots of $$$$ Ex wife sorry. I miss the lack of sun. Australia is way too bright!!! John
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