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Old 04-02-2012, 11:11   #1
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Sailing from Netherlands to Italy...April?

Hi everybody.
I'm planning to sail from Ijmuiden to Trieste with my new boat, an HR 36 MKII launched in 2001. I'm back on sailing since many years, but I have enough experience to know that is anything but easy to do. More I never sailed outside the Med. The crew will be professionals or at professional level, but nevertheless I have many stones in my shoes. One of the biggest is that we won't be so used to the boat, but this I cannot change. I have planned to leave in the second week of April as I have seen a bigger chance to have more NW to E winds, but I would like to read about your direct experiences. Over this I'm looking about the best route among the sand banks from Ijmuiden to the Channel (along the cost or at large)...and into the Channel I have the feeling that the south coats of England is less troubled, with more all weather and all tides harbours. From Plymouth or Falmouth, in a reasonable weather window, we will sail toward Bayona in Spain crossing Biscay sailing well at large (but there the ships lane lies) and from there I hope things will be easier. When we will be in the Med we will be virtually at home as we have sailed him up and down.
I will really appreciate any hint or advice you will be able to give me or to hear about your experiences.
Max
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:49   #2
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Re: Sailing from Netherlands to Italy...April?

Hi Max,

Have done that trip 3 times in the past 18 months now both ways.
- April can still be unsettled so watch you weather forecasts.
- I never had a problem with the sandbanks between Rotterdam and Dunkerque, they are well charted. Beware though of the new breakwaters in Oostende, the harbour entrance is now approx. 150m to the NE - not all charts and not Google Earth show the new breakwaters!
- If you have a chance, put in to Dieppe, a nice town.
- French coast to Brest or British coast to Falmouth will depend on the weather. Many delightful ports on both sides of the Channel: L'Aber'Wrach north of Brest in France, Newton Ferrers / Noss Mayor on the River Yealm just before Plymouth. Both my favourite places on those coasts.
- Bay of Biscay - watch your weather forecasts and your AIS - no problems in the right weather conditions.
- In Northern Spain do pay a visit to Portosin in the first ria after Cape Finisterre, delightful and peaceful place. Bayona - overrated in my opinion.
- Once round Cape St. Vincent 2M east of Lagos you will find the lagoon of Alvor - best place on the Algarve. Drop your anchor there for free.
- Cadiz is a nice and interesting town.
- Once in the Med Smir in Morocca currently has the best fuel prices! Much cheaper than Gibraltar!
- If not on your plan, put in to Cartagena on the Costa Calida - nice place.

-
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Old 04-02-2012, 15:55   #3
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Re: Sailing from Netherlands to Italy...April?

Agree with all the above, but if you need shelter north of fnisterre look at caraminas, the last ria before the corner. V good anchorage once through the weed and v sheltered. Ports in and Moros are great, as are the other rias and Islas Cies. We like Bayona!

Don't miss Lisbon which is great.

Mostly, that early n the year, make sure you have really good weather routing aboard.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:31   #4
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Re: Sailing from Netherlands to Italy...April?

Thanks for advices. I will consider them all. To say the truth we won't have enough time to stop so often. I consider about 6/7 days in harbours till Trieste if not because the weather, that means legs of about 400 nm.
About the season, have you experienced the higher frequency for NW to E winds in April than in other periods of the year? Because this is the reason why we sail at that time.
Along the North Sea south coast from Netherlands to the Channel with strong Nw or N winds, the waves are breaking or the sands bank at large are enough to protect the inshore's routes?
Thanks again for help.
Max.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:21   #5
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pirate Re: Sailing from Netherlands to Italy...April?

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Originally Posted by max59 View Post
Thanks for advices. I will consider them all. To say the truth we won't have enough time to stop so often. I consider about 6/7 days in harbours till Trieste if not because the weather, that means legs of about 400 nm.
About the season, have you experienced the higher frequency for NW to E winds in April than in other periods of the year? Because this is the reason why we sail at that time.
Along the North Sea south coast from Netherlands to the Channel with strong Nw or N winds, the waves are breaking or the sands bank at large are enough to protect the inshore's routes?
Thanks again for help.
Max.
I cannot comment on the Dutch side as its been many years since I sailed that side.. personally I prefer the routes that give me the most searoom... as has been stated above you can run UK or French side... however French side will have you primarily on a lee shore most of the way.. on the UK side you've regular sheltering spots all weather and tide access...
The run down from Falmouth is good planning.. shipping not as bad as imagination suggests..
If weather pushes you into the bay Viviero is good.. no fuel at marina.. La Coruna, Portosin and my favourite delivery stop... Baiona..
From there its and easy run before the wind tho' bear in mind in bad weather many of the ports will close as they become dangerous with large swell.. claim a coupla 3 boats a year..
Cascais is nice for on overnighter with access to fuel/chandlers/etc.. past San Vincente you can drop the hook in Alvor... nice but poorly marked... go in on a rising tide.. Portimao behind stbd breakwater, Olhau/Faro/Culatra lagoon...
from any of these your between 30-40hrs from Gib.. if there's an E'ly making passage tough pull into Cadiz to wait... marina is Peurto Sherry or you can anchor in the bay in the SE corner.. 3-5m..
After that your in home waters...
Enjoy the trip... carry spare fuel..
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:16   #6
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Re: Sailing from Netherlands to Italy...April?

Hello Max,

In 98 I did the route to S of France with 1 stop in the UK and 1 in La Coruna and the 3rd in Marbella.

I would not take the French side as you are always on the wrong side of the wind.
Personally I would make a stop at the S of the UK than crossing the Biscaya till Gib or thereabouts (La Linea seems to be more popular) and from there > Trieste.
That last leg, Spain - Trieste is unknown to me as this is not the area I used to sail in. There are others here more familiar with those waters.
However I would advise you not to choose the French side of the N-sea and Biscaya. Sailing on a schedule is not really a good thing to do.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:10   #7
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Re: Sailing from Netherlands to Italy...April?

Thanks MacG for your experience. Of course any plan will be considered looking at the meteo situation of that days, if this is what you mean about not sailing on a schedule. I know that the Sea rules and I'm full of respect!
What you have described is about our idea. If we can, 4 to 6/7 stops as the boat has 350 l of water and 345 l of diesel. If we won't have the right conditions to sail, we will stay in harbour and if we won't be able to do all the way in about 30 day, so we will leave the boat in a Marina somewhere and come back to sail her home in the summer.
Let's only hope to have the chance to run enough miles with the wind and not to tack all day long.
Max
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:48   #8
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Re: Sailing from Netherlands to Italy...April?

I would say that I repeated later on the same route, with one or more stops.
My latest run was one with obstacles but basically the same regarding the jump over the Biscaye and the route to S-France.
With your Hallberg Rassy, I wouldn' t make that much problems. With one or two crew extra, you' ll do fine. The 30 days, will be about ok. It is not stepping in the car and drive the distance. As many think it might be. As I said, the leg from Gib onwards is unfamiliar to me and that is about half of it (or even a bit more). I sailed twice from Ceuta > Oran late in the season and winds were quite variable. In itself, the Med is fun sailing as long as you are not pressed for time.
Even in August, when getting supplies from Gib for our Club in M'diq we were sometimes 'verwaaid' at Gib because of a Levante, the eastrely and had to wai a day or two till it was calmed down enough.
In any case, it can be a fun trip and with a good prepared boat and crew I wouldn' t see any stopping obstacle.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:48   #9
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Re: Sailing from Netherlands to Italy...April?

Max, I would just echo what Roger said earlier. Last year Southern UK had a heat wave during Easter with little wind and we were all walking around in t shirts and sun glasses. The year before we had 4 inches of snow on the decks, so the weather could do anything.

Still sounds a good trip, do come back and let us know how you get on.

Peter
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Old 06-02-2012, 14:23   #10
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I have to ask why the rush, you are passing some of the best cruising ground in europe. From the south coast of England, western France, Spain and Portugal there are countless places to visit and many more to park your boat for the winter. Regards Joe
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:59   #11
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Re: Sailing from Netherlands to Italy...April?

Right Joe! We have thought to do this trip in a couple of years, leaving the boat for winter in Brittany or Spain, but, at the end, we chose to have the boat in Trieste as soon as possible, so we can use everytime we are free from work. Take note that in Trieste in springtime or during the summer is beautiful to sail in the night, to have a dinner at large and then to be back for sleeping at home or onboard. Over this I would like to cruise this summer to Dalmazia (Croatia), where I have spent all my summers from 15 to 25 sailing and cruising, and sail again there with my family. I only hope to be able to sail back one day with more time to spend.
Regards.
Max
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:02   #12
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Re: Sailing from Netherlands to Italy...April?

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Max, I would just echo what Roger said earlier. Last year Southern UK had a heat wave during Easter with little wind and we were all walking around in t shirts and sun glasses. The year before we had 4 inches of snow on the decks, so the weather could do anything.

Still sounds a good trip, do come back and let us know how you get on.

Peter
Thanks Peter! Let's hope for the t shirts and sun glasses! I will surely post about the trip and experience.
Max
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:29   #13
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Thanks Max for the reply. I've been lucky to have sailed most of the coast mentioned, but still believe we rushed to the med. The trip when we did it, even with a good downwind rig was hard going. Although la Coruna is a fantastic place to visit, don't stop there on the was south, get around the corner, it pays of time wise. Don't let the fantastic scenery, food, architecture or culture of northern Spain and Portugal suck you in or you will take for ever to do the trip. Our boat is currently in sant carles Spain. I hope to be in Croatia in 2015 I'll keep an eye out for you. Fair winds, Joe
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:55   #14
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Re: Sailing from Netherlands to Italy...April?

I know Spain and Portugal very well, Joe, as I have been there by motorbike several times. As a consequence I haver a friend in Bayona and I hope I will be able to arrange a stop by him along the way. I have a lot to tell about Dalmatia and coasts of Italy in general. When you will need some infos you'll be very welcome.
Fair winds to you.
Max
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