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Old 19-11-2015, 10:39   #16
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

I live in Holland 3+ years and sail here 2 years. Done more than 2k miles on lakes and on the North Sea.

If you don't have experience on sailing in cold weather on North Sea, I would advice to spend some time sailing here on Markemeer and Ijsselmeer. In Winter, it's pretty cool here. Marinas are pretty awesome here. Also, almost no need to pay for marinas.

I can meet in Amsterdam and give all the tips
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Old 19-11-2015, 10:44   #17
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

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Originally Posted by AFKASAP View Post
Would you set sail now and make some headway south or would you wait until spring for better weather? The big elephant in the room is obviously Biscay.
IMHO...
Well if you have time on your hands and enough money to cover getting stuck in marinas for weeks on end waiting for weather then might as well get round to Brest at least, get to know the boat a bit better and have time to change/tweak bits / fix bits that break.
After the North Sea/Channel in winter everything further south will seem an awful lot easier...
The canals sound lovely, but you might learn a lot more about yourselves & the boat making a start..

Good luck whatever you do, it's great out there
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Old 19-11-2015, 11:05   #18
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

Thank you for all the comments.

I am not keen on doing the Danube. I have recently been on the Rhone and the word on the street is that the Rhone cannot be done with anything more than 1.8m draft.

Thanks for the tip regarding insurance. Will check if I go that way.

I have day sailed from Holland to La Rochelle a few years back, but that was in summer. We then put the boat on a truck in La Rochelle and sent it to the Med due to time constraints. But now there is no time pressure.

I had a quote last week for road transport from Muiderzand - Netherlands to Port St.Louis du Rhone - France of EUR 6,250 ex VAT @ 21% and ex lift out and lift in. I think all in I would be looking at about EUR 8000. That is too much for me. That goes a long way as a sailing budget.

I don't envy Eric Forsyth being in Biscay now.
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Old 19-11-2015, 11:14   #19
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

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Hi there,

As some of you may already know from my previous posts, my friend and I just bought a Beneteau Oceanis 40. She is currently moored in Holland and we are waiting to head to the Med.

We plan to depart at the beginning of April. We want to be in Greece by August/September. We are not experienced sailors so we will be coast hopping most of the way. At least thatís the plan.

We are just getting really bored here in Holland. Itís really cold and crappy weather.

Would you set sail now and make some headway south or would you wait until spring for better weather? The big elephant in the room is obviously Biscay.

Don't cross the Biscay at this time of the Year. It can be done if the weather is favourable. But if the conditions changed it can be very dangerous to do.

Working for insurance company, we did not give cover for Yachts crossing the Biscay at this time of the Year. We have lost several Yachts there due to severe weather conditions with heavy cross-sea conditions.

Bram
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Old 19-11-2015, 11:23   #20
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

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Don't cross the Biscay at this time of the Year. It can be done if the weather is favourable. But if the conditions changed it can be very dangerous to do.

Bram
Hi Bram,

Just to be clear, I have little desire to cross Biscay in summer let alone now.

The only option I am asking about is coast hopping during decent weather windows during the winter months.
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Old 19-11-2015, 11:32   #21
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

I did almost the exact trip last year, (2014) from Copenhagen to Gibraltar.
South in the Baltic to the Kiel Canal, Standing Mast route thru Holland,
English Channel then across Biscay and then south along the coasts of Spain
and Portugal. Great trip, Dutch Canals were absolutely fantastic and the highlight
of the trip. Boat was a Hanse 505 and we bumped bottom a few times.
We left Copenhagen the last week of August and arrived in Gibraltar
first week in October.
It took us 5 days to cross Biscay which were fairly uneventful (we waited on weather)
EXCEPT for the last day, where Biscay rose up and bit us hard on the ass
Winds swung around to the south, so we were beating hard to windward, Squalls,
Rain and Cold. The best way for me to describe it would be to say that it was like
being in stuck in a giant cold water washing machine that was strapped to the front car
of a giant roller coaster. Not for the faint of heart.
If it was me I'd wait till spring to cross Biscay.
It's a lovely trip, wait for warmer weather, longer days and
Enjoy not Suffer
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Old 19-11-2015, 11:32   #22
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

With a 2m draft you'll certainly find the depths get through the major French canals, provided that there are no closures for repair/maintenance works; my understanding is that they try to do most of these during the winter months.

As noted by others, I would expect that you'd have to go uninsured if you took the Biscay route, though you could by keeping up with the weather forecasts - Meteo France's Navtex/weatherfax forecasts are the best we've found anywhere - day-sail as far as La Rochelle. Beyond there I'd steer well clear of the French Coast it's scarily shallow and shores don't come much more lee. That said, if you wait for a weather window, it's only about 160 miles to the all weather/all states harbour near Bilbao in northern Spain, whereafter you can coast hop/day-sail again all the way to Gibraltar and the Med. So, it's doable, but you are going to get cold, wet and spend a lot of time in marinas - not many safe anchorages for long stretches - waiting for the weather. Rather you than me.
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Old 19-11-2015, 11:45   #23
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

Why bored in Holland!?

I have been here!
Local chandlers have many lovely thingies quite impossible to find in the
Med (oil lamps, big snubbers, fine flag poles, diesel heaters, fine porcelain and decors..)

You can eat poffertjes, visit museums, buy Shabbies,...(shoes) and getting costs 9EUR/kg

4days ago it was 16℃ sunny
:-):-):-)

One day, I may sail upward to NL
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Old 19-11-2015, 11:48   #24
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

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Why bored in Holland!?

I have been here!
Local chandlers have many lovely thingies quite impossible to find in the
Med (oil lamps, big snubbers, fine flag poles, diesel heaters, fine porcelain and decors..)

You can eat poffertjes, visit museums, buy Shabbies,...(shoes) and getting costs 9EUR/kg

4days ago it was 16℃ sunny
:-):-):-)

One day, I may sail upward to NL
Maybe we have had too much of a good thing...
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Old 19-11-2015, 15:13   #25
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

I have a fair amount of experience and in fact took my boat from the UK to the Med a few years ago.
I would not consider starting out at this time of year.
You say in your original post that you are not experienced.
Sail locally this winter, learn your boat and how to handle it.
In the spring choose your weather carefully, set off but take your time.
When on a long passage it is easy to sail past so many wonderful things. The U.K. South coast, N France, Brittany etc.

Biscay can be awsome .I Would consider getting as far West as you can, patiently wait for a GOOD weather window and then cross straits across to La Coruna.


From Coruna I would then take my time and enjoy. The Spanish Ria's in NW Spain are well worth exploring.

It took me two years to get to Greece, and I wish I had taken more time and seen more.

When you reach the Med I would recommend that yo have a min of 60/100 metre of chain.. As an inexperienced sailor practice anchoring as much as possible, as you will be anchoring a lot out there, sometimes in 10 +metre. If nothing else it helps to avoid some very expensive marina/harbour charges. The further E you get the more you will use your hook.

I know nothing of the canals and so can not comment, but always thought that 1.9 metre + made it difficult.

Good luck, and enjoy
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Old 19-11-2015, 20:20   #26
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by AFKASAP View Post
Hi there,

As some of you may already know from my previous posts, my friend and I just bought a Beneteau Oceanis 40. She is currently moored in Holland and we are waiting to head to the Med.

We plan to depart at the beginning of April. We want to be in Greece by August/September. We are not experienced sailors so we will be coast hopping most of the way. At least thatís the plan.

We are just getting really bored here in Holland. Itís really cold and crappy weather.

Would you set sail now and make some headway south or would you wait until spring for better weather? The big elephant in the room is obviously Biscay.
Living in West Michigan, I naturally assumed you meant Holland, Michigan USA. (1700 miles from the Atlantic). A bit of a long haul and way to cold now to consider.
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Old 19-11-2015, 21:48   #27
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

The concept of coastal hopping , as a safe tactic, defies my thinking

In wintertime daylight is from 7 am to 5 pm.

In many cases, entering a harbour, unknown, is no easy if wind/sea raise

Unless motoring, time of arrival is always uncertain under sail

And a leeway coastline is danger!

Maybe doable if weather is VERY predictable... and then you go under engine in no wind

Along the mountain costs of the Med, it is never so, local upraising is always likely

If a couldn't stand the Dutch way of harbour life, I'd consider South of England!!!
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Old 19-11-2015, 23:41   #28
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

Even experienced sailors cringe at the thought of the Biscay in December. It can be done (Boatie has done so several times), but you need to really wait for a weather window.

Getting to the jump off point (down the channel) can also be entertaining (to say the least).

Unless you are very lucky, the wind will be from the southwest for this entire trip, which means sailing upwind.

There is a good chance that even with a good weather window, sailing upwind you'll have a windchill of below freezing. As you are inexperienced, I'd say sailing upwind with below freezing is not something I'd recommend.

And the idea of hugging the shore at this time of year is questionable. as someone noted, you have limitied daylight and tryin
gto make port in the dark on a lee shore in harbours where, due to the tide you may only have a 2-3 hour window, well it is not for the faint of heart.
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Old 20-11-2015, 03:01   #29
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

P.S to my earlier post
If you do not have a Paserel get a good quality strong plank, min 2metre long. You won't regret it !
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Old 20-11-2015, 03:04   #30
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

If you want to get going now no reason not to really as long as you use common sense.
I would recommend travelling the UK S coast over N France till you get to Falmouth.
You dont have to go that far to cross.. Anywhere from Salcombe W is good for Ushant.. but Falmouths nice..😉
Hang out for a good weather window of 5 days or more then make a run for Ushant and duck into Brest for a visit and wait for another window.
From Brest its 3 days to La Coruna.. when you get a good 5day window set course for Finistere.. if you can head round it and on down 50 miles to Baiona.. if the weather closes or heads you before you can round it your in a good angle to make for the W entrance to La Coruna for shelter.. from the N it can get nasty in winter with wind.. tide and currents.
Take your time and enjoy the trip..
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