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Old 20-11-2015, 03:20   #31
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

I don't think the advice here is clear enough. DO NOT SAIL THE COAST OF N BRITANY OR BISCAY IN WINTER. Yes people do it (including me) usually as paid deliveries and with very experienced skippers. It isn't fun and you wont be able to run for a safe habour in time to clear bad weather. It will probably put you off cruising compleatly. By all means head slowly south in short hops but stop at the Chearbough peninsular
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Old 20-11-2015, 03:23   #32
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

I do agree on Not to sail North Sea in winter without experience.

In winter one can sail the boat only for 2-3 hours. Cold, wet, rain, etc. You do need a good shifts and proper relaxation in between.

I'm a RYA Yachtmaster and sailed this place for 2 years and I would sail it in winter only having an experienced first mate and a crew of 3-4 more people to make good shifts.
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Old 20-11-2015, 03:58   #33
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

There were 4 experienced racing sailors that were lost at sea not too long ago in the North Atlantic. They were on a Beneteau that somehow lost it's keel and flipped over. The upside down boat was found but that was it.

And you guys are way north of that. Can you get on a plane or in a car to get out of the cold weather?

Again...cold air and cold water are no fun. Add a rough ride with cold spray will make for a very miserable trip, day after day after day.

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Old 20-11-2015, 08:12   #34
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

Thank you very much for all you comments.

Just a note to those of you who seem to think I am considering leaving now, I am not leaving until spring. The question I posed was "Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016?. Not, should I leave now.

I was interested to see what the more experienced guys thought of such a passage in winter. It is fair to say the consensus is that most people would not leave during winter.

I am pleased to hear that because that way I don't feel bad about waiting until spring.

I am still keen to hear of peoples recent experiences.
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Old 20-11-2015, 09:21   #35
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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
Thank you very much for all you comments.

Just a note to those of you who seem to think I am considering leaving now, I am not leaving until spring. The question I posed was "Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016?. Not, should I leave now.

I was interested to see what the more experienced guys thought of such a passage in winter. It is fair to say the consensus is that most people would not leave during winter.

I am pleased to hear that because that way I don't feel bad about waiting until spring.

I am still keen to hear of peoples recent experiences.

Give me a week or two and I'll PM you my route of last year
(Copenhagen to Gibraltar)
You're gonna have a great cruise
Next summer I'm going to be on a boat leaving from Ipswich UK
bound for southern Portugal but will be hopscotching down the coast of
Biscay rather than jumping across in one go.
Summertime, Long Days, Fresh Bread & Cheese
Lots to see on the French and Spanish coasts
Definitely consider the "Standing Mast" route thru the Dutch canal
system, just fantastic, not to be missed
38 locks were loads of fun but we missed the mid nite parade
thru Amsterdam because of a bridge repair
Cheers
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Old 20-11-2015, 09:23   #36
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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 Time2Go View Post
Give me a week or two and I'll PM you my route of last year
(Copenhagen to Gibraltar)
You're gonna have a great cruise
Next summer I'm going to be on a boat leaving from Ipswich UK
bound for southern Portugal but will be hopscotching down the coast of
Biscay rather than jumping across in one go.
Summertime, Long Days, Fresh Bread & Cheese
Lots to see on the French and Spanish coasts
Definitely consider the "Standing Mast" route thru the Dutch canal
system, just fantastic, not to be missed
38 locks were loads of fun but we missed the mid nite parade
thru Amsterdam because of a bridge repair
Cheers
Thank you that would be great.

I have done the standing mast route and I agree it is great.
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Old 20-11-2015, 10:30   #37
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

I have a Imray chart of the Bay of Biscay. Used only once and never again. !

If I come back to the UK it will be on the back of a LORRY !!

That might be a interesting tooic. "How to return from the Med". ??
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Old 20-11-2015, 13:14   #38
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

Cool...now that we know you are staying put...good decision BTW I re-read your initial post. I tried looking up exactly how far north 'Holland' was. Google Earth does not show a Holland.

I do not want to open up a can of worms but why did you not say the boat was in the Netherlands? Google Earth knows the Netherlands but again not Holland.

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Old 20-11-2015, 13:27   #39
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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 tuffr2 View Post
Cool...now that we know you are staying put...good decision BTW I re-read your initial post. I tried looking up exactly how far north 'Holland' was. Google Earth does not show a Holland.

I do not want to open up a can of worms but why did you not say the boat was in the Netherlands? Google Earth knows the Netherlands but again not Holland.

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My mistake, I will say Netherlands in future.
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Old 20-11-2015, 13:36   #40
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

Haha, you're aware our country is actually called the Netherlands? Holland = North Holland / South Holland - provinces, not countries

I think one of the reasons people get in trouble, is because they're in a hurry for some reason or another. Or are impatient. I personally wouldn't want to start out my cruising life that way

So my asnwer: no way would I consider going now. As much as I hate Dutch winters on a small boat

OT:

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Old 20-11-2015, 13:47   #41
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

Also not wishing to open a can of worms, I have to say that Holland has existed a little longer than Google Earth.

There is life out there , Jim, but not as we Know it.

Same Planet.
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Old 20-11-2015, 14:44   #42
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

Nice people up here in Fryslan - another lovely Dutch province.
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Old 22-11-2015, 03:14   #43
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

A start in april might also be a cold start. Every day you like to sail for the next harbour you decide to go or to stay up on the situation/forecast. This is the life you are looking for. So when you are ready with Amsterdam: leave for Scheveningen. Things to do/to cold/windy for going on stay there. The difference between this autumn (2015) is not so heavy with april.
So start and make your day! It seems that for you is everything better than staying in Amsterdam.

Advice: don't ask other sailors to leave or not, you will get so many different answers (with respect). It brings a lot more difficulties. Only go to the harbour master or Lifeguard for asking them about facts; no meanings.
And decide.
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Old 22-11-2015, 04:17   #44
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Re: Would you sail now or wait until Spring 2016? Holland to the Med

Most insurance policies won't cover Biscay outside of May to September without special arrangements... Just a heads up if you set off in April.
I have sailed your route from UK to Gib.
The most challenging waters in my experience are on the Portuguese Atlantic coast from Bayona to Cape St Vincent.
PS... I know it's not your intention but there is no amount of money that would see me cross Biscay in anything smaller than a destroyer outside of summer season!
PPS... In April make sure you have a LOT of very warm clothes. It is so much colder than you expect, offshore, at night.
It's a fabulous adventure and I wish you joy of it!
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Old 22-11-2015, 06:51   #45
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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
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 that’s the plan.

We are just getting really bored here in Holland. It’s 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.
I have rounded Finisterre in late November. The lows come lashing across Biscay like a giant whip, every 2 to 3 days during this period. This makes a serious gale in Biscay almost a certainty, and with the reflection off the coasts, and the sudden shallowing in the middle of the bay, you would likely feel as if you are fighting for your life, if not actually doing so! If you do try to coast it all the way, you will likely have an even worse time. You really would struggle to make it between them and will spend all your time anxiously waiting in port after port, only to get caught out in more than one severe gale, and likely on a lee shore. This is no time to do this trip. If you were a very experienced seaman with a bulletproof boat, ok. But even then it is a tough gamble.

Caveat navigator. I now see that you say you will not be going until April, but also do not expect April to be an easy time. The water will be even colder then, and the equinoctal Spring storms can be worse even than the winter ones… Pick your season and your weather wisely, my friend. I would say have patience beyond April, or if not, then expect tough and cold passagemaking until past Oporto.
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