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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Default Re: Advice Please: Wind Against Current Cherbourg via Dover/Calais to Oostende

    A while ago there was a long thread on Wind against Current (or Tide), which ended up pointing out that it is more correctly Wave Train against Tidal Stream inasmuch as the wind that created the wave train may have changed direction or even disappeared.
    On the internet no one knows you are a donkey.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Swale/Medway
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    4,354

    Default Re: Advice Please: Wind Against Current Cherbourg via Dover/Calais to Oostende

    I would bear in mind the apparent funnelling effect on wind through the Dover Strait - certainly with a SW wind I have consistently found that whatever the forecast said, the wind strength is a Force or two higher.
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Near Maldon, Essex
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    2,491

    Default Re: Advice Please: Wind Against Current Cherbourg via Dover/Calais to Oostende

    Quote Originally Posted by Cantata View Post
    I would bear in mind the apparent funnelling effect on wind through the Dover Strait - certainly with a SW wind I have consistently found that whatever the forecast said, the wind strength is a Force or two higher.



    I can confirm that.

    Returning to Ramsgate from Calais yesterday and just east of the Goodwin sands, I was getting 23knot gusts from the south whilst listening to the maritime safety message telling me that the winds were F2 to 4.
    Last edited by Gitane; 10-08-19 at 16:17.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Advice Please: Wind Against Current Cherbourg via Dover/Calais to Oostende

    Thanks so much to everyone for your fantastic local knowledge.
    I was thinking everyone would say "stay in the bar and wait a week'.

    Good information about the wind compression zone through the Dover Strait. It sure looks like that would be an effect with looking at the chart. I'll tuck in an extra reef prior.

    The whole route on the current forecast looks like 2nd reef in the main the whole way. Its a very deep reef designed for passage making. then I just adjust with the genoa. Good for downwind stability and a bit of speed.

    Interesting bit.
    Wave Train against Tidal Stream inasmuch as the wind that created the wave train may have changed direction or even disappeared.
    I hope so because that was the most worrying thing.

    My thread title, on review, isnt as accurate as my brian felt it was going to be with I wrote it, so Im sorry for the ambiguity. I am not going into Dover. I am going directly Cherbourg to Oostende but particularly interested in the area Dover/Calais as this is where that wind funnel appears and has the strongest currents.

    My choice would be to stay on the French coast as that will minimise wave height as you are more in the lee of the shore.
    If the current is going to be against me off Cap Gris Nez on the French coast I though of hogging the buffer zone in between the shipping lanes. I can slip into the middle much earlier on. Then as soon as Im around the corner of that Cap go into the lee close to the French coast.

    I am so please you think its acheivable

    Im watching the weather now. The particular system has not even formed in the USA so hopefully it will be nicer than GFS currently shows.

    Thank you for your help.

    Mark

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,629

    Default Re: Advice Please: Wind Against Current Cherbourg via Dover/Calais to Oostende

    The seas can indeed build up, especially near the banks. In calm weather most of these are no problem but should be avoided in a sea. This is our 26 footer seen from a friend's Moody off Ostend from when I was young and stupid. The tide was running against us at the time.

    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Advice Please: Wind Against Current Cherbourg via Dover/Calais to Oostende

    Quote Originally Posted by johnalison View Post
    The seas can indeed build up, especially near the banks. In calm weather most of these are no problem but should be avoided in a sea. This is our 26 footer seen from a friend's Moody off Ostend from when I was young and stupid. The tide was running against us at the time.
    Do you remember the wind speed at the time?

    That looks like a perfect summers day for UK sailors!



    Mark

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,629

    Default Re: Advice Please: Wind Against Current Cherbourg via Dover/Calais to Oostende

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
    Do you remember the wind speed at the time?

    That looks like a perfect summers day for UK sailors!



    Mark
    It was before the days of transducers on small boats such as my Mystere, though I had an accurate electronic log. We had spent the previous day or two riding out the gale by taking a train to Brugge. I can remember (1980) sitting in the NSYC with our club group looking at the wind meter on the wall which was stuck in the 30s or so. On this day our then commodore Derek Steele, who I trusted at the time, said "It's dropped into the 20s, so lets put up a jib and go for Flushing" even though the tide was adverse. Thus, the two of us set out and had a roller-coaster ride during which my log stuck at its maximum reading of 10kn several times. Their centre-cockpit Moody 33 shipped water into the cockpit several times, while our low freeboard Mystere didn't take a single drop. The wind was certainly more than we saw in the club, probably mid F7.

    This another pic taken by a club member who stayed behind for some reason. I can see that our son had a life-jacket but I'm not sure about me, though I would have been clipped on.

    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    1,687

    Default Re: Advice Please: Wind Against Current Cherbourg via Dover/Calais to Oostende

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
    Thanks so much to everyone for your fantastic local knowledge.
    I was thinking everyone would say "stay in the bar and wait a week'.

    Good information about the wind compression zone through the Dover Strait. It sure looks like that would be an effect with looking at the chart. I'll tuck in an extra reef prior.

    The whole route on the current forecast looks like 2nd reef in the main the whole way. Its a very deep reef designed for passage making. then I just adjust with the genoa. Good for downwind stability and a bit of speed.

    Interesting bit.

    I hope so because that was the most worrying thing.

    My thread title, on review, isnt as accurate as my brian felt it was going to be with I wrote it, so Im sorry for the ambiguity. I am not going into Dover. I am going directly Cherbourg to Oostende but particularly interested in the area Dover/Calais as this is where that wind funnel appears and has the strongest currents.


    If the current is going to be against me off Cap Gris Nez on the French coast I though of hogging the buffer zone in between the shipping lanes. I can slip into the middle much earlier on. Then as soon as Im around the corner of that Cap go into the lee close to the French coast.

    I am so please you think its acheivable

    Im watching the weather now. The particular system has not even formed in the USA so hopefully it will be nicer than GFS currently shows.

    Thank you for your help.

    Mark
    In the conditions that now seem likely, you would be well advised to avoid having to round Cap Gris Nez with wind against current. The wind does indeed increase 1 or 2 points on the Beaufort scale in the Dover Strait, and the current is strong, which makes for very uncomfortable conditions. In that case plan a tidal stop at Boulogne, or even Dieppe. Entering Boulogne in that kind of weather can be interesting, do not ask me how I know.
    Your idea of transiting the Dover Strait via the separation zone is flawed for two reasons: Dover Coastguard and the French Coastguard at Cap Gris Nez will take a very dim view of that as you are not supposed to use that zone for transit, only to cross the shipping lanes at right angles, and secondly but more importantly in this case, off Cap Gris Nez it is a shallow area due to a very irregular sandbank which in those conditions kicks up breaking seas. I would strongly advise you to avoid that area in anything over SW 6, al the more in wind against current.
    Having rounded Cap Gris Nez in the inshore traffic zone as you’re supposed to, you will still meet very steep and irregular waves off Calais. Stay outside of the bank immediately off the entrance to Calais and inside the approach channel to Dunkirk/Dunkerque until you reach the Western entrance to Dunkirk, from where you follow the buoyed channel past the eastern entrance to Dunkirk. Do not go further offshore as that is an extensive area of shallow and irregular sandbanks where you do not want to go in the sort of weather we are expecting.
    Following the buoyed channel past Dunkirk, that makes a dogleg across the shallows near the Belgian border, from where it is an easy approach to Oostende, provided you stay between the beach and the first sandbanks, respectively Small Bank, Nieuwpoort Bank and Stroombank. Oostende is safe to enter in all weather.

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