2016 Oct 11, Plans For The End of Hoy/Europe 2016

At Walton on the Naze, moored in Walton Creek.
It is cold and frequently dreary. Some rain, occasionally blue sky. Enough wind to make it feel colder, so we mostly spend time inside. Today, serendipity happened, and I got to rescue a friends’ dinghy and he in turn used his car to get me some Paraffin (Kerosene) for the heater to keep Laylas tootsies warmer. Not warm, just warmer.
Unfortunately the fan meant to circulate the hot air drooped down on it’s mount and melted. That fan has been nothing but trouble and now it’s dead. Good riddance.
The Walton & Frinton Yacht Club has been our sanctuary. Very nice people, great showers, terrific wifi, good price on pints of IPA (Greene King), and a good place to tie the dinghy and walk into town for groceries. We can only access it at +/- 2 hours of High Water, so we get a bit under 4 hours to get everything done, IF we get there on time.
We got our flights sorted out and will get to St Thomas 3 Nov. I’m still nervous about wind to get us back to IJmuiden, Netherlands, but we have two weeks to get everything done, so we should manage it.
First we need to sail back to NL no sooner than 18 Oct, since I have 14 days left on my Schengen visa. I have been told if they discover I’ve over-stayed when I fly out of Amsterdam, they can fine me and restrict my entry in next time. With my boat on the hard in NL, it would be a great inconvenience if they did not let me in the country.  I don’t know what the odds are of that, but the Dutch Immigration seem to be pretty officious, and I don’t want to trust to luck.
We clear in, take the boat to the marina in Lelystad, take the mast out (marina requirement) haul out, winterize the boat, repair what there is time for, and fly out 1 Nov.
If we get good winds for crossing the North Sea about the 18th, it should be no problem, but winds are predominately E and often strong. i.e. over 20 knots.
The North Sea is shallow, about 60 to 140 ft deep, with strong currents and can build up fast and steep. Also heavy shipping traffic. It appears nearly a quarter the distance will be crossing shipping lanes! In general you have to cross them perpendicular, or they can fine you!
It will be cold, and likely wet, and should be 24-28 hours. Let us hope the weather gods are with us!

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