I still remember that sergeant in the Navy telling us about amunition:
"It's not dangerous, as long as you know it's dangerous"
In sailing it's the same.
Don't be afraid for the big jump, the crossing, the large stredge of water ahead of you.
Do it, just be prepared.
I didn't find any information about how to get through the English Channel. I had expected that, as so many sail from the Northern countries to the Med nowadays.
So, I took the same route as I had done twice ('86, '94) before:
- sail along the Dutch coast til past Calais and the ferry-line to Dover
- cross a little west of that line via Varne Lighthouse
- follow the coast til Falmouth or any other harbour to wait for good weather and/or fill up with fuel
- this time we entered NewHaven and Dartmouth
Dartmouth access 24hr/day, saves distance in relation to Falmouth
NewHaven access 24hr/day. Take care for the TransMancheFerry entering/leaving which is shown by the red lights at the entrance (see Reeds).
I had a list of 24hr access ports prepared in case of need.
After all, if in need, you don't want to start calculting what time to enter and being late anyway.
I was surprised by the small amount of ships in the channel. I had expected that there would be many many more since 30 years ago. Even at Dover, in the night, the crossing was an easy thing. Maybe it's more the scaring talk of people then reality. Ships nicely change course when they discover you sailing around on collision course.
What do I use
Navionics on 2 equal tablets and 1 android phone
1 tablet switched of as back up,
1 on the chart table,
phone mostly in (and out of) my pocket especially when navigating in marked water and entering/leaving a harbor.
Paper backup charts like 1801, Imray C18 en C19 etc
plus Reeds and Mediteranean Almanac
If my electric system fails, I switch off my phone and use the one tablet every now and then.
When empty, the other one, when empty, I have my phone left.
Every 2 hrs, I write down my position, the average speed and course steered, the current and the barometer for deadreckoning on the charts, if needed.
I think that is enough.
After all, the other 2 times I made this trip, I only took an occasional bearing and had a sextant position once a day in the Biscay :D
Planning my route is done by using https://webapp.navionics.com
In this page (after logging in), I make my route. Mostly roughly manual.
Later I choose for Manual Edit and add WP where needed. Sometimes Navionics makes the route not like I want it. Generally I put my WP around 2Nm out of the coast.
After the rough route there is the second part, where I walk through the route in often maximal zoom in. This leads to a change in WP every now and then.
When sailing, I try to sail as close to the route as possible. Sometimes I change the route a little. To synchropnize my telephone and tablets, I save the route and login in the app's. Automatically the routes are visible. Great feature.
Less great is the missing sync possibility when not online. I wrote to Navionics that we absolutely need a feature to sync offline.
For the weather I use Windy.com and PassageWeather.com taking the 'worst' one as my guidance. ;)
The google Location service supplies you with this info Use Trusted Friends app or switch on in Google Maps app).