The shortest route from Harwich or the East Coast rivers is to Europoort and Rotterdam, but it is not advisable
as yachts are discouraged, and there is a staggering amount of commercial traffic. A better route is directly across the north
sea to Ijmuiden. The distance is actually slightly less between Lowestoft and Ijmuiden, but its not worth the extra effort
of coasting north, and avoiding the numerous sandbanks off the Lowestoft coast.
The advantage of this route is that the only hazards are the Deep Water route, which you cross at its narrowest
point, and the gas rigs off Ijuimden. A typical morning departure from Harwich will see you across the deep water route by
nightfall, and arrive in Holland well after dawn. The gas rigs, being lit up like christmas trees, actually aid navigation,
but you need to watch out for the traffic around them.
Tidal planning is straightforward as the 24 hour cycle more or less cancels the tides out. It is more important
to pay attention to tides when returning to the UK, as you need to time arrival at the Shipwash bouy, just north of Harwich,
to take advantage of the incoming tide.
is a large, but rather expensive marina in Ijmuiden (Seaport Marina). Resist the
temptation to moor on the pontoon to port on entry and instead travel anticlockwise right round the whole marina, mooring in
a box on the far (southern) wall - its much nearer everything!
From Ijmuiden, its is only a few hours up the North Sea canal to the delights of Amsterdam - almost worth
a detour in itself, but from here you also have the option to enter the inland route, travelling either north or south.