© TMP

Mediterranean Sailing

(Years 1993 - 2003)

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  I have sailed Greece and Turkey on some 9 occasions over this period covering some 1400 Nmiles with YOSC members and friends as crew and sometimes as many as 5 yachts.   My part on these events was to arrange crew for the boats, Skipper my own and passage plan for our ‘fleet’.

  I started Med sailing in June 1993 in the Saronic Gulf (Kalimaki Marina at Athens on an Apollo 12) returning in November that year with the YOSC contingent for the Blue Cup race on a Beneteau First 45F5 where we forwarded two 40 foot and two 45 foot yachts.   The "Blue Cup" race is a fun race for 30 to 50 yachts from the Vernicos Yachts Charter Fleet run at the end of the normal Charter season. It is open to crews from France, USA, Britain (plus other countries) and of course locals. The race is over 3 to 4 days starting and returning at Athens.  One of our 40 foot yachts Skippered by Barry Mead (with a little help from the other YOSC yachts where we could) won the Cup.

  My first impression was that one could charter a yacht without any experience (albeit an hours tuition with the Charter agent) but soon realised that the more experience you had the more you ventured.   The following year I sailed further afield to the Cyclades starting again in Kalimaki on the same Apollo 12, the owners personal yacht, had a 6 foot extension to the Sugar-scoop and carpeted throughout.     Following on to what I consider the best area in Greece, the Southern Ionian on several occasions (starting at Lefkas and Nidri on a Voyage 1120 and a Beneteau Oceanis 40).

  Then a change to Turkey starting at Marmaris returning the following year for a one-way passage from Orhaniye to the Gulf of Fethiye both years on a Beneteau Oceanis 351.  Turkey being completely unspoilt was certainly in a class of its own on for both value and quality and well worth visiting again.  At the end of our first week we celebrated in a restaurant high up in the hills in Glossa but during our meal the heavens opened and all staff had to close the roof shutters.   With our second crew we started with the same venue only for the heavens to open again this time far worse and even the side shutters had to be closed.  One of our yachts had left a roof light open resulting in a waterlogged camera.  The Skipper attempted to make a mile dash but the road was just running with rain and there were no taxis.

  My last visit to the Med was a return to Greece on a Bavaria 40 and the Northern Sporades Islands (Skiathos, Skopelos, etc.) where the wind really does blow and one can get “neaped” by the 3 ft high tide.  Yes, neaped even in Greece.  By this time there was a downside and that was the price.  It seemed there was a charge for everything and anything and meal sizes became noticeably smaller.

Years 1993 to 1995, Greece

1993 May Saronic Gulf. Alongside at Kalamaki Marina Athens

This is Epidavros and what might be the best Amphitheatre in the World.   Even the likes of Maria Callas has sung there

Passing around the Island of Aegina (mooring in Perdika) we dive from our yacht

Perdika where we celebrated our last meal before returning to Kalimaki Marina

November Saronic Gulf. After checking and getting to know our yachts, we gather in the evening for our pre Blue-Cup race dinner

The race is over and we celebrate with a drink

1995 May Southern Ionian.  We gather in Lefcas Marina for a group photo in our white purpose designed ‘T’ shirts

Frikes, enjoying a social drink

Years 1996 to 2000, Greece and Turkey

1996 May Southern Ionian.  Nidri, the girls had changed showing on the front “Come Sail with...” and on the back “The Poseidon Pussies”

We return to our favourite bay Abelike near Spartakhori on Meganisi for a BBQ

Here we are again rafted after an enjoyable sail

We all take it turn at helming.   On this occasion with everything up we seem to be doing it 'right'

Action shot here with myself adjusting the sails

2000 June Marmaris Turkey. All our fleet are moored on Lazy-lines (for convenience) in a small village for an evening meal

By ourselves (almost) for a peaceful stop-over

Anchored for the night with a shoreline and taking time for a swim

Year 2003, back to Greece

2003 June Northern Sporades Islands Greece. Skiathos just minutes from the airport and our yacht is on the very end of the jetty

Northern Sporades Islands.   The airport is so close with the runway almost touching the beach that yachts are not allowed to moor or even wander in that area

Having moored for the second time in Loutraki Marina after a crew change we ventured yet again to the restaurant in Glossa

It didn't take long for us all to enjoy a swim. That was after I swam ashore to attach the Shore-line

Clear water, yes but its not advisable to touch an Octopus.   This one was over 2 feet long

We await the Steward (me) to serve drinks.  Note the Passerelle (boarding plank)

Joy dining out eating just a 'small' prawn

A break for lunch, this time ashore under the trees in the shade