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  #1  
Old 07-26-2006
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Greece- Athens-Cyclades - itenerary question

I will be doing a one-way charter from Athens(Alimos/Kalimaki) to the Cyclades in mid-September.

I've noticed that all charters seem to start at 17:00 on the first day and end at 9am on the last day. Does this mean that you have to spend the first and last night at the marina?

In particular, I am wondering if there are any decent anchorages within an hour or so of Alimos. If at all possible, I'd like to get out of the marina on the first day. I'm guessing nightfall is going to come by 7-7:30pm

Is is common to get access to boats prior to 17:00 to load gear and provisions?

When I've chartered in the Carribean, the charters always started in the morning (sometimes with a prior night's sleepaboard).

Not real thrilled with the prosepect of having to spend 2 of my 7 nights at the bases. But, if that's just how it is, we'll make the most of it.

Really like to hear from someone who has chartered out of Alimos, and dealt with this "start at 17:00" timeframe. Does that really mean, "start out the next morning"?

Thanks,

RichR
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2006
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One way charter

Dear RichR,

It is standard practice in Greece and in most of Europe charters to begin at 17:00. Usually most charter companies will get you on the yacht before that time unless the yacht comes back with small damages. The best thing to do in order to save time is to pre-order provisions as the supermarket across the street becomes very congested on Saturdays.

There are couple of places you can anchor - Cape Sounion is a lovely bay which is three hours away - my other suggestion is Aegina which is two hours away. It usually gets dark aound 20:00.

Of course weather does play an important role as to where you will go and you will need to bear this is mind.

Have a great trip.

Barbara
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Old 07-31-2006
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Thanks for the helpful reply, Barbara!

I hope we can get on our way well before 17:00. Leaving port by 15:00 would give us much better options for being settled somewhere by dark. Sounion likes like a nice choice. Looks like a couple of earlier options, such as Ormos Anavissou if we don't get that far.

I don't think I want to go over to Aegina, as we are headed to the Cyclades. At least, by looking at the map, it looks like we'd have to backtrack back to the east from there. (Unless it is a nice destination in its own right, rather than a waypoint.)

Making sure we don't get held up on provisioning is a good point. Our charter company has not offered any pre-order options on provisioning. Just the information that there is a supermarket nearby. I plan on splitting the 4 of us into two parties of two: 2 to do the briefing/checkouts; 2 to do the shopping. Hopefully these things can happen at the same time. We plan to eat most dinners in restaurants, so the initial provisioning shouldn't be too time consuming (except for the possibility of a crowded supermarket, as you pointed out.)

I will do everything in my power to ensure we don't get stuck at the marina on the first night.

Another question you can probably answer: What is the holding tank/pumpout situation like in Greece? Are most charter boats set up with holding tanks? Do most folks empty the tanks once offshore, or are pumpouts the norm. Is greywater (galley/shower drains) typically OK in port?

More importantly... Do you have any "gotta go there" ports/destinations in the Cyclades? We are doing a one-way (7 day), leaving the boat on Paros. We have a few extra days at the end. Tentatively, we are planning going to Santorini and Mykinos by ferry after we've dropped the boat off. I am thinking these are both great places to go, but not necessarily the best anchorages.

I am studying the Greek Waters Pilot and see many,many anchorages and ports along our path. As it stands now, I will need to make a tentative itenerary just based on some rather arbitrary choices.

Any "don't miss" places you can suggest?


Thanks,
Rich
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Old 08-01-2006
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Greece-Athens-Cyclades- itinerary question

Dear RichR,
Your seven days cruise is indeed reduced to six, since the boat has to spend the last night at destination so that checks to the hull are carried out. You will be lucky to leave Athens/Kalamaki before 17:00 with the yacht appropriately provisioned so that you reach Sounion before dark (you definitely need 3+ hours). I cannot imagine any other suitable anchorage and Aegina is a beautiful place but somehow situated off your way to SE. As for the holding tank for sewage collection, the boat will not be equipped with such a device and you take care not to unduly pollute bathing waters. Your next stops will probably be the islands of Kythnos, Serifos and Sifnos. Before you end up at Paros, I suggest you spend the night at Despotiko/Antiparos anchorage (it is described in Heikell’s guide).
I wish you fair winds and not forget to report back your experience
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Old 08-01-2006
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Thanks for the helpful reply, Chondi!

Is Ormos Anavissou a possible overnight anchorage? I thought it might serve as a backup if I do not have ample time to get into Sounion. But I am only looking at guides and charts; and have not been there yet. I appreciate insight from those who have been there.

I am considering Kea a possible stop also. Depending on the timing. For instance, if we don't make it out of Kalamaki until the next morning, perhaps sail directly to Kea; or on to Kithnos.

I believe in having a flexible iternary that can be adjusted based on the weather conditions and other issues that may arise.

It is difficult looking at the Heikell guide to select anchorages. There seem to be many that are more or less equal. On a given island, it is hard to pick one over another. Looks like if you get South wind, the choices go way down. But as long a the prevailing Northerly remains, looks like many to choose from.

From these islands (Kea, Kithnos, Serifos, Sifnos, AntiParos, Paros) do you have any ports/anchorages that you'd recommend as a "don't miss it". Or, are there places that should be avoided?

I will be sure to post a report when I return.

Thanks,

RichR
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Old 08-08-2006
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At Kythnos, I would suggest Kolona or the harbour Merichas. At Serifos, the Livadhi is a large bay, windy enough but no waves. At Sifnos, try Vathy, an all around closed bay and where you will enjoy swimming - avoid the main harbour Kamares. At Antiparos, I have already suggested Despotiko, while at Paros you can opt for Naousa and choose between Aghios Ioannis to the west and Langeri to the east. Paros is notorious for the gusty meltemi and I wish you that when you visit the place there will be a lull. As for Kea, get more reliable information by visiting the following website:
http://www.sy-thetis.org/

PS: Anavyssos is O.K. for your first overnight stop (you will anchor offshore) if you don't make it to Sounion. Kea is a further 10 NM across the cape. If you try to reach it, make sure that it will still be light. Avoid at all cost night passages!
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Old 08-10-2006
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Thanks for the suggestions

Chrondi,

Thanks very much for your anchorage suggestions. I will check them out and also visit the link you provided for more info re: Kea.

Yes, I will avoid a night passage at all costs. Entering an unfamiliar harbor at night is not my idea of a good time. The charter companies I've dealt with in the past strictly forbid any night sailing. With good planning, there is no reason to be caught out after dark.

One further question: I am learning as much Greek language as I can before I go. But, in reality, this will amount to some basic phrases. There is no way I will have good Greek language skills. In addition to basic tourist/survival words, I'm also looking for a few basic nautical terms in Greek.

I assume most/all radio traffic will be in Greek. Is it safe to assume that harbor masters and port police will speak English much better than I speak Greek?

Thanks,

Rich
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Old 08-11-2006
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One week, single way sail to the Cyclades

You may need to communicate with the harbour master (on channel 12) only where you take water + fuel (once or twice during the week) and where you want to go on shore and there is enough space at the dock for your boat (remember: bows to when insufficient depth near the pier). Expect the harbour personnel to speak rudimentary English. Heikell's pilot contains some basic words/phrases in Greek, but because of your accent most probably you will not be understood by locals. Most useful are the following questions/phrases:
Pou boró na désso? (where may I berth?)
Me tin prími (stern to)
Me tin plóri (bows to)
Boró na páro káfsima? (may I fuel?)
petréleo (diesel oil)
venzíni (petrol/gasoline – for the dinghy OB motor)
Boró na páro neró? (may I take water?)
Tharákso aródo! (I will anchor offshore)
Líno! (I cast off)
There will also be plenty of assistance and help from the other yachties. You will really enjoy this spirit of genuine camaraderie!
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Old 08-15-2006
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Thanks again, Chrondi! Those phrases are things you just can't find in the basic Greek language course.

Several years ago I chartered in Guadeloupe (French speaking). We thought we had enough basic French phrases to get by. We anchored off a small fishing village and no one spoke a word of English. We could not come up with the word for "ice" to save our lives(it is glace-- I will always remember it now). Eventually, someone knew someone else, whose daughter spoke some English and she helped us out. But, I found it embarassing to be unprepared for such a simple situation. So, I am working hard to learn as much language as I can. And I'll keep a phrase book handy.

When I started studying Heikell, I had to stop and figure out the names/abbreviations for Point/Cape(Ak), Bay(Ormos), and Island(Nisos). I never found a good source for translation of these.

Efcharisto Poli,

Rich
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Old 08-15-2006
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I see that you are learning fast. Nevertheless: cape = akrotíri, island = nissí. Greek is difficult not only because of the non-latin alphabet, but also because nouns and adjectives are inflected, i.e. you have grammatical declension, just like in German.
So, Good Luck with your Greek learning practice
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