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Old 03-16-2009
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Greek Charter in June

Hey, I'm chartering in Greece this June 13-20, sailing from Athens to Santorini, probably stopping in Milos and Folegandros (et al). Looking for tips from anyone who's sailed here before. Islands, harbors, must sees, med. mooring tips are all appreciated.

I'd also be interested in connecting with others who may be sailing or even considering chartering about creating a mini-flotilla (the airfares are half last year-- under $800 from NY!) and splitting the cost of a local skipper. I may even have a cabin available, especially for someone with experience in these waters. Thanks.

Last edited by edsml; 03-16-2009 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 03-18-2009
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edsml:
Still my favorite country to visit & sail.

I've not done that route so I'll stay away from comments.

Kalamaki (Athens marina) I'm familiar with the sounding area which is fun if you like to walk - but busy, big & watch out crossing the street.

My big tip would be get comfortable with Med Mooring - practice at home if you are rusty or have not done before. If you get comfortable, get into harbors early, you can grab a drink & watch the "entertainment" for happy hour - amazing how some skilled & others just crazy will squeeze into slots that don't exist - always put out all your fenders split on both sides.

Santorini is amazing - It's on my sailing bucket list........

Fair Winds
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Old 03-18-2009
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Many years ago, I spent about ten weeks sailing in the Dodecanes and Cyclades. It was fun, boisterous sailing, with abundant breeze from the Meltemi. I think the Meltemi is not quite as potent in early/mid June as it is later in the summer, so it may not be a big deal for you. But even if it's blowing good, there are plenty of options to duck out of the weather. If you need a break from the wind, you can often choose to pass an island on the leeward side in the shadow.

There are so many destinations to choose from, your best bet is to study some guides and figure out which islands and harbours appeal to you most.

A word of caution about Santorini (Thira). It is a unique and beautiful destination, not to be missed. However, it is not necessarily the best island or anchorage to visit by small sailboat. When I was there, there were only a few huge mooring balls, in a rather exposed section of the harbour. Anchoring is tricky due to the depths (you're basically dropping hook inside the cone of a volcano), and the harbour area has a lot of ferry traffic and wakes.

My info on Santorini may be dated, so check the latest cruising guides. In the end, we chose to leave the boat safely anchored at Ios (I think), and made a very memorable day trip by ferry boat to Santorini.
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Old 03-18-2009
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JRP - Based on info from people I know who have been to Santorini in the last 2 yrs, they have improved the anchoring / mooring there.......I'm a little fuzzy on details but they seemed happy about being there. Here's a link I just found

Santorini island maps - Sailing holidays, cruises and yacht charters in Santorini

Edsml: Which reminds me I left out one suggestion = The Greek Waters Pilot......well worth the $$$, if you do not have already.
Amazon.com: Greek Waters Pilot 10th Edition: Rod Heikell, Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson Ltd: Books
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Old 03-18-2009
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Thanks for the tips, guys. I did read that Santorini now has a marina-- which is probably why they're allowing me to drop-off there-- so I'm really looking forward to sailing in and visiting the smaller islands as well.

One other question, if you don't mind: I received an offer to charter Paros to Paros, and am considering changing my booking. It occurred to me that this will put me abeam of the wind, sailing a diamond shape, as opposed to downwind. It also allows short sails at the beginning and end, should the Meltemi pick up. What do you think?

edsml
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Old 03-18-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuteman View Post
JRP - Based on info from people I know who have been to Santorini in the last 2 yrs, they have improved the anchoring / mooring there.......I'm a little fuzzy on details but they seemed happy about being there. Here's a link I just found
Okay Chuteman, good to know, thanks.

It's been a while since I was there -- two decades in fact -- so I'm sure a lot has changed in the intervening years. In fact, when I was there, the harbor was literally changing before our eyes -- a new steaming islet of lava had only recently crested the surface in a new location!! It was still shifting and smoldering when we came in by ferry.

I don't remember the marina at Vlichada, but it's possible that I simply missed it.
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Old 03-18-2009
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JRP - Sure your memory is fine = they are definitely recent changes

edsml - that Paros option sounds very inviting - eliminates that big hop from Athens / Kalamaki and gets you into your destination target area quickly - where's the taverna & my ouzo?
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Old 04-04-2009
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Paros is not a base for most well-known charter companies and I would not recommend it as a starting point of your cruise in June. One-way Kalamaki to Santorini (the "new" marina on the southern coast of the island) is a better option from a sailing viewpoint (mostly reaching to running), but you will pay extra (cost about €300). Milos is very interesting as an island with beautiful landscapes, but it lies too much to the West. On the other hand it has common features with Santorini, with the latter being much more spectacular. When going south from the mainland, the usual route is along the islands of Kythnos, Serifos and Sifnos (Vathy bay is very well protected). If you call on Folegandros, just know that they have recently improved the quay and you will not have to compete against local fishermen for a berth (definitely go up to visit the "Hora" on the cliffs). Before you reach Santorini there is a possibility of stopping over for a swim at Manganari bay on the southern coast of Ios.
I wish you fair winds and don't forget to report back positive and negative aspects of your journey!
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Old 04-23-2009
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It's a long trip from athens to santorini. It sounds like you wont be bringing the boat back though which I would not advise. That trip is better left to a delivery skipper. Heres a nice trip... Nw side of kithnos there is a little anchorage,,,gorgeous, one taverna on the hill. then you head arund the north side of the island and cross to siros. There is a harbor in the sothwest called finikas very beautiful with a couple small tavernas and a little beach. Anchor out or take place on the small quay. The taverna across from the moorings office is great. (i had the worst 23 hours of my life doing a solo delivery from kos to siros and the lady that owns it refused to charge my ragged bones for anything I ate or drank all day) From there you head soueast to paros (not the main harbor in the west, go down into the large bight in the north and there is a small harbor inside it is absoloutely umbeleivably the most perfect chora in cyclades. From there head for sifnos... there is a small narrow anchorage on the east side called faros... simply beautiful. Next you head south leaving the two little islands ne of milos close to stbd, round them and you will find a small swimming anchorage with waters so blue you will think you are in the caribbean. If the weather is calm, head for folegandros, there is an anchorage in the south called agios nicolas. I wouldnt reccomed the harbor because if it starts blowing it can be dangerous to stay there. Then you are off to Ios. go to the main harbor in the northwest. It's a more lively place with nice nightlife. Now this is the part where you have to consider an alternative.

The harbor in the south of thira has not been planned well, due to the currents, silt flows up into the entrance and you can get stuck. I don't know what boat you are chartering but regardless of what the chart says I would consider the entrance to be about 1.5m and speak with whatever skippers (professional) you find along the way to find someone who has been inside recently. ask them to draw you a map of how to enter. I dont care what anyone says, mooring in santorini sucks. Leave your boat secure in ios and take the ferry for the day. Hope this helps.

-Denis
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