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-   -   First Greek charter, looking for hints... (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/chartering/7429-first-greek-charter-looking-hints.html)

Req 07-09-2003 02:08 PM

First Greek charter, looking for hints...
 
Hey chums.

So I''m slated to take my first charter in a mere 6 weeks. I''ve already got a crew, boat, and charter company picked out so I don''t need any help with that - and I''ll post my thoughts on the company after I return - but I am a bit curious whether there''s anything I ought to know as a first-time charterer that''s not immediately apparent.

I (and a crew of 4 others) will be taking a Jeanneau Sun Oddessey 36.2 from Athens for 14 days. The route isn''t yet decided for sure but the boat''s due back in Syros, so we''re thinking of a loop down into the Cyclades perhaps as far south as Santorini before heading back north to Syros. We won''t have a skipper along as we''re pretty confidant in our own skills.

So, anything that y''all have experienced in your charters that you wish someone had told you beforehand? For example, provisioning - cheaper in Athens than in the islands? Hints on things to bring that might not occur to me? Tips on how to deal with charter companies, other boaters, etc? Really, any advice that might be useful would be a good thing. Route suggestions or tips are also welcome.

Thanks a lot in advance,

-Req

Sailmc 07-10-2003 04:33 AM

First Greek charter, looking for hints...
 
Watch out for the Meltemi. It''s a wind that blows hard non stop for days and nights on end.

Stede 07-10-2003 05:51 AM

First Greek charter, looking for hints...
 
Req,

I chartered a boat out of Athens a few years back and sailed through part of the Cyclades.We chartered in early June,and still got caught in part of an early Meltemi (it usually starts in July) When it blows, no one goes anywhere. Even the huge ferry boats shut down. Good food and provisions are abundant through most of the islands. Prices are very reasonable.We spent a couple of days on Mykonos.It''s an beautiful island with a jet-set type crowd.There''s a small bake shop about three streets back from the harbor towards the wind mills. They sell an almond cookie that I read in my guide book that Winston Churchill used to have flown in to him.We got hooked on them also.To this day, I occasionally crave them. Also,If you go there, be sure to take the short boat trip over to the small island of Delos to tour all the ruins there.It''s fantastic.As far as Santorini, I would recommend you spend several days there if possible. Words can''t describe what a unique,and beautiful island it is.We rode up the winding trail on the rocky cliff face of the Caldera by donkeys. Homes,restaurants, and stores are built into the cliff face of the Caldera. In the center of the Caldera,you can tour the still active part of the volcano,and swim in a cove where the water is heated by it. It was a blast- no pun intended ;^) To make the trip to Santorini (Thira), we opted to leave our chartered boat in Mykonos and take a short flight to Thira. It''s a pretty long sail from Mykonos to Thira (~100 NM).You can''t anchor around Thira,(way to deep!) and there are only a few moorings - unless that''s changed. If you sail to the island and aren''t fortunate enough to get one, you''re pretty well screwed. Anyway, you could easily make a full vacation out of staying at Thira and love every minute of it. Lastly,if possible, I highly recommend that you save a day of your trip for when you return to Athens. Take the bus trip out to Delphi.The ruins and history there are incredible. It''s also a very beautiful trip through the Greek countryside where olive orchards and marble mountains are the highlights. Good luck with your trip. I envy you!

sailmaster25 07-10-2003 11:38 PM

First Greek charter, looking for hints...
 
Hi Req...
With 2 weeks you have ample time to see alot of the greek islands. Stede was right watch out for the north wind it can blow up to 50+ knots.... I would suggest starting in the Saronic gulf first get to know you boat, it blows mild to gentle in the gulf and will enable you to easy into island sailing, check out Poros,Hydra and Spetsai, then make the jump across to the cyclades, its only 65 miles from Spetsai to Serifos and an early morning start will get you in around 4-5pm. Wings will be from the NW - N as you are heading east you should have a good beam reach. Once in the cyclades do the east west trick and zig zag around the islands, so even if you do get in a meltemi you will either be reaching or running. On santorini Stede is right its a great place but not for yachts men and a bare boat... I advise my clients to leave there yacht in Paros and take a ferry down to the islands stay overnight and come back. Paros has secure moorings in the NE corner of the harbor. See the New Zealander Alexis who runs the marina in the town of Pariitka, he will let you stay on one of his morrings and point you to other friends who can help you with inexpensive hotels inSantorini and ferry tickets.
Mykonos is fun but the harbor is miles from town, unfortunately the town is now the gay captial of the aegean and makes Key West look tame..
Othe islands to check out Naxos now has a brand new harbor safe and secure (finally)..
The islands south of Paros Ios Siknousa, dont miss out on Siphnos and Milos great places and often missed as they are some what off the beaten track.
Provisions ... no problem get a good basic supply in athens then buys as you go.
For other advice look at my open discussions on greek charter practices...

Good luck and hopefully we may see you down islands as I will be around look for a 55 foot ketch K3....

have fun and always practice safe sailing

sailmaster25

Req 07-11-2003 08:52 AM

First Greek charter, looking for hints...
 
These are great tips! Thanks a lot for the ones y''all have given, and keep ''em coming!

Stede, I was in Santorini for a few days last summer with a friend of mine, and we stayed in a little villa in Oia overlooking the caldera - that''s why we''re going back this year. I remember those hot springs. :)


-Req

Stede 07-11-2003 10:07 AM

First Greek charter, looking for hints...
 
Req,

YOU DOG...!! You''ve been to Santorini before and you''re getting to go back?! You''re one lucky man! I also remember Oia. Some of the best pictures I have of the trip were taken there at sunset. Pretty cool the way everyone gathers there at the end of the day. Kind of like Key West minus the circus. Hey, one other good stopping off spot came to mind that you might want to check out -Sounion.It''s at the southernmost point of mainland Greece. Of course it depends on which direction you start your trip, but if you leave out of Athens and are headed for the Cyclades,it''s an easy half day sail. Poseidon''s Temple is there on a bluff over looking the Med. You might want to sacrifice a non-essential crew member there for good luck ;^) It''s a nice little stop off. There''s a good Taverna ashore. We partied hard there while watching the moon rise over Mr.P''s crib. Awesome!! Man, you''ve got me started now. I love Greece!! Don''t you have room for one more crew member? Of course I don''t want to be the non-essential one though.ha!ha!

chrondi 11-17-2004 10:33 AM

First Greek charter, looking for hints...
 
Dear Sailmaster,
I propose you modify your suggestion about visiting Santorini. In your statement "I advise my clients to leave their yacht in Paros and take a ferry down to the islands, stay overnight and come back", why not replace Paros by Ios: a picturesque island with three safe bays to anchor and only a couple of hours far from your beloved destination Santorini.

TejasSailer 11-17-2004 12:29 PM

First Greek charter, looking for hints...
 
Reg,

I suppose you''ve already thought about these suggestions.

I have been quite satisfied with Rod Heikell''s guides and Imray charts. I purchase them via www.imray.com. The materials are mailed from UK, and the default mailing charge of 20% arrived within about two weeks.

I also purchased a Garmin 76 CS and Garmin charts, and again have been quite satisfied.

The final suggestion is reading up a bit mooring bows- or stern-to. Rod''s guides explain how.

Dave

tugboat1 11-21-2004 04:41 AM

First Greek charter, looking for hints...
 
One quick thought. One of the people sugested taking a plane or ferry ti Santorini. While this is a good plan because of the deep waters for ancoring, the trrill ow rounding that corner at full sail and the site of the clifs with the buildings on it is well worth the troublw you will experince with the ancorage. Not that you will have a choice but ther are two very good marinas on the shallow side of Thira. Go putin ther, cab or rent car to town to se the sunset, then experience the beaches of thira (some of the best and no one ever talks aout) Finnally enjoy greece we were ther in june ans found the place intoxicating. People, food everyting. ENJOY!

chrondi 11-22-2004 01:40 AM

First Greek charter, looking for hints...
 
Dear friend,
you will not miss anything by leaving your vessel anchored safely at Ios and taking the ferry down to Santorini (it takes just a couple of hours). You can still enjoy all the splendour of the place and/or the daily excursion around the caldera and the sunset at Oia on the north end. However, the view of the island from the East does not offer the same spectacular panorama of cliffs with houses hanging from them and let me disagree with your statement about the beauty of the beaches there: someone may not like (to say the least) the black pumice beaches of Thira (Kamari and Perissa), where he develops a feeling of loss because he doesn''t see the bottom of the sea. How can anybody compare them with Manganari at Ios, Kleftiko at Milos, Plaka at Naxos, Pori at Anw Koufonissi, Vathy at Sifnos or Simos at Elafonissos, to name just a few other beaches particularly suitable for swimming in Greek islands?


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