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Many people think the Med is a lot more easy to sail then the Atlantic and that's a huge mistake.

This year I entered the port of Jakinthos, on Jakinthos Island, Greece, coming from mainland with about 25k wind. I safely moored the boat at Greek style, with anchor and going backwards, on the only available place under the eyes of two worried skippers that had the boats on each side. There was a strong lateral wind and it was not an easy maneuver. At the second try I got it right and put the boat neatly on the place.

One of the guys, that had a 40ft steel boat, a French, congratulated me for the maneuver and asked me how was the sea. I told him it was rough but that I had been sailing downwind and had made an average speed over 8k, sailing very conservatively. He needed to go upwind and we both agree that was not a good idea even on a very heavy boat. It turned out that the guy was living aboard his boat for several decades and that had just finished one more circumnavigation. A nice couple.

We talked some more and about how this year had been windy on the Cyclades and at one point the guy went on saying that the Med was the most difficult place to sail that he knew of. I know that the Med can be quite nasty and that a F8 in the med is way worse than a F8 in the Atlantic but that kind of statement coming from a very experienced sailor kind of surprised me.

I guess that it was for some reason that the old French navy sailors (when the man of war where sailing ships) called the med "La garce", meaning "the whore."

 

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many people do indeed think of the med like this...when I was a kid we often sailed to formentera with my dad...he said the same thing...be very scared if the med when it gets angry...
 

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We once took a 40+ degree roll while on patrol in the Med in a submarine. We were coming up to periscope depth and at about 200' we got hit. What a mess. Back down we went.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
holy crap, what area?

its the confined and confused seas that also make matters worse...a bucnh of stuff all together

anyways safe sailing guys
 

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Whenever I think of sailing the Med I remember the tale of the great Ulysses.
 

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Most of the storms in the Med are cyclonic, so the wind is always changing direction, tiring the crew with excessive sail handling. After a while the seas begin to bounce back from the coasts, all the coasts, because the wind can do 360 degrees in 24 hours or less and remain about 40 knots for the duration, so the seas can be large and confused.
In the Eastern Med, the Meltemi, a wind that can bring about harsh sailing conditions, also can be characterized as one of the few Mediterranean winds that do not necessarily die out at the end of the day and can easily last more than three to six days.
Often, not a pleasant place to sail, it is very expensive and for Americans, Schengen makes it very uninviting right now.
 

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Many people think the Med is a lot more easy to sail then the Atlantic and that's a huge mistake....

What is that black think in the water, center of the screen at 18 or 19 seconds?

Regards,
Brad
 

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Most of the storms in the Med are cyclonic, so the wind is always changing direction, tiring the crew with excessive sail handling. After a while the seas begin to bounce back from the coasts, all the coasts, because the wind can do 360 degrees in 24 hours or less and remain about 40 knots for the duration, so the seas can be large and confused.
In the Eastern Med, the Meltemi, a wind that can bring about harsh sailing conditions, also can be characterized as one of the few Mediterranean winds that do not necessarily die out at the end of the day and can easily last more than three to six days.
Often, not a pleasant place to sail, it is very expensive and for Americans, Schengen makes it very uninviting right now.
Unfortunately but rarely the Meltemi can blow for a week or more. Also the Mistral, the one responsible for this accident can blow for several days, sometimes a week and the Sirocco can also blow for several days. The Bora rarely blows more than a day or two but it can be incredibly violent. The record in a gust is over 250km/h and sometimes it just take the fish out of the water and throw them to land. It can do the same with a boat:D

The winds of the Mediterranean

Even with all these winds not all med regions are equally problematic even if some, mainly the central and South Aegean as well as the zone were the Mistral blows stronger demand an experienced sailor and a sound boat.

Some, like South Croatia and Ionian Greece are among the more easy and pleasant sailing grounds you can find with a wind that comes almost everyday at the same hour, from the same direction and dies at night. Also Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily as well as the other Italian Islands have not strong winds in the Summer being rare the days with F7 and never more than F8.

From the Balearic Islands only Minorca is more exposed to the Mistral.

It is not by accident that these areas have the biggest concentration of Charter yachts and that's because they offer great conditions for sailing and cruising.

Even so the place were I like more to sail is the Aegean, the zone with stronger winds. I sailed there this summer for about two months and I will be sailing there next year. Having wind all day and all night (less strong) almost all days has its advantages for the ones that like to sail:D That means that I used the engine only to charge the batteries and to port maneuvers.

The price you pay is to be some days at anchor waiting the Meltemi to blow away (4 days, 2 days each time this summer) but that is a small price to pay for sailing in a wonderful region with not too many sailboats and full of Islands all with great and many beautiful coves and bays to anchor. Also lots of small ports that are not expensive and have a wonderful life. And then you have the traditional architecture, the traditional culture with great food and wine and not too many tourists, mainly Greek ones.



Regards

Paulo
 

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When you get to spend your winters in the Caribbean and your summers in the Greek Isles running a charter boat, you think you have got it made. But in reality, that is two transAts a year and two transits of the Med from Gib to Greece, spring and fall.
I would only sail the Med again by renting a bare boat in any area I wished to visit and not even consider sailing the length of the Med again.
 
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