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Old 08-12-2014, 11:22   #16
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Originally Posted by CookiesnTequila View Post
Seaworthy Lass, barnaclejim, Bulawayo. yeloya, NornaBiron - and anyone else out there that is doing or has done this - we would love hear more about the anchorages that you've found along the way - both winter and summer anchorages. ....I may have to start another thread for that!
An account of "anchorages we have found along the way" would fill a book . In summer in the Aegean if we stay clear of areas within a week's sail of charter bases and away from settlements, we can blissfully often have spots to ourselves. These are our favourite places.

A taste to entice you over here. This shot of Eristos Bay in Tilos was taken about a week ago. Our boat is the tiny spec just above the two white buildings. The ruins are of one of the dozen crusader's castles (Knights of St John) that once dominated the island. The larger blocks are remnants from the Hellenistic temple dedicated to Apollo and Athena that the castle was built over. Who said there was a shortage of things to see and do?
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:45   #17
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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. . . it was -10 degrees last night (-19 with wind-chill) - so anything north of +8 sounds absolutely wonderful!!
In my experience --

Sailing in anything from 10 and over is reasonably comfortable. When it's in the lower teens you put on Underarmor skin layer and as many other layers as you feel like, put on weather gear">foul weather gear even in dry weather since it keeps the wind out, and you're fine. We even lounge in the cockpit sometime if it's over 10 at least.

Below 10 starts to get a little more challenging because of hands and face. You need a good hat, you need good gloves, and you stay out of the wind under the spray hood a good bit of the time.

Around zero, you really can't take the wind on bare skin, so you need the gloves on -- just keeping your hands in your pockets is not enough -- and a face mask becomes critical. I have sailed in temps under 0, but would not want to do a longer passage like that. It becomes fairly challenging to stay warm enough and accomplish your tasks on deck, and any kind of bad weather would become dangerous.


If you're Canadian, then maybe you've ridden snowmobiles -- you'll know that you can be perfectly comfortable even in -30 and even in 60 miles per hour of wind so long as every bit of skin is covered and you have enough insulation.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:48   #18
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Awesome! How far are you from a town with provisions, a restaurant or two etc.? It seems like you could never be more than a manageable dinghy ride away in the Med.

Also - we'd intend to go into a marina for a week or three at a time when we plan on being away, and have no problem being in one if it's calling for real nasty weather - we just don't want to have to be in a marina for 3 months - or more - if it's not necessary!

Cheers
Currently we are a 40 minute bus ride away from the closest provisions or taverna, but only by choice. Tying up to quays in small towns is certainly an option, but at the expense of privacy. Most tavernas are closed at this time of year though in anything other than reasonably populated areas.

I think the marina alternative to escape bad weather is not practical in the Aegean. Bad weather can arrive occasionally with little notice, marinas are few and far between and often booked out. The better alternative if you wish to shelter in a marina is to have a berth for the winter and only nip out for brief periods nearby when the weather is good.

At the moment this is the forecast specifically for the island we are on. I don't think we have had enough wind to stretch out our anchor chain all day and the forecast is wrong the other way just as often.

Note the temperature (a steady 18C for 24 hours ).
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Old 08-12-2014, 20:47   #19
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
An account of "anchorages we have found along the way" would fill a book...

A taste to entice you over here... :
We didn't need much enticing, but now we are definitely setting our sights in your direction - right through next winter!!! And, when did you say we could get a copy of that book?
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Old 08-12-2014, 21:06   #20
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

One of so very many magic parts of cruising the Med is the availabity of great food. Either in open markets or great restaurants. People say the Med is crowded and that has not been our experience. You can fight the crowds if you like but there are so many quiet anchorages and in winter you will be all alone. After and between the blows the weather is great and balmy. Southern Turkey will get you out of the EU which seems to be an issue with the Greeks more than all the other EU countries. My only regret is that they dont have proscuitto or Spanish Jamon. There must be some suffering I suppose.
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Old 08-12-2014, 23:14   #21
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Originally Posted by CookiesnTequila View Post
We didn't need much enticing, but now we are definitely setting our sights in your direction - right through next winter!!! And, when did you say we could get a copy of that book?
Examples of a few good Greek "bolt holes" in the southern Aegean:
Vathi Bay, Astipalia (1 nm long)
Pamormitis, Bay, Symi (0.4 nm long)
Spinalonga Lagoon, Crete (2.8 nm long)

Some bays are not quite so enclosed, but have protection from all wind directions within a nm or two in the bay, so relocating is easy:
Naoussa Bay, Paros

Other alternatives are islands close together with a possible anchorage on the north side of one and the southern side of the other such as Kos and Pserimos (2nm apart).

If you are in a "conventional" anchorage you really want to have an alternative close by for when the wind flips or when strong winds or thunderstorms are forecast.

If you have a tablet, download Navionics for the Med and you will have hours of entertainment before you go looking at all the spots (and dreaming ), and it is a brilliant tool once you are here. Map updates are free, so no loss doing this early.

Cheers,
SWL
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Old 09-12-2014, 06:31   #22
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

All of your suggestions and insight have been wonderful!

Yes we have snowmobiled in -30, and yes we keep very warm doing it. As you said, everything is easier if you have the right gear and mindset!

To Seaworthy - The only reason we haven't purchased the Navionics for the Med yet (we have North America) is because we don't quite own our boat yet, and don't want to jinx it in any way!!! We set out to find our "perfect" boat and decided to let that make our decision as to where in the world we would start our adventure - so we haven't had any time to dream yet. But it is getting so close to being done - finally - that we are skipping the dreaming and jumping right into the planning!!! Thank you for the anchorages - we will definitely have a look.

Feel free to keep sharing your wisdom with us
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Old 13-12-2014, 13:02   #23
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

You are correct - I would guess that Yeloya is well placed for providing good recommendations. We spent two winters in Kekova Roads and would go for local walks and the occassional sail, including to Northern Cyprus. The area is fantastic with heaps to see and the locals were totally trustworthy. One restaurant even delivered free fresh bread every morning as we patronised their restaurant a couple of evenings per week.

However - I also have a question for SEAWORTHY LASS;
How do you look after your down duvet? We tried having one on board and it was ruined very quickly by the constant damp air. That was a quick way to drown a lot of cash!
We don't like sleeping bags - in winter we lay closed cell camping bed rolls on the floor and place loose rugs over them. Its nice to walk on and insulates our feet from cool flooring. We also run our two diesel heaters (one per hull) 24/7 on a low setting and the interior does get quite cosy. Our super duper duvets were destroyed by damp before we fitted the heaters - is that the secret?






Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiesnTequila View Post
Great great responses!! Thank you all.

It confirms what I suspected - and Dockhead seems to have summed it up - "...it's more a question of mentality and attitude than anything else..." And I might add it doesn't hurt growing up in Canada - we all seem to have a little antifreeze in our veins!!!

We have diesel heating throughout. We have very good (and will have even better) ground tackle, we would much rather anchor out, which translates to less crowds/tourists and more natural local state of being that we're sure winter affords, and it was -10 degrees last night (-19 with wind-chill) - so anything north of +8 sounds absolutely wonderful!! We are now looking much more forward to next winter - our first full winter in the Med!!

Seaworthy Lass, barnaclejim, Bulawayo. yeloya, NornaBiron - and anyone else out there that is doing or has done this - we would love hear more about the anchorages that you've found along the way - both winter and summer anchorages. ....I may have to start another thread for that!
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Old 13-12-2014, 13:33   #24
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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However - I also have a question for SEAWORTHY LASS;
How do you look after your down duvet? We tried having one on board and it was ruined very quickly by the constant damp air. That was a quick way to drown a lot of cash!
We don't like sleeping bags - in winter we lay closed cell camping bed rolls on the floor and place loose rugs over them. Its nice to walk on and insulates our feet from cool flooring. We also run our two diesel heaters (one per hull) 24/7 on a low setting and the interior does get quite cosy. Our super duper duvets were destroyed by damp before we fitted the heaters - is that the secret?
We have no heating on board, but have a very dry boat (aluminium, bone dry bilge, 3" foam insulation above the waterline). The only visible dampness is occasional condensation on the inner rim of hatches and this can be minimised by closing the sunshades at sunset. I have never had to wipe mould off any surface.

While in use, during the day I hang the duvet at the end of the bed so that it airs and on sunny days it often gets hung out.

When it becomes too warm to use the duvet (it is substituted with a thin patchwork quilt) I hang it outside on a warm day to ensure it is bone dry, roll it up tightly to exclude air and stuff it into a pillow case. Pure down takes up little room. A simple shake gets it fluffy again. It only two years old, but there is no mouldy whiff at all.

Pillows are continental sized goose down and are in constant use. Fluffy protectors are used on those under the pillowcases and washed often. Zero problems either.

Hope that info helps .
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Old 13-12-2014, 19:10   #25
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
We have no heating on board, but have a very dry boat (aluminium, bone dry bilge, 3" foam insulation above the waterline). The only visible dampness is occasional condensation on the inner rim of hatches and this can be minimised by closing the sunshades at sunset. I have never had to wipe mould off any surface.

...
You really are used to cold and condensation. When it is cold the simpler way I know off to take away condensation and keep warm is a webasto type heater with a blowing system. That will keep the condensation and the cold away and it is not that expensive or wastes too much diesel. Why don't you use a system like that? I am not criticizing your lifestyle, just curious.
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Old 13-12-2014, 23:52   #26
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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You really are used to cold and condensation. When it is cold the simpler way I know off to take away condensation and keep warm is a webasto type heater with a blowing system. That will keep the condensation and the cold away and it is not that expensive or wastes too much diesel. Why don't you use a system like that? I am not criticizing your lifestyle, just curious.
I would love a heater, but would prefer the reliability of a diesel drip heater like a Refleks. Also a Webasto system chews through the power (we rely on solar for almost all our power needs).

Problem is finding a spot to put it. The need for heat has not been overwhelming (they breed Aussie lassies tough ). Also, I have a hot body next to me to snuggle up to at night .
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Old 14-12-2014, 01:05   #27
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

Hi,

When anchored in places such as Pamormitis Bay, Symi over the winter would you tend to take stern lines ashore so you can tuck in close to protection from the prevailing wind or do you find the wind direction changes too much/too fast/at 2am/etc and you'd rather just be swinging further out ...at least in winter it won't be a crowded anchorage so you'll have your pick of places to drop anchor!

Not a question specific to Symi of course, more just general advice about winter anchoring preferences vs. summer anchoring choices.

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Old 14-12-2014, 02:27   #28
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Hi,

When anchored in places such as Pamormitis Bay, Symi over the winter would you tend to take stern lines ashore so you can tuck in close to protection from the prevailing wind or do you find the wind direction changes too much/too fast/at 2am/etc and you'd rather just be swinging further out ...at least in winter it won't be a crowded anchorage so you'll have your pick of places to drop anchor!

Not a question specific to Symi of course, more just general advice about winter anchoring preferences vs. summer anchoring choices.

Phil
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We do not usually tie to shore over winter. We don't like it, as we prefer sitting correctly to the wind and having a variable view as we swing.

It is generally not ideal over winter anyway, as the wind tends to attack from all directions. Beam on wind when tied to shore is yuk. It can place a lot of force on your anchor and if the anchor does not hold you may very quickly find yourself on shore /the rocks.
On the plus side it helps that the direction of pull on the anchor is not changing a lot and as you are generally anchoring uphill it makes the effective scope dramatically better.

Unless the forecast wind is light for several days, we pick spots with reasonably good holding and enough room to put out decent scope (and as always set our anchor well using full reverse for 30 seconds).

I guess for short periods of good weather you would just do whatever you do in summer.

We are currently at the anchorage in my avatar enjoying brilliant blue skies, and simply magic scenery. T-shirt and shorts weather .

Yes, you can get some bad blows here and the wind can whip around and change direction quickly and with some force (good anchoring gear is needed), but I bet it is still a lot better than say the UK in summer . I really don't understand why so few boats are out here from the end of October to early May. That is 6 months of the year that we feel like we have the Aegean to ourselves. We have seen just one other boat in seven weeks.
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Old 15-12-2014, 06:57   #29
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

We are in a magic spot at the moment. A fairly unprotected anchorage on an uninhabited island with crystal clear water and interesting rock formations.

The weather in the Med in winter can be good, bad or ugly.

This shot taken today is an example of the "good" (glorious in fact ). I will add a couple of shots of the "bad" next time we encounter it. I am usually hiding under the table when the "ugly" hits, so no photos may be forthcoming then .
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Old 15-12-2014, 07:06   #30
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

Looks perfect! What's the water temp? When was it last swimmable?
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