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Old 30-12-2014, 12:32   #46
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Seaworthy Mermaid,

Mrs. Mac read todays headlines regarding the ferry on fire and the container ship requiring assistance in the Agean over the past couple of days. Where are you currently anchored, or did you take a mooring for a few days?

She also asked what we'd do when we go full time cruising, so I suggested heading over to the Canary islands for the winter months for nicer weather then heading back up into the Med. Is this a viable plan? She liked the idea, so I guess we're making progress here on the home front. At least she's now considering the full time approach. She already knows about most of the locations where us English speaking folks tend to head for the winter like Southern Sicily, but she didn't like the idea of being stuck in one place.

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Hi Ken
The ferry disaster was in the Ionian on the other side of Greece. An awful tragedy . Ten have died and forty passengers are still not accounted for. The rescue was hampered by 30 knot winds for much of yesterday.

I haven't been to the Canaries, someone else can hopefully chime in to let you know what winters are like there and if you are mainly marina restricted.

Apart from Malta and southern Sicily, there are several EU marinas in the Ionian/Aegean with small communities of "winter liveaboards" (plus of course lots in Turkey and a few in Tunisia etc). Nationalities are mixed, but English is widely spoke by most (makes me feel woefully uneducated only being fluent in English). Some people really enjoy this lifestyle for a few months of the year. It is a very social time - activities and get-togethers are organised and the local area explored. People can keep warm as they have shore power. Water is also not an issue. Showers, laundry etc are available.

This is where personal preference plays a HUGE role. Marinas make me feel as if the boat is a caravan in a caravan park. This has never had any appeal - pitching a tent on a riverbank in the wilderness and not encountering a soul is my idea of camping . There would be scores that would consider this a nightmare though.

There must be something really unappealing to people about wintering at anchor in the Med, or we would see other boats out here doing it. We have seen only one other cruiser in the last two months. The weather can be fickle at times, but I am sure that can't be the the only thing.

In answer to your query, we are currently at anchor in the southern Dodecanese, slowly making out way further south. Summer or winter we prefer anchoring rather than picking up a mooring buoy of dubious security. Besides, we haven't seen a mooring buoy in months either .

SWL
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Old 30-12-2014, 13:11   #47
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Seaworthy Mermaid,

Mrs. Mac read todays headlines regarding the ferry on fire and the container ship requiring assistance in the Agean over the past couple of days. Where are you currently anchored, or did you take a mooring for a few days?

She also asked what we'd do when we go full time cruising, so I suggested heading over to the Canary islands for the winter months for nicer weather then heading back up into the Med. Is this a viable plan? She liked the idea, so I guess we're making progress here on the home front. At least she's now considering the full time approach. She already knows about most of the locations where us English speaking folks tend to head for the winter like Southern Sicily, but she didn't like the idea of being stuck in one place.

Ken
Ive done a lot of winter sailing in the Canaries.

Generally there the temperature is very pleasant 24-28 degrees C, with clear blue skies, its a favourite place for the the Ryanair brigade to head for their post christmas 7-10 day break.

Sailing is good, Ive sailed all the islands in the chain, during December for example.

You have got to remember that you are in effect in the middle of the Atlantic and you need to watch the occasional nasty that blows through. The acceleration zones also make for " interesting" sailing

In my view if you are ok with some boisterous sailing at times, its a great winter destination, good cheap food, marinas have got a bit pricey in recent years

Couple of days sail from Gib. Hardest thing is just getting out of the Portuguese latitudes

PM me if you want any specifics

dave
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Old 30-12-2014, 18:30   #48
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Couple of days sail from Gib. Hardest thing is just getting out of the Portuguese latitudes
Couple of days??
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Old 31-12-2014, 01:13   #49
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Couple of days??
Methinks Dave has a boat that is a wee bit faster than mine
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Old 31-12-2014, 03:33   #50
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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There must be something really unappealing to people about wintering at anchor in the Med, or we would see other boats out here doing it. We have seen only one other cruiser in the last two months. The weather can be fickle at times, but I am sure that can't be the the only thing.
Well, I have reconsidered. Maybe it is just the weather putting people off .

Day after tomorrow now shows more of the same (low 40's knots with gusts into high 40's):
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Old 31-12-2014, 03:37   #51
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

And this is the forecast nearby for Tuesday 6th Jan.
The whole field of single feather arrows look like 10 knots.
Its not 10 knots, it is 50 knots average predicted!

And the ones with a feather and a half are not 15 they are 55 knots.

We will be hanging onto our hats the next few days :
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Old 31-12-2014, 03:55   #52
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

it has been ugly this winter in tunisia. a brit and swiss took a 48' boat over to pantelleria to get some of us some supplies we can not get here and both said it was the worst sailing they ever experienced in their lives and actually got very worried at one point when winds went to 50k (i believe) and seas got huge and square.
we have temps 15 to20 deg below normal with winds between 20 and 40k, thunder storms, and hail and it has been going for for quite a while with little up side forecast.
some hail on our windows in pic
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Old 31-12-2014, 04:34   #53
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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
And this is the forecast nearby for Tuesday 6th Jan.
The whole field of single feather arrows look like 10 knots.
Its not 10 knots, it is 50 knots average predicted!

And the ones with a feather and a half are not 15 they are 55 knots.

We will be hanging onto our hats the next few days :
Good test of your anchor
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Old 31-12-2014, 06:08   #54
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

We ducked down the Red Sea and out into the Indian Ocean. Oman (esp Muscat) has great re-provisioning as does Dar-es-Salaam. Places like Mayotte are expensive to restock in, whilst, Mombasa is limited etc etc. The Red Sea is also a little challenging for buying....especially South of Hurghada. We have found, despite what the pilot book states, that Saudi is excellent for food and remarkedly accomodating. Normally, it is frowned upon to stop but if you should experience mechanical issues, we found them very helpful. Odd, but we always seem to have issues around there...........
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Old 31-12-2014, 06:14   #55
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Methinks Dave has a boat that is a wee bit faster than mine

Where I was born , a " couple " of drinks could get you plastered !!!

Best was 3.5 days on a racing boat. Worst was 6.5 days. Good average 5 -ish

I've done about a dozen runs to the canaries over the years.

Going north is a different kettle of fish , last time took 2.5 weeks. !!


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Old 31-12-2014, 06:39   #56
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

To start with, if it is southern med, we are not talking about Greece and Turkey.
For this area it is doable but wander if it worths?
- You wont have stable wind, calms or 7-7+ most of the time.
- Most anchorages are not tenable for S winds which are dominant and bring in big seas.
- Most anchorages will be deserted, this means relative difficulty for provisions.
- Rain is quite frequent.
On the other hand
- İt will be nice and quite.
- Greener than summer.
- When sunny you will feel about 20 C at noon time.
So
- If not bored of being trapped in an area confined to your boat for long periods, try it.
I would not.
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Old 31-12-2014, 06:44   #57
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pirate Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

Would never consider the E Med for a winter cruise...
W Med however... done it a few times... some lovely anchorages from Sicily W'wards...
If I wintered in the Canaries..?
Spring would herald a loop back to the Med... Madeira, Azores, N Spain and back down..
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Old 31-12-2014, 06:52   #58
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

Canaries has to be a much better option, weather wise at least. Not the greatest anchorages but some that are decent. Provisioning is decent and prices reasonable (compared to the Caribbean not the Med) Marinas vary in price but these days not many deals. Plus there are many other sailors that choose to winter there as it is really very mild compared to most areas of the Med.
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Old 31-12-2014, 07:12   #59
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

It is really interesting to read how people's views differ. This is our 7th winter at anchor in the mid and eastern Med (2 of these only partial winters, once hauling out in Jan, the other being splashed in Jan).

We obviously enjoy it a lot, or we would not persist .

Idle is right though, you need to be content on board for extended periods. You also need to enjoy the isolation. I have not found provisions any harder to source though (in fact the contrary, as we are not seeking remote spots to escape the crowds as we do in summer).

Good anchor gear and technique are essential. This is one thing I can't stress enough.
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Old 31-12-2014, 07:21   #60
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pirate Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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It is really interesting to read how people's views differ. This is our 7th winter at anchor in the mid and eastern Med (2 of these only partial winters, once hauling out in Jan, the other being splashed in Jan).

We obviously enjoy it a lot, or we would not persist .

Idle is right though, you need to be content on board for extended periods. You also need to enjoy the isolation. I have not found provisions any harder to source though (in fact the contrary, as we are not seeking remote spots to escape the crowds as we do in summer).

Good anchor gear and technique are essential. This is one thing I can't stress enough.
Just don't like Greece all that much... actually not much E of Sicily appeals...
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