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Old 02-01-2015, 02:52   #76
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Originally Posted by Macblaze View Post
Here's an odd semi-OT question that I have never heard the answer to. Travelling between the US and Canada they are way sticky about transporting copious amounts of booze. Hell, technically they are sticky about travelling form province to province (everyone needs their cut of the tax revenue!).

But I can't imagine Europeans making a fuss about wine. Wine seem more of a staple than a luxury there... What are the laws regarding a lovley floating wine cellar?
EU guidelines (countries can make their own but generally don't) are:

Coming from another EU country(per person over 18):

10 liters of hard alcohol (over 22% alcohol)
20 liters high alcohol wine (port wine etc, under 22% alcohol)
90 liters normal wine
110 liters beer

Dockhead - there goes your ide about mounting a mega gin tank on your boat.
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:08   #77
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

Macblaze, it's a Canadian thing.
And you're exactly right about the rules just being tax grabs. I once heard the guys at the US border described as "Border Guards", and those at the Canadian border as "Tax Collectors". That's about right.

Travelling with alcohol, or packaged meats, nuts, fruits--just doesn't seem to be an issue anywhere else in the world except Canada.

Carsten, that's interesting info to know. In addition though, I believe there is some relief for the megayachts, or those who deem their yacht their residence. I've heard some of the big guys have wine cellars of thousands of bottles. I think Greg Norman's yacht once included photos of his wine cellar. I drooled all over the keyboard ....

Cookies--don't even think of dashing off to the Caribbean! Enjoy the Med fully before moving on!
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Old 02-01-2015, 06:04   #78
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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
Greece has some world class produce: thyme honey, yoghurt, feta, olives, olive oil .... Wine is not on my list. As an Aussie lass I have a taste for full bodied Shiraz/Cab sav blends and Greek reds I've tasted fall well short of what I would call great reds.

In dim little grocery stores I stand struggling to decipher which bit of the label refers to the varietal and 99% of the time I am none the wiser. So I take pot luck and this has been more of a 'miss' than a 'hit' thing for me. On the odd occasion I find a bottle we like, we have moved on and I never see it again.

When it comes to cheap wine, the very best Greek stuff I've found comes from Liddl supermarkets. Wine from the Nemea region in the Peloponnese with a black label is their most expensive Greek red at around 4 and it is decent cheap wine (better than most I have paid twice or three times more in groceries). I come across a Liddl a couple of times a year and stock up .

The Moraitis red I've enjoyed has been a bit more like the big gutsy Aussie reds we long for and I filled the dinghy with the last lot I bought:
Greek Wine, Winery Moraitis in Paros Greece
It was around 8, so still a relatively cheap bottle.
I have never seen it for sale elsewhere. The other great thing is that this little gem can be found just a short walk from a good anchorage and boxes are delivered right into my dinghy .

Any other recommendations for Greek reds from anyone, including where they can be found?

(PS Cookies, before you leave Tunisia, if you are heading to Greece, stock up on wine. It is excellent value for a reasonable drop, at least it was several years ago when we were there. There is a winery about half an hour from Port Yasmine marina that is open by appointment only. The locals in the marina can give you all the info.)
Thanks for sharing. Odd Tunisia having good wine being a Muslim country and all. Yes Liddl is a reference in several countries in what refers the quality of affordable wines. In Italy try Eurospin: Amazing the quality regarding the prices.

Regarding Greek red wines last summer I had a dinner with a French couple aboard our boat and they brought a bottle of red wine. After starting dinning and after they apologize by the bad quality of the wine (after tasting it) I opened a bottle of Sicilian Nero d'Avola and we had a nice dinner with not one but two bottles of wine. Some days later at the supermarket i found a bottle of the wine they brought and I was appalled by the price: it costed at least 4 times the price of the Nero D'Avola that we had drunk!!!

Let me say that my tastes in wine varies a lot, I like many types of different wine...just don't like bad wine and expensive bad wine I just hate it
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Old 02-01-2015, 06:35   #79
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

So, a cruise ship pays tax at every port? These limits have to be considered on the basis of whom they are meant to affect. We have never lied about our 'cellar' and have never had a single issue. We are not re-selling and our boat is our home. In Saudi we were asked to provide a hasp and staple for the authorities to use their own padlock and that was that. We have stocked up significantly for long term cruising and when asked to declare our stocks we have done so. No-one has even raised an eyebrow, nor have we been asked to pay any tax. We were once asked where the stocks were bought, which was in Europe, and ton confirm it was for our own consumption but have never had any cause to be concerned.
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:04   #80
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Thanks for sharing. Odd Tunisia having good wine being a Muslim country and all.
And who else but an Aussie would source out a winery in a Muslim country a day after arriving .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polux View Post
I opened a bottle of Sicilian Nero d'Avola and we had a nice dinner with not one but two bottles of wine. Some days later at the supermarket i found a bottle of the wine they brought and I was appalled by the price: it costed at least 4 times the price of the Nero D'Avola that we had drunk!!!
Polux, we must share the same taste in wine .
A Sicilian introduced us to wines made with Nero d'Avola when we wintered there in 2007. We bought a few dozen before setting off to Greece (we had our favourite, but I can't recall the winery). They were sadly gone all too quickly.

For all the cruisers wintering in Sicily at the moment (I think there are quite a few in Marina di Ragusa) look out for this intense red.

SWL
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:54   #81
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

Back to the weather in the southern Dodecanese. Two days ago in post #50, I attached the forecast for today (Friday 2nd). Recapping, it was predicting:
- 20-40+ knots SE (gusting to high 40's)
- heavy rain
- top of 17C.

Today is Friday and below is the forecast issued today. It was amended to:
- 9 knots NW
- mostly sunny
- top of 13C

This a clear example of the volatile nature of the weather here in winter .

Forecasts a couple of days in advance can be wrong the other way equally often. When cruising here it pays to follow the Boy Scout motto when selecting anchorages and planning passages .

Todays actual conditions have been as shown below:
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:39   #82
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Back to the weather in the southern Dodecanese. Two days ago in post #50, I attached the forecast for today (Friday 2nd). Recapping, it was predicting:
- 20-40+ knots SE (gusting to high 40's)
- heavy rain
- top of 17C.

Today is Friday and below is the forecast issued today. It was amended to:
- 9 knots NW
- mostly sunny
- top of 13C

This a clear example of the volatile nature of the weather here in winter .

Forecasts a couple of days in advance can be wrong the other way equally often. When cruising here it pays to follow the Boy Scout motto when selecting anchorages and planning passages .

Todays actual conditions have been as shown below:
Sometimes on summer too. On Crete last year I run from a F7 (from the top West coast) to the South coast of Crete. They gave a F5/6 there. When I arrived there, some 6 hours later, it was blowing a full F8 and when I anchored and look at the internet again they predicted a F10, and this time the were right
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Old 02-01-2015, 21:55   #83
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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

(PS Cookies, before you leave Tunisia, if you are heading to Greece, stock up on wine. It is excellent value for a reasonable drop, at least it was several years ago when we were there. There is a winery about half an hour from Port Yasmine marina that is open by appointment only. The locals in the marina can give you all the info.)
We were surprised about the wine in Tunisia also, and already have a few labels stored in our photo archives for when we return - to stock up!

Limit to bring into Canada - provided of course that you've been out of the country for at least 48 hours - heaven forbid you just wanted to slip across to your favorite outlet - is one whole liter per person!! Regardless of whether you are in your home or on foot!

We are going looking for the wineries in Tunisia in a few weeks!!
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:30   #84
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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I'm always cautious of forecasts in the Med as they are wrong as much as right. Let us know after Tuesday what the wind does. Windfinder, which I use, shows the wind starting on Wednesday, but that's quite a long way off and certainly will change.
It was a false alarm . The predicted 50 odd knots has thankfully not eventuated. Tuesday has arrived and the wind is intermittently 30+ knots today, gusting to high 30's and 20's the rest of the time (about the same tomorrow). Temperature has plummeted though - it's the first cold day for the winter with the wind chill bringing it down to just 2.

Despite this, today was one of those days that makes winters here so wonderful at times. On the 6th of January Epiphany is celebrated and with it the blessing of the waters. It is second only to Easter when it comes to Greek festivals.

We are currently anchored opposite a monastery that was started up well over 1000 years ago. The original church was built over a temple to Apollo and ancient blocks have been utilised throughout. The current church was extensively renovated in the 1700's and the vaulted ceiling and walls are covered in frescoes and lit softly by chandeliers.

We have been frequently treated to chanting carried over the water, accompanied by a chorus of roosters, but this morning it needed to be experienced first hand. With the wind gusting and the actual temperature only about 4, we rugged up and hopped in the dinghy to join the celebrations. Fresh greenery and mandarins decorated the interior of the church (Christmas day service had been decidedly more somber). Each of us was blessed with a bunch of fresh basil dipped in holy water.

The service was followed by "refreshments" in a narrow small reception room lined with dark timber, red velvet curtains and Persian rugs. A ring of portraits of abbots going back over several centuries looked down on the proceedings. We were urged to sit and plied with rich honey biscuits and kourambiethes, which are absolutely impossible to eat without getting covered in powdery icing sugar . Home made Turkish Delight (more icing sugar to struggle with) was washed down with sweet cardamon scented black tea and then shots of rocket fuel raki at 10:30 am .

Fuelled and rugged up we all trooped out for the highlight. The blessing of the water includes a cross being tossed into the sea and young men diving to retrieve it. Five brave lads lined up today, visibly shaking in the cold.

We have attended several of these ceremonies now and in clear water with calm conditions the cross used is metal and sinks. They must have experienced problems actually retrieving it at times (can you imagine the horror of a lost cross!) so in some locations a string is tied to it. Here the cross used was timber and floated.

The joy on the winner's face was priceless .

All this was followed by a sit down feast.

We were the only non locals in attendance today and felt especially lucky to be able to share in a custom that actually has its roots in antiquity. I just love it here out of season .

Shot of them diving in. That is our mast on the left:
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:32   #85
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

Clutching the cross, the cold forgotten. What a happy face:
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:02   #86
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Pretty off topic but I LOVE NAOUSA !!
Need a break.
Read this as I LOVE NAUSEA..........
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:07   #87
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

Wow...

Just Wow.... What an experience... Thanks for giving us the 1% feeling of what it really must have been like being there...
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:11   #88
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Wow...

Just Wow.... What an experience... Thanks for giving us the 1% feeling of what it really must have been like being there...
Still feels like I am walking on Cloud 9. Can't wipe the smile off my face.
A dose of raki in the morning sure does work wonders .
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:28   #89
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Wow...

Just Wow.... What an experience... Thanks for giving us the 1% feeling of what it really must have been like being there...
Took the words right out of my mouth!!

Next year!!!
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:44   #90
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med Doable or not?

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Wow...

Thanks for giving us the 1% feeling of what it really must have been like being there...
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Took the words right out of my mouth!!
I enjoy of all your posts, but these are particularly cool!
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