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Old 07-01-2015, 03:12   #91
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

Winter sailing in the Med - I would agree with many of the posts above - eminently do-able, as long as you have your list of safe havens to hand. It's certainly much better than winter sailing in UK waters, where days are short, sea temperatures low, frosts common, and periods of settled weather short and infrequent. Yet there are lots of boats which sail throughout the winter in UK.

I've spent many winter periods during the last 35 years in the Med, often delivering boats for charter companies, and helping charter bases prepare for the spring influx of visitors. Later I wandered Europe for 10 years on my own boat. My conclusions about places and seasons in the Mediterranean are all written up on my web site - The Mediterranean | JimB Sail

Two quotes from the Med pages. First, how to interpret weather:
Quote:
It's best to think of the Mediterranean as having only two sorts of weather - settled, and unsettled - and four areas where predictable strong winds often occur.

Settled weather is nice,
<big snip of detail>
Unsettled weather is when there's significant heavy cloud around for a day or four. Area forecasts may then hide major variations, when some very sharp and violent wind shifts may occur, often associated with thunderstorms or fronts, including the occasional tornado. Quick access to a well sheltered harbour is important in unsettled conditions, as is the ability to reef a sailboat quickly.
Now, to find those well sheltered harbours you can read up the pages covering various regions of the Mediterranean. The sunniest spots being SE Spain (Costa del Sol, would you believe) or the southern most parts of Tunisia (popular for winter sun package holidays). But pretty good are Rhodes and the nearby Turkish coast, and Crete.

Second quote is about about winter sailing in the Med:
Quote:
Winter. In winter (say, 1 Nov to late March), unsettled weather is common, with day temperatures around 10C to 18C. Frost is unlikely except in northernmost areas. Winters in the N Adriatic and Sea of Marmaris (where there can be snow) and N Aegean are chilly and wet. In unsettled weather, easy access to a well sheltered harbour is vital, since truly vicious winds sometimes blow.
But periods of settled weather are reliably forecast, and provide fine cruising conditions, with peak day temperatures often exceeding 20C. There are no crowds, although berths may not always be easy to find as few boats are on the move. Some tourist areas really do go to sleep, and facilities, shops and restaurants in smaller places will be shut. The transition from bustling high season August to empty September can be astonishingly abrupt.
JimB
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:26   #92
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

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Originally Posted by jckb View Post
Two quotes from the Med pages. First, how to interpret weather:
"Winter. In winter (say, 1 Nov to late March), unsettled weather is common, with day temperatures around 10C to 18C. Frost is unlikely except in northernmost areas. Winters in the N Adriatic and Sea of Marmaris (where there can be snow) and N Aegean are chilly and wet. In unsettled weather, easy access to a well sheltered harbour is vital, since truly vicious winds sometimes blow."
JimB
yes, certainly the Med is hotter then England on the winter However many people think that latitude has a lot to do with climate and even if that is the case many times, not always. For example you can see that Mediterranean climate (even if out of Mediterranean) is hotter in Algarve than in most Greece, as well as Costa del Sol (and Costa de Plata too) as you refereed and that some other Areas in Greece are quite cold in what reefers minimum Temperature. Even Crete, the Southern big Greek Island as coastal spots quite cold. Some Greek friends that I made there last year told me that yesterday it was snowing on the North coast of Crete.

Average minimum temperature in winter


Lower temperatures in winter:


We are always learning something and for me regarding these maps it was the average lower temperature in Cantabria Coast, North of Spain. Beautifull coast and I was confused with the luxuriant vegetation you can see there, even near the water, common on the Med but rare on the Atlantic. I guess the absence of low temperatures and a very temperate climate explains that as well as the many touristic villages, almost all Spanish. It seems it is a well kept Spanish secret
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Old 07-01-2015, 18:06   #93
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

Corsica average min. is higher than Sardinia and most of the Ionian Sea??... Didn't know that.
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Old 07-01-2015, 19:54   #94
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

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Corsica average min. is higher than Sardinia and most of the Ionian Sea??... Didn't know that.
This is the source.
And Yet Another Tale of Two Maps | JayMan's Blog

And assuming both maps are correct it is in fact interesting since it shows that in what regards minimum register temperature there is no significant difference between Corsica and the Eastern part of Peloponnese and Atica coast but in what regards average minimum temperatures Corsica is less cold.

It shows also that Sicily and Sardinia have similar average minimum temperatures but that the lower temperature register on the South of Sardinia is higher than on Sicily.
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Old 07-01-2015, 23:33   #95
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

This is a great thread for those of us that have left our boats on the hard in the med and returned home. I am in sunny western australia right now but am still jealous of you seaworthy lass!

Great spot Naousa - went for 2 days stayed a week.

keep those posts coming and we can all have a vicarious winter in the med!
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:00   #96
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

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This is a great thread for those of us that have left our boats on the hard in the med and returned home. I am in sunny western australia right now but am still jealous of you seaworthy lass!

keep those posts coming and we can all have a vicarious winter in the med!
Mercurial female here. I have changed my mind. I would rather be in WA today .

It is ****** cold (count the stars and use your imagination ).

Two degrees outside today this morning. Forecast says the wind chill factor brings it down to -5°. Actual top of only 5° this afternoon. Still 20+ knots all day. Even the roosters have decided it is too cold to open their beaks and serenade me this morning. The fact that it is sunny just seems to be taunting. I think I am staying snuggled under the goosedown quilt all day .

I can use the time to count how many days until spring.

SWL
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:11   #97
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

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I can use the time to count how many days until spring.
Sigh... It's 51 days.

Wonder if I can hibernate that long?
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:12   #98
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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
Mercurial female here. I have changed my mind. I would rather be in WA today .

It is ****** cold (count the stars and use your imagination ).

Two degrees outside today this morning. Forecast says the wind chill factor brings it down to -5°. Actual top of only 5° this afternoon. Still 20+ knots all day. Even the roosters have decided it is too cold to open their beaks and serenade me this morning. The fact that it is sunny just seems to be taunting. I think I am staying snuggled under the goosedown quilt all day .

I can use the time to count how many days until spring.

SWL
Uuuuh Lassie - you could just buy a diesel heater for the boat....................

Or convince your merman that he needs to get under the covers with you and do some serious warming
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:13   #99
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

I've sailed a couple of times in winter almost in entire Med and I don't think the climate that I had would statistically be relevant. But I am sailing for the last 10 years and whole year around in Soutwestern cost of Turkey and southern Dodocanese. Just a few notes;

-never heard a term "Marmaris sea" that someone has suggested and never seen a snow in Marmaris. Some 7-8 years ago we had seen some white patches up on the hills, but statiscally this happens once every 30-35 years. I don't know where from these infos are gathered..
-sea water is currently at 17-18 degrees Celcius, it may go further down to mid tens by Feb. Normally, until Christmas sea water never go below 20-22 in Göçek. Marmaris has a 300 days of sunshine per year and the min. temperatures go below 10 degrees very seldom in winter.
-most if not all of the restaurants in the area will be closed and even the wooden jetties are dismantled. However, the restauarants that are on the protected bays of Göçek, the town jetties and restaurants in village like Selimiye are open all year around. The same applies to Greek islands; you will find open restaurants in Simi, more in Kos and Rhodes. But a taverna in Panormitis (back side of Simi island) will be closed as of November 15 th.
-the wine in general in the Med had nothing to be compared with excellent Aussi or South Africain wines. Spain has very good wines though, Rioja is exceptional to me.. Turkey in my view has much better wines than Greece but the prices are outrageous due to extreme taxes.. A decent wine will cost around 25-30 TL (8-10 €) a better one around 40 TL, the double or more in restaurants..
-the most accurate weather forecast for the region in my view is a Greek one; Skiron SKIRON - Regional Forecast Europe - Mediterranian Sea, Greece Yes, the weather is unsettled in winter and southerlies can be nasty and there few shelters against them.

Overall, the coast of Marmaris/Göçek area is among the best in the Med for navigating in winter.

Cheers

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Old 08-01-2015, 02:27   #100
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

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However many people think that latitude has a lot to do with climate and even if that is the case many times, not always.
Indeed. Best proof of that case is to compare 50 N UK against 50 N on the US side of the Atlantic during winter.

Driving the difference are sea temperatures, and direction of prevailing winds. UK has westerlies blowing off the warm gulf stream (thank you, Carribean!); US has westerlies blowing off a continent whose surface freezes in winter.

Another big "comfort" factor is humidity. British (and Irish) winters fail that test dismally. Algarve is an improvement. But Costa del Sol is the winner - most moisture is dumped on the Sierra Nevada, so there's more sun, and lower humidity in winter. Nice.

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Old 08-01-2015, 02:50   #101
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

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Overall, the coast of Marmaris/Göçek area is among the best in the Med for navigating in winter.
Several years ago after the first cold snap one season in the Aegean, I researched to find the warmest driest spot in Europe/Turkey for us to winter. Crete came up trumps. Although the temperature is only a whisker warmer than Marmaris for Dec, Jan and Feb, the rainfall in Marmaris is a whopping 33% more.

These figures are taken from 12 year data are presented here for Marmaris and Agios Nikolaos, which is only about 5 nm from the wonderfully protected anchorage of Spinalonga Lagoon:

Marmaris, Turkey Weather Averages | Monthly Average High and Low Temperature | Average Precipitation and Rainfall days | World Weather Online

Agios Nikolaos, Greece Weather Averages | Monthly Average High and Low Temperature | Average Precipitation and Rainfall days | World Weather Online

I think the cruising ground around Marmaris may give better opportunities for sailing in winter, so this may be worth exploring one year.

Thanks for the weather link. I've not used that site. I find Windfinder the most reliable here, but in winter it is useful to draw information from various sources.

SWL
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:57   #102
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

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Mercurial female here. I have changed my mind. I would rather be in WA today .

It is ****** cold (count the stars and use your imagination ).

SWL
Just to make you feel a little better, -23 (feels like -39 with wind) over night here, with 5-10cm of fresh snow!

Thank goodness we'll be back in Tunisia again very soon!!!
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Old 08-01-2015, 13:09   #103
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

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...
I think the cruising ground around Marmaris may give better opportunities for sailing in winter, so this may be worth exploring one year.

Thanks for the weather link. I've not used that site. I find Windfinder the most reliable here, but in winter it is useful to draw information from various sources.
Yes I think so. That region is not only less cold but more sheltered regarding wind. Marmaris and Bodrum are too expensive and touristic to my taste, try Datça, nice town much less expensive, nice marina (inexpensive) on the town center and good anchorage too. As a bonus it has a traditional restaurant were you can eat for 3 Euros or so: fantastic food...well you have to learn to eat drinking tea

The region is also very sheltered with lots of great anchorages, really good ones and just in front you have Symi one of the nicest Greek Islands with great anchorages too.

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Old 08-01-2015, 15:31   #104
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

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Yes I think so. That region is not only less cold but more sheltered regarding wind. Marmaris and Bodrum are too expensive and touristic to my taste, try Datça, nice town much less expensive, nice marina (inexpensive) on the town center and good anchorage too. As a bonus it has a traditional restaurant were you can eat for 3 Euros or so: fantastic food...well you have to learn to eat drinking tea

The region is also very sheltered with lots of great anchorages, really good ones and just in front you have Symi one of the nicest Greek Islands with great anchorages too.

That's absolutely true but only for the summer. I thought we were discussing the conditions in winter. In summertime, the prevailing wind in this bay (called Yeşilova or Hisarönü on some charts) are westerly, north/ westerly, more northerly if it blows stronger. Datça offer perfect shelter in these winds. But the problem in winter are frequent and very strong southerlies and Datça is fully exposed to these wind. Every year couple of boats are sinking there; stay away from Datça and northern side of this bay in winter..True, there are some cheaper restaurants but you will hardly find any open restaurant in winter in Datça. Selimiye and Orhaniye (sometimes called Keçibükü) offers much better protection in winter.
The main harbour and Padi in Simi also are not tenable in south-south easterly. Panormitis on the western side of the island is an excellent shelter to any weather.
You may also have strong northerly winds in winter, but these are less risky; you'd have plenty of anchorages, including Datça. The reason why I am refering to the risk of southerlies is that they are stronger, brings more surge and swell, they are more frequent and there are very few safe anchorages from Bodrum till Kekova when it blows from this direction..

Cheers
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Old 08-01-2015, 18:09   #105
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Re: Cruising in the winter in the Southern Med – Doable or not?

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That's absolutely true but only for the summer. I thought we were discussing the conditions in winter. In summertime, the prevailing wind in this bay (called Yeşilova or Hisarönü on some charts) are westerly, north/ westerly, more northerly if it blows stronger. Datça offer perfect shelter in these winds. But the problem in winter are frequent and very strong southerlies and Datça is fully exposed to these wind. Every year couple of boats are sinking there; stay away from Datça and northern side of this bay in winter..True, there are some cheaper restaurants but you will hardly find any open restaurant in winter in Datça. Selimiye and Orhaniye (sometimes called Keçibükü) offers much better protection in winter.
The main harbour and Padi in Simi also are not tenable in south-south easterly. Panormitis on the western side of the island is an excellent shelter to any weather.
You may also have strong northerly winds in winter, but these are less risky; you'd have plenty of anchorages, including Datça. The reason why I am refering to the risk of southerlies is that they are stronger, brings more surge and swell, they are more frequent and there are very few safe anchorages from Bodrum till Kekova when it blows from this direction..

Cheers
Yeloya
When I was talking about Datça I was talking about all region I posted on the map and as you stated there are good shelters there including South winds, on Selimye and on the other big cove to the East that has a big marina. I know also the anchorage you mention on Syme the one that has the convent and that offers also good shelter to South winds, and in fact to almost all winds.

I know well that region that has bottoms with good holding and even if I had no been there in the winter it seemed to me that on the relatively small zone that is on the photo I posted there will be good shelter, even on winter with winds of all directions, on different places obviously. Am I wrong?

When you refer to boats sunk in Datça do you refer inside the marina?

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