Well I was going to let you all know how it went, but I haven't found the time yet. I do now so here we go :-)
To be honest, everything went quite well. We had a great holiday, ate some delicious food
, had great fun and laughs. I was, however, a bit weary when we got back (Long days, short nights you see ;-) )
So, about sailing the Cyclades
Yes, We've had some 7 Bft winds mostly in the first part of our journey (Athens -> Sounion -> Mylos (in one trip! :-) ) -> Folegandros -> Santorini) but we found it to be perfect sailing conditions.
We never had the feeling of losing control of the boat but of course, we had to reef the sail in those conditions. There were some big waves at times but nothing we couldn't handle.
I have to admit that at one moment (during maybe an hour or so) we had to stay focused. There were a lot of waves and some strong 7 bft winds (8 bft gusts) so you can imagine everybody was 'on alert' but there was never anybody panicking. Our captain
kept everything under control. In fact, I loved it! :-)
The second part of the trip was a lot less windy and especially the last days, going from Mykonos via Syros and Kythnos back to Athens, we had to use the motor
since there was, by our standards, not enough wind
. We barely reached 3 knots. To be honest, it got boring...
We even talked about the advice we were given on this (and another forum) not to sail the Cyclades because of the strong winds and we couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.
Sure, as I said, we had some strong winds and we've had some roughs seas but it never got that bad we feared losing control of the boat. It is sailing after all! ;-)
Maybe we were just lucky and winds weren't that bad when we were sailing (4 - 18 august) or maybe we just like some challenging conditions I don't know. Before we left Athens, we did talk about the advice we were given and we agreed not to take any risks and stay in the harbour when the seas would be to rough, but this never happened.
So let me now say a thing about the Greek harbours...
One word : Disappointing...
A lack of electricity and water
in 70% of the harbours. Most of the times there was simply no way of filling our water tanks
or charge the battery
. In some harbours there were connecting points but they simply didn't work. The didn't work just now... No, They've never worked at all... So what's the point of installing them?! They had to be installed for a lot of years since the were rusty and almost falling apart but for some strange reason the didn't bother making them work...
Several times we asked, in vain, if somebody could help us. Which wasn't the case because there was nobody to help! We never saw anybody responsible for the harbour apart from the nice guy with a big beard in Milos. I think his name was Miltos?
Another thing : Showers in a Greek harbour is apparently an unnecessary luxury as well.
After talking (and complaining) to the locals, one shouldn't be surprised of this lack of comfort since apparently all the harbours are considered to be 'fishing harbours'... Hello! Tourism makes up 18% of the Greek GDP for crying out loud!
Ok, one can take a shower
on the boat. But you have to have water in your tank to be able do that...
Let me be clear, I'm not asking for a *****-harbour, but I'd like to at least be able to shower
after being on sea for (sometimes) around 12hours. I haven't' got much sailing experience, so I can't compare a lot of countries, but last year we went to Croatia
and, my god, what a difference!
I'll stop complaining now, because all things considered we had a great holiday as I said, but I don't think of returning to Greece
. To sail that is. We spend 2 days on Santorini and Mykonos (no water or electricity at all. A shame for such a well know place) and we spend 2 beautiful days visiting Athens. I'd like to return to Santorini one day and get to know the Island and his past but I don't think I will go sailing in the Cyclades again.
And that is mostly due to the lack of comfort in the harbours.