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Old 04-09-2012, 10:16   #16
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Re: Cyclades in august

Hi Petirrojo.
How was your sailing trip ! Did you enjoy it ?
I have heard it was constantly windy in Cyclades this summer...
Thanks for giving a feed-back . It will be useful for others.

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Old 06-09-2012, 05:52   #17
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Re: Cyclades in August

Hi Jacques,

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 then.

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.
Sorry Greece.

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Old 06-09-2012, 06:16   #18
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Re: Cyclades in August

Glad you had a safe trip.

The Greek harbours are not marinas and as you note are a bit like anchoring out, but you are tied up to wall. Generally there is no (or very minimal )charge however.
Water is generally solved by locating the "water man" who will deliver water in a tanker for a small fee. Many Taverners supply free showers (if you dine), but you need to ask.
It sounds like the charter briefing was a bit inadequate and it may be worth letting them know so they can cover these points in future.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:02   #19
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Re: Cyclades in August

Hi Petirrojo.
Thanks a lot for your feed-back. I think it will be very useful next year for those who will, like you, looking for information about Cyclades in August. It looks like you were with a skilled skipper and a crew who love sailing in those conditions.
Personally, I agree with noelex 77...
I have quite everywhere find water when I needed, but the fact is I know enough of Greek words to ask for and I love to have even short "conversations" (in a mix of english, greek or german) with fishermen, they know where the water is ! And they know the local weather too !
But your experience is yours and chartering a boat is a very different situation compared with mine.
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Old 11-09-2012, 00:04   #20
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Re: Cyclades in August

Originally Posted by Petirrojo View Post
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 :-)

<lots of snips>

So let me now say a thing about the Greek harbours... One word : Disappointing... Why? A lack of electricity and water in 70% of the harbours.
First, what a great post! Really useful.

Second, you didn't mention age, but from your reactions to the first part of the cruise in strong winds, I'd guess you come into the "young and adventurous" category. A lot of those who advise cruising folk tend to come into the "old and cautious" category. Which, I guess, is why so many avoid the Cyclades - leaving it as one of the great cruising areas of Europe.

Third, with four novices aboard, I'd expect at leat one to suffer some seasickness in the rough bits. Was that the case?

Fourth - Greek harbours. Your observation, as a comparison with the West Med and Croatia, is spot on. The flip side is that since there are few facilities, harbour costs are very low. The point is, you didn't know this would be the case! So, I'd appreciate your comments on my website page for Greece - do you think this should make the point more clearly?

Lastly, thanks again for a great post!

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Cyclades, cyclades

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