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Old 28-02-2015, 08:58   #16
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

We chartered in Greece many years ago and from our experience found:

The winds are some of the strongest I've run into in 50 years of sailing. Therefore, we decided to not try Santorini. Blew out a jib, but probably because the boat was not in good condition. The fuel tank read empty from beginning to end.

The charter company was unprofessional and the captains that went with our fleet were uncooperative..

The weather can make it difficult to plan much and you can get stuck in a place like Mykonos.

I'd keep the trip simple so everyone can stay within their comfort zones.
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Old 28-02-2015, 12:15   #17
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

Mykonos to Vlychada is only 70NM's. Leave at 7 in the morning, and you will be there around 1830 or so, give or take. BUT.... you'll probably arrive just a little too late to take in the sunset at Oia (unless you've arranged a berth and car in advance), which is really the only reason you're bothering to go. If you just want to see the houses perched on the caldera, then hop to Ios in the early morning from Schniousa or Aliki and grab the ferry. You can reach Thira in a cab pretty quickly from the port, and even have time to have lunch with a view before grabbing the ferry back to Ios and heading for Amorgas the next day. Like Palarran says, Amorgas from a scooter is the way to see Greece. On your way to the Monastary (take long trousers and make sure to sample the cinnamon raki they offer you), stop in at the Cafe Loza in the square of the Chora and ask for Marilynne to give you the key. Don't forget to sample the pastries.

Everybody raves about Santorini, and the caldera is pretty spectacular. The rest of it....not so much. There are MUCH nicer places to visit in Greece (Mykonos isn't on my "Must Do Again" list, but Delos is). Sunset seen from your cockpit is far nicer than squashed amongst the "we're too beautiful" people, not to mention the throngs of backpackers, touts and space cowboys at Oia. If that's your thing...

Your views may differ.

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Old 28-02-2015, 13:10   #18
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFla Sailor View Post
My first post! (Please forgive any missteps).

My group and I have a 7 day bareboat charter reserved for the fist week of June out of Mykonos in the Greek Cyclades on a Lagoon 440. I'm now in the initial stages of route planning and wondered about the possibility / usefulness of night passages as a means of extending our cruising range, making better use of our first day, and perhaps arriving at crowded marinas earlier in the morning.

While I have a considerable amount of local sailing experience and ASA certifications (101, 103, 104, 114) we have elected to hire a skipper. The intent is to gain the benefit of local knowledge and also supplement the lack of sailing experience of the rest of the group. In conversation the skipper has indicated a preference to avoid night passages - noting safety concerns and working hours. Not being familiar with this particular sailing ground I'm at a loss to gauge how much of his objection has to do with working hours rather than safety.
(snip)

I'd be grateful to gather any experience this community may have regarding night passage making in the Cyclades as well as suggestions to further address same with the skipper.

Thanks!
Only a foolish skipper would commit to a night passage on an unknown boat with unknown crew. The typical maintenance standard for a bareboat charter boat is not adequate for night sailing, and in any event a good pro skipper knows not to commit to a plan that depends on ability of guest crew that he/she has not seen with his/her own eyes. After 2 or 3 days of checking out boat and crew the story can change.

I have done the BVI-SXM crossing on a few bareboat charter boats (always with known crew and after a few days on the boat) and talk based on that experience.
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Old 28-02-2015, 16:03   #19
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFla Sailor View Post
My first post! (Please forgive any missteps).

My group and I have a 7 day bareboat charter reserved for the fist week of June out of Mykonos in the Greek Cyclades on a Lagoon 440. I'm now in the initial stages of route planning and wondered about the possibility / usefulness of night passages as a means of extending our cruising range, making better use of our first day, and perhaps arriving at crowded marinas earlier in the morning.

While I have a considerable amount of local sailing experience and ASA certifications (101, 103, 104, 114) we have elected to hire a skipper. The intent is to gain the benefit of local knowledge and also supplement the lack of sailing experience of the rest of the group. In conversation the skipper has indicated a preference to avoid night passages - noting safety concerns and working hours. Not being familiar with this particular sailing ground I'm at a loss to gauge how much of his objection has to do with working hours rather than safety. I'm quite fond of night sailing and believe we may benefit from it. However, I don't want to push the issue if there are legitimate concerns regarding safety. It's worth noting that nothing in my charter contract precludes night passage making.

I'd be grateful to gather any experience this community may have regarding night passage making in the Cyclades as well as suggestions to further address same with the skipper.

Thanks!
You only have 7 days. I wouldn't want to travel too far. Look for anchorages sheltered from the north with small village and Tavernas. Spend your limited time swimming, eating grilled octopus and drinking ouzo.
The charter boat probably doesn't have enough cruising gear (AIS, RADAR ETC) and the skipper will be relying on unknown crew doing watches.
I find the best is anchor and sleep at night. Swim during the day. Start partying as the sun goes down.
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Old 28-02-2015, 16:28   #20
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

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Originally Posted by SoFla Sailor View Post
A few of the group had expressed the desire to make it to Santorini. Given that our contract requires us to be at our turn-around point 1/3rd into our trip I thought one possible option (weather permitting) could be a long overnight leg all the way down to Santorini and then take it easy on the way back. We'd leave port some time around 6pm and arrive after 9am. (approx 70nm @ 5kt).

Please let me know if this idea sounds dangerous or if I'm overestimating average speeds.
I concur with everyone else although is good to get your Southing done when conditions allow then head back North at your leisure; when it blows up going North can be very unpleasant.
Santorini marina not good and miles from town with infrequent bus service. Personally think there are lots better places in the Cyclades than Santorini unless you are 20 something and want to party all night. We generally try to leave early enough to get to next place by midday'ish so can get decent position but in some places worth staying 2 days or more so can explore further, rent scooter etc (btw scooters can often be fully booked in the season so suggest get skipper to ring ahead to reserve). Overall my advice would be see a few places slowly and enjoy them rather than try and cover a lot of territory. It's a holiday isn't it not a race?

TwT
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Old 28-02-2015, 17:19   #21
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

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Thanks about the blog. I haven't added to it in almost two years and really regret that.


FWIW, my family loves Greece. Enough that my son is opening up a Greek food trailer in a month here in the States. We have been working on it for 3 months and it's going to be something special.


It's very hard to come from the States and try to slow down to Greek pace in a week, but you should try. Swimming morning, noon, and night in the crystal clear waters helps. And the beauty is breathtaking. Someday we will have to move on but it seems unimaginable. If you hike up in the hills of Paros or Amorgos you will find wild oregano that's superb. And there's something about the tomatoes. This will be your hardest choice: What do I like better; Alpha, Fix, or Mythos? After 3 years I still can't make up my mind


There's a lot of cruisers on this forum that know the area much better than I do so if you have any specific questions don't hesitate to use us as a travel resource. With a Captain on board you won't have to worry about much though.
FIX, MYTHOS OR ALPHA hmmmmmm. Always the toughest decision in Greece.
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Old 28-02-2015, 18:02   #22
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

I did that in 2011. Rent a sailboat with a skipper. We arrive by plane in Santorini. Spend 3 days there. Scooters and kayak. Swimming and visiting by boat. Very nice. After we took a ferry to Paros to arrive at the sailboat. We were one week on the sailboat. One week with no wind exept two afternoons. Usualy we leave the marinas or anchorage around 9 am and we visit and swim and we were at our next destination in the afternoon. We rent a scooter in every island to visit and, despite the no-wind condition, we enjoy our stay. Every island have something to see and like.
My recommandation is to spent time on every island near you and don't try to go farther away.
Have a nice vacation there.
I dream to go back there.
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Old 28-02-2015, 20:46   #23
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

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Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
Night sails in Aegean Sea in general and in the Cyclades in particular requires a lot of attention. First of all you should know that's the part of the Aegean Sea where the wind is much stronger than the rest; 30-35 is standard, 40 kts is quite frequent. Haven't been to Mikanos but I was in the "so called" marina in Santorini, it's a nightmare. When I was ther I talked to a skipper who came from Mikanos in charter catamaran and said that they remained blocked 3 days because of the 45-50 kts of wind. Not very nice for a charter of 6-7 days..
AIS can help a lot for night sailing. Zoom in and out yr chartplotter every 10 mins or so, there are many small rocks which you can easily miss..

Cheers

Yeloya
Just spent the last 6 hours reading through the Greek Water Pilot... way too many unmarked obstructions and inaccurate charts.... Night sailing is a no go for our group this time. We'll stick to the middle Cyclades and enjoy our limited time.

Thanks everyone for chiming in with your experiences.

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Old 01-03-2015, 04:49   #24
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

For a 7-day charter from Mykonos i agree that you shld absolutely forget about Santorini. When the Meltemi is blowing like stink the only solution is to sit it out 2-3 days in a protected bay so it would be quite likely that your arrival back in Mykonos would be beyond yr charter deadline. I have done a lot of night sailing but i wld never plan it for the first night since most of the charter boats are not set up for it and you will most likely find that some of the nav lights do not work. Best to stay around Paros/Anti-Paros (try Despotico Bay) and the islands S of Paros/Naxos but leave time to visit Delos for a day (overnight not allowed if you have women aboard). Get a copy of Rod Heikell's Greek Pilot which will help you choose the interesting and safe spots.
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Old 05-03-2015, 17:09   #25
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

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Well that settles that question. Thanks! Sounds like you had a horrible experience.

Thanks again.
SoFia Sailor, I've chartered with a few companies, and none permitted overnight sailing - from what I remember, there were references to invalidated insurance if done without the charter companies permission. If there were a charter companies Skipper on board they might allow it. Certainly in the Caribbean various companies used to do inter-base deliveries over-night.
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Old 05-03-2015, 18:05   #26
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

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Originally Posted by keseyken View Post
SoFia Sailor, I've chartered with a few companies, and none permitted overnight sailing - from what I remember, there were references to invalidated insurance if done without the charter companies permission. If there were a charter companies Skipper on board they might allow it. Certainly in the Caribbean various companies used to do inter-base deliveries over-night.
Never heard about that on the Med and certainly not on the charter companies that owned the boats I had charted on Croatia.
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Old 05-03-2015, 19:51   #27
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

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Originally Posted by keseyken View Post
SoFia Sailor, I've chartered with a few companies, and none permitted overnight sailing - from what I remember, there were references to invalidated insurance if done without the charter companies permission. If there were a charter companies Skipper on board they might allow it. Certainly in the Caribbean various companies used to do inter-base deliveries over-night.
Yea.. the contract is mute on the subject as is all I researched in the med. None-the-less, my gut told me to forget about it straight away. It was but for the desires of the crew that I asked. Bottom line: everything other resondents have mentioned seem wholly valid. No night sailing for us on this trip.

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Old 06-03-2015, 11:22   #28
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

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FIX, MYTHOS OR ALPHA hmmmmmm. Always the toughest decision in Greece.
Not hard, Alpha tastes like Heineken, Mythos is for tourists and most Greeks go with Fix ...for a good reason but the truth is that they have much better for the ones that like beer, a bit scattered over the Islands and with local distribution. I have found very good beer in Greece:

The Best Beer from Greece: RateBeer.com
Top 9 Greek Breweries | Cycladia Blog

Corfu is the place where it is easier to find great beer.
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:55   #29
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

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Originally Posted by SoFla Sailor View Post
Just spent the last 6 hours reading through the Greek Water Pilot... way too many unmarked obstructions and inaccurate charts.... Night sailing is a no go for our group this time. We'll stick to the middle Cyclades and enjoy our limited time.

Thanks everyone for chiming in with your experiences.

Sent from my SM-N910T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

Good choice. You're hiring a local skipper for a reason, and they generally know what works. You're visiting Greece to enjoy the local color, not to kill yourself sailing to get to the most touristic island in the chain. Relax. It's going to be a great trip.
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