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Old 27-02-2015, 08:29   #1
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Night Passages In Greece?

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!
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Old 27-02-2015, 10:03   #2
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

An experienced skipper would not have any problem with night passages in Greece, if the weather is fine. There is a big number of ships and ferries but that would not be a problem.

Now a skipper with an inexperienced and unknown crew may have concerns in sailing at night. The problem with sailing at night is someone going overboard. At day, with a crew that is not a problem, at night can be a big safety problem.

Besides charter boats are not many times equipped with the right equipment to sail at night, meaning a way to be safely harnessed to the boat, harnesses and light devises on the life jackets.
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Old 27-02-2015, 10:10   #3
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pirate Re: Night Passages In Greece?

Charters usaully consist of early starts followed by early afternoon anchoring or tying up in a port.. followed by everyone going ashore to do their thing.. and the skippers left in peace..
Night sailing..? thats fer ijiuts...
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Old 27-02-2015, 10:19   #4
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

We are currently in Tunisia and will be sailing Greece next summer and are currently going through the planning. While I have put 3/4 of the plan together and not complete or miles between potential stops, the ones I have looked at are fairly short.

What would be your first day that you would need an overnight? In the boat you are chartering you could easily do 150+nm in a 24hr day and that is a long way in Greece.


OH by the way we kept SoulMates in Rickenbacker before we took off cruising a number of years ago.
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Old 27-02-2015, 10:36   #5
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

it is a well know fact that charter skippers like to be tied to the dock by 4pm,wined and dined at the local taverna,and safely tucked up in bed by 11pm,preferably with the hostess,so they can get a 6am start and keep everybody happy................
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Old 27-02-2015, 10:48   #6
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
it is a well know fact that charter skippers like to be tied to the dock by 4pm,wined and dined at the local taverna,and safely tucked up in bed by 11pm,preferably with the hostess,so they can get a 6am start and keep everybody happy................
Good to know.

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Old 27-02-2015, 11:31   #7
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

Scuba - Why do you want to go so far? If starting and returning to Mykonos your in the heart of the Cyclades already so there's no need to go far.


For my first day I'd head down to Naousa, 20nm down wind. From there, around Paros to a small island on the South side for swimming, then to the SE end of Anti Paros for the night. Then to Schinousa, Amorgos, Koufonisia, Donousia, then back to Delos for the last night before returning to Mykonos.


We have sailed several night passages in the Aegean but the distance has to be at least 70 nm to make sense. And at night you want to be at the Tavernas and the skipper in bed (with the hostess).
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Old 27-02-2015, 12:10   #8
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

I'm all about being dined and tucked in bed.

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Old 27-02-2015, 12:23   #9
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

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Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
Scuba - Why do you want to go so far? If starting and returning to Mykonos your in the heart of the Cyclades already so there's no need to go far.
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.
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Old 27-02-2015, 13:19   #10
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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.
Read this:
Anyone been into Santorini Marina in 2013?

Santorini is one of the top 10 sights in the world but best visited by plane or ferry. Also, when you plan your trip, remember the wind (Meltemi) blows from the North East to North West but almost always from the general North. So with a catamaran you really want to avoid heading North as much as you can. Plan your trip more East / West if possible. You should read up on the Small Cyclades - Very nice.

We will be in the Middle Cyclades from June 28th to July 22nd this year. If your trip is around that time send me a message and maybe we will run into each other.

You really need to visit Delos. Naousa is very nice and a great starting point for your friends. There are very cool rock formations on a small island south of Koufonisia you can visit by tender. Climb to the top of one and jump off yelling your favorite party cry. One of the best days you can have is renting scooters on Amorgos and touring around the island.
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Old 27-02-2015, 14:15   #11
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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.

BTW.. your blog is very interesting! We'll only be in the Cyclades for a week (not nearly long enough) from 5/30 through 6/6.

Thanks again.
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Old 27-02-2015, 15:22   #12
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

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.
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Old 27-02-2015, 15:35   #13
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

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

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Old 27-02-2015, 17:19   #14
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
it is a well know fact that charter skippers like to be tied to the dock by 4pm,wined and dined at the local taverna,and safely tucked up in bed by 11pm,preferably with the hostess,so they can get a 6am start and keep everybody happy................
Welcome to CF SoFla Sailor. I think atoll has it. Plus, what hired skipper would want to trust an unknown crew to stand watch while he's catching some sleep down below at night?

We've done a couple of overnight sails on charters. Once in the Sea of Cortez and another from St. Lucia to Guadaloupe. I was skipper with trusted friends along to take watches. We did it for the experience and challenge. It was awesome I'd say.

But where you are, you could stay with day sailing and be just fine. Plus the crew will be more rested and that's not a bad thing too!
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Old 28-02-2015, 01:08   #15
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Re: Night Passages In Greece?

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Originally Posted by SoFla Sailor View Post
Well that settles that question. Thanks! Sounds like you had a horrible experience.

BTW.. your blog is very interesting! We'll only be in the Cyclades for a week (not nearly long enough) from 5/30 through 6/6.

Thanks again.

we will miss you also as we will be in Albania in May and most of june and not make Greece until July and then spend 90 days before heading to Turkey for the winter. Our problem is Schengren and the 90 days in the EU. We would like to spend more time in Greece but alas rules are rules and we do not need the potential hassle.
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