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Old 04-10-2014, 04:51   #46
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Re: Wintering in the Med

Considering current, events insuring boats going to North Africa will become more costly and difficult to find. The problem here will be more with insuring your own safety, rather than the boat. Joe

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Old 04-10-2014, 05:52   #47
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Re: Wintering in the Med

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Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
While Judy and I may disagree on Tunisia we do not disagree on this one. Did you think that the insurance companies do not want to insure for the Red Sea for a reason?

We will winter over in Tunisia again.

We hope to sail the Red Sea someday before we leave the Med but not right now as it seems a bit iffy right now.
There are very few, if any, facilities for yacht repairs in the Red Sea. If you do damage to your yacht whilst there your claim will incur a very expensive tow through the Suez Canal. That's why insurers aren't keen and increase premiums and excesses.

The current advice of the UK FCO does not put the main areas of the Red Sea off limits to UK citizens. We're going to Egypt with the RSSS and are happy that the risk we will face there is probably less than that in London, or any major city, on a Friday night.
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Old 05-10-2014, 15:05   #48
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Re: Wintering in the Med

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I'd get to Greece ASAP. First option would be proveza. ...
You mean Preveza? The town or the marinas? The nicest is Cleopatra but it is away from the town. Weather can be nasty there on the winter:Plenty of wind.

Jim gave some good suggestions but what strikes me as odd is talking about starting to cruise the med in October, being an inexperienced skipper. The Med can be terribly nasty on winter. Most people that I know off and winter on the Med don't cruise on the winter, they stay put in a Marina during winter and just sail out locally on some nice sunny day.

Looking this way it is very important to stay on a nice town with the boat located near the center on a perfectly sheltered place, on a spot hot in the winter and not too windy.

Many places in Greece have the problem to be just too touristic...and that makes them very attractive on the summer (lot's of people) but dead on the winter. Jim give some suggestions that I like, specially Almeria, Cartagena and Lagos, all cities of considerable size that don't die on winter. I would went for a city of considerable size anyway. The global offer is much better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorenzoSF View Post
Hi All,

After all the suggestion we have decided to go to the Red Sea, but we are struggling a lot to find insurance that would cover us.
I have tried Y Yacht Insurance as recommended by the Rally team but they don't cover us because the boat is owned by a Japanese but registered in US.

Any other known broker or undewriter you know that will cover boats in the red sea?

Thanks
Red sea in winter? Where are you going to stay? There is a good reason for the difficulty in finding someone that insures the boat to go there. You are going to cross the med in winter to go to the Red Sea? South of Crete can be bad on summer (I got F10 there this summer) but on winter?
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Old 05-10-2014, 17:17   #49
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Re: Wintering in the Med

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Red sea in winter? Where are you going to stay? There is a good reason for the difficulty in finding someone that insures the boat to go there. You are going to cross the med in winter to go to the Red Sea? South of Crete can be bad on summer (I got F10 there this summer) but on winter?
Thanks for the suggestions Polux.

Others have said the reason for the difficulty in getting insured is the lack of repair facilities. You imply there is more, can you tell me?
The political situation does not seem to be critical in the premium turist spots according to the UK F.O. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt

I was thinking of staying in El Gouna, where my son can go to pre-school if needed and it looks like it will be "resort living" for a few months. I realize there is nowhere to go outside of the resorts, and the reefs around them, but I think it will be ok for us to spend a few months relaxing, snorkeling etc.

The passage from Crete worries me too. I have asked an experienced skipper to join us for the trip and of course we plan to wait for the appropriate weather window. There is also a rally going there a bit earlier than us. Do you think it is just unfeasible altogether or what precaution should I take?
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Old 05-10-2014, 17:35   #50
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Re: Wintering in the Med

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Originally Posted by lorenzoSF View Post
Thanks for the suggestions Polux.

Others have said the reason for the difficulty in getting insured is the lack of repair facilities. You imply there is more, can you tell me?
The political situation does not seem to be critical in the premium turist spots according to the UK F.O. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt

I was thinking of staying in El Gouna, where my son can go to pre-school if needed and it looks like it will be "resort living" for a few months. I realize there is nowhere to go outside of the resorts, and the reefs around them, but I think it will be ok for us to spend a few months relaxing, snorkeling etc.

The passage from Crete worries me too. I have asked an experienced skipper to join us for the trip and of course we plan to wait for the appropriate weather window. There is also a rally going there a bit earlier than us. Do you think it is just unfeasible altogether or what precaution should I take?
good idea to take an experienced skipper!
though the passage should be all downwind so should be fairly easy.

the winds under crete are generally from the west untill later in the winter,can be quite strong close inshore,but you lose the NW waves inshore once you pass the western tip.

el gouna is very nice! and very secure,as is most of southern Egypt,they take tourism very seriously.

lots of nice safe lagoon anchorages in the hurghada area
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:12   #51
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Re: Wintering in the Med

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Originally Posted by lorenzoSF View Post
Thanks for the suggestions Polux.

Others have said the reason for the difficulty in getting insured is the lack of repair facilities. You imply there is more, can you tell me?
The political situation does not seem to be critical in the premium turist spots according to the UK F.O. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt

I was thinking of staying in El Gouna, where my son can go to pre-school if needed and it looks like it will be "resort living" for a few months. I realize there is nowhere to go outside of the resorts, and the reefs around them, but I think it will be ok for us to spend a few months relaxing, snorkeling etc.

The passage from Crete worries me too. I have asked an experienced skipper to join us for the trip and of course we plan to wait for the appropriate weather window. There is also a rally going there a bit earlier than us. Do you think it is just unfeasible altogether or what precaution should I take?
You mean here:

Orascom Marine Management | Abu Tig Marina | Map

Certainly it looks nice but for me the problem is to reach there sailing the med in winter. Not that it cannot be done with an experienced skipper. I see you live in Verona (lovely town) but i don't know if you have the boat on the Adriatic or Thyrrenean coast but that will not change much. The problem is that you talk about cruising and sailing a boat from Italy to the red sea in winter will not be cruising but a delivery. I explain:

I have sailed the Eastern med from Italy (Fiumicino) on the last two years, this year I went to Turkey and come back so I guess I know what I am talking about. I went to Turkey slowly, cruising the Ionian, the Peloponnese, Create, Rodes and so on but come back more quickly, from near Ismir by the Corinth channel. It took me about a month, still cruising and stopping for the night and off course stopping when the wind was too strong (4 or 5 days). That was in August/September. Do that in November and probably you will be stopped half the time (or more) waiting for better conditions. Not that you can make it with rough weather but for that you need an experienced skipper and probably a minimal crew.

On the Summer the days are long and the nights warm but in November the nights are big and pretty cold ( I hope you have heating on the boat). Bottom point, it can be pretty rough and I don't know if you and most of all your family will going to appreciate it. The least you want is your family hating living in the boat and thinking cruising is what you are going to do to sailing the boat in winter to the red sea.

If you want an Arab country why not Tunisia, Monastir for example? I would prefer Spain and as was already pointed out Alicante, Cartagena or Palma de Maiorca even Mahon. I don't think that I would like to pass a lot of months surrounded by a very small number of live aboards and among a completely foreign community. But of course this is all a matter of opinion
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:33   #52
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Re: Wintering in the Med

We will disagree with Poulix a bit as we are still underway but not for much longer. we sailed out of Tunisia to Sardinia, Corsica, west coast of Italy, boot of Italy, Albania, Croatia to Venice and now a fast run down the east coast of Italy.

We are sitting in Brindisi getting an alternator fixed and waiting out a lo pressure system that looks like it will pass by today and in 2-3 days we will be underway again for a fast run to Malta for a few days and then hope for a good wx window for the overnight run to Tunisia.

We wintered over in Port Yasmine Hammamet Tunisia last year and will do so again this year.

You really need to think about what you want for the winter. If you are going to just tie up to a dock and wait it out think about Tunisia it is closer to everything and you can avoid a long to the Suez and then back again. Think about what you are going to do next summer and how you are going to get there.

Also you really need to watch the wx as sooner or later the winter winds are going to kick in and we got our fingers crossed that we will be in before the winds come.

As info we had planned to sail Sciliy on the way back but it is just to late in the season and prudence says don't push it; get in and do Sciliy another time.

So think about your plan not just one winter out but the next sailing season as well and do not over estimate what the family can take in terms of a boucy voyage.
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Old 06-10-2014, 13:26   #53
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Re: Wintering in the Med

What a load of tosspot rubbish has been posted here hurrgarda is a safe Marina great winter weather and you can get your yacht repaires done here if need be even get your yacht lifted out funny why 2 million pound boats go there for winter I know of one yacht who hit a reef Canadian flagged yacht hit reef suffered hull and Keel damaged lifted out and repaired
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Old 06-10-2014, 13:31   #54
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Re: Wintering in the Med

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What a load of tosspot rubbish has been posted here hurrgarda is a safe Marina great winter weather and you can get your yacht repaires done here if need be even get your yacht lifted out funny why 2 million pound boats go there for winter I know of one yacht who hit a reef Canadian flagged yacht hit reef suffered hull and Keel damaged lifted out and repaired
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Old 06-10-2014, 16:34   #55
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Re: Wintering in the Med

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We will disagree with Poulix a bit as we are still underway but not for much longer. we sailed out of Tunisia to Sardinia, Corsica, west coast of Italy, boot of Italy, Albania, Croatia to Venice and now a fast run down the east coast of Italy.

We are sitting in Brindisi getting an alternator fixed and waiting out a lo pressure system that looks like it will pass by today and in 2-3 days we will be underway again for a fast run to Malta for a few days and then hope for a good wx window for the overnight run to Tunisia.

...
Also you really need to watch the wx as sooner or later the winter winds are going to kick in and we got our fingers crossed that we will be in before the winds come.

As info we had planned to sail Sciliy on the way back but it is just to late in the season and prudence says don't push it; get in and do Sciliy another time.

So think about your plan not just one winter out but the next sailing season as well and do not over estimate what the family can take in terms of a boucy voyage.
I have no problems in disagreeing with you but it does not seem to be the case

In fact October is normally better for sailing and cruising then the last 15 days of September with all those thunderstorms and equinox seas. If you read my post you will see that I was talking about sailing in November and later.

Lorenzo is thinking in coming back from the North of Italy in October to the Red sea. That will mean sailing in November and possibly in December. Nothing to do with October sailing as you say in your post.

Fact is that the Romans, even with the big Imperial ships did not go out between November and 5 Mars. They had their reasons
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:01   #56
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Re: Wintering in the Med

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Fact is that the Romans, even with the big Imperial ships did not go out between November and 5 Mars. They had their reasons
Their reasons:
  • No 5 day weather forecasts
  • ships that couldn't efficiently sail to windward
In the Med, historical data suggests that periods of unsettled weather with big winds occupy less than 30% of winter, and there are frequent weather windows of 3 to 4 days duration. These can be easily identified with modern forecasts.

Sailing/motoring conditions can then be very benign, and, by choosing timing, 2 or 3 day passages can safely be undertaken with little discomfort.

It is also very rare to find passages longer than 2 days duration which can't divert to suitable ports of refuge if things go wrong.

For those who prefer no risk of discomfort, it's fine to hole up for the whole winter and enjoy exploring a locality by land, or participating in a winter social scene.

For those who wish to continue sailing, as long as you can identify suitable ports of refuge, and don't mind the idea of being stuck in one for 3 or 4 days, you can continue cruising. It's going to be nicer than sailing in N Europe over winter.

People cruise throughout the British Isles over winter - even in Scotland - where days are short and nights very long. Not a lot of people . . . but with lots of safe havens to wait out 7 day periods of heavy rain and strong winds, it's safe, if uncomfortable and challenging.

JimB
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:52   #57
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Re: Wintering in the Med

I found October forecasts around the Balearics to change faster than the weather, for example, forecast at 0900 is for 10K northerlies all day tomorrow. Check the forecast at mid day and it is for 25K south earliest all day tomorrow.. I'd doubt long weather windows could be relied upon with the experts changing their mind so fast...and the grib data which I guess the experts are deciphering. When we crossed to Barcelona the forecast was benign but we ended up sailing through the worst electrical storm I've ever seen. Our weather data is usually pretty accurate but it definitely seems less accurate and more changeable from October onwards.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:40   #58
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Re: Wintering in the Med

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I found October forecasts around the Balearics to change faster than the weather, for example, forecast at 0900 is for 10K northerlies all day tomorrow. Check the forecast at mid day and it is for 25K south earliest all day tomorrow.. I'd doubt long weather windows could be relied upon with the experts changing their mind so fast...and the grib data which I guess the experts are deciphering. When we crossed to Barcelona the forecast was benign but we ended up sailing through the worst electrical storm I've ever seen. Our weather data is usually pretty accurate but it definitely seems less accurate and more changeable from October onwards.
weather prediction around the balerics is always difficult,due to the surrounding topography of the Iberian peninsula,leaving the area in a wind shadow from the prevailing west and north west winds.

weather in the area tends to funnel up and down the alboran sea area and through the straights.
on the northern side winds funnel through from the atlantic and Biscay.
this leaves a variable pressure gradient and area of low pressure around the Baleares,which causes the problems for weather prediction in the area.

it gets better after Sardinia with the NW predominating until winter is established in the northern areas of countries bordering the notrh side of the med.

conditions to watch for are areas of low pressure tracking in from the Biscay then along the north side of the med,and can produce very severe but fairly localised storms.

low pressure over north Africa will bring easterly winds,which tends to happen every 5-6 days for 2-3 days in the western and central portions of the med.

this becomes more common later in the season,and further into the eastern med as air temp drops.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:52   #59
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Re: Wintering in the Med

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Their reasons:
  • No 5 day weather forecasts
  • ships that couldn't efficiently sail to windward
In the Med, historical data suggests that periods of unsettled weather with big winds occupy less than 30% of winter, and there are frequent weather windows of 3 to 4 days duration. These can be easily identified with modern forecasts.

Sailing/motoring conditions can then be very benign, and, by choosing timing, 2 or 3 day passages can safely be undertaken with little discomfort.

It is also very rare to find passages longer than 2 days duration which can't divert to suitable ports of refuge if things go wrong.

For those who prefer no risk of discomfort, it's fine to hole up for the whole winter and enjoy exploring a locality by land, or participating in a winter social scene.

For those who wish to continue sailing, as long as you can identify suitable ports of refuge, and don't mind the idea of being stuck in one for 3 or 4 days, you can continue cruising. It's going to be nicer than sailing in N Europe over winter.

People cruise throughout the British Isles over winter - even in Scotland - where days are short and nights very long. Not a lot of people . . . but with lots of safe havens to wait out 7 day periods of heavy rain and strong winds, it's safe, if uncomfortable and challenging.

JimB
They could go pretty well to windward with 200 men rowing

I have experience of the med and of the Atlantic and find the weather patterns changing much faster here than in the Atlantic. On the Atlantic a weather report has a degree of accuracy much bigger than on the med, with all this land masses around and big mountains. Even on the summer it is frequent to catch a F7 or 8 coming from nowhere, I mean certainly not forecasted and that means on the winter a F9 or F10. There are zones better than others but the Eastern med from South of Cyclades to Create and the coast of Africa is particularly vicious. I can remember several sailingboats lost there, among them a big cat and it was not in the winter.

Sure, you can do it...but not without some risks, without an experienced skipper and a good crew. Crossing the Atlantic on the right season is way easier than sailing the med in winter.
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:01   #60
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Re: Wintering in the Med

Hi Polux, I know what you mean about summer variablity. Winter, this is less of an issue. It would be interesting to hear your opinion on a briefing . . .

The briefing below was created from 35 years of observations made when running commercial sailing operations in the Mediterranean, including many winter deliveries. It was honed and perfected from feedback by the many staff who set up charter operations in Greece in the late 1970's onwards. Many of them now run their own yacht support operations around the Ionian, the Saronic, and SW Turkey:
Quote:
from: jimbsail.info/mediterranean

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 (see the map).

Settled weather is nice, with sunny skies, maybe a bit of high cloud, and maybe periods of moderate visibility. Forecasts are reliable as long as you make allowances for local variations due to diurnal effects or terrain. Expect periods of light wind in parts of the West Med. Daily heating of the larger land masses creates some brisk afternoon sea breezes; these will usually veer to give winds along the coast as though there is a low over the land. When winds are stronger, expect very fierce gusts to blow down the lee of higher ground or around high headlands.
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.
The key point is that settled weather can reliably be predicted, also the probable onset of unsettled weather (especially in winter, when diurnal heating is less of an issue). The lazy man's predictor is to watch the the cloud cover animation for Europe on the Poseidon web site (select parameter "cloudiness", and "animation" at the bottom of the right hand box)
A more careful person will look for differences between the various available forecast sources - differences are a good predictor of unsettled weather, when alll bets are off!

The specific winter case is also covered on that web page.

Of course, summer and winter, the unexpected can always arise in some areas. Especially in the Golfe de Lions, or through the Gibraltar straits, when events outside the Mediterrean drive the winds.

JimB
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