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Old 20-11-2013, 04:51   #31
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
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Some people may be inclined to discount Carsten's comments on the Baltic due to his obvious bias

However, I can say, and I have never sailed there, so no bias, that every sailor who comes back from the Baltic, whom I've ever known, says exactly the same thing. I can hardly imagine how the Baltic can be more interesting than the Med (which is, after all, the original Ocean of our civilization), but everyone says it is.

To cruise the Baltic, the Atlantic coasts of Europe, and the Med would be a lifelong occupation. You just couldn't see it all in one lifetime, even if you sailed 24/7 and didn't need to work.
There are several reasons:

1- no tides. You can simply look at a harbor pilot or map. If it says 3 meters, then it will be 3 meters +/- say 15/20 centimeters. So you can leave or enter harbors anytime, no need to wait for the tide.

2- Thousands upon thousands of island ranging from big rocks to big islands. The swedish and finnish archipelago are huge and you can spend many years cruising there (and you are allowed to anchor anywhere) The Danish islands are rolling farmlands and have small cozy marinas that are generally cheap (USD 25-40 for a 40 foot boat).

3- the food is generally very good, with fresh raw materials and few artificial ingredients.

4- It is light up to 18-20 hours per day in the summertime, evening cruising is beyond belief

5- For us male types, well there are no more beautiful women anywhere in the world than around the Baltic. To top it off, they are also friendly

6- For you female types - Most Baltic men tend to be tall, frequently with blond hair so there is something for you to look at also. The men are also friendly

The infrastructure just plain works.

Dockhead is right - those that have cruised the Baltic invariably say it is amongst the best in the world
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Old 20-11-2013, 05:07   #32
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

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I was also intrigued by the comments about the Baltic. Could somebody recommend posts/websites/blogs where I can read more especially practical experiences?
Not only the annual Kiel Week is worth to visit, it´s Sailing City at it´s best.
Welcome to KIEL.SAILING CITY :: Kiel Sailing City
From here and all the ports around you can explore the Baltic.

Agreed with Carsten...
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Old 20-11-2013, 05:21   #33
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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post

There are several reasons:

1- no tides. You can simply look at a harbor pilot or map. If it says 3 meters, then it will be 3 meters +/- say 15/20 centimeters. So you can leave or enter harbors anytime, no need to wait for the tide.

2- Thousands upon thousands of island ranging from big rocks to big islands. The swedish and finnish archipelago are huge and you can spend many years cruising there (and you are allowed to anchor anywhere) The Danish islands are rolling farmlands and have small cozy marinas that are generally cheap (USD 25-40 for a 40 foot boat).

3- the food is generally very good, with fresh raw materials and few artificial ingredients.

4- It is light up to 18-20 hours per day in the summertime, evening cruising is beyond belief

5- For us male types, well there are no more beautiful women anywhere in the world than around the Baltic. To top it off, they are also friendly

6- For you female types - Most Baltic men tend to be tall, frequently with blond hair so there is something for you to look at also. The men are also friendly

The infrastructure just plain works.

Dockhead is right - those that have cruised the Baltic invariably say it is amongst the best in the world
I agree with everything this mans says Fromm jaunts in the Baltic. I also found the women very friendly and as I sailed mainly in Sweden , they have a almost psychotic desire to undress everything when the sun shines. Most odd though it tends to concentrate the mind !

The season is short though , but sailing in daylight at nearly midnight is gas. I still can't handle the long tropical nights.

As to Schengen. There is really no issue of you plan , morocco isbt far away as is turkey , its a pity we've lost other North African destinations for the moment.

I can eat put in the med cheaper then in the US. Transport is cheaper , flights are cheaper , wine is cheaper , cheese actually is real , raw milk)

Serously , " if you're tired of the Med youre tired of life " but then I'm a med o' file .

PS sailed a fair bit in the Caribbean. Wouldn't rate it much, not compared to the med. I mean its a kind of European offshoot that got forgotten once sail ended. Food is often awful , people not nice , and some places down right dangerous.

Dave
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Old 20-11-2013, 06:06   #34
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

Have a look at Danish south sea, 90min and you´ll get hooked
Ein Film über das Segeln in der dänischen Südsee | segel-filme

unfortunately in german....
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Old 20-11-2013, 06:31   #35
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

Finekye is full of stay aboards this year for those who aren't visiting family. Great fun for sure.

Last year we wintered in Milna on Brac Croatia = MISERABLE weather!
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Old 20-11-2013, 07:26   #36
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

If it´s worth?
just have a look from my backdoor:
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Old 20-11-2013, 07:58   #37
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

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Other than in Turkey, the stress of attempting to meet the Schengen requirements of 90-in/90-out, or 90 days within any 180 day period, is too stressful. It seems only non-EU people understand just how difficult Schengen makes cruising the Med today. The Med is a big area and it is darn near impossible to follow this law considering the winter non-sailing season. We have been in Turkey and Cyprus since April 2011, with 87 days in Greece. Because it is so easy to stay longer term in Turkey and so very much history to absorb.

Next summer we move on to Croatia and Italy; fly back to the USA for 90 days minimum to adhere to Schengen rules and get through another winter non-sailing season; then will move westward as quickly as required to get into Gibraltar/Morocco to again meet Schengen rules. Looking forward very much to again sailing the Caribbean where there are no problems with visa rules.

Judy

Maybe I am stupid but could somebody in plain words explain what is actually achieved by torturing people with these visa rules 90-days in-out??? Also, for that matter, the similar visa issues apply to non-US sailors trying to enjoy the US coasts
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:02   #38
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

Nope you are not stupid but the laws are.
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:12   #39
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

Certainly, Europe is great.

But you have to look at what it costs. It IS expensive for Americans. If you want to actually see the sights, you'll have to go to the big cities where the sights are.

The Med is nice, but I've never found it to be cheap. Some here claim that it is, but there would be a definite learning curve on how to do things cheaply, and one euro is still around $1.35. If you want to visit the big cities of Europe, I recommend you just fly there and do that. Countries in the med are also trying to implement taxes, which makes them just a bit more aware if you're adhering to the rules. When money is involved, they tend to check your credentials more. Since the southern countries adopted the Euro, their prices have become more like the ones in the north.
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:13   #40
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

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Maybe I am stupid but could somebody in plain words explain what is actually achieved by torturing people with these visa rules 90-days in-out??? Also, for that matter, the similar visa issues apply to non-US sailors trying to enjoy the US coasts
It's to keep people from immigrating permanently. If you didn't have these laws then people could stay forever. It's mostly aimed at the poor but cruisers get caught up in it too. Most countries have some sort of restriction.
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:20   #41
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

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It's to keep people from immigrating permanently. If you didn't have these laws then people could stay forever. It's mostly aimed at the poor but cruisers get caught up in it too. Most countries have some sort of restriction.
The rules may be aimed at the poor but it doesn't work that way. Most places I've been in Europe had very large population of undocumented aliens who enter Europe illegally to look for work. Just like the US, if they're busted at worst they are shipped home and no harm as they really have little to lose.

The rich just pay a lawyer and get some sort of resident visa with no problem. Do you think George Clooney has to deal with Schengen 90 day limits when he's staying at his villa in Italy?

So at the end of the day the ones that get whacked with the headaches are the middle class. Not rich enough to buy in but too much to lose to ignore the rules.
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Old 20-11-2013, 14:14   #42
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

Thanks to all for sharing the Baltic sailing information - things to watch and read over the weekend

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Old 20-11-2013, 15:18   #43
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

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Certainly, Europe is great.

But you have to look at what it costs. It IS expensive for Americans. If you want to actually see the sights, you'll have to go to the big cities where the sights are.

The Med is nice, but I've never found it to be cheap. Some here claim that it is, but there would be a definite learning curve on how to do things cheaply, and one euro is still around $1.35. If you want to visit the big cities of Europe, I recommend you just fly there and do that. Countries in the med are also trying to implement taxes, which makes them just a bit more aware if you're adhering to the rules. When money is involved, they tend to check your credentials more. Since the southern countries adopted the Euro, their prices have become more like the ones in the north.

The reason many people find the Med countries expensive, is that they tend to see only the tourist places and really don't seek out where the locals eat. Often they mistake a run down place , as a run down place, and since most of the Med is very old , this is a mistake.

As for taxes on boats, virtually nothing applies to visiting boats ( at the time of writing) other then small charges in Greece for the DEPKA or transit logs. The internet is a terrible source of nonsense in this regard.

The 90 day rule causes some issues, but there are several places to go to get around the restrictions, including Morroco in the western med and Turkey in Eastern Med , and of course places like Albania and Montenegro in the middle ( of which I know little, but Montenegro is developing marinas)

For example , food is cheap in portugal and spain in the supermarkets, its cheap in france in the markets, wine is cheap from the co-operatives etc. You just have to search behind the glitzy waterfront etc


We lived for a three summers based on a small boat near Nice in the heart of the Cote D'Azure, levying aside marinas costs, we could live for 22-30 euros a day and that included dinner each out 5 nights a week ( 8 euros each for a main course salad each , type of thing.

Dave
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Old 20-11-2013, 20:43   #44
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

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The reason many people find the Med countries expensive, is that they tend to see only the tourist places and really don't seek out where the locals eat. Often they mistake a run down place , as a run down place, and since most of the Med is very old , this is a mistake.

As for taxes on boats, virtually nothing applies to visiting boats ( at the time of writing) other then small charges in Greece for the DEPKA or transit logs. The internet is a terrible source of nonsense in this regard.

The 90 day rule causes some issues, but there are several places to go to get around the restrictions, including Morroco in the western med and Turkey in Eastern Med , and of course places like Albania and Montenegro in the middle ( of which I know little, but Montenegro is developing marinas)

For example , food is cheap in portugal and spain in the supermarkets, its cheap in france in the markets, wine is cheap from the co-operatives etc. You just have to search behind the glitzy waterfront etc


We lived for a three summers based on a small boat near Nice in the heart of the Cote D'Azure, levying aside marinas costs, we could live for 22-30 euros a day and that included dinner each out 5 nights a week ( 8 euros each for a main course salad each , type of thing.

Dave
I can confirm all the above based on a number of trips to Europe, even staying in hotels. We spent a week in Paris that cost less than we spent for a week in NYC. Had friends in France recommend hotels used by the locals and stayed away from the big tourist centers. So the staff didn't speak much English but we got by on what they knew and my tourist French. The hotel was outside the Périphérique but the Metro station was right there. We ate very well at local restaurants, markets, and sidewalk cafes for not much.

Did the same all over Europe and we were not staying in hostels or dorms. Can't wait to go back and do it by boat.
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Old 20-11-2013, 21:20   #45
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Re: Is Europe worth it?

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The reason many people find the Med countries expensive, is that they tend to see only the tourist places and really don't seek out where the locals eat. Often they mistake a run down place , as a run down place, and since most of the Med is very old , this is a mistake.


For example , food is cheap in portugal and spain in the supermarkets, its cheap in france in the markets, wine is cheap from the co-operatives etc. You just have to search behind the glitzy waterfront etc


We lived for a three summers based on a small boat near Nice in the heart of the Cote D'Azure, levying aside marinas costs, we could live for 22-30 euros a day and that included dinner each out 5 nights a week ( 8 euros each for a main course salad each , type of thing.

Dave

Yes, you will go absolutely broke if you eat in tourist areas, and yes, you can find less expensive food if you do it smart. You can find great food in Europe, and markets are a great place to shop for quality food. But for the most part, it isn't cheap by American standards, at least not if you eat meat.

You can live large, or you can live with a small footprint. If you live with a small footprint, you can go anywhere
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