I did my first yacht sailing in 1989 with a delivery
of a Norwegian-owned Beneteau
First 42 from Gribralter to Split. We had a week of force 9 on the nose, which meant my first captain
and crewmate ran out of time by the time we reached Cagliary, Sardinia. They were replaced by alcoholic ex-mercenaries, live abaords there, who I didn't really get on with. They loved to complain about sea water
getting in their whiskies on deck
while frazzled and demonstrating to this novice
how to lash the wheel
and let the boat sail herself - while we slipped miles backwards. The only way to make progress was to do 16 hour shifts at the wheel
. I got off 'early' at Gallipoli, on the inside heel of Italy
. My sailing experiences have only got better since!
All my early sea miles were deliveries - always the wrong time of year, in the wrong direction in mostly unpleasant conditions - the passages the owners or the their friends were not prepared to do, e.g. sailing from the Northern tip of Denmark
across the North Sea in January.
Then one day, when I working as a marine
electrician in Marrmaris marina (there was only one then), a French-Swiss skipper
called Bernard asked me to crew on a delivery
to Dubrovnik. I discovered the real pleasures of sailing! You can actually stop at nightime! Even have a meal ashore!
I crewed the remainder of that season on the classic skooner, the 'Vileehi', this time with pay.
My first owned yacht was a four-year old, Greek-flagged Dromor Athena 44' charter
boat. This was the five-cabin version suited to both bareboat
and skippered charter
. I did a few deliveries between paid charters and one skippered charter on her. It was one of those complex financing
deals and when she was crashed into rocks the year of the Athens olympics
during a long-term charter to a professional skipper
, what little I got back in insurance
and court winnings did not pay for loan + repairs
+ marina fees
. My 'investment' was totally lost
and a lesson was learned.
So, many years and a few modest charters later, starting to make money
over the internet
and with a small house in the Peloponnese, I have just signed the contract
to buy an ex-flotilla Jaguar
27 (same design as he U.S. Catalina
27) which I hope to get much more personal value out of than my last yacht! She appears to have been well-maintained and adapted for the Greek flotilla market (bathing platform, in-mast furling
main sail, recent mast
I will be asking questions in the main forums
. For now, consider me introduced!