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Old 04-12-2016, 18:11   #31
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

You didn't say whether it is a new boat or new to you. The Med, especially the northern Med is not safe to sail in Feb, and you should plan on at staying at a dock and getting the kinks out of the boat systems until mid-March at the earliest. For example, if the boat doesn't have a ridiculously large new generation anchor, put one on. Cut the dock power for 4 days and see how your electrical systems work without it.

The other factor is the Schengen Visa situation. Theoretically, you can stay in the Schengen countries for 90 days, then have to stay out for 90 days. Croatia and Turkey are not Schengen countries, but Greece, Italy, France and Spain are. Ten years ago we ignored the Schengen rule in Italy and Spain without a problem, but things change.

We cruised Turkey, Greece, and Croatia for two seasons and spent about 6 nights a year in marinas from April through September, but I hear that some places in Croatia now want to charge for anchoring.
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Old 04-12-2016, 18:30   #32
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Croatia is beautiful but it is really predominantly set up for the charter trade these days. Those that love it are typically there for a week or 2 only and dont mind about having to pay to anchor, paying for moorings (double rate for cats on balls now apparently go figure! A scam if ever there was one)

Once we hit Greece we knew right away we had found cruisers heaven. Abundant remote anchorages, town quays right in the heart of the action, genuinely friendly people, great food, history etc.

Further on same goes for Turkey (though the marinas are expensive again there is no need to use them except for the blue cards)

Spend some time in croatia by all means. It will help you appreciate Greece all the more! (Gulf of Kotor in Montenegro on the way south should not be missed either)

I guarantee you as you turn west after greece you will begin to realise you have left the best cruising grounds in the med in your wake so take your time...
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Old 04-12-2016, 18:31   #33
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

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Originally Posted by Timreyn View Post
My wife and I are newbies who have bought the dream and a large Catamaran. We will pick her up in Feb in Croatia. Our plans have been to live aboard and sail the Caribbean and think we can do that within our budget, avoiding marinas most of the time. But I would love to explore Croatia, Greece etc and would like to stay one season. Wow marinas are expensive! I don't see life in Croatia working if we have to pay that much to stay every night. Can one find safe places to anchor or cheap mooring balls? Are marinas a choice like they are in other sailing areas or are you forced in due to the nature of the area? Would things get better in Greece or other areas within sailing range? If we love the Med we might stay two seasons. We will have a young skipper with us initially but would hope that as our experience increases we can sail on our own.

Our other choice and original plan is to hire an experienced Captain to take us to the Caribbean right away. Would be a shame to miss the wonders of Europe!

Any advice would be appreciated. I know your advice would be to buy small but since we intend to live on her it is too late for that!
A lot has been said, and I have picked up on some new information, so thanks to all.
I will just add that also for us, the Med is a great area, and full of great diversity in people, places etc, etc. Prices can vary hugely, and you just need to study some of the guides that have been referred to here, and contact marinas to see what can be offered at the time.

You have gone for a big cat. One advantage is more comfort when anchored - one disadvantage is you can be paying up to double for a marina berth, so there is your answer!
It will take you a little time to become comfortable with the idea of being anchored out, and of course it is not as convenient as just stepping onto the pontoon to go exploring, but there are other advantages. A mix between the two works well.

I suggest that you will be in the Med for a lot longer than you have planned - it is a good place to get used to sailing a bigger boat, and to becoming independent. You can still get into trouble - the weather can be very bad, but not as bad as being in the middle of an ocean, or a hurricane in the Caribbean. As to the contrast between the two, we have yet to get to the Caribbean (if we ever do) but a very experienced couple spent several years in the Med, then two seasons in the Caribbean, and are now back in the Med for the foreseeable (now about 12 years to date I think). That perhaps gives you some idea of the diversity and interest.

Anchors - others have said it. A good anchor x two at least, and 100 metres of chain on your main anchor, at least. An expensive anchor does not seem so expensive when your cheaper one starts to drag in the middle of the night.

Plan well, learn from others mistakes and experiences, think through all possibilities and be prepared. Then enjoy!
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Old 04-12-2016, 18:45   #34
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

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Originally Posted by Barra View Post
Croatia is beautiful but it is really predominantly set up for the charter trade these days. Those that love it are typically there for a week or 2 only and dont mind about having to pay to anchor, paying for moorings (double rate for cats on balls now apparently go figure! A scam if ever there was one)

Once we hit Greece we knew right away we had found cruisers heaven. Abundant remote anchorages, town quays right in the heart of the action, genuinely friendly people, great food, history etc.

Further on same goes for Turkey (though the marinas are expensive again there is no need to use them except for the blue cards)

Spend some time in croatia by all means. It will help you appreciate Greece all the more! (Gulf of Kotor in Montenegro on the way south should not be missed either)

I guarantee you as you turn west after greece you will begin to realise you have left the best cruising grounds in the med in your wake so take your time...
Just a question re the Blue Cards you refer to. I assume this is the 'no discharge' rule. So is it every 10 days you need to have your card marked as having pumped out? Do they come on board and seal your discharge seacocks?
We have black-water holding on both heads, but am still in the process of fitting greywater holding for the showers, in preparation for going to Turkey. Others reckon it's no big deal, but I want to be sure, so any information would be appreciated.
Thanks,
David
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Old 04-12-2016, 23:50   #35
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

There are loads of conflicting stories on the internet about the Blue Card. You will just have to choose which ones to believe. We have been sailing in Turkey & Greece for 7 years now, and for 5 of those, we were based out of Marmaris. We have never been stopped, boarded or asked for our Blue Card. Just lucky I guess. We met a Turkish couple in Sogut in October. They had been stopped. They have been regularly pumping out at Marti Marine for the last two years. None of the pumpouts were showing up on their Blue Card according to the Coast Guard. They had kept the receipts. We have taken to keeping ours too.

PT
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Old 05-12-2016, 00:11   #36
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

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There are loads of conflicting stories on the internet about the Blue Card. You will just have to choose which ones to believe. We have been sailing in Turkey & Greece for 7 years now, and for 5 of those, we were based out of Marmaris. We have never been stopped, boarded or asked for our Blue Card. Just lucky I guess. We met a Turkish couple in Sogut in October. They had been stopped. They have been regularly pumping out at Marti Marine for the last two years. None of the pumpouts were showing up on their Blue Card according to the Coast Guard. They had kept the receipts. We have taken to keeping ours too.

PT
Thanks. That's why I asked - better to hear from someone who has, than someone who has heard .....

One possibility is that they are only targeting boats flying their own flag - not wanting to scare off foreign cruisers?

I 'heard' that charter companies are not being targeted, but if they are, they will just divert shower water into the blackwater holding tanks. We can all work out what that will do for pollution!
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:52   #37
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

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? Would things get better in Greece or other areas within sailing range? If we love the Med we might stay two seasons.
Don't rush to the Carribbean!

Here's a rich comparison of all the Mediterranean cruising areas , built up after spending 20 years sailing around the region. The web site also describes the comfortable (and un-comfortable) seasons for cruising each area, and key reasons for visiting (or avoiding!) various areas or ports.

There are hundreds of free anchorages and quaysides in Croatia, Greece and Turkey. Also: great remnants of old civilisations; beautiful old cities, towns and villages; and a relaxed and safe out-door cafe culture - unlike anything you'll find in the Americas.

On that web site you'll also find regulations which may effect the time you, or your boat, may stay in individual countries. Also some advice of preparing the boat, although if you're buying in Croatia, you'll probably find all that is well sorted out.

If you can't find the site, just google "jimb sail". It's very popular with European sailors, so often comes top of search lists.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:15   #38
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

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Just a question re the Blue Cards you refer to. I assume this is the 'no discharge' rule. So is it every 10 days you need to have your card marked as having pumped out? Do they come on board and seal your discharge seacocks?
We have black-water holding on both heads, but am still in the process of fitting greywater holding for the showers, in preparation for going to Turkey. Others reckon it's no big deal, but I want to be sure, so any information would be appreciated.
Thanks,
David
Hi David,

There is no regulation for grey waters in Turkey. Blue card regulations for black water is indeed complicated.. In general practice, I have never heard a boat that has been checked by costguard and fined.
If you don't have it all, you may run into trouble, it costs 10-15 € to get it.
From time to time discharge in pump out facilities (it costs nothing and all marinas should have a pump out facilities by law) and register the discharge electronically. If you are ever boarded , make sure that the discharge valve to the sea is closed. That's all.

Cheers

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Old 05-12-2016, 16:13   #39
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

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Hi David,

There is no regulation for grey waters in Turkey. Blue card regulations for black water is indeed complicated.. In general practice, I have never heard a boat that has been checked by costguard and fined.
If you don't have it all, you may run into trouble, it costs 10-15 € to get it.
From time to time discharge in pump out facilities (it costs nothing and all marinas should have a pump out facilities by law) and register the discharge electronically. If you are ever boarded , make sure that the discharge valve to the sea is closed. That's all.

Cheers

Yeloya
Thanks for your advice Yeloya - much appreciated also.

We have been trying to get to Turkey since 2013. We are slowly heading East, but so many distractions
It seems when we get there, it will not be so much of a problem. We have both heads going to holding tanks, and by the time we are there, we will have the shower outlets to a greywater tank. Holding capacity is another thing of course ....
So as soon as we arrive, we will ask about a Blue Card.

Thanks again,

David
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Old 05-12-2016, 18:13   #40
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

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Originally Posted by David B View Post
Just a question re the Blue Cards you refer to. I assume this is the 'no discharge' rule. So is it every 10 days you need to have your card marked as having pumped out? Do they come on board and seal your discharge seacocks?
We have black-water holding on both heads, but am still in the process of fitting greywater holding for the showers, in preparation for going to Turkey. Others reckon it's no big deal, but I want to be sure, so any information would be appreciated.
Thanks,
David
Yeloya is the man up to date on this so listen to him.

Grey water is still not part of the bluecard system.

The problem for foreign boats is the rules are not clear and open to interpretation (in Turkish). That leads to uncertainty and scary stories and people operating on a "rule of thumb" as you say.

We were never boarded ( i think the coast guard had much bigger issues the past few years) but it was in the back of our minds when planning our sailing that we had to appear at a marina every week or so, so that we had our bluecard stamped for a pump out just in case.

The frustrating part is more than once we would appear at said marina only to find that the blue card machine wasnt working anyway.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:57   #41
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

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The frustrating part is more than once we would appear at said marina only to find that the blue card machine wasnt working anyway.
This is true. It doesn't happen often but I've heard that some marina decline to take black water.
The regulation has set the pump out service ridiculously low (2 € / cubicmeter) to incentivate the pump out and some marinas don't want to do it. If it happens to you, ask for a statement that their station is out of service for whatever the reason is and keep this paper. If they don't want to give this paper either, than call the costguard. (158 is free line, otherwise use CH 16) The marinas are obliged to give this service by law and not charge anything other than 2 € per cubic meter (which is nothing for a sail boat). If they don't, they will have serious issues..

Cheers

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Old 06-12-2016, 17:57   #42
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

Thanks Barra and Yeloya for your advice. Much appreciated (and by more me I suspect )
David
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Old 17-12-2016, 06:50   #43
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

As someone else said, you could get a lot of help from the Cruising Association in London.

They have loads of very up to date cruising info on Harbours and anchorages, which is accessable by an APP - CAptains Mate. Available on your Iphone or Android even when out of contact with WIFI. This info is updated by the members as they cruise, so it really is up to date.

Many marinas give discounts to the CA members as they are a large club with nearly 6,000 members, so you would save your membership fee of £125 entirely just on that.

Also, if you care to go to London, they have cabins in the Limehouse (Docklands) headquarters, which should enable you to visit London cheaply.

You can see all about theme here:
The Cruising Association
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:50   #44
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Re: Advice on Sailing the Mediterranean Undo Re

All good advice, I have cruised a N47 through Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece Turkey, Sardinia, Corsica and many of the surrounding Islands the past 7 Years, Heading for Montenegro and Croatis this summer.....dont miss Malta, we have wintered there the past 3 years...hard to beat.
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Old 02-01-2017, 23:04   #45
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All good advice, I have cruised a N47 through Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece Turkey, Sardinia, Corsica and many of the surrounding Islands the past 7 Years, Heading for Montenegro and Croatis this summer.....dont miss Malta, we have wintered there the past 3 years...hard to beat.
Out of interest, where in Malta have you wintered, and what were the rates?
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