Just wanted to give a quick update on how the honeysail went! After looking at all our options, we settled on Greece. We spent five nights on Santorini, relaxing after the busiest week of our lives, before flying up to Athens to charter in the Saronic gulf.
Per a recommendation on this forum, we reached out to Diederik of Sailing Issues (Yacht charter Greece and sailing holidays Greece and Turkey - Marine navigation - Yacht charters Greek islands and Turkish coasts
) for chartering recommendations. He helped us choose a 34 foot Beneteau Oceanis
(2010) from Sailing Blue. We were originally scheduled to depart and return from Lavrion, but the day we got there we ended up changing it to departing from Lavrion and sailing back into Athens (which worked out very nicely for us, since we were staying in Athens for a couple days after our charter). The people from Sailing Blue were helpful and always responsive, and the boat was in very good condition.
A quick overview of the trip: We left Lavrion and sailed for two hours to the Temple of Poseidon, where we had a beautiful anchorage (although a bit nerve wracking, as we hadn't anchored with so many other boats before!). The next day, we figured out how to use the dinghy
(so much fun!) and went to shore to climb to the temple and make an offering to the sea god. I think he was happy with us, because we had great weather the whole trip. We then made our biggest leg of the trip, across the Saronic gulf to Hydra. The wind was a bit light so we alternated between sailing and motoring. Hydra's port was very crowded and very very small, so we chose to anchor
two spots nearby instead. One of the locations, just west of Hydra, was listed on the guide as a good anchorage, but the traffic going by all the time made it quite uncomfortable. We then went up to Poros, a beautiful little sailing town, where we performed our first Mediterranean
mooring! As luck would have it, the winds were picking up, it was a fairly crowded harbor, and everyone watched as we dropped anchor and proceeded to back up until we ran out of chain five feet from the dock! We bashfully pulled up anchor to retry when the windlass
stopped working halfway through. Luckily, my very thoughtful husband had asked where the breakers were (and extra fuses) when we had gotten checked out, as suggested by our racing captain
back home. He fixed it within five minutes while I made sure the boat didn't hit anything! After that, we finally completed the Mediterranean mooring
and relaxed with some well-deserved sun downers. The next day, we had a great time sailing up to Aegina, where we anchored in a protected cove on the southwest side of the island, snorkeling and reading in the sunshine. The next day, we sailed around the island from south to east to north, to look for an anchorage up there, but we couldn't find anything that felt safe so we doubled back and ended up in Agia Marina at anchor. When we woke up the next morning, all the electronics
weren't working. After ten minutes of quiet panic, I suggested that we check the battery
switches; turns out my husband had turned them off the day before and forgot to turn them back on! (He claims he hit them in the middle of the night, haha.) We then had a beautiful sail up to Athens (until we hit the ugliness that is the Athens coastline). Since we hadn't sailed out of the marina we were sailing back in to, we were a bit concerned going in and the docks weren't clearly marked so we had to move two times after docking! (We needed the Mediterrean mooring practice though, so it ended up working out for the best).
This was our first trip in a boat of that size by ourselves, and it was amazing. We learned about the dinghy
(an amazing feature), more about anchoring
, and a little bit of the cruising life. We both walked away happy, a bit more confident, and even more committed to making sailing a life style someday. Thank you all for your help and suggestions! We're hoping to go back and sail the Dodecanese for our 5th wedding anniversary! (And hit Bali someday when we sail the world!)