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Old 24-09-2021, 17:41   #1
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Med-Mooring in Greece in June

I recently asked about chartering in Greece versus Tahiti next June and after listening to the answers and doing more research I am thinking my family would really like Greece. My only reservation is the requirement to med-moor and it is making me rethink our plans and consider just doing the Caribbean yet again. I have only med-moored once and it was with a mooring line, not the anchor. It did not go great and I ended up against the boat next to us before all was said and done. We did have a pretty stiff cross breeze and the real problem was that I was too timid and didn't use enough throttle. All ended up OK in the end and the French couple who owned the boat we drifted onto were very nice and understanding. Still a humbling experience.


So, now I am wondering how I would handle med-mooring in Greece. I understand the process, but there is a lot that can go wrong. If anyone can help me with the following questions it would be great.



How busy will Greece be in June? Will we typically be able to find a nice place to moor with plenty of room around us in case we get blown around? Or will the quays all be crowded with barely enough room to squeeze between two boats? I should mention that we'd be on a cat.



How often will we even have to med-moor? Can I typically just anchor out if we don't feel comfortable med-mooring? Are there other options besides med-mooring? Does this all depend on where in Greece we charter?


How often do people come in contact with the boats next to them when med-mooring? Is it just part of med-mooring and happen more commonly than one might thing or is it pretty rare?


Any other insight or advice?

I'm thinking if we go I might see about hiring a captain for a time and practice med-mooring with him/her until we are comfortable. I just don't want the stress of having to med-moor take away from an otherwise relaxing vacation. And of course I don't want to do any damage to anyone's property.



Thanks!
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Old 24-09-2021, 17:56   #2
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

I think Greece will be great. (OK we're biased. We land travel Greece annually... at least, before Covid-19.) Greek food, wine, and culture are SO wonderful.

Fair warning, we haven't sailed in Greece, BUT we've spent lots of time observing sailboats and harbours in Greece, and have even assisted boats med-mooring.

The latter point is key: in many places, people will help (sometimes harbour masters). Also, we saw harbours that weren't packed like sardines (less likely in June) - - choose less-visited harbours at the start to become comfortable in med mooring.
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Old 25-09-2021, 06:42   #3
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

I have sailed Greece, BVI 5 times, and just came back from two weeks in Croatia sailing one way from Split Dubrovnik. Absolutely the best cruising ground I ever sailed. Go to Croatia if you're destination is flexible. I can share all of the details with you.

If Greece is where you are drawn to, though, go there. You'll be fine. Most places have laid lines, now, so the process is a little different. After a few times mooring it becomes easy. Also, in June, the Meltemi isn't super strong yet. The closer to July, the winds really pipe up. Get Rod Hiekel's Greek waters pilot...a must read.

As far as anchoring, yes, you can drop anchor, but in some places there is a combination of rock and sand, and you need to find the sand.

Tell me where you're planning to sail I. Greece, and I can be more specific. I sailed the Athens coast and then the Cyclades, so each island has much different bottom characteristics. And remember.....sometimes you watch the show, and sometimes you are the show. Take it in stride.

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Old 25-09-2021, 07:04   #4
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Med-Mooring in Greece in June

I’m based around the Ionian

Firstly despite what was said 80 % of the time you be on your anchor

Eg fiskcardo efuima , kastos , Kalamos , mitikas , palaros, nrydri , Nikiana, Dessimi , abaliki , little vathy , epsicoti , big vathy , very few public moorings have lazy lines in Greece. need I say more

I prefer coming in on my anchor in my mono it helps keep the bow in line and some “ slime lines “ are yucky

In June it will be busy. ( this year was an exception ) So you need to be in before 3pm to be sure. August is crazzzzzzzey

As for contact “ ha” this is charter land it’s pandemonium but everyone helps. Have all your fenders up and yes you’ll touch the next guy !!!!!

Go easy and no damage results

In a cross wind things get hairy. Trying to avoid others anchor chain etc. But again go easy and don’t “ throttle out of trouble “

Some destinations are notorious for lifting anchors together. ( see below for floor show comments) try and leave in the sequence you came in. But sh1t happens ( a lot ) I carry a hook and trip for such eventualities.

A cat will be easy albeit big as you have two engines

Restaurants with pontoons will need to be booked ahead etc

But there are stacks of protected bays to anchor if all fails.

Don’t sweat it too much. You’ll be fine. You should see the next guy beside u !!!!!

Once tied up. You can feel smug pour a glass of local wine ( semi sweet for me at €20 for 12 litres ) and watch the ensuing “ floor show “

pm me if you need specifics
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Old 25-09-2021, 08:31   #5
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

I concur with the previous opinions- well put.
A couple of other thoughts- there are some "flotilla" groups that you can join at a price- but usually less than the cost of a captain. One that I joined a few years ago was with https://www.poseidoncharters.com/ There were about 6 boat in the flotilla. The organizer would normally head to the town ahead of the rest of the fleet, and with a handheld radio, talk us in to a spot that he "held" for us. Gave us a lot of confidence and we learned how to Med Moor both with anchor and slime-lines. Downside is that you follow the flotilla vs doing your own thing- although you can leave out some of the destinations the flotilla goes to. Also don't forget that you may need a license or official certification to charter in the Med.
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Old 25-09-2021, 08:42   #6
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

Where in Greece are you planning to charter?
Med mooring can be a great spectator sport at times but it's really not that difficult. Lazy lines are rare on public docs and its a lot easier to use your own anchor anyway. Other boats will help you with your lines and if a flotilla is in they will usually help you and talk you in on the radio as well.
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Old 25-09-2021, 09:21   #7
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

We sailed the Medd for 4+seasons-in our monohull & without a bow thruster-and survived. Just recognize that somebody will be the "entertainment" for the day....and sometimes that will be you! No big deal, stuff happens. And a couple of times we tried 4-5 times, couldn't make it work, and dropped the pick in the bay and took the dink in! It was always amazing how...there is always room for "just one more" along the wall-the space always seems to open up. "Course there will also be times when the anchor chains get crossed and your anchor gets pulled by someone else. We sailed Greece for 2 full seasons plus part of another. It is a gorgeous place to sail, but Croatia is absolutely the place to go if you can. We've now sailed the NE Caribb for the past 6 seasons-go to the Medd! Or, if you can, go to Asia-it's by far the best place we've ever sailed! Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Viet Nam, and especially The Philippines are spectacular.
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Old 25-09-2021, 09:27   #8
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

Marinas in Greece, as in many other parts of the Med, in seasons can be extremely crowded, mooring in them can be an experience like nowhere else. Sometimes, you Med-moored into a spot that you have to "create" yourself by fending off neighboring boats...
However, somehow it all works out at the end. Folks in the other boats will help you, people on the dock will be ready to receive your stern lines, often some dude on a RIB will help you keep your boat inline, etc. Docking is a social experience, it is just the way it works over there, especially on public docks.
A still crosswind may make things interesting, but people there are used to and you will be fine. If you have to use your anchor instead of lazy lines, and you are not the last boat in be prepared to sort out overlaps in the morning... it is part of the experience.
June in Greece is a shoulder season, so you will not experience the crowds of July or August, but some of the islands will be fairly busy nevertheless.
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Old 25-09-2021, 11:13   #9
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnmatt View Post
……
How often will we even have to med-moor? Can I typically just anchor out if we don't feel comfortable med-mooring? Are there other options besides med-mooring? Does this all depend on where in Greece we charter?…..
Hi Capnmatt

We spent 8 years cruising Greece, spending all four seasons at anchor. There is no need to med moor if you do not wish to.

There are hundreds of wonderful anchorages, both in the Ionian and Aegean. I suggest you purchase a copy of Rod Heikell’s Greek Cruising Guide before you leave and spend some pleasurable hours deciding which anchorages you would like to visit, with a list of alternatives.

The prevailing winds tends to be northerly rather than southerly in summer so plan accordingly.

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Old 25-09-2021, 12:02   #10
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

Since you are nervous enough about Med mooring to ask for advice, I would try to get some practice in your area if possible. It can be nerve wracking; not only do you have to steer the boat in but your crew has to be ready with an anchor (if no lazy lines) stern lines and fenders. Bow thrusters are helpful if you are familiar with them; if not they can add to the chaos. If you charter in the Carib, you might even get a chance to practice there away from other boats and eyeballs. Also take a look at some YouTube videos on med mooring.
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Old 25-09-2021, 12:19   #11
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

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Since you are nervous enough about Med mooring to ask for advice, I would try to get some practice in your area if possible.
The OP is from the Pacific Northwest. Not a lot of opportunities for Med mooring locally with a 15 foot tidal range.
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Old 25-09-2021, 12:57   #12
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

I read about Med mooring too.

So I bought all the gear - fabric strops for trees, stout wire for rocks, shackles and long lines.

Then I largely avoided doing it for 4 years liveaboard in the Med. There were only 3 exceptions to this.

I anchored twice in Symi. The township is around a long narrow inlet. There is a wall of boats boards moored stern to on either side of the inlet. There is, at a guess, 40 -50 metres between the bows of the boats from one side to the other.

You VHF up and get a spot. Then the fun begins. You drop your anchor in the middle or sometimes quite close to the bows of the boats on the opposite side of your spot. Then you back in. Even in a Lagoon 400 the backing in is OK if there is not much wind. You get close to shore and there are always lots of people to help you tie up. So far so good.

You can imagine that there is always someone wanting to leave and you can also imagine that the anchor lines are very seriously crossed. It is fun watching other people sort it out. Ha, ha, ha.

Then you feel a rumbling on your boat. It is coming from your anchor chain. Someone is pulling your anchor out. Often you have to leave the dock and re-anchor to sort it out. All good but you should not really leave your boat except at night.

But Symi is so nice, we went back for a second dose and did it all again. The second time we tried for several hours to find local anchorage spots but there were none.

I avoided med mooring because you need one person who can handle the boat at low speeds in cross winds and one person who can take the mooring gear ashore on a dinghy or paddle board. On our boat I was the person who performed both roles. Lainie never got those skills.

The third time was also in Greece. I have forgotten the name of the place but it was beautiful spot with no shore civilisation. It was an obvious place for day charter boats.

I thought I better get in early for my anchor spot. I found a small semi-circular bay and anchored right in the centre. I'm alright (Jack) as I sipped on my beer. Then the crewed charter boats arrived wanting to med moor. Apparently this little bay was a very popular place to Med-moor. You could easily fit in 20 boats that way in this little bay and that was the expected practice.

The crews from the charter boats were very nice about it. One of them came over on his RIB and offered to take my lines ashore and fasten them. All were happy. I de-moored the next day after they left.

The only other time I considered Med-mooring was another island where that was the practice. I tried for about 2 hours to anchor conventionally but, it was getting late. I saw some commercial free moorings associated with a nearby restaurant. They were free-of-cost if you dined at the restaurant. We ate on shore that night.

So you can cruise the Med without doing the Med-mooring. But do go to Symi. It is not to be missed.

Brian
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Old 25-09-2021, 13:14   #13
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

Totally agree with Croatia. Must see at least once. Dubrovnik, Split, Rovinj !!
Med-mooring in Croatia is much easier than in Greece because the infrastructure is gorgeous. No need of anchoring - mooring lines everywhere. The mooring buoys (paid) in the bays and pubs ashore ... People are not over-reactive when hulls scratched - almost only charter boats. Almost no rocks, deep water everywhere. The old cities are spectacular, also the seafood.

Unfortunately Croatia is very expensive especially in high season. Its also totally overcrowded. In July whole Italy comes for sailing. So my advice is to sail in mid or low season - June or September.

Besides - I like Croatia but I love Denmark and it's islands. Small harbors, magic islands, both Belts, Anholt, Ebeltoft, Klintholm, Bornholm's Allinge and Svaneke, Christiansoe ... also Swedish Gotland with Visby ... but it's a very different kind of magic ...
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Old 25-09-2021, 13:25   #14
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

Quote:
Originally Posted by b_rodwell View Post
I read about Med mooring too.

So I bought all the gear - fabric strops for trees, stout wire for rocks, shackles and long lines.

Then I largely avoided doing it for 4 years liveaboard in the Med. There were only 3 exceptions to this.

I anchored twice in Symi. The township is around a long narrow inlet. There is a wall of boats boards moored stern to on either side of the inlet. There is, at a guess, 40 -50 metres between the bows of the boats from one side to the other.

You VHF up and get a spot. Then the fun begins. You drop your anchor in the middle or sometimes quite close to the bows of the boats on the opposite side of your spot. Then you back in. Even in a Lagoon 400 the backing in is OK if there is not much wind. You get close to shore and there are always lots of people to help you tie up. So far so good.

You can imagine that there is always someone wanting to leave and you can also imagine that the anchor lines are very seriously crossed. It is fun watching other people sort it out. Ha, ha, ha.

Then you feel a rumbling on your boat. It is coming from your anchor chain. Someone is pulling your anchor out. Often you have to leave the dock and re-anchor to sort it out. All good but you should not really leave your boat except at night.

But Symi is so nice, we went back for a second dose and did it all again. The second time we tried for several hours to find local anchorage spots but there were none…..
Hi Brian
Symi is quintessentially Greek isn’t it! I have great memories .
We anchored opposite the monastery in Panormitis and I would catch the school bus into town (or alternatively start walking and hitch a ride with one of the monks or hunters). I had several lunches on the waterfront watching the antics of boats trying to tie up. You were game repeating the exercise!

SWL

Symi town and the alternative anchorage at Panormitis:
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Old 25-09-2021, 16:37   #15
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Re: Med-Mooring in Greece in June

At this moment we’re sailing to Italy after 5 months in the Ionian. First answer: it does matter where you go on Greece. If you are timid about Med mooring on anchor (and we were - hadn’t done it in 10 years) the Ionian in June is great. If you move in the morning, winds are light for mooring, and the quays are more open. (But you do miss sailing as the winds pick up in the afternoon).

Second, June is a great time. Late July and August are over run with boats and brutally hot.

Third, there are lots of places to anchor, but we came to enjoy med mooring on anchor on our cat. It’s secure, you just need to prepare in advance , and pay attention to anchor placement, and do it at first in mornings with little winds.

We’re Ionian advocates. We only expected to spend a couple months here, but we ended up here all season. It’s beautiful, with great food and people.
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