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lorenzoSF 08-09-2014 16:44

Wintering in the Med
 
Hi All,

We are a couple with a 3 year old and will start cruising in the Med in October. We have very limited experience as cruisers and plan to start slowly and learn as we go. Therefore our first question is: where do we go?

In particular what area of the Mediterranean offers the warmest wheather and calmest seas in the winter? Is it feasible to move around in the winter or do most people stay put in a marina December to March?
What I seem to find on the internet for January temperature is average max 16C and average min 8C. This sounds like freezing cold to me, certainly requiring heating.

In case the answer is a marina, then we would be looking for the following features, in order of priority:
1) Warm and pleasant weather
2) English speaking community nearby or many cruisers living aboard (this is because I am Italian, my wife Japanese and we want to bring up the little one with English as well, so we would like to avoid adding a 4th language just yet)
3) Ideally other cruising kids wintering there

Thanks
Lorenzo

Cavalier 08-09-2014 16:54

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Turkey is very popular with cruisers over the winter, especially for non-EU souls as they can use the opportunity to reset their 12/18 month EU transit allowance.

Southern Sardinia is also a good spot, as is Malta. I that respect there are many.

It may be of use to create a poll of places to see where cruisers with children are wintering based on 4 of the main locations.

Cavalier 08-09-2014 16:55

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Oh.. and welcome to CF!

jckb 09-09-2014 00:23

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lorenzoSF (Post 1623827)
In case the answer is a marina, then we would be looking for the following features, in order of priority:
1) Warm and pleasant weather
2) English speaking community nearby or many cruisers living aboard (this is because I am Italian, my wife Japanese and we want to bring up the little one with English as well, so we would like to avoid adding a 4th language just yet)
3) Ideally other cruising kids wintering there

Warm/sunny places:

Almeria, S Spain (in the weather shadow of the Sierra Nevada, plenty of live-aboards)
Tunisia, Djerba (It's a winter sun holiday resort, but not many boats winter there!)
Crete, Agios Nikolaos (nice group of live-aboards)
Cyprus - if you can find space

But there are many more options, as long as you stay in the more southern locations. Delightful towns for wintering are Cartagena and Cagliari, while Ragusa, in Sicily, is also a popular live aboard spot.

Not many places with lots of children around . . . with the possible exception of Lagos, Portugal, which has a big ex-pat british community in addition to a lot of sailors.

Does your wife have an EU passport? And if not, the right to live in an EU country? Without that, Schengen visa limitations may limit your options.

For descriptions of those places, and links to web sites, and descriptions which help you decide where and when to cruise in the Mediterranean, start with The Mediterranean | JimB Sail

JimB

monte 09-09-2014 00:38

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Jims advice is good, check out his web page as well for tons of relevant info.
The main question is where will you and the yacht be in October? The med is a big sea and October isn't the best time to be undertaking long passages. If it's in the East, Turkey or Greece or Sicily are good options. Turkey has a slightly longer summer and no schengen problems. In the west, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar or Africa. Gib and Africa no problems with schengen.

lorenzoSF 09-09-2014 01:07

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Thanks a lot for the first few answers, let me add some comments:

- Shengen problems: my wife has a french resident permit covering this winter and I think I can get another one later on based on the fact that she is married with an european. So feel free to includ shengen countries in your recommendations. Jim thanks for the links, very interesting.

- We will be leaving from the Venice area around mid October, so we are more or less in the middle of the med. Just looking for advice on turning right or left at the bottom of the adriatic :biggrin:

Question:

- you guys talk about warm/sunny places, but how warm are they? Can we expect to live comfortably outdoors or stuck inside the boat with heating on (considering we are very wimpy when it comes to cold weather).

- Monte, you talk about avoiding long passages, this relates to my question about cruising in winter. Do most people stay put for 3-4 months or is it possible to sail and visit other areas during the winter? In other words in the places mentioned do we get reasonable stretches of good weather for passages (including wind and swells)?

jckb 09-09-2014 01:29

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
You'll have plenty of good weather windows allowing a safe couple of days to sail to the next safe harbour over winter. But when there is unsettled weather around, typhoons associated with big cells of thunderstorms are vicious and dangerous.

When big low pressure zones travel through the Med, F8/9 for a period of 3 or 4 days will occur a few times over the winter, including periods of southerly winds. Many marinas are then exposed to some surge.

In the southern parts of the Med, sea temperatures don't go below 16c to 18c, and on coastlines, day air temperatures will usually match the local sea temperature. But there will be some periods when air temperatures drop over night to near freezing for 2 or 3 days. If lemon trees don't grow locally, frosts are more frequent!

So you will need warm clothes, and when it's raining, you'll wish for some heating on board. In Kalamata one winter, we used a small electric fan heater. Wintering on smaller islands is warmer - temperatures keep closer to the sea temperatures.

JimB

atoll 09-09-2014 02:57

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
my choices! that late in the season,though hurghada egypt would allow plenty of opurtunities to explore the many reef anchorages nearby, it never really gets cold,and little to no rain.

hurghada town is right on your doorstep with all modern facilities,ie medical,mechanicalsupermarkets etc


Gouvia Marina | Corfu | A full guide to Gouvia Marina


Hurghada Marina

monte 09-09-2014 03:40

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
I'd get to Greece ASAP. First option would be proveza. Possibly go through Corinth canal to turkey, or head to Sicily. Tunisia is an option as well. Personally I would pick turkey although you will find it a bit pricier than Greece. You will still have swimming weather in Greece October. Croatia will be starting to cool down and more chance of boras and thunderstorms so I'd be heading south in every weather opportunity.

boatman61 09-09-2014 04:16

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Go to S Sicily.. or Almerimar...
The first gives you the whole S coast (tons of space) and Tunisia just 24hrs away..
The second gives you the Costa's all the way to Gib... across to Melilla.. and its cheap.:thumb:

Katiusha 09-09-2014 04:44

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
I'd suggest posting the same question to kids4sail facebook group - most cruising families are on it and there've been several threads re: wintering in The Med recently for this coming winter.

lorenzoSF 09-09-2014 12:09

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Thanks to all for your suggestions!
Katiusha, I have asked the question and partecipated in the conversations on Kids4Sail. It looks like that are a few kids boats planning to go to Cartagena, so that is one of our most likely options at the moment.

A couple of follow-up questions:
- South of Spain: any place with an english kindergarten by any chance?
- Hurgada: how easy/quick/cheap is it to go through Suez? Do we need to plan ahead and get in line for weeks?
- I got the feeling from other threads that the Greece-Turkey area tends to have worst winter weather/seas than Spain. Is that correct?

atoll 09-09-2014 13:01

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lorenzoSF (Post 1624417)
Thanks to all for your suggestions!
Katiusha, I have asked the question and partecipated in the conversations on Kids4Sail. It looks like that are a few kids boats planning to go to Cartagena, so that is one of our most likely options at the moment.

A couple of follow-up questions:
- South of Spain: any place with an english kindergarten by any chance?
- Hurgada: how easy/quick/cheap is it to go through Suez? Do we need to plan ahead and get in line for weeks?
- I got the feeling from other threads that the Greece-Turkey area tends to have worst winter weather/seas than Spain. Is that correct?

normally the most you would wait is 2 days in Port Said to transit,the first day checking in,getting visas etc,and the second day getting measured.

the transit takes 2 days,unless you can do 8 knots or more,so most boats anchor overnight in ishmalia,which is a very nice town with a nice yacht club,where if you have egyptian visas you can break the transit,we stopped there for a week on one of our many red sea trips.

cost of the transit is roughly us$500 for a 40 ft yacht,and if returning inside of 6 months the return canal fee is free.

if stopping in hurghada you will also have to buy a cruising permit which is $120 and valid for a year.

now the best bit! hurghada marina has a set fee of $200 a month for visiting yachts up to 16 meters.

so even after paying the canal fee,cruising permit,visa's and 6 months mooring it still works out way cheaper than 6 months in any marina in the med.

beer,wine and spirits are available at gov licenced liquor shops in hurghada,and most resturants.

fuel if bought in jerry cans from the local garage is 20 cents a liter.

fresh fruit and veg is very cheap and good quality,as is fresh beef,lamb,chicken.
(pork is not available,but beef bacon is readily available in the supermarkets)

we traveled through there twice with our kids when our boy was 3years old and girl 6,and again 3 years later,all i can say is egyptians love kids,my wife quite often got invited back by egyptian women to their homes for tea and cakes and kiddie playtime!

donradcliffe 09-09-2014 13:24

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
I wintered in Vibo Marina, and loved the place. There were some cold rainy days, but we went for lots of walks and the high school English teachers remain good friends.

Its too rough to sail around the Med between December and March.

Hurgada would have better weather, but its a bit strange--you are in a gated and guarded compound.

atoll 09-09-2014 13:34

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by donradcliffe (Post 1624456)
I wintered in Vibo Marina, and loved the place. There were some cold rainy days, but we went for lots of walks and the high school English teachers remain good friends.

Its too rough to sail around the Med between December and March.

Hurgada would have better weather, but its a bit strange--you are in a gated and guarded compound.

not so much different from cartagena then!

last week when i was in cartagena found the security to be very good in the "Gated" marina compound with regular patrols by armed Guardia Civil along the perimiter every half hour or so

Arthur Garfield 09-09-2014 14:11

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
I certainly agree with Atoll-hurghada egypt is pretty neat,.I say this considerring
where and when your departure location is.That is is you want warmth/heat.Barring your location constraints I might have gone for the Canaries.
Still not entirely clear of your needs.cost? hurghada egypt.For children this probably acceptable also being that many Egyptians are highly educated,speak english and,could use extra tutorring income.Cyprus would work also though more spendy.Israel-spendy.Ceuta,Melilia,spanish enclaves in Morroco.
Winds in your favor for Port Said now.
Heading west so late could be a PITA.
All the Best with whatever choice you make.Enjoy it all !

lorenzoSF 09-09-2014 14:17

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Mmhmh.. The Hurgada idea seems more and more attractive...

What about cruisers/expat/english speaking community out there?

Thanks
Lorenzo

atoll 09-09-2014 15:12

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lorenzoSF (Post 1624501)
Mmhmh.. The Hurgada idea seems more and more attractive...

What about cruisers/expat/english speaking community out there?

Thanks
Lorenzo

english is egypts official second language,so you will allways find someone who speaks good english,and willing to help if in difficulties.

in hurghada with year round diving there is a large ex-pat community of dive masters , tour company reps and associated people working in tourism.

you might also want to look into the "med red sea rally for cruisers 2014",
with about 20 boats doing the trip
not sure of the link but one was posted on the forum earlier this year.

otherwise an easy downwind sail from the ionian sea to port said,of about 7-10 days.

going west from the ionian can be very hard going against the prevailing NW'lies till past sardinia.

other marinas in the area are abu tig marina, El Guona slighly to the north.
Orascom Marine Management | Abu Tig Marina

Arthur Garfield 09-09-2014 15:12

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Hi lorenzoSF, Are you in Venice now? Must be midnight.lol
Yes cruisers come through there.Sharm-el-Sheik may be good winterring also.
Sharm is worldwide vay-k destination with great diving and great community.
Perhaps take close look at Sharm also.

All the Best !

Arthur Garfield 09-09-2014 15:17

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Hi Atoll,
I must be mistaken-thought lorenzoSF was/is in Venice It. If so pretty much good winds all the way to Port Said now and for next month or so.

All the Best !

Arthur Garfield 09-09-2014 15:20

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Oh Duh-reread your post Atoll-for sure tough sailing west from Ionia sea about now.Lol

All the Best !

Arthur Garfield 09-09-2014 15:34

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Also lorenzoSF, Egyptians immigration pretty laid-back cool.I way way overstayed my visa once and they zero problem with tiny fine and renew charge for another 3 months. I imagine now with their tourist industry really really dead.Upon thinking about it I personally would prefer Sharm.Probably supper great deals along with everyone there speaking english.Sharm was first place I dove with whale sharks-it was so so cool.What a memory! Sharm also has easy access to immigration people.Quite welcoming.Egyptians are a wonderful people! Though as anywhere there are those.......but fewer than NYC! lOL

atoll 09-09-2014 15:50

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arthur Garfield (Post 1624555)
Also lorenzoSF, Egyptians immigration pretty laid-back cool.I way way overstayed my visa once and they zero problem with tiny fine and renew charge for another 3 months. I imagine now with their tourist industry really really dead.Upon thinking about it I personally would prefer Sharm.Probably supper great deals along with everyone there speaking english.Sharm was first place I dove with whale sharks-it was so so cool.What a memory! Sharm also has easy access to immigration people.Quite welcoming.Egyptians are a wonderful people! Though as anywhere there are those.......but fewer than NYC! lOL

unfortunately no real marina faclities in sharm-el-sheik,apart from the jetty there,and anchoring is prohibited on that side of the straights of gubal,as it is all a marine reserve.

the best and cheapest way to visit is to get the high speed ferry across,and stay at one of the many cheap hotels on the sinai side,you can still get a nice room for around $15 a night.

atoll 09-09-2014 15:59

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
hi lorenzo i found the link finally! to the rally
on cruisers forum,thread https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...-a-117447.html

here is their facebookpage

https://www.facebook.com/redseasaili...ref=ts&fref=ts

goboatingnow 10-09-2014 02:33

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
IN my experience, the european and most northern Med countries will be quite cool for the winter. This is especially true of the nights.

as for 16 degrees C, where Im from thats a blazing summers day in July !.

dave

Katiusha 10-09-2014 15:45

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

- I got the feeling from other threads that the Greece-Turkey area tends to have worst winter weather/seas than Spain. Is that correct?
Not sure where you got the info from, but Turkey is normally great for wintering - balmy winters, water warm enough to swim in until January. The further east you go, the less storms you'll have. I'd suggest Kas as the most eastern just so that you'd have some English-speaking company. And Northern Cyprus.

Re: Greece it depends on what part of Greece you're talking about as Ionian, mainland, Aegean, The Med near south coast of Turkey, Crete, and Cyprus all have very different weather patterns.

lorenzoSF 10-09-2014 15:54

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Katiusha (Post 1625185)

Re: Greece it depends on what part of Greece you're talking about as Ionian, mainland, Aegean, The Med near south coast of Turkey, Crete, and Cyprus all have very different weather patterns.

This is really the type of info I am looking for.
Do you know where I can find good, accurate descriptions of wheather patterns in the different areas of the Med?
I found several sites with average highs and average lows, sometimes also average rainy days, but it would be nice to find something more descriptive as the average temps are all the same in all the places I have looked at (south of Spain, Sicily, Malta, Tunisia, Greek Islands, south of Turkey, Cyprus).

miyagimoon 10-09-2014 23:18

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by atoll (Post 1624567)
hi lorenzo i found the link finally! to the rally
on cruisers forum,thread https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...-a-117447.html

here is their facebookpage

https://www.facebook.com/redseasaili...ref=ts&fref=ts

Hi Lorenzo,

We are the organisers for the Red Sea Sailing Safari. If you want any info sent me a PM. We depart from Limassol, Cyprus 24th October. At present there are 15 boats all English speaking.

Albert & Sheena
S/Y Miyagi Moon

P.S Thank you Atoll for posting our details.

jckb 10-09-2014 23:20

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lorenzoSF (Post 1625196)
Do you know where I can find good, accurate descriptions of wheather patterns in the different areas of the Med?

Yes.

See The Mediterranean | JimB Sail

chuckr 11-09-2014 01:48

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
I can only tell you what works for us -- we wintered over in hammamet tunisia last year and will do so again this year -- there is also monastir tunisia - both have a live aboard community and last year hammamet but they say in the past it was very large -
we have heard the monastir community is larger but not sure -
internet is great -

as for the red sea - well i am a bit of a coward but with folks losing their heads down there and people trying to make a statement -- well a second throught may be required on that one

we do know of some boats wintering over in ragusa (sp)

as for sailing the med in the winter - hum - pick your weather windows carefully and run like heck and get in before the next front comes through especially with a little one on board - we are old and cowards so we park the boat from sometime in oct to about may 1 - no need to get beat up as way to old for that and been there and done that

lorenzoSF 13-09-2014 16:41

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by atoll (Post 1624567)
hi lorenzo i found the link finally! to the rally
on cruisers forum,thread https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...-a-117447.html

here is their facebookpage

https://www.facebook.com/redseasaili...ref=ts&fref=ts

Thanks Atoll for the tip on the rally, I'll PM Miyagi Moon for the details. We have not made a final decision yet, but this idea looks very promising.

solcina79 16-09-2014 00:36

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Morning!! I think the best option should be Malta or sicily the weather is very soft in winter And there are goods marinas



Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum

joemac4sail 23-09-2014 02:31

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Licate and Ragasu in Sicily has probably the best winter rates in Italy. The staff speak in both Marinas have good English and are very helpful. Licate might be cheaper but Ragusa is more established.

Sent from my ME173X using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

lorenzoSF 02-10-2014 14:10

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Hi All,

After all the suggestion we have decided to go to the Red Sea, but we are struggling a lot to find insurance that would cover us.
I have tried Y Yacht Insurance as recommended by the Rally team but they don't cover us because the boat is owned by a Japanese but registered in US.

Any other known broker or undewriter you know that will cover boats in the red sea?

Thanks

atoll 02-10-2014 18:44

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
you could try these guys

Come what may!

lorenzoSF 03-10-2014 03:00

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by atoll (Post 1644062)
you could try these guys

Come what may!

My boat is registered in the US, so they referred me to their US branch, which does not cover the Red Sea. I suspect it is a company policy though, not just the US.

atoll 03-10-2014 03:17

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lorenzoSF (Post 1644221)
My boat is registered in the US, so they referred me to their US branch, which does not cover the Red Sea. I suspect it is a company policy though, not just the US.

seacrest marine

yachts

(link at bottom of the page for insurance.)

or direct to

captain alan standing in Cyprus,he is the agent for EDWARD WILLIAM MARINE U.K,they should be able to insure you.

email:seacrest_marine@spidernet.com.cy

tel 00357 99 695034

svBeBe 03-10-2014 03:58

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
If your US registered boat has a USA hailing port then you will find it very difficult to purchase insurance from any company that is not represented in the USA.

BTW, there is no US registration for boats. There is USA documentation or there is individual state registration, but no national registration for boats. We have a USA documented boat but our hailing port is St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Because the hailing port is not in US proper but instead is in a US territory, different laws apply regarding courts that would be used for any dispute with insurance company, so 'foreign' insurance companies are more willing to write insurance for a US flagged boat with hailing port in a US territory rather than mainland or Hawaii. We have insurance through a French company. Only caveat is that we are not insured if we bring the boat into USA waters; territorial waters are okay and we are covered there, but not mainland USA waters or Hawaii. We checked back in early 2011 and learned that our insurance company would cover us for the Red Sea but there would be a far higher premium than for Med. That was when we still thought we would be sailing the Red Sea. Have since discarded that idea entirely.

If your boat has a hailing port in a US territory rather than USA proper, then this company might be willing to write a policy for you. Otherwise; no.

Judy

yardie 03-10-2014 04:08

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
I can also recommend Edward William. Our agent email michael@edwardwilliam.com was especially quick at getting us sorted.

I'm not sure how they feel about the Red Sea. If they were able to insure a couple of high risk, newbies like us for the Med then experienced Red Sea voyagers should be a walk in the park.

lorenzoSF 03-10-2014 15:27

Re: Wintering in the Med
 
Thanks again Atoll and Yardie, I got a quote from Edward Marine in no time and they are willing to cover us (newbies too) in the Red Sea and with our unusual registration setup.:thumb:

Before I sign on the dotted line, I think it would be fair to ask the crowd: any experience with claims with them? Do they pay up when they should?

It's great to be insured, but if they run away when it's time to pay, maybe the money is better spent in beer. :biggrin:


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