Skrivet av Christian
A great disappointment
The vulcano

Back at work during some quite weeks in the summer of 2009 I started investigating to possibilities to invest in a bareboat in Greece. During the trip in 2008 to eastern Greece we were at one point moored next to a Swedish ex Bare-boat. It had just finalized 5 years as a charter boat. My more knowledgeable friends took a closer look on board and came back with a very positive verdict of the boat’s condition. That was when buying a boat for charter became a real option for me.

That summer I checked out 3 companies, Moorings, a big Greek company and finally decided for the Swedish company Navigare-Yachting AB. The main reason was that the company is stressing its high quality boat maintenance – which we had experienced during 4 sailing trips to Greece and Croatia and also the fact that it was Swedish and any serious problem would be settled in a Swedish court of law would it ever have to come to that.

We chose a 40feet Bavaria which was the smallest available to minimize the step up in size from our normal boats (28feet) and also due to the money aspect. This we have so far not regretted.

The decision lead to a hectic period with arrange the loan in the bank (mainly in euro) and taking the necessary navigational and VHF radio courses during evening classes. The first sailing trip was booked for week 16 in 2012 when Navigare was arranging a new boat owner training course during 3-4 days, something we thought was absolutely necessary for us when making this big step from 28 to 40 feet.

Then 2-3 days before the trip the volcano ashes from Island grounded all flights and we were stuck at home. I think you can easily imagine our disappointment!

We would now have to wait another 5 months to do our maiden voyage on Freja and by then she would already have sailed some 20 weeks or so with strangers.

I have since learnt that the strangers are our very important customers and you should be happy with all you can get but in the spring of 2010 my feelings were more basic and selfcentred.

Väder The source
Övrigt Navigare-Yachting AB
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Skrivet av Christian
A tough start in the Cyclades
How we sailed our first week with Freja

At last it was time for our maiden voyage in September 2010. On Monday the last week at home we came to finally realize that it was time for our beloved dog Primus to go to sleep for ever. His health status had gone from bad to worse but we had not wanted to see it. The day after we made an appointment with the animal hospital and on Wednesday we made the heavy trip to the clinic. Much to do at our workplaces to prepare for 2 weeks away, including also a party for both of us, the distress of losing Primus and only just over 3 hours of sleep the last night had us very tired when we arrived in Athens on Saturday morning.

We were met at the airport by our very knowledgeable sailing instructor Olle A. who we had got through Bodil at Navigare-Yachting. Olle was to teach us in 24 hours the most important things we should have learnt during the Boat-owner introduction course that was cancelled in the spring. We started practising after a Greek salad and a quick briefing with mooring stern to – something we had never done in Sweden. It didn’t go that well and a person in the next boat said the following morning: “ we saw you and said to ourselves– these guys have a problem”!

At 19.00h we suddenly remembered that we needed to stock up at the recommended supermarket which would be closed the next day. Just under 1h to shop for 6 persons for one week! Luckily Olle had a car and knew the shop. 15 minutes after closing we were forced out of the shop less 300€ and a blocked credit card. I had forgotten to open it up for purchases abroad so no wander it didn’t work with the PIN code.

Back at Freja with the goods stowed, Lisa wanted to sleep but I was hungry and said that we must eat. We ordered a fresh fish at the nearby restaurant, it took for ever and was very expensive. We went to bed at last in a warm cabin with the waves lapping against the hull and the Greek music coming in through the open hatch over our heads. We didn’t sleep much. At 5 the music stopped and at 8 Olle arrived and the training continued.  

Our crew the good old friends Thomas and Monica and the slightly newer friends Jan and Monika arrived with the morning flight and we set off after lunch for Korissia on Kea. We sailed close to a steadily increasing wind and sea and seasickness arrived as securely as a letter in the mail (in the old days) to the Captain. The very knowledgeable crew (a wise choice) had to take command of the mooring.

After hardly being able to force down 2 bites of food I gave up and went to bed. I remember I felt so awful that I was prepared to sell Freja and give up all plans of sailing at that moment.  

The next day we made short trip to the Orgias bay on northern Kea were we swung on the anchor until the next day and just had a good time and got our strength back. Niiiiice!  This is a good place to stay with southerly winds.

The following day we continued to Loutra on Kythnos and I passed my first own mooring. The girls went exploring=shopping after a Gin &Tonic “GT” mooring drink and us guys swam across the little bay to the hot spring outlet and had a nice hot bath in the sea. Cosy. Loutra is a place to return to.

Wednesday we mainly motored to Finikas on Siros. There was only room for us on the outside of the quay and the increasing southerly wind was threatening to push Freja on to the concrete. She was heaving strongly and we had to organise an anchor watch until things quieted down at about 2 in the morning and everyone could get some sleep. The water in harbour was good and clear, “swimmable” but we were not too impressed with the little else we saw of the harbour area.

On Thursday we continued in yet again very good weather to Livadhi on Serifos. Livadhi is a really nice place. The next morning we took the local buss up the hill to the old town centre and enjoyed the spectacular view of the south eastern Cyclades. We had a good tasting breakfast in the little café run by a young woman who had returned from Athens, she will probably be followed by many more now in this time of crisis for Greece. Then we walk down to Freja and sailed on to Sandy Bay on Kythnos were we had a swim and a very nice dinner on board.

The last day we got some rain but also a good strong wind and sometimes logged +7 knots. We took the last dip in a bay 2-3 nautical miles south of Lavrion and closed the evening in a pleasant looking restaurant in the pedestrian precinct which since has become a favourite haunt.

Sunday morning our very nice and satisfied crew left us and returned to Sweden.

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Skrivet av Christian
A nice week in the Saronic bay
How we sailed with Eva and Hans

This story is to be translated from Swedish at some point in time. I have started with 2010, to be followed by 2011 a s o

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