Sailing and teenagers don’t always mix but when the swim stops are frequent, the night spots full of fun and the actual sailing legs short sharp and snappy – it’s a no brainer. Add the Greek Islands of Skiathos, Skopelos, Allonisos and Skyros to the mix and it’s a perfect cocktail – nonalcoholic of course.
This island group just off the east coast of Greece is easily accessible by air or land from Athens. The islands are strategically positioned across the prevailing wind so the seas will be flat, crystal clear, turquoise blue and a comfortable 23 degrees. Perfect for leaping from the yacht and enjoying any time of the day or night. There is nothing like the feeling of the soft warm Mediterranean Sea enveloping your body as you float beside an anchored yacht. Your home for a week.
Mariner Boating have organized this one week sailing holiday during the Australian July school holidays. The hosted event can be booked by the cabin or by the boat, regardless of your sailing experience.
A typical day in the seven day event will start with the yacht tied to the quay of a Greek fishing village. The anchor will come up and you’ll be off to a rendezvous with the other boats for a swim and lunch in a sheltered bay. Then it will be up with the sails and the yachts will race to the destination for the evening. After arrival there will be time to explore a new town, check FB and post a few photos of the day’s activities to your friends in Oz, before dinner at a pre-booked and pre–paid taverna. Then into the night check out the bars and local night spots for music, action, or even live entertainment. Enjoy a night cap or a walk back to your yacht in the harbour under the July full moon! Pure magic!
Any Abba fan may be aware that the movie Mama Mia was made on Skopelos although the island in the movie, Kalokairi, was fictitious. Kalokairi in Greek means summer and could have applied to almost any Greek Island. Never mind, if you go to the Sporades you have to go to Skopelos and if we have enough fans the last night dinner may become a Mama Mia contest with the crews competing for a prize for the best rendition of an Abba song! Practice your moves!
The most historically important island in the Sporades group is Skyros. Positioned on the Aegean Sea trade route it enjoyed a prosperous era. The architecture here changes to the cubist blue and white flat roofed houses often automatically associated with Greece. And, by the way, did you know that the Greeks painted their houses white with blue windows because when they were under Ottoman rule for 400 hundred years flying their blue and white Greek flag was banned.
Otherwise the one week of sailing will include some fun on the water racing a yacht powered by a steady breeze on flat water and the destination just a few miles away. With no spinnakers this is a fun event without the “Sydney Hobart” hype or sensation, simply a way to cross the miles on a gentle reach and enjoy a team activity together. The temperatures will not drop below 25 degrees in the day time but at night the air will cool with the breeze and sleeping on your yacht will be comfortable. The yachts have a maximum of three cabins so there will typically be six people on board, unless you charter your own boat and the crew number can be up to a maximum of eight people. The boat will have all facilities and be very comfortable to live on; and you only have to unpack your bag once.
There will only be three races in this rally and on the other four days you will be free to explore the magic of this tiny group of Greek islands. For that matter the racing is optional so you might prefer to start a cruising division but still be a part of the active social scene.
More information on this event is available from Mariner Boating Holidays www.marinerboating.com.au or on the phone 99661244.