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2011 has been an exciting season. Threats of demonstrations and protests over the Greek economic situation never amounted to more than a 2 week taxi strike and protests never made it out of Athens. The season saw sailors from all over the US and Canada and as far away as Australia, the UK and Ireland. We had a great mix of cabin and flotilla sailors who united with an adventurous spirit, forged an outstanding camaraderie and made lasting friendships. The spring saw calm suntanning weather while the fall taught all sailors about sailing in adverse weather conditions. Both wonderful sailing experiences never to be forgotten. Aside from the ever changing weather mother nature also offered us unique marine life great and small. We saw two types of dolphins; huge Bottle nose and Striped dolphins, caught numerous tuna; who had been feasting on sea horses and kalamari and found huge live nautillus shells. On shore we met hundreds of cats and kittens, none more memorable than Friday; a ships cat from Southampton. We would like to thank everyone who participated with Poseidon Charters 2011 season.
To start our last 2 week circuit of the 2011 season, the yacht Dream was substituted for our flagship Margarita – due to new Greek document requirements. That did not get the crew’s spirits down as we moved our bags aboard and sailed Dream for two days to Aegina, Poros and Hydra island! Margarita was delivered by veteran skipper Panos Gikas to join Anastasia and our other wonderful skipper George Sifonios, program director Sharron and their of crew of 8 from Canada and the US. Also joining us this trip on a 37ft Jeanneau flotilla yacht were Tony and Jill from Australia. Thunderstorms did not stop the crew from enjoying a great night out in Hydra’s infamous Amalour bar and the following day Pirate night was highlighted by hours of incredible sheet lightning. Unstable weather had the flotilla spend 2 nights in Adamas harbour Milos where guests explored the incredible geology of the north coast and the great ice cream in the harbour! Margarita then broke all previous sailing speed records the next day on an incredible passage from Poliagos to Ios. In 25-32 knot wind speeds she reached a speed of 14.5 knots going down a wave – well done Steve and the crew on Margarita who all helped out on the helm! Well done also Tony and Jill for arriving only 30 minutes after Margarita.
Sailing on a yacht with people you haven’t met before can be slightly daunting for anyone, but for this group departing on 3 September it was like a reunion of old friends. Two couples from British Columbia met up with a couple from Ontario and New Jersey and bonded over the first glass of wine at the welcome briefing. The crew shared some exhilarating sailing on day one from Athens to Aegina while being serenaded by Peter from Ontario on his acoustic guitar. Hydra provided some anxious moments when a bush fire raged across the hillside requiring two water bombers and a helicopter to prevent it from approaching the town. Leaving the island of Milos behind, the crew were treated to the splendour of a deserted beach with translucent waters on the west side of Poliegos. This was followed by an exploration of the butterscotch coloured cliffs on the south side of the island.
Arriving in Split on 25 June was an excited group of mostly repeat guests, who had travelled with us previously in Greece, and a few new sailors. Several were ‘frequent sailors’ – Alex and Leo thanks for booking your 4th trip with Poseidon! A windy start to the trip saw the yachts motoring north and then upriver to experience the wonders of Krka Falls. By day 3 the yachts enjoyed fun, competitive tacking in narrow passages between stunning forested islands. The crews ate well that night at Kaprije where dinner was 10kg of fresh mussels bought on the way down the river. Steamed in white wine, some sea water and garlic and served with pasta it was a dinner fit for a Roman Emperor! A new addition to the program and highlight was a visit to Rockies organic farm and vineyard on Vis island. Further south we moored at Dubrovnik for the tail end of the summer festival. The 330-mile circuit returning to Split included stops in Korcula (home of Maro Polo), Hvar, stunning Bol beach on Brac island and many more secluded anchorages and modern marinas. The yachts arrived back in Split for one last sunset toast before saying a sad farewell to Croatia for another year.
After 10 weeks of sailing in Greece (and some motoring!), lots of historical sites, and even more Greek salads, Poseidon Charters now has a break from Greece (and Croatia) until September. Back in Montreal with the glorious Canadian sunshine, we will be catching up with ‘the office’ and are available to talk to you about your travel plans for 2012. For now, we hope that you enjoy looking through the trips so far in pictures we have uploaded onto the Poseidon Charters facebook page. We’d love to see more pictures if you’ve travelled with us this summer especially if you were sailing with us in Croatia. We’ll be back with more updates from the Aegean in September and look forward to meeting all our guests sailing with us then: Steven Parry, Sharron Ranby and the team at Poseidon.
Visiting Kleftiko turned out to be a very special night for two of our guests and Poseidon Charters is very happy to announce the engagement of Alison and Brian. Brian proposed to Alison under the stars on the bow of Margarita after a great evening of food, wine and music. Alison and Brian’s enthusiasm for learning the ropes made our jobs much easier and we could not have asked for better crew. We look forward to sailing with you again soon and wish you both the very best – from Steven Parry, Sharron Ranby and all the team at Poseidon Charters.
Crews from France, Northern Ireland, England, Canada and Switzerland were with us on this departure on 23 July. Joining a crew of 6 on Margarita (Steven you really have laid that anchor chain for the last time now!) was flotilla yacht Kalliopi skippered by ‘Royal Marine’ Steven and first mate ‘Doctor’ Phillip. Steven and Phillip’s family had big smiles and an Irish/English welcome full of enthusiasm for everyone each day. Their daily stories of playing cards with penalties for losing, was something we enjoyed hearing and witnessing upon arrival in each new harbour! Also following Margarita was flotilla yacht Ermioni skippered by the French contingent, Jerome and his lovely wife Laure – who made a mean rum punch for everyone on pirate night! The crew on Ermioni; Jerome and Laure’s 3 beautiful daughters aged between 8-12. The gusty meltemi winds arrived for our passage from Paros, so a change of itinerary took us on a safer but longer day to Kithnos. All crews did exceptionally well on the most challenging leg of the season and we couldn’t have been more proud of our youngest crew. The 3 young girls arrived in Kithnos after a full day on a small yacht, in heavier conditions still smiling and up for their daily net fish off the back off Ermioni – an inspiration to any sailor of any age! Leaving Kea slightly later than normal, the meltemi rewarded us for our previous hard work and we all delighted at a glorious sail for our return to Athens. As the sun set over Kalimaki marina for our last trip of the spring/summer season it couldn’t have been a more beautiful end to a fantastic trip with perfect weather and sailing shared with wonderful new friends.
Leaving Athens on 10 July, crews aboard Margarita and Anastasia were glad to be leaving the 40° heat behind. Our good friend and skipper Yiannis was with us to skipper Anastasia for a group of six friends from San Francisco. Margarita’s crew consisted of the family Hansson, along with two other couples – Kathleen and Nicholas and Brian and Alison. Shortly before arriving in Poros, Margarita’s gang were treated to a cool dip while underway from a line fixed to the back of Margarita sailing at 0.5 knots! The sail from Hydra to Milos turned out to be the best sailing conditions of the season so far with Margarita reaching speeds of 9.2 knots – the only downside of this being that sandwiches became the order of day for more than one lunch for the underway crews!
Sailing in Greece is always a wonderful experience, but seeing the majestic dolphins of the Aegean Sea makes for an extra special journey. Our guests sailing from Hydra to Milos on the first trip of the year enjoyed 15 minutes with this pod of about 20 dolphins at Margarita’s bow
Our second trip of the season started on 11 June with guests from North America aboard Margarita and a flotilla of three fun crews: family Fyrwald aboard the beautiful 44ft catamaran Sawadee with Poseidon’s skipper George Sifanios; skipper ‘Handsome Doug’ and his crew aboard Omerta also sailing on a stunning 44ft catamaran and Poseidon’s good friends Hubert and Karla from Montreal with their crew aboard Kalliopi.