LIFE ONBOARD A SAILING YACHT
This is a sailing trip and you must be comfortable with moving about the boat. Yachts are designed to maximize living area space, so sleeping quarters can be a bit cramped. For solo travelers, there is no single supplement on-board the yacht. You will be paired with a same sex roommate.
Please be aware that this is a sailboat and not a cruise vessel and space on board is tight. You will be sharing a small room with one of your fellow travelers or your travel partner and possibly sharing a bathroom onboard. Some people are not comfortable with the type of close quarter arrangements typically found on sailboats, however if a real sailing experience on a real sailboat is what you are after, then this experience should more than make up for cramped quarters.
You will be spending most of your time above board in the open air (and you may choose to sleep out there as well) and with time on the water comes time in the sun. Remember to pack sun protection, such as sun screen and a hat. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water and keep hydrated.
That said, the adventure and exhilaration of an authentic sailing trip more than makes up for any discomfort. Although the waters are usually calm, it can get rough and choppy, which requires steady sea legs and a sturdy stomach. Please note that smooth sailing is dependent on the weather, so itinerary changes may occur at the last minute if weather becomes unfavorable. If any changes are made, you can rest assured that your experienced skipper will choose the best alternate route or activity.
Due to the size of the yachts, sound carries easily from one side to the other and can wake your fellow travelers. If you do enjoy a late night out, please keep this in mind when returning to the yacht or possibly consider booking a room in town for the night so you don’t wake other travelers (and more importantly the skipper) upon your return. It’s important to have fun, but also to respect your shipmates who might be sleeping.
MEALS ONBOARD THE YACHT
Two healthy meals are provided aboard the yacht each day. Breakfast is usually self-service and is generally light continental, rather than an American style hot breakfast and may include: fresh fruit, cereals, yogurt, toast, boiled eggs, tea, coffee and juice.
Lunch is usually served in the shaded cockpit anchored in secluded bays and consists of: fresh bread, crackers, spreads and dips (including tzatziki, taramou salata, melanzani salata), various salads: Greek, tuna, egg, coleslaw, potato, rice or pasta, an assortment of cheeses and/or cold cuts as well as olives, capers and bell peppers.
Beverages such as soft drinks, iced tea and water are included and stowed on board. You are advised to bring aboard your own specialty and snack foods, alcohol, mixer drinks and ice.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However, it is subject to change, and does not form a contract between parties. While it is our intention to adhere to the route described, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. Occasionally our itineraries change due to weather or other circumstances that are beyond our control. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary.
WEATHER/ SEASONS IN GREECE
August is the hottest month in Athens with an average temperature of 84 F (29 C) and the coldest is January at 50 F (10 C). The most daily sunshine hours is 12 in July. The wettest month is December with an average of 3.85 inches of rain. The best month to swim in the sea is in August when the average sea temperature is 77 F (25 C).
Low Season (Nov-Mar)
Many hotels, sights and restaurants shut down, especially on islands. Accommodation costs up to 50% less than in high season. Ferry schedules are skeletal. Temperatures drop; Athens and Crete can see snow. Average temperatures range from 45 F (7 C) to 65 F (18 C).
Shoulder Season (April, Sept & Oct)
Accommodation prices can drop by 20%. Temperatures are milder. Internal flights and ferries have reduced schedules. Fewer crowds. Average temperatures range from 54 F (12 C) to 75 F (24 C).
High Season (Easter & May-Aug)
Everything is in full swing and transport is plentiful. Accommodation sometimes cost September is a shoulder season in Greece. Temperatures are typically in the 80’s in Athens and the climate is very dry — think Arizona. Most rain falls between November and February, while rainfall in September is very rare. The weather on the islands is about 10-15 degrees cooler than Athens, and after watching the beautiful sunset, it can get chilly at night (average 63-67 degrees), so bringing a light jacket or sweater and a windbreaker is advised.
For more information, please visit http://www.holiday-weather.com/athens/averages/.
ABOUT THE AREA WE ARE SAILING
The Saronic Gulf or Gulf of Aegina in Greece forms part of the Aegean Sea and defines the eastern side of the isthmus of Corinth. It is the eastern terminus of the Corinth Canal, which cuts across the isthmus. The islands of the Saronic Gulf are the most easily accessible islands by sailing yacht from Athens. Apart from the location, the rich ancient history of places like Epidavros, Poros, and Aegina attracts tourists and sailors to these waters. These are the perfect waters for shorter sailing trips and are also recommended for less experienced sailors due to the short distances between each island and the relatively mild winds in comparison to other sailing areas in Greece.
WHAT TO BRING
There is limited space on the yachts. Our advice is to pack as light as possible as you are expected to carry your own luggage. We recommend the use of a duffel bag, soft bag or backpack (whichever you find easiest to carry). Smaller bags with wheels are convenient if your bag has carry straps. Large suitcases or heavy luggage are not recommended. You will also need a day-pack for carrying water, a camera, and other electronics, and extra clothing for day trips exploring the areas we will be visiting. Luggage locks are also recommended.
– Passport (with photocopies) & Visa (if required)
– Travel Insurance policy (with photocopies)
– Driver’s License
– Flight Information & Boarding Pass
– Money and credit or debit card (please see the section on Currency & Foreign Exchange)
– Travel packet w/ pre-departure info & itinerary
– Any vaccination certificates
Clothing and Footwear
– Weather-approriate clothing
– Light fleece top/jacket
– Light windproof/waterproof jacket
– Moisture wicking t-shirts/ tank tops
– Hiking pants/shorts
– Under garments
– Sunhat (that can be secured if it is windy)
– Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes
– Flip flops/ sandals
– Shampoo, conditioner, soap (biodegradable)
– Toothbrush & Toothpaste
– Biodegradable laundry soap
– Eyeshades/ earplugs
– Sunscreen (biodegradable & waterproof)
– Lip Balm
– Ocean Nasal Moisturizing Spray
– Hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
– Plastic bag for wet items
– Small travel towel
– Beach Towel
– Dry bag
– Headlamp or flashlight
– Camera and extra memory card
– Binoculars (optional)
– Water bottle
– Watch or alarm clock
– Power Adapter (please see the section on Plugs & Adapters)
– Chargers for electronics
– Luggage lock(s)
– Reading/writing material
– First-aid kit (should contain Aspirin, Ibuprofen (for anti-inflamation), Band-Aids, anti-histamines, motion sickness remedy, imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, and re-hydration powder)
– Personal prescription drugs , contact lenses, glasses
Laundry facilities can be found in some harbors. Ask your skipper for the best places. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry, so we also suggest you bring a biodegradable laundry soap.
VISAS & PASSPORTS
All countries require a valid passport (valid for a minimum of 6 months after the date of departure). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements. It’s your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Please visit https://adventurepeople.net/passport-visas/ for links to helpful websites.
HEALTH & VACCINATIONS
It is your responsibility to consult with your physician or a travel clinic for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure to find out what vaccinations might be required or recommended for Greece. Also, keep in mind that some heat waves are possible from June to October all over the country. People who are sensitive to seasickness should come prepared.
We recommend that you carry a First-Aid kit and hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons, our guides/skippers are prohibited from administering any type of drug.
Please visit https://adventurepeople.net/travel-resources/ for links to helpful websites.
Travel insurance is mandatory to participate on any of our trips. You will not be permitted to join a trip until evidence of travel insurance has been presented. The minimum requirement must provide coverage of $200,000USD for medical expenses including repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some credit card companies offer travel insurance, but proof of coverage will be required. Contact your provider for details.
CURRENCY & FOREIGN EXCHANGE
In Greece, the only currency accepted is the Euro. As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates, www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.
The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account/ card overseas and any international fees that will be applied.
You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, as well as banks and money exchange “kiosko” in all cities, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash that can be exchanged if the ATM’s are not functioning.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of cash and cards is best. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. Change can be difficult to obtain, so try to gain as many small denominations as you can. We do not recommend bringing travelers cheques as they are very difficult to change.
Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denomination lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
When it comes to spending money on a trip, every traveler is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It’s always better to bring more than you think you’ll need as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. Also, make sure you’ve read the trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. The following amounts are based on local considerations. You are always free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip.
Hotels: It is customary to tip the porter/ bellboy around 1 Euro per bag. For your housekeeper, leave around 1 Euro per day on the bedside table before you check out. You can also leave a few Euros as gratuity for the concierge if you received excellent service.
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants, just leave the loose change. At more upscale restaurants, a suggested gratuity of 5% to 10% of the total bill is suggested.
Taxi’s & Drivers: You won’t always be expected to tip your taxi driver, but it’s up to you. If you do decide to tip your taxi driver, round-up the fare, or leave between 5% and 10%. For a private driver, leave around 20 Euros per day. If they went above and beyond you can always tip more.
Skipper & Crew: Skippers and crew will deliver excellent customer service on your trip, safely sailing and providing meals each day. A suggested gratuity amount per person would be 50-75 Euros ($60-$90) per crew member for 7-nights aboard the yacht.
Tour Guides: For local activity guides, the suggested gratuity is between 2 and 5 Euros for full or half-day tours.
LOCAL TIME & INTERNATIONAL CALLING CODES
Greece is on Eastern European Time (GMT +2) and is ten hours ahead of PST and 7 hours ahead of EST in the US.
The country calling code is +30. To call Greece from the US, dial 011 30 + area code and phone #. to dial the US from Greece, dial 001 + area code and phone #.
PLUGS & ADAPTERS
Greece uses type C, D, E, and F outlets and the voltage is 220 volts/ 50Hz. In the US, we use types A and B, 120 volts/ 60Hz. For using your electronics in Greece, you will need a voltage converter in addition to a plug adapter. Many electronics already have a built-in converter, so all you’ll need to use is one of the adapter plugs. This covers most modern laptops, cell phone chargers, and many other devices, but be sure to read the information on your device to be sure.
While there should be electricity on board the yacht throughout your trip, the voltage is likely to vary widely, from 12V to 220V, and when in port or moored we are dependent on the supply available. Please be aware that the supply may not be sufficient to power some electronic devices all the time and that you may need a voltage adapter or similar (such as portable inverter used in cars). It may be possible to charge devices ashore at restaurants or resorts, however this is not guaranteed.
MEDICAL HISTORY & ABILITIES
Our trips bring together people of all ages. It is important that you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake any of our trips. Travelers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage. You must inform us at the time of booking if anyone in your party has a disability, medical or behavioral condition which could affect their participation in the trip or other people on the trip.
Travelers with pre-existing medical conditions are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travelers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen adventure. While your group leader and guides work hard to make sure that all our travelers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided.
SAFETY & SECURITY
We recommend that you check your government’s advice for the latest travel information before departure. We also strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for safe keeping of your passport, credit cards, cash, and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelry at home – you won’t need it while traveling. In addition, a lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Only carry with you the money and documentation that you need for the day and always keep an eye on your belongings.
Since you’ll have a lot of free time on the islands, please note that any optional activities you undertake that are not part of the itinerary, are at your own risk. We offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. While most of the cities we will visit are generally safe, there can be risks when wandering through a major city at night and it is our recommendation that you stay in small groups and take taxis to and from restaurants or other night time excursions. We also advise staying away from any protests and demonstrations. Even those that are well intended have the potential to turn violent with no warning.
Adventure activities and water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in activities when accompanied by guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any of our planned activities, have a balanced approach to safety. Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy and therefore prohibited. The group organizer has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Here are some technical terms for you to learn before your trip to help you orient yourself with the world of yachting:
Hull: the ‘body’ of the boat
Keel: stabilizing part of the hull under the waterline to prevent capsizing
Deck: upper level of the boat
Cockpit: area in the back where we are operating the boat
Bow: Forward area of the boat
Stern: Backward area of the boat
Helm: steering facility
Helmsman: Person at the helm, not necessarily the skipper
Starboard: right side of the boat looking forward from aft
Port (side): left side of the boat looking forward from aft
Rigg: all fixed equipment standing up above the deck
Mast: vertical massive pole to fix the sails
Boom: horizontal massive pole going backward from the mast
Mainsail: sail at the rear of the mast
Headsail: sail in front of the mast
Fender: sort of ‘bumper’ to avoid damage of the hull when moored
Winch: sort of drum to operate loaded lines or anchor chain
Beaufort: intl. scale for strength of winds, starting with 0 up to 12
Manoeuvre: changing the course of the boat or doing several operations
Tacking: turning the bow through the wind
Gibing: turning the stern through the wind
Round up: turning the boat exactly into the wind to stop moving
Fetch sth.: pulling tight a line
Ease sth.: detaching a line
There are only LINES on a boat, no ropes etc. Most important ones:
Furling lines: to set and take away the sails
Sheets: to adjust the sails during sailing
Mooring lines: connecting the yacht to the peer
Ground lines: fixing the bow when moored ‘stern too’ (the peer)
Figure-eight knot: belongs to the end of certain lines to avoid going by the run
Half hitch: easiest knot to fix a line somewhere, not very strong one
Clove hitch: famous knot to fix various lines like mooring-, fender- etc.
Reef knot: used to connect two lines of same size to each other
Bowline: creating a strong and everlasting loop to a line
USEFUL WORDS AND PHRASES IN GREEK
We always encourage our travelers to respect the lives of locals and their language by learning a few important words, such as hello, goodbye, please, thank you etc. It may also be helpful for you to download the Google Translate app on your phone along with Greek language to your phone so that it is available offline when you are not in an area with WiFi.
|Good afternoon or evening
|How are you?
|Pleased to meet you
||sti̱n ef̱cháristi̱ thési̱ na sas gno̱rísoume
|What time is it?
||Ópoia ó̱ra eínai?
|Do you speak English?
|I don’t understand
|Cheers/ Good health!
|Please speak more slowly
||Parakaló miláte pyo argá
|What is your name?
||pyó íne to ónomá sas?
|My name is______
|Where are you from?
||Apó pu íse?
|How much is this?
||Póso einai aftó?
|Where is the toilet?
||pu íne i tualéta?
|Do you have change?