Sailing checklist in Greece
Take off your watch and set yourself to ‘halarose’ (relax), you are on Greek Time!
We had a weekend sailing trip with island hopping in the Saronic Gulf, close to Athens, an experience to be savored and an ideal choice for who wants a laid-back weekend gateway. The Mediterranean has it all ready for you: a cocktail on a crowded beach, sailing to a secluded bay, diving into the waters of an isolated bay reachable by boat only, a late night swim, spotting dolphins.. one night mooring in one port and the next one staying on an anchorage. Enjoying cafes and restaurants at a nearby marina, visit a charming fishing village with classic Mediterranean architecture. All to be enjoyed with great people, in great atmosphere.
Since it was our first sailing trip I asked friends who were sailing before what to bring along for the trip. And I am happy I did, as they gave me some good tips. Now at return, I made my own checking list, a packing guide to figure out what to bring along for a weekend sailing getaway. These tips are for small to medium sailing boats and not for yachts -we were on a Bavaria 44 :). Ahoy!
- Swimsuits- as many as you can get, I had 4 for with me and I am not sorry. In this case, more is better, they occupy little space in the luggage and actually you stay 90% of the time in them.
- Towels – beach towels for sunbathing and towels for showering.
- Sarongs, beachwear and silky beachwear T-shirts, Shorts- since you don’t wear them too much of time, do not carry too many; T-shirts maybe if you don’t intend to stay in the sun too much.
- When the boat docks in town, it’s a good idea to have cute sandals with no heels and comfy and casual outfit to be wearing at dinner.
- Windproof or waterproof jacket and vest, warm trousers – You only use them if the weather is bad.
- Deck shoes- with white bottom so you do not leave tracks on the white boat. Flip flops for the bathroom. Anyway you’ll be most of the time barefoot. If you put the boat on sailing and not on engine, the boat floats angled and thus it is much safer with deck shoes.
- Sun hat- don’t go for the straw and fancy one, but for the cap, it’s more practical for the windy times.
- Sunscreen- we had 30, 50, after sun lotion, coconut oil and aloe gel for after sun. Do not forget the lip screen.
- Insect repellent as a spray or bracelets, antihistamine cream for insect bites. Even though I haven’t seen any mosquito.
- Bring a portable phone charger. Electrical outlets on a boat may be limited and not always functioning.
- Toiletries – small shampoo, shower gel, conditioner bottles. I took disinfection wipes, antiseptic creams for the all-purpose cleaner in the bathroom. Bathroom can be very small, similar to the airplane one with the difference that shower is there as well.
- Medicines for sea sick – I had the Cocculine and Emetostop. What could I say.. they are ok but I am looking for something stronger. They may be needed especially when boat is floating and you are preparing food in the kitchen. Being below the deck the feeling is not a common one.
- Food – we had some food from the supermarket in Athens and stock up in different ports with snacks, as we had the main meals at tavernas on the islands. We went Greek with plenty of feta, gyros and ouzo or wine. If I make a top favorite, Courgette balls -kolokythokeftedes, tzatziki, spanakopita, bakaliaros, marides tiganites- deep-fried whitebait, deep fried squid, Saganaki- fried yellow cheese and all the fish dishes. I couldn’t leave Greece without eating a bowl of Greek yoghurt and honey with a sprinkling of nuts for breakfast in Poros and the yoghurt with pistachios gem in Aigina.
- Do not forget that Greek wine: Assyrtico is Greece’s most known grape variety, a versatile, fresh and aromatic type, grown on the volcanic island of Santorini in the Aegean sea. Try it in Santo Wines-Assyrtiko Santorini Grande Reserve 2011 or Artemis Karamolegos Assyrtiko Santorini 2013. You might also try: Domaine Gerovassiliou Malagousia Epanomi 2014, Domaine Hatzimichalis Aidani Cyclades 2013, Boutari Santorini Kallisti Reserve 2010, Domaine Sigalas Santorini Barrel 2014. Koutsoyiannopoulos Santorini Nikteri 2012, – each for about 30 euro.. and many other wines of more than 90 points, you only have to check on Wine Spectator.
- Snorkeling gadgets. We were lucky our skipper had a lot of water gadgets from water cushion, goggles to swimming noodles.
- We even went romantic with some candles he brought for the evening on the deck.
- Cash is safer than the card especially for a beach in a gulf you have to swim for from the boat.
- Earplugs and eye mask- I brought them both but I only used the eye mask.
- Waterproof Swimming Dry Bag/ Beach Pouch- for when you stop in a gulf and have to swim for a cocktail to the beach, it’s good to have your cash and camera in this bag. Not often the case but possible ;).
- Waterproof Digital Camera Phone Pouch Dry Bag for this kind of a picture.
- Before the trip it’s better to read a little about sailing and during the trip to stay around the skipper so you learn some sailing basics ins and outs. Unfortunately I couldn’t do that as I was on the top of the boat where I less felt nausea but Radu and the other boys were valuable apprentices J
- Take a book with you. I had the printed “Under the Saffron Moon” and the “Positive intelligence” from the ibooks. I must admit when feeling dizzy, I do not feel so much of reading.
- Sail all day, party in the night. With music! So make sure there is some music aboard.
To sum up, it’s important to know that what people take with them when they go sailing also varies by the kind of sailing they are doing, where they are sailing and other personal preferences.