Last week I shared our story of how we managed to sneak in a whirlwind visit to Istanbul on our way to Athens.
But the real purpose of our trip starts here….
Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing a new post in my brand new series called Going Greek! It’s all about the adventures we had earlier this year sailing in Greece!
Yes! Sailing!!! Me!
Read on to find out more about how I fared, the most inexperienced sailor to ever embark on a sailing trip on a yacht that needed all hands on deck…
After almost 24 hours of traveling we arrived in Athens and met up with some of crew at the airport, and then 2 others a few hours later at our AirBnB spot, located in the very Athenian suburb of Alimos. The rest of the crew would arrive the following morning straight to the marina.
First things first meant we had a quick shower, changed our clothes and opened a box of Turkish Delight we’d bought in Duty Free!
This was the view from our AirBnB spot…
Then it was time to explore, so we headed out to find what shops were nearby our flat for our provisioning the next morning… and we discovered the beauty of AirBnB for ourselves. Staying in a truly local area of Athens really allowed us to catch a glimpse of what local life is like. Most of the locals in this neighbourhood live in apartment blocks with large balconies shaded by awnings and covered in plants, even lemon and olive trees in pots!
Families with young kids congregate around the neighbourhood park and catch up on the day while watching their kids play while elderly women in black stock upped on their fresh produce at the corner cafe, and everywhere, stray cats!! (This didn’t change throughout our tour of Greece!)
We found the local supermarket (and bottle store) and set about trying to interpret Greek script as the next morning we would be back to stock the yacht with EVERYTHING we’d need for 8 people on a boat for 7 days!
Finally it was time to head down to the nearby Alimos Marina to find the boat that would be our home for the next week!
And it was a beaut of an evening that made us wish we were on the water already.
A quick bite of battered sardines and a Mythos beer at the Dia Noche restaurant right opposite the marina were the perfect way to end the day, and start our sailing trip!
Bright and early the next morning we headed back to the marina for our skipped to start the admin process (quite lengthy!). We dropped off our bags and met the 3 missing members of our crew before we formed a 3-man provisioning team to get cracking on the the shopping list!
Not being a very good cook on land, I had serious doubts that I would be of any use at all when it came to making edible food at sea, so I stuck up my hand for the task of shopping, truth be told I wanted to make sure I was pulling my weight (there was no guarantee I would be any good at anything else once we were on board!)
The shopping list we had downloaded off the net, along with a few recipe ideas definitely helped us and when we finally left the shop we had 3 trolleys of food to load into the back of the taxi (who definitely over-charged us obvious tourists!!)
On our return to the marina we were told we could step aboard Phedra, our yacht, and unpack which we set about to quickly. And then it was time to wait for the paperwork, giving us the opportunity to learn some knots and settle into sailing life (surrounded by the sounds of Greek singing from neighbouring boats)
Finally, at 2pm, we were given the go-ahead to leave the marina – and it was a race to the exit as almost every yacht made a move to do the same at the same time. Boat jam!
We waved goodbye to Athens and headed out to sea under motor power at first, and then at sail!
With only 3 of the 8 of us experienced in sailing, it meant we would all be in for a steep learning curve over the next week, and what better time to start than immediately! We donned our gloves and set to work, raising the sails.
One of the aspects of this trip that I loved the most was that we didn’t know everyone…
Our awesome crew consisted of a very international bunch and I loved getting to know people from all around the world and finding out more about their lives and their personalities. It is entirely fascinating to me to meet new people… and nothing bonds you quite like travelling together so these fab new friends are ones I’ll feel connected to forever.
Yaya – A Lebanese living in Paris
James – A Canadian in London
Jeanette – An African American Digital Nomad
Mike – A Texan in London
Malcolm – An Australian in London
Raisa – A Bangladeshi Canadian living in Ethiopia but moving to Japan
Brad and I felt positively suburban – 2 South Africans living in South Africa. Boring!
And this was to be our tiny, floating home for a week…. with 2 push/pull toilets to share!
It could have gone terribly “Survivor at Sail”, but, thankfully, it didn’t.
As the week went on we all got much, much better at the tasks at hand! Sailing, steering, cheffing, cleaning, mooring, anchoring, disposing of rubbish (and NB job on a boat).
Each of us finding a job that we knew well and felt confident enough to do, while also still trying to “learn the ropes” every day…
Here are a few pics of our trip but come back over the next few Fridays to find out more about each individual island we visited.
As you can see it was the most incredible trip!
Here’s a route map of where we went..
We managed to visit 7 Greek Islands (a few others in the group made it to 10!) on our sailing trip in the Aegean sea and over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more stories about our visit to each one.
Here’s a “highlights package” video for those who prefer that medium!
If you enjoyed this post or want to re-read it another time please considering pinning it to Pinterest using the image below!
Images: Kathryn Rossiter