New sailing yachts for summer 2012
This year (spring 2012) we added three new Jeanneau yachts to our fleet. These join other yachts we added to our fleet during 2011.
Three news yachts for the 2012 season
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Following on from the new yachts we added to our fleet in 2011, this year another three new Jeanneau yachts join our flotilla and bareboat sailing holiday fleet.
About the new yachts
The 409 is a spacious three cabin (6 + 2 berth) yacht which won the European Yacht of the Year (“Family Cruiser”) in 2011. Meanwhile the 33i, a new design from Jeanneau for 2012, is an enlarged 2 cabin (4 + 2 berth) design replacing the 32i model.
The 409 joins another 409 and Sun Odyssey 439 yacht (44’) that we added to the fleet last year, along with a Beneteau Oceanis 43 yacht (43’), Elan Impression 434 yacht (44’) and Bavaria 50 Cruiser yacht (50’), all of which also joined the fleet during 2011.Check out our ‘yacht selector’ for a summary of the sizes of our yachts.
Sailed home from France
The yachts were delivered to Port Vauban in Antibes, south of France. They arrived in their ‘shrink-wrap’ (yes, yachts actually come shrink-wrapped!) and Greek Sails staff then set about preparing the boats for the 970nm passage home to Poros. This included everything from removing the shrink-wrap and anti-fouling the hulls, through to rigging, fitting the mast and all instrumentation and electronics. Not quite a kit of parts, but still a lot of work.
Due to delivery delays the yachts set-out a little late in early April, hoping to make it home to Poros for thr Greek Easter (Friday 13-Apr/Sun 15-Apr).
The weather during the trip was ‘more interesting’ than it could have been, with a large depression moving slowly northeast across the western Mediterranean. This then dictated the route which had to take account of likely high winds and worse; southerlies as the yachts tried to head south towards Sicily. It truly became a case of looking for ‘weather windows’ and going when you could!
In large part due to the weather and winds, the small fleet passed to the west of Corsica and then through the Bonifacio Straights that separate Corsica from Sardinia. There was a short overnight break in Palau, northeast Sardinia, to give the crews a rest before heading out again for Sicily. The ‘ride’ away from Sardinia was something to remember, with gusts exceeding 40kn having the boats surfing at times.
The approach into Messina on Sicily wasn’t in quite the weather you would hope for and the boats again laid-up waiting for a weather window for the next leg; crossing the southern Ioian.
In fact the crossing of the Ionian proved one of the nicer passages with a good breeze and clear skies...if only it could all have been like this!
The fleet entered into Greek waters, passing between Kefalonia and Zakinthos and across what flotilla holiday companies term as; ‘the southern Ionian’, which was crossed in a couple of hours. From here it became more of a slog up the Gulf of Corinth with the wind rarely being helpful and the sunny weather of the Ionian crossing disappearing.
After passing under the Rio-Antirio bridge, (oficially the Charilaos Trikoupis bridge) that links the mainland to Patras on the Peloponnese, the boats arrived at the Corinth Canal before passing into the Saronic Gulf...you could almost smell Poros! As we approached Poros, so the wind picked up giving the fleet a good sail home for the last few hours...at least it was the way to end the 970nm trip from Antibes. Check-out the short video of Richard enjoying the last of the sailing in one of the 33i yachts (‘Susie’) at the end of the trip.
Generally the weather made for some more ‘more entertaining’ sailing and sadly didn’t allow the fleet to make it home in time for Easter, however, that didn't dampen the clebrations on arriving into Poros with the new additions to the fleet. The weather had given us plenty of wind, often not from the right direction, with seas and rain to go with it at times. At least it meant the boats got a good shake-down to prepare them for the new summer sailing season!
View the track of the yachts from Antibe to Poros in a larger map
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The lighthouse at Tour de la Parata, Ajaccio on the western coast of Corsica
The weather eases as ‘Susie’ & ‘Wayno’ rest in Messina, but note the gear left out to dry!
Stromboli in the early morning light
Looking back to Etna on Sicily
Messina catherdral on Sicily
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