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Sailing Journals

Sailing Journal - South Ionian, Sun Odyssey 440

Corfu Flotilla Sailing Journal by Isla, Nautilus Yachting

I had the incredible experience of working as part of a lead crew as the flotilla host in Corfu in 2022.  I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity to visit some spectacular destinations and meet fantastic people who will be friends for life.  Here is my experience of what a typical week of flotilla life is like.

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Sailing Journal - South Ionian, Sun Odyssey 440

South Ionian Sailing Journal by Louise, Nautilus Yachting

This year, it was time to return to where we first fell in love with sailing, the beautiful South Ionian where our passion for charter holidays started!

To take advantage of cheaper and quieter mid-week flights, we decided to head out to Greece a couple of days ahead of our charter to explore the wonderful beaches on the northwest coast of Lefkas. Car hire at Preveza Airport was easy and the driving is straightforward so don’t be put off! Three nights at Villa Elia - a really friendly apartment-based property. Extending our stay and having time to settle into holiday mode before setting sail was a welcome change.

Kathisma is one of the most stunning beaches on Lefkas, there are many bars and restaurants nearby with facilities and good parking. If you get tired of sunbathing with cold beers delivered to your umbrella while looking out at the turquoise waters, you can look up and watch the paragliders swooping down from the cliffs above.

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Sailing Journal - South Ionian, Sun Odyssey 440

Volos Sailing Journal by Helen, Nautilus Yachting

We have just landed in what appears to be the middle of a military base. Looking out of the airplane window we see a lot of decommissioned helicopters and jets. We are in Volos airport and it feels a little like landing in Greece 20 years ago, yet Volos is the 6th biggest city in modern-day Greece. 

Our taxi transfer takes us on service roads before joining the main road and heading into town and to the base, which is in the main harbour at the centre of town. The charter office is on a small pedestrian street just behind the harbour and staff are awaiting our arrival with cold mineral water and fresh fruit. We board our yacht for the week, a 2016 model Hanse 505, receiving a technical briefing from the local technician. The base manager then shares information about the local area and his tips for where to visit.

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Sailing Journal - South Ionian, Sun Odyssey 440

Trogir Sailing Journal by Kali, Nautilus Yachting

Fresh from passing my day skipper, I spent quite a while umming and ahhing as to where I should take the family for our first solo sailing holiday. But when a brand new (2022) Oceanis 40.1 popped up in Trogir during the October half-term, for under £1000, it seemed almost obvious our decision was being made for us.

Croatia is a country I have never been to before, and the opportunity to visit Europe's most popular sailing area seemed too good to be true. Also after speaking with a few friends, sailing from Split offered lots of possible itineraries, including lots of sheltered ports to run from the October weather. Perfect... Split it is!

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Sailing Journal - South Ionian, Sun Odyssey 440

Dubrovnik Sailing Journal by Helen Inder, Nautilus Yachting

Arriving from Dubrovnik airport, once we are dropped off by our Uber at the marina entrance it is a short pleasant walk to our yacht that we are boarding in ACI Dubrovnik. The marina is built on the site of a ruined Venetian palace and medieval pine and cypress tree park. As we walk under the shade of the trees and the ruins, we get our first glimpse of Rijeka Rubrovacka river and our route out to the islands of the Southern Adriatic. After picking our catamaran, a Lagoon 52, we receive a very informative technical briefing from the technician before heading to the nearby supermarket for our provisioning. The wind predicted for the week is coming from the south/south-west so we are hopeful for some good sailing with the catamaran. Stocked up, we head out of the marina and navigate down the river until we see the huge bridge over the mouth. Despite the size of the catamaran, it is 45m high, there are still no concerns about clearance. Under motor, we keep an eye out for cruise ships heading in and out of the UNESCO world heritage site of Dubrovnik old town and then bear northwest. The wind is coming over our port stern so we get the sails out and set for a broad reach, the catamaran’s favourite point of sail.

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Sailing Journal - South Ionian, Sun Odyssey 440

Sardinia Sailing Journal by Hannah, Nautilus Yachting

This was my first time sailing in Italy and I was beyond impressed with not only the fantastic sailing winds but also the variety of jaw-dropping scenery. As a crew, we were pleasantly surprised by the manageable sailing distances between a range of daytime and overnight anchorages and ports, which easily allows for itineraries taking in multiple stops or covering some longer passages.

While it is a more expensive destination compared with Greece, for example, it is definitely rewarding for those looking for a challenge and a change. A week is never enough to explore everything on offer in this region but the amount you can sail and see in that time makes this a perfect destination to combine a week’s charter with a week onshore relaxing, biking, or kitesurfing, all popular options for twin-centre holidays in Sardinia.

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Sailing Journal - South Ionian, Sun Odyssey 440

Sardinia Sailing Journal by Louise, Nautilus Yachting

Supplied by Louise, Nautilus Yachting

What better way to mark a special birthday than sailing with a group of  your closest friends.  We could not have chosen a more stunning, glamorous destination.  Sailing from Sardinia with Boomerang Charter over to Corsica and back.  

This heady mix of uniquely Sardinian & Corsican culturelanguage, wine and food delivered a celebration beyond our expectations.

Incredibly, in eight years of sailing this was the most amount of time we have spent under sail covering 149 miles and broke 8.8 knots!

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Sailing Journal - South Ionian, Sun Odyssey 440

British Virgin Islands Sailing Journal by Hannah, Nautilus Yachting

This was my second time sailing in the British Virgin Islands. The first was 5 years ago. This time I returned with a large group of friends (11 in total) and an even larger catamaran (Fountaine Pajot 47 “Island Nomad”) to a fully reopened BVI in the build up to just before Christmas for a special ‘Big BVI Birthday’ celebration with a capital ‘B’.

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Sailing Journal - South Ionian, Sun Odyssey 440

RYA Day Skipper Training Journal by Kali, Nautilus Yachting

Keen to complete the Day Skipper I enrolled in the Aegean Learn to Sail programme.

I am by no means a great sailor, having simply sailed dinghies at school many years ago, I prepared for the course with two weeks on the water being ship's first mate/lacky. Plus in the lead-up to my course studied day skipper theory for about 40 hours online.

Arriving in Aegina, and was impressed by the vibrant feel of the town. A long road stretched from one end of the town to the other. Each side of the road was lined with restaurants, shops and fishermen selling the morning's catch. I made my way to the Schools' Office, and let the team know I had arrived. The team confirmed the plans for the next few days, and left me to my own devices. Having signed up for the essential navigation class, my first two days were all theory lessons in a classroom and from Sunday night, that I was due to head onboard the boat.

All set I headed to my hotel ready for the following morning classes.

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