Want to explore the Mediterranean coastline and love boating but don’t want to break the bank? We spent 5 weeks helping an owner sail his Lagoon 440 Catamaran and it didn’t break the bank! In fact, it basically put our bank accounts on hold! In return for being keen and willing helping hands on board, Moss and I were provided with food and a bed on board during our 5 week Mediterranean adventure.
How we found a boat in the Mediterranean
A few months prior to departing New Zealand, I convinced my partner Moss, to sign up to a boat crew website I had found called findacrew. We were able to link our profiles (as a team) and just over a month before setting off on our travels, were contacted by a New Zealand boat owner who needed help sailing his Lagoon 440 Catamaran on a journey that would take five weeks in the Mediterranean!
So we flew to Athens, caught a bus to Preveza in Greece and spent the next five weeks learning on the go, while sailing to an island in Italy called Sardinia. Yes, believe it or not – I knew zip, zilch, nothing about sailing before reaching Athens.. I just knew an awful lot about powerboats and jet skis!!
Five weeks sailing from Greece to Sardinia
When we first arrived at Cleopatra Marina in Greece, the boat was out of the water and in need of preparation. So, thanks to John’s (the owner/skippers) knowledge and patience, he spent the first few days teaching us the basics of sheet, fenders, bow lines etc. It was incredible to watch the boat being transported into the water and our first destination was Paxos!
We woke early and began our journey from Greece to Italy at 6am, seeing the sunrise and then launching straight into 3 hour shifts of watch. The best way to describe the situation is that you switch into a different mode. It is almost like a long haul flight where you are conscious of grabbing sleep where possible, even though it may only be midday and you would normally still have a tonne of energy.
We managed to sail for a couple of hours but the wind was often from slightly the wrong angle or just not quite strong enough. However, by the time Moss and I took over watch at 3am the wind had picked up drastically and those waves were nerve racking! The combination of a pitch dark night, sailing along at 7 knots and seeing weird red lights flashing on the horizon certainly got my adrenaline pumping! There is also difference between actual wind and true wind. At some stages we were reaching an actual wind of 27 knots.. and for the sake of not terrifying mum, I’m not going to say what the true wind was and what the swell was like!
After crossing the time line, and about 28 hours later, we had travelled about 190 Nortial Miles and arrived in Roccella Ionica to find a Russian replica of a Viking boat that was being sailed around the world! From there, our journey continued and we even enjoyed a few days exploring Siracusa, Sicily.
We had already had a long day when we arrived in a harbour where we came across what appeared to be abandoned boats from Tunisia in Sicily. Our yachting book gave specific instructions of where we were allowed to anchor for free overnight so we settled in and put the tender in the water to get a closer look at the boats shown above. Seeing the half sunken boat should have rung the alarm bells of the corruption in this harbour! Within an hour we had survived a long argument with the local coastguard (we now call them the Mafia) in very broken English over them wanting to fine us 2000 euro for anchoring in their marina without paying first. Lets just say, we left as quick as we could, motored throughout the night and never paid the fine!
At 5am the following morning, we arrived in Favignana. By this stage we were all dying to step foot off the boat and relax for a day. So Moss went freediving, we explored the amazing little town and walked to the castle on top of the hill in time to see the sunset.
The next day it was time to do the final long haul journey, so we began the 23 hour flat calm cruise to Sardinia where the ocean was a surprising 5 degrees warmer! We spent a few days in Sardinia, and since we had reached our destination earlier than anticipated, John treated us with a visit to Bonifacio in Corsica, France.
Do You Need a Break?
We all need a break at some point or another, as much as some of us don’t want to admit it we simply aren’t robots. So why do so many of us simply not recognise the fact that we are close to burn-out? (and yes burn-out is a very real thing). In fact, one third of people in the UK don’t take their fully entitled annual leave every year. You could take a few guesses as to why this is; perhaps money is tight, perhaps work is incredibly busy or perhaps people feel like they’re just not entitled to take time for themselves… Whatever the reason going for extended periods of time without a break can be extremely detrimental to ones mental and physical health, so what are the key warning signs that show you it may be time to get away for a bit?
- You’re eating more than normal. This goes past eating for boredom, if you find yourself reaching for more than just a few snacks at work, perhaps you’re finding that your lunch just isn’t giving you the energy you need to get through the afternoon or maybe the prospect of any kind of food other than a takeaway pizza and a chocolate cookie is unappealing. Your body is telling you it needs energy that it can’t get from food alone.
- Your social life is kind of non-existent. We don’t mean to be rude but when was the last time you met up with your mates? Or even your family? It has been said that not spending enough time with friends and family is one of the top regrets of people on their deathbeds, so do you want that to be you?
- You have caffeine running in your blood stream. That morning latte has become a triple shot espresso and a post-five pm coffee hit has become a necessity, let’s face it you’re not just drinking all the coffee because you like the taste.
- You oversleep pretty darn frequently, in fact your morning alarm has started to feel like a bit of background noise rather than the call for you to wake up and start your day.
- You haven’t posted anything to your social media accounts because you feel like nothing exciting has happened. Oh, and whenever anybody else posts an image of them on holiday, out for dinner or doing something vaguely interesting you get annoyed (it’s not because you’re a bad person, we promise!).
- You are never home, in fact it could be questionable whether your roommates even know you exist anymore. The only sign of you being at home is a bottle of ketchup and some leftover takeaway containers in the fridge, yeah, not a good thing…
- You live for Friday. Although when it finally arrives you end up doing the same thing you do every evening. Work, work and perhaps a bit more work accompanied with that takeaway pizza we were talking about earlier. (oh and don’t forget the triple espresso!)
- Your gym card is collecting dust. Nope you don’t have an injury (even if you try to convince yourself or others that you do) nor do you go out running but instead you’re working from dusk til dawn barely giving yourself time to catch some fresh air and take a brisk walk. Yeah that’s not any good for your physical or mental health.
- Phone calls become the bane of your life. Not only do you absolutely detest your ring tone but with every call you receive comes an instant assumption that it’s work related and even if it is your friend you ignore it because work is just ‘so busy…’.
- And last but not least what used to bring you joy now irrationally annoys you. Whether it’s a hobby you used to frequently partake in or the job that you used to enjoy whenever you think about it you just sigh.
So, did you answer yes to one or more of the ten points outlined above? If you did it really is time to think about booking a bit of a break. Whether that’s a weekend getaway or a week-long adventure it’s important for you take some time for yourself, relax, unwind and decompress. In fact, you’ll almost definitely feel better upon your return, after all the effects of a good holiday are almost immediate with research showing that even after only a day or two, 89% of people experience significant drops in stress. What are you waiting for? Take a break, you deserve it.
Walking Holiday Ideas in Amazing Places
Going on holiday is one of the things that most people look forward to all year. Holidays are a way to see new places and enjoy a break the monotony of a routine life. People have their own ways of spending holidays. Obviously, countryside areas are free from the stress of city life and are free from all ill effects that city dwellers often face. Due to the better impact on the health, the concept of walking holidays is catching momentum these days. Walking holidays allow you to explore new areas, and you can make new likeminded friends in the tour group. Some of the fascinating destinations for walking holidays are as follows.
Located in the Southwest of the United Kingdom, Wales is a wonderful country that has gained a phenomenal popularity among the tourists. The country has amazingly beautiful places that can only be reached by foot. There are beautiful places to walk throughout Wales, but you should also make sure you spend some time in the lovely Welsh towns. In North Wales you can explore Ceiriog Valley which is located near the town of Wrexham. Book some cheap accommodation in Wrexham and then you can enjoy going off and exploring the many surrounding pathways and walking trails.
Loaded with unexplored beauty and adventure, Crete promises to be a great place for walking holidays. Since the country has numerous places to visit, you will need to have a think about where you’d like to go before you set off. Among some of the most wonderful places in Crete, you must experience the matchless beauty of Ayia Roumeli, Omalos Plateau, Preveli, Loutro, and Samaria Gorge. These are just a few to name; in fact, you can get a chance to explore hundreds of such places all over Crete.
If you are interested in watching a variety of lifestyles and their impact on human life, then you must go for a trekking holiday in Morocco. The country has a stunning landscape that includes the presence of the Atlas Mountain, Mount Toubkal, Sahara Desert and many more. By walking extensively, you can get a chance to have a glimpse of these beautiful places that you cannot reach by car. Your walking holiday in Morocco will provide you with amazing views
Japan’s amazing countryside can be best explored by foot. Your guide can explain to you the interesting history of the are through which you walk. Japan has a large number of interesting places to visit, but you may enjoy your visit to Shikoku Pilgrimage, Nakasend Trail, Kumano Kodo, and many more. The view of the volcano and volcanic lake is something you’ll never forget.
Romantic hills, adventurous valleys, delicious cuisines, and being immersed in the Spanish lifestyle, all this and more, you can experience only on your waking holidays to Spain. Some routes are easy to navigate yourself, but if you want to go on a longer walk to properly explore the region then joining a group will be best.
There are hundreds of incredible walking destinations throughout the world, and there are so many benefits of going on a walking holiday. If you’ve never done it before, you could always go on holiday and join a walking tour for just a couple of days to see if you like it. There are different tours to suit all abilities so with just a bit of research you’ll be able to find the perfect group for you.
5 Vibrant Destinations for a Fun Filled Holiday
If travelling is a passion of yours, then you are certainly going to like this post. People always love to travel to some of the finest destinations that are scattered all over the world. However, there is hardly any doubt in the fact that deciding where to go is always the hardest part. Usually, people pick up their destination depending on what sort of holiday they want to have. If you want to ensure that you and your travel companions have a great time, then here are some excellent destinations which will allow you to enjoy a memorable fun filled holiday.
Situated in the Caribbean Sea, Cuba is an archipelago which is very close to the United States and Mexico. The wonderful and extended beach of Cuba attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. The country has some of the finest tourist attractions that include reefs, corals, and colourful fish. You will feel uplifted by spending time in the most magnificent surroundings and the atmosphere and nightlife will make your holiday to Cuba feel extra special. Some of the best places to visit include; Villa Clara, Trinidad, Las Tunas, Baracoa, Havana, and Cayo Largo.
Also known as The Golden State, California is a wonderful tourist destination for the visitors, especially the couples. The visitors love to enjoy the sunny beaches and theme parks where visitors love to spend time. The Golden Gate Bridge, the Yosemite National Park, Disneyland, Death Valley National Park, Lake Tahoe, and Universal Studios Hollywood are some of the most impeccable tourist destinations that you would love to be at. There are so many fun activities here, it is perfect for families, couples or solo travellers.
As a part of the Balearic Islands in Spain, Ibiza is a very popular destination for fun seeking holiday makers. The main Ibiza town is just a short taxi ride from Ibiza airport. Not only is Ibiza perfect for people looking to go on nights out and have fun, it is also home to many serene and beautiful beaches and chilled beach bars. There are plenty of street markets to explore, and many family friendly areas too. You’ll find a wide mixture of different nationalities holidaying in Ibiza including French, German, British and Spanish. You can enjoy amazing tapas and sangria, and in the morning you can go for breakfast or brunch and enjoy an espresso to get you ready for the day.
Astounding British Virgin Islands
One of the most inseparable parts of the Caribbean Islands, the British Virgin Islands is an amazing place for the loving couples. Accepted as one of the most popular tourist destinations, it offers natural surroundings in blue sea water, white sandy beaches, and a colourful presence everywhere. The place has some of the finest resorts in the world that offer every facility that you would expect. The nightlife and the party nights are worth enjoying for couples.
An Asian country, Thailand can compete with any European country in terms of facilities for international tourists. Loaded with the most luxurious facilities, the Resorts in Phuket and some other places are absolutely mind blowing. You would love the Buddhist lifestyle and you can enjoy trying out some meditation to truly relax. If you head to the beach you can enjoy taking part in plenty of water sport activities, snorkelling and scuba diving is particularly popular here due to the beautiful clear waters. You can see the best places to snorkel here.
The world all around us is full of thousands of known and unknown tourist destinations that people love to be, even for a few days. Visit these places whenever you get some time and come face to face with the joys of life.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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