Sailing around the Greek islands

How often have you dreamt of being able to put your life on hold and just escape for a little bit? Take some time out, and go travelling? For my boyfriend’s brother and his girlfriend they turned it into a reality. They both bravely put their lives in London on hold, and after months of training, exams and preparation they bought a sailing boat and embarked on a six month sailing adventure.

We’d been following their ups, downs and learning curves through their sailing blog and had been eagerly counting down the weeks to be able to join them.

By the time we arrived on their boat in Greece (travelling from Tuscany) they had become seasoned sailors – putting my rusty sailing to shame!


They had even caught three tunas whilst sailing, proudly displaying the tails on their boat.

For a whole week we experienced what it’s like to be living on a boat – and having a total sense of freedom.

Every morning we woke up in a different place, from pretty ports and harbours to secluded bays and coves.

If the weather got rough, we’d find shelter in a harbour and go explore the local bars and restaurants, and on sunny evenings we’d find a private beach to drop anchor, having dinners on the boat – or even barbecue on a beach.

On one evening we rowed the dinghy to the shore where we built a fire from driftwood, cooked our dinner over the fire, drank wine and listened to music late into the night.

The week itself had highs and lows; from being surrounded by wild dolphins to having to untangle a fishing line from underneath the boat (the boys had to snorkel under the boat to untangle it).

Every day was an adventure, and I could see how you could easily catch the sailing bug!

Our original plan had been to sail around Croatia, but the weather forecast looked terrible to be at sea so we changed plans last-minute and met them in Greece instead. As it was mid September we did catch a couple of storms, but looked on the bright side: it would have been worse in Dubrovnik! On the rainy evenings we played endless games of cards and had a few heated debates, the most divisive of which was probably around astrology and star signs.

When it was time to leave there was no easy way to say thank you, so I wrote a poem that I think nicely summarises the week we had:

Oh to be sailing,
Music playing,
Softly swaying.
Pretty ports,
And secluded bays,
We could live like this for days.

Souvlaki, Tsatziki,
And frozen yoghurt ice cream,
Tipples at sunset,
We’ve been living the dream.

Feasts on the boat and the beach,
Most nights out for dinner
Prosecco, wine – even a (small) bottle each
It’s not too presumptuous that we’re not getting thinner!

Pull up the anchor,
And take off the fenders
Wrench in the genoa
Wait, what the fuck is a tender?!
Hoist up the main sail,
Slide the traveller under the beam,
Don’t worry, we got this,
‘Coz we’re the A-team!

Finding our way in the dinghy in the dark
With the anchor light on, it’s a walk in the park.
Aside from a few (or several?) grazed knees
(After cycling with special – I mean additional needs)
This sailing business? HA! It’s a breeze.

Unpredictable gusts,
Fending off wasps,
Even fishing lines in a tangle –
Is there nothing Richard can’t handle?
Then again, it’s not like he’d show us
After all – he IS a classic Taurus!

21 questions,
and games of Shithead
Then 13 rounds of farmers bridge before bed.
A gentle sway,
the salty sea spray,
Crikey McRikerson – why can’t life be like this every day?

Two reefs in? Now kleet off the jammer!
Shit stick up the poo tank, oh the glamour!
But when you’re back to the daily grind
Crappy commutes, I think you’ll find
Even when work’s being a dick
things could always be worse: at least you’re not in Dubrovnik.

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