Here it goes , my first post …. I’ve been stalling this for years now , and how else should I start than with a sailing story ( you might have noticed the background picture of the blog has yachts in it) . I am really nervous, I am not good with words , so bear with me through this, while I learn 🙂 And as I said, my memory gets worst and worst, so I’d better write things down while I do them, otherwise I forget all the nice details…
I am trying to remember when I first went sailing ….. could be 2010, could be 2011 , not really sure. But what I will always remember is that, without my dear friends Baloo, Horix, Wulkie and Perju, I would have never discovered such an amazing way to spend my holidays, unwind and free myself from the daily routine and stress. These guys created an amazing family called Funsailing, and I can’t imagine my life without them going forward. ( Thank you! You know who you are!) . After the first experience , which I hope to write about in the next months, I’ve become addicted to sailing, and participated at least once per year to their events , the most recent one being the Spring-Break event in May in Greece.
Spring-Break happened between 16-23rd of May , opening the sailing season for 2015. The initial itinerary is the one below, but changed a bit during the trip ( happens sometimes, either because the ports are crowded, or due to weather). The event had 125 participants (!!) and 13 yachts , one of the biggest I’ve participated in so far.
We left Bucharest/Brasov together on the 15th of May , with 3 buses . You could feel this was the first event of the year, as everyone was overly-excited and joyful , holiday started the moment we stepped in the bus. The trip to Volos ( where the yachts were waiting) took around 16 hours ( with a car you can arrive in around 12 hours). Some people managed to sleep on the way there, some not ( I was so excited that I couldn’t close my eyes). We arrived in Volos around 12 PM, and preparation started, the skippers finalized the boat papers, and the party-people took their backpacks to the boats , gathered the 50 euro, “house money”, and went shopping for provisions for the boats. ( more about what/how to pack for a sailing trip and how much it costs “here”, when I’ll write that article). My skipper was Diana, her first time as a Funsailing skipper, ( who did great by the way, as per Horix’s feedback, already a skipper veteran hehe) , and we were 10 people on the boat, out of which only 2 for the first time sailing. Around 5PM we left Volos and headed for Trikeri, our first stop of the trip. We sailed around 2 hours , and arrived in Trikeri, after seeing an amazing sunset on the sea.
This itinerary is quite known to our skippers, so in most of the ports we stopped, they had Greek friends waiting for us, either at a restaurant or at a bar/club/hotel. In Trikeri, the guys talked in advance with Nikos, to wait for us at his restaurant with a dinner buffet ( you can imagine it’s hard to cook for 120 something people, not counting other boats). Of course, as romanians, the skippers negociated a nice price for us 🙂 ( I think it was around 12-14 euro per person). This includes 2 glasses of local wine, of course 🙂 After dinner, and drinks, a party started in the middle of the pontoon , the guys take out a big speaker ( brought from Romania), a laptop, and 2 dj’s ( Anca and Emiliana of course) , and we dance like crazy until 3-4 AM ( honestly I don’t remember the time we went to sleep).
Sunday morning we woke up quite early ( it’s a weird feeling, at least for me , while sailing, you don’t really feel the need to oversleep , even if you go to bed at 5-6-7 AM , you still wake up before 12- in my case before 10 ). The morning started with a skipper meeting , when you have so many people joining, you need to have a perfect plan. Around lunch, we leave for Skiathos, not so much luck for wind, so we mostly use the power engine to get there, having some “supica” on the way, and bonding. We arrive in the evening, and go straight for dinner at another nice place the guys knew the owner (Maria ,a Romanian) , who was eager to see us as hear what we have been up to in the last year since we’ve last been there. Dinner was more than great, with amazing Greek food ( octopus, Greek salad, taramosalata and other things that I can’t mention because I am drooling already), Greek music ( the cook, besides his obvious cooking skills, he could play a local instrument and sing like a God , a Greek God 🙂 ), and dancing on the tables. After dinner, some of us went to walk around the city, the others stayed at the boats for a drink and some good night stories.
Monday morning we woke up early , went for a coffee and breakfast at one of the terraces opened, then did some walking around and shopping with the girls. 3 new Bracelets later, we board the yachts and left for Agnontas, having a good day for sailing.
We got there around evening, some of us went for dinner at the only tavern in the port , others stayed on the boats , maybe because after a while you really don’t want to leave the calming movement of the boats for the ground 🙂 The wind was quite strong, but we couldn’t really sleep, so the guys took out the speaker and mixers again, and Luci and Popix started another memorable night ( I remember it as the night when King of my Castle finally got its moment in the spotlight, Funsailing knows the details 🙂 ).
Tuesday morning comes, great day for sailing, so we needed to regroup after last night’s chaos, and leave to sail, stopped in a nice golf for some to swimming ( the water was pretty cold unfortunately, since its still May). In the evening we stopped in Steni Vala , my favorite place from Sporades. We had dinner at the best restaurant, I forgot the name of the owner, but it’s the last one in the port 🙂 After dinner, the guys organized a party at a brand new hotel , with a pool ( unfortunately nobody was brave enough to jump in it) , and we caught the sunrise awake. Some of us even transformed in superheroes during the night, that good the party was! :))
Wednesday lunch time comes, and we left for Skopelos , another great place, bigger island, lots to see, so all of use rent either a scooter or a car, and spent Wednesday afternoon and Thursday visiting Mamma Mia and Kastani Beach.
Thursday evening we head to Eleni Gulf , north of Banana Beach , as the wind was strong, and we couldn’t stay in Koukounaris, as the initial plan.We arrived during the night , and we created a “floating pontoon” ( hard to translate , but you can see what I am talking about in the picture below), and we spent the night telling stories, listening to good music , and drinking “supica”. In the morning, our skippers asked us to put on the event t-shirt and Funsailing sunglasses , and get ready for pictures, as Carl had a drone and will use it to film us.
During Friday, some of the boats went to Koukounaris Beach and spent the day on the beach, sunbathing or taking pictures of the amazing natural reserve.
We spent Friday night in another port, which name I forgot, and since it was the last night , we needed to have the best party of the week, so the guys talked with a local bar ( on the beach) to end the event there. After dinner most of us went to that bar ( 15 minutes away from the boats- going was no problem, returning was a whole another story), and 10 of us even managed to stay awake until 5.45 AM , when the skippers were suppose to get up and leave for Volos, to get the boats back in time for check out. Details of this last night will be left untold, let’s just say it involved a tequila bottle drank on the beach,ripped jeans, becoming friends with a local Greek who was kind enough to let us continue the party at this house ( with a view of the port from the balcony, and his own beer and spirit) , and our skippers being woken up at 5.45 exactly by happy/sad people – happy due to “supica” and sad due to leaving.
Annddd…. this is all I can remember 🙂 I am sure many other nice things happened, and I promise next time to keep an actual daily journal.
All pictures were done either by Buru or by Luci , you can find more pics here, or if you visit Buru’s facebook official page. Also Buru’s notes helped me remember things. Thank you all for the contribution!