Interview with SY Skadi, Moorspots users from the start

As you know, Moorspots is made possible for and by the community. This large community of nautical enthusiasts can be found across the globe and therefore we run into them once in a while. Last year we were cruising along the Turkish coast when we suddenly found one of the most active users, Dedanann, when we were mooring in a harbour. It was great to meet him in person, hear his experiences and enjoyed the feedback we got on Moorspots. This year during our sailing trip in the Lefkas area we ran into another very active Moorspots user, Skadi. We know Skadi a little, but you might not and therefore we decided to throw a few questions at them:

Skadi
Peter and Annelies

Who are the cruisers on sailing yacht Skadi?

Peter Tilburgs, Dutch nationality, is 69 years and on September 1st, 2009 he started early retirement. He started to work as a freelancer later but stopped working permanently on the 15th of May 2015. Peter has been sailing for over 30 years, the main areas of operation the Ijsselmeer & the Wadden Sea (Netherlands), the North Sea – the east coast of England, the South Coast of England and the French coast to the English Channel Islands. He also made a tour around Scotland, the Irish Sea and back down the south of England. For a long time it has been his dream to make a multi-year sailing trip with his own ship. He has purchased Skadi specifically for this purpose in 2007. At first he wanted to skip the Mediterranean and sail to the Caribbean and perhaps even further. Because Annelies likes the Med they started sailing there during the first years of the trip but the Med ties you down . . .

On January 5th, 2014 Peter and Annelies first met after an introduction in December 2013 over the internet.

Annelies, born in The Hague and thus affinity with the sea, had no sailing experience and has made her maiden tour with Skadi in April 2014. During that year, she gained a lot of practical experience during the many trips she made with Peter. The combination of her love for Peter, discovering the adventure by boat and the prospect of distant destinations, made her decide to say goodbye to her high heels and working life, buy boat boots and a sailing suit. However, she stays an urban woman, so the fancy dress is hanging in the ships closet next to the costume of Peter and the jewellery lies in the ship’s boudoir, and there is ample choice of shoes. Odin and Freija are two Siamese cats, 8 years of age, brother and sister from the same litter. This trip was the first time they had to learn to act as sea cats. Peter and Annelies became Cat whisperers. The cats walk beside us, on a leash and obey each command. Reward is important in the form of love and something sweet. It appeared that a cat on board is not difficult, but it requires attention and care. In return, you get a lot of fun and hugs.

What is your home during the sailing season, Peter?

The Skadi is a Beneteau Oceanis 40, 2 cabin version. The major changes we have made is in the electricity system. We installed 2 solar panels each 200W, a Victron MTTP controller and 2 lithium batteries, each 100 Ah. In order the have the optimum performance of the solar panels, we use a dongle connected to the MTTP controller and I adjusted the voltage levels for Bulk, absorption and rest load. We also installed a 2 KW inverter with a real sinus (for the Nespresso machine). All lamps (except navigation lights) have been replaced by LED lights.

During July and August it can be very hot in Greece. We use a portable air-conditioning in combination with a 2.2 KW Honda Whisper generator. With the solar panels and the generator, the Skadi is almost self-supporting for electricity.

We don’t have a watermaker, water is available and of good quality in the whole of the Med in the marinas. For anchoring, we replaced the Delta anchor with an Ultra Marine 21kg anchor and 80 meters of 10mm galvanized chain. This gives us a real safe feeling when we anchor even in strong winds (up to 60 Kts).

Where have you been sailing the past few years?

We left Holland on May 23rd, 2015 and in the first year we sailed along the Belgian and French coast, the north of Spain, Portugal and we ended up staying the winter in Albufeira. The second year we sailed along the south and east coast of Spain up to Altea and then crossed to the Baleares, in the summer we stayed at the Mar Menor for two months, close to Murcia and Puerto Deportivo Tomás Maestre. After the summer we returned to the Baleares Islands, Sardinia and Rome where we stayed 1 month and we wintered in Marina di Ragusa south of Sicily where we stayed on board. In 2017 we made a tour through the Adriatic Sea up to Venice, 3 months in Croatia an 2 weeks in Montenegro. Again we wintered in Marina di Ragusa but we returned home to Holland for the winter. In 2018 we rounded to Peloponnese clockwise and wintered in Crotone, south of Italy, where the boat went on the hard and we went back home to Holland.

What is your journey this year?

In 2019 it is our plan to go to the Sporades, Dodecanese, Crete and around the Peloponnese back to Crotone. But you know: Plans are written in wet sand at low tide… At this moment we are sailing between the Greek island of Evia and the mainland of Greece.

When is your sailing season a success?

Our sailing season is a success when the 4 of us arrive on our winter spot still healthy and without injuries and the ship has had no major problems during the season.

Of course our season is also a success when we sail the planned route with changes in the plans all the time and we can see all sorts of beautiful places, coastlines, bays, meet old friends and make new friends during our trip. We are not in a hurry and let things come as they come. That makes our kind of traveling a calm and relaxing journey.

You have been using Moorspots for a while now. Why do you use it and what is your experience so far?

We have been using several apps for identifying good marinas and anchorage bays but none of them were what we wanted. Moorspots is in that way different (better) and easy to use for adding new spots and posting reviews.

What other digital aids do you use for your sailing trips?

Of course, we use many weather forecast apps like Windy, Windguru, Vento di Mare (Italian) and Meteo (Greek). Especially the latest version of the Windy app is very useful because it shows many prediction models in a single graph. We are a paying member of the Cruisers Association and use the app Captains Mate which gives a lot of information on marina and anchorage spots.

If you’re not sailing, what is occupying you?

In summer, we love to go to archaeological and cultural sites and smell the ancient cradle of the West-European culture. We often rent a car or scooter to visit these spots and get a feeling of the modern Greek culture.

What is the worst spot that you have visited?

That was Puerto de Bermeo in the north of Spain. We needed shelter with bad weather and when we entered we were sent away from a sheltered basis. The harbourmaster said that the harbour was only for locals. We had to dock on a small pontoon in the large commercial port without any shelter against the weather. There were no facilities at all but we had to pay € 36 per night for nothing. After 2 nights we saw a small window in the weather and we rushed to Getxo near Bilbao where we were safe in Puerto Marítimo del Abra.

What is the best spot that you have visited?

This is hard to say. The best spot for blue water and fish for us is Cala Moltó on Mallorca. One of the best cities is Cartagena in Spain, a beautiful city with a lot of cultural highlights. Best anchorage is Messolonghi in Greece in the gulf of Patras. This is a very protected lagoon close to the beautiful and authentic Greek city of Messolonghi. Another highlight of our journey was a stay of a week in Venice in Venezia Certosa Marina.

What about fellow cruisers you have met?

During our 5 years of sailing we have made a lot of cruiser friends. At this moment we follow 37 cruisers in Vesselfinder, we will meet a lot of them during our trip this year.

Are you interested to hear more from Skadi? Follow them on their blog: https://www.zeilschip-skadi.nl/

Highlights of sailing in the Lefkas area

Anchorage bay in Greece

Have you enjoyed a journey on the water already this season? The Moorspots team spend quite some time on the water and we saw and learned a lot. The trip that gave us the most insights was a tour in the Lefkas area in Greece. We spoke with many sailors and marina owners during our trip and we wrote down the highlights of this area for you.

Lefkas – Sivota

On the first day the winds were in our favor and we set course south. The original plan was to stay overnight in a bay but the weather forecast showed rapidly changing windspeeds and directions. We decided to head for Sivota. A place known for its lively atmosphere in the many restaurants at the quay. Most have their own piers where you can stay for free if you dine in the restaurant.

Sivota – Fiscardo

The weather got better during the day and we sailed comfortably with windspeeds of 12 to 15 knots to Fiscardo. A quiet little village that is very popular in high season. The forecast for the night and next days were showing heavy winds and rain so we decided to spend the night with stern to quay instead of anchoring in the north side of the bay. This turned out well because the winds changed and a few yachts ended up on the rocks and were forced to re-anchor in heavy winds. While it is a small place, Fiscardo still offers some nice restaurants and bars for a night well spend.

Fiscardo – Pera Pigadi

The weather improved and the rain made place for sunshine. We set course to Pera Pigadi on the Island of Ithaki. There are a few options to drop anchor, however we chose the option to moor at a small concrete quay at the smallest passage point between the Ithaki and the small Island on the east side. We spend a very quiet night here and enjoyed the beautiful surrounding.

Pera Pigadi – Kalamos Port

We sailed in steady winds 10 to 15 knots and partly clouded sky to Kalamos. A a typical small Greek village. There is one concrete pier that is un-officially managed by the owner of the restaurant George at the end of the pier. We had a lot of inspiring conversations here with fellow sailors about their experiences and got great tips about the area from a flottielje skipper.

Kalamos Port – Abelike Bay

The day started with little wind but it picked up to 10 knots during the day. We sailed to Abelike bay to moor at the small wooden jetty at the Minas taverna. The jetty can be full quite quickly and usually is reserved up front by charters of flottieljes. There are enough options to drop anchor though and you can walk to Vathi from here.

Abelike Bay – Lefkas

This last day was the best sailing day with steady winds around 20 knots. Reaching boat speeds of 10 knots. We set course back to Lefkas marina where we started to make plans for the next trip.

We would love to hear what your favorite spots in Greece are. So let us know, thanks a lot and happy sailing!

For people who aspire a bareboat holiday – This is what you need to charter a boat

 

 

Explore the best anchorages with a bareboat yacht

Freedom of sailing

If you are looking for freedom to decide where to sail to, renting a bareboat is the way to go. It will let you explore those great anchorages and marinasAnd will give you the possibility to choose yourself where to moor or drop anchor. I have booked bareboats myself in a number of different countries and regionsAnd I had to dig into the rules and regulations around renting a boat. The tricky part is that the requirements in terms of skipper-classifications differ per country. They can even differ per charter-company. To give you guidance I have created an overview that will help you to understand what is needed for a safe and wonderful holiday. 

The principle

It is quite simple: What qualifications you need to charter a yacht, comes from the individual operator or owner of the yacht. He or she always makes the final decision. This means that in practice these owners will base their decision on the requirements of their insurance company. And they will ask for proof of your sailing skills and capabilities.

It is no surprise that a formal skipper’s qualification  will make it easier for the yacht owner to decide to rent you the yacht. For example the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or a license from the American Sailing Association (ASA) are usually internationally accepted qualifications. However I found that common sense is used amongst most charters. Even without this license there is no reason why you can not rent a yacht. Of course I don’t see why anyone would want to rent a yacht without having the right experience and the confidence to drive it safely. In some rare occasions, the charter will request you to show your boat handling skills on the day of arrival. By taking the yacht out of the marina by yourself and show your
manoeuvring and handling capabilities.

The two documents that will help you get a bareboat, are:

  1. Sailing CV
  2. Skippers qualification

Sailing CV

As said earlier, in almost all countries any formal qualification is not necessary to charter a yacht. But it will help you massively if you can provide the charter with evidence of your sailing experience. A so-called sailing CV with details on your experience will do the job. And it is also fun to make one as well, as it brings back some good old memories. For creating a CV you want to include the following information: Own yacht if applicable/Days-weeks as skipper/Days-weeks as crew/Type of yachts/Coastal, inland or open water/Specific experience in mooring, navigation, engine control.

A useful website to check where you can rent a yacht with your qualifications is that of The Moorings 

Skipper-qualification

International Certificate of Competence – ICC: This certificate is becoming the accepted standardized qualification in many European countries. In certain European Countries, it is mandatory to hold this certificate if you want to bareboat charter a yacht. Some countries may accept the ICC as an alternative to their national qualification, your charter company can confirm this for you. I found that the website of the Royal Yachting Association gives you detailed information on the ICC. In case you have a local qualification, you can have this transfered to an ICC in most cases by a local ICC organisation.

American Sailing Association- ASA: This is a national framework for sailing qualifications. For many cruising destinations in the USA and Caribbean this qualification is sufficient, although you can expect charter companies to ask for additional details about your sailing experience. For reference you can check the website www.asa.com.

When you have booked your boat it is time to look for the best places to visit. It makes a lot of sense to ask your charter for the best routes as they have detailed local knowledge about the best anchorages and marinas to go to. If you are looking for reviews from fellow sailors that sailed the area before, you can download the Moorspots app. Our sailing community is adding new spots and reviews every day. Join us and also share your experiences in the Moorspots app, once you have set sail on your bareboat.

Wishing you lots of safe and happy sailing holidays.

 

To connect or disconnect at sea

You are either going to love this blog or hate it. There are two distinctive types of sailors out there. Those who go sailing to take a digital detox and just disconnect from social media, reality shows and other digital media, that can cause stress. And those that start shaking once their cellphone loses connection with the cellular masts on the shore. Stop reading this blog if you are the latter of those sailors, using VHF to communicate home, paper charts and paper pilot books to navigate and who listens to CD’s. If not, sit back and enjoy this blog.

Continue reading “To connect or disconnect at sea”

Cooking great food on a sailing boat? The tips for during sailing, in marinas and anchorages.

Boat cooking is different from cooking ashore. Any  sailor can tell you that the space is smaller, you have fewer appliances, and food storage is much different.

Wrap with seasoned chicken

But whether you are going for your 5th ocean crossing or for your first yacht charter in the Mediterranean, we all need to eat properly. And most important: we tend to be hungrier at sea than at home. Cooking your favorite food will make live on board so much more enjoyable. Also, the cooking can be made more efficient, easy and pleasant when you think up front about what is at hand in the galley of your boat. Continue reading “Cooking great food on a sailing boat? The tips for during sailing, in marinas and anchorages.”

The best sailing routes ever !

One week every year, we as five friends, are “dismissed” from our wife’s to go sailing. This started back in college, via a student organization who organized a sailing week somewhere in Croatia or Greece with around 20 to 25 sailing boats. After college we continued doing this by renting a “bare-boat” somewhere in the Mediterranean. This year it will be the 15th year in a row.

Continue reading “The best sailing routes ever !”

Top 25 YouTube sailing channels

At Moorspots we love to watch sailing channels. We made a top 25 based on the amount of subscribers as per May 3rd 2018. The link opens the YouTube channel directly.

# YouTube channel Subscribers
1 Sailing La Vagabonde 393.958
2 Sailing SV Delos 263.111
3 Gone with the Wynns 178.050
4 Captain Rick Moore 84.989
5 Tula’s Endless Summer 72.717
6 Sailing Doodles 67.777
7 Sailing Uma 62.120
8 WhiteSpotPirates 53.392
9 Ran Sailing 52.645
10 Sailing Nandji 52.254
11 Wickey Salty 48.859
12 MJ Sailing 42.387
13 Sailing miss Lone Star 41.755
14 Sail Life 41.565
15 Distant shores 38.608
16 Sailing yacht Ruby Rose 35.950
17 Followtheboat 28.882
18 DrakeParagon 28.499
19 Free Range Sailing 26.114
20 Sailing into FREEDOM 25.351
21 Sailing Vessel Prism 23.759
22 Capt Eric Bergeron 17.233
23 Sailing Emerald Steel 17.218
24 Life is like Sailing 16.412
25 Drenched 16.281

Moorspots live in the App Store

Hi there!
We want to share something cool with you. Remember we said in the previous newsletter that we targeted to launch the Moorspots app in the App Store as soon as we could? No more hassle with installation of beta-test versions, just click and go like you are used to?

Well, we did it!  Moorspots is live in the App Store:

 .


Thank you
A big thank you to all of you who have tested the app. With your feedback we managed to improve the app and get it ready for release in the App Store.

Features
One of the cool features that we think will make a big impact are the pictures in the app. Look at the spots on the bottom of this mail. Do these trigger your imagination? Do they make you want to start planning your sailing trip? These pictures came straight out of the app and were added by fellow sailors, just click on them and dream away.

What is next?

Early April we will start a marketing campaign to attract more sailing enthusiasts like you to share great spots. So please keep a sharp look out for Moorspots in the media and share the news with your friends and family. You can have look at the our press release article here: Press Release.

And as always: If you have any suggestions, questions or anything that you would like to share with us, feel free to drop us a message at hello@moorspots.com!

With the kindest sailing regards, 
 
The Moorspots team
Joris, Jaap, Mathijs, Fokko & Marco 

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