The following testimonials are authentic experiences of our guests. They are posted with the agreement of the authors and are shortened in some cases where necessary.
Peter is inspired · June 2010
Unfortunately our sailing adventure has passed, and everyday life has us in its grasp once again?!
After the many hours of self-reflection at sea I resolved that upon returning home I would not allow myself to be caught up in the day-to-day rat race. The goal was to improve my quality of life by making more free time. We all surely agree that this is a fine resolution; can we make it happen?! Perhaps we can do it after having experienced what real quality of life means during this vacation.
I would like to thank you once again for the truly wonderful vacation. The time spent with you was just great, full of beautiful experiences, interesting hands on learning on board (but I must admit that I still don't know all the ropes and terms!) and the occasional thrilling moments. In such close quarters it is crucial the team get along well, and that everyone does his part and adapts to other's idiosyncrasies. I believe that we were a very diverse and interesting team that functioned particularly well.
What can I say about our dear Skipper Pano but ABSOLUTELY SUPER! You made this an unsurpassable experience; you are a good Coach, an outstanding gourmet leader and a very dear person.
Yesterday, still being fortunate to have some free time, I ran over all the pictures, experiences and events in my head and surprised myself a little with the feeling of homesickness that came over me for the members of the crew.
Also I am feeling some withdrawal symptoms from sailing and will now make the sails light.
Hubert Joins the Voyage on June 2010
"To a beautiful voyage!" from eight sailors' throats these words resound with glasses raised and anticipation high - soon we launch.
After a problem-free journey to Linz Samos, we boarded our ship according to plan and without delay. She's a real beauty, this "Niki". Superbly maintained and in ship shape. Christa and Panos! You can be really proud of your "Niki"! Armed with a number of valuable tips we enter the sea. Our first impression was not deceptive. "Niki" cuts through the sea, driven by the Meltemi, which pushes as reliably for the next days. We're squared against Neptune and are happy. A marvelous island world surrounds us and the crystal sea resplendent in sensational colors carries us.
Agathonissi, the first island south of Samos, receives us peacefully in a bay well protected from the north winds. In the George tavern we enjoy great Greek hospitality and delicacies, leaving no desire unfulfilled. Our first evening was a highlight. The next day "Niki" carries us to Leros after Laki. We feel great here, too, and rejuvenate our worn-out bodies in the well-recommended marina.
Next stop Kos. A wonderful port. Full of life yet still romantic. In addition to the plane tree under which Hippocrates swore his oath, there is a quantity of history to admire. After another great dinner in the center of the city and a short, but restorative night's rest our exploration continues because we want to see more of this special spot on earth. After an excursion to Pserimos, where this time we enjoy our daily swim in Neptune's floods, we give Leros a visit. In the southeast port Panteli we visit the castle made strong by the hill on which it is located. Sadly, the time for an ascent is lacking (not to mention the strength). In the Zorbas tavern at the port we (like every evening) experience again an enjoyable celebration. From Moussaka to fish, chicken to lamb: everything a culinary delight. And the wine and beer selection leave nothing to be desired. Simply put, we are well.
The next day on Lipsi, the island of the churches, we work off some calories only to pile them back on in the evening in Yannis' fine tavern. "To Clear Sailing!" Everything functions like clockwork. "Niki" does not give us any problems, quite the reverse; she is a perfect home and an extremely quick vessel.
On the way home we visit Patmos. A powerful cruise ship lies before the coast. We are privileged and "Niki" brings us directly into the port. And again it is an enchanting place. The famous monastery on the mountain is a well worth a visit. The next to last night of our voyage is spent on the secret tip from Christa and Panos: Arki, former Pirate port with approx. 50 inhabitants, a little spot of peace. In the tavern Tripas we sing into the late hours "The girl of Piräus"... and the Greeks at the next table lend their voices (In Greek of course). One does not experience such a thing every day. Just magnificent! On the way home to Pythagorion, our homeport, we make a swimming stop in a wildly romantic bay. The fact that one gets to such an amazing swimming hole only by water, gives us a real special feeling. Slowly nostalgia creeps in, because in less than 24 hours we must part with this wonderful island world.
Our last evening in Greece: Panos "abducts" us and takes us to a restaurant that without him we would certainly not have visited. Six courses delivered from the vault of a Greek kitchen leave us speechless, and feeling like musketeers. The Greek Gods are glory and honor!
To bid farewell the seamen raise their voices and glasses again: "It was a beautiful voyage! It was a perfect voyage!"
The Regatta 2011
After a quiet and long winter break, Niki was back in shape and ready to be put back in the water. It seemed that both Niki and I were equally yearning to be gliding through the water again. "Hear my plea!" Soon after I received a call from friends on Leros asking if I had both the time and the inclination to participate in a regatta. What a question – of course! Immediately I called my friend Jorgos on Samos. He didn't need any convincing and promptly invited Katarina, another good sailor, to join.
The regatta was a cooperation between Italy and Greece and therefore dubbed the Italo-Hellenic Friendship Sailing Race. It was organized by the sailing club of Leros and the sailing club of Fiumicino which is close to Rome.
On May 23 we set off from Leros together with 20 other boats, sailing first to Patmos. On this leg we met with only weak to moderate west to northwesterly breezes of max. 3-4 Bft. The weather conditions were hazy and a warm 20C and we reached Patmos after 5 hours 43 minutes in fourth place.
We stayed in Patmos for one day where Jannis, a friend of Katarina and also a member of the sailing club Karlovassi in Samos, joined our crew. Together we explored the island on motor scooters. A concert of classic music was organized for the evening at the Apocalypse. What voices! And what an unforgettable evening in the open air!
May 25 was the second regatta day – sailing from Patmos to Lipsi with 2-3 Bft coming from different directions. It was an overcast day and we experienced some showers. The temperature was between 17 – 20C. The erratic breezes meant the spi-sailors could not set their spinnakers which was, of course, to our advantage. The mood on board was excellent and after just 2 hours 38 minutes we crossed the finishing line in first place. Now you can imagine that we were all in high spirits. Wine and sweet pastries were offered to us and after some Ouzo it turned into a spontaneous party.
May 26 was a rest-day and after the previous evening some people were really in need of it. Others just wandered around and did whatever they enjoyed. In the evening there was another concert –again wonderfully organized by the Italians.
The next day, May, 27, was again a very changeable sailing day. In the harbour it was a choppy northerly 4 Bft moderate breeze. At the start this helped us to sail to Archangelos but then the breeze abated and shifted to a light south south-westerly air of 1 Bft and it took us 6 hours for just 6 sm. At least the sun put in an appearance. Just before Port Lakki on Leros we met a slight breeze that made it enjoyable for all the spectators watching our arrival. In all it took us 7 hours 26 minutes to complete the leg from Lipsi to Leros.
The award ceremony followed in Leros. There was a nervous tension that quickly turned to joy when the winner's cup was handed to us. We had won and we celebrated accordingly. Here, Jorgos, Katarina, Jannis and I would like to formally thank the organization, the locals and all the crews of the competing boats for a wonderful regatta and the unforgettable time we spent together. It was great fun!