Great Greek Escape

BurnitBlue

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Anybody else considering The Great Greek Escape this year.

Any interest in an informal "Rally" to destinations West. Malta, Spain, Gibraltar, Canaries, or Caribbean.
 

sailaboutvic

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We in Malta at the moment , it's going to be one of the first years we not touch Greece for for at less a few weeks in a lot of years , our plain is to head north , Sardinia, south of France and see where we end up .
Might head out of the Med to Portugal, we see
 

BurnitBlue

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If you consider the "Founding Fathers" of the cruising lifestyle, very few (if any) ever sailed in the Med. They preferred the North and South Atlantic, the South seas of the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean. Destinations like Grenada, Tahiti, New Zealand, South Africa, India etc. People like Eric and Susan Hiscock, Dwight Long, Harry Pidgeon, Joshua Slocum, Edward Allcard, Peter Tangvelt and many others. To them the Med did not even get a quick looksee. Honest look them up. For instance Sir Francis Chichester thought that any enclosed sea was claustrophobic. He would not even cruise the Caribbean for that reason.

Like sailaboutvic I am amazed that so many cruising yachtsmen think life out side Greece would be terrible and beyond thinking about.
 

sailaboutvic

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Some 30 years ago when I first come to the med solo at that time I was ready to cross the pond but the two year in the med plain ended up to 30 and now with my partner and me both having very elderly mother add the grandchildren plus other commitment it's just too far to keep coming back .
So for the time being it's going to have to be med / or the Altantic coast . Although the we are conceding a round trip to the Canary island , Madeira , Azores
 

sailaboutvic

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why not Croatia, Vic :p

We done four season in Croatia over the last six year and we did thinking about it , we also fancy doing the Black Sea but it would mean given the Greek a slice of tax on the way out and then on the way back , and I am damed if I do that at the rate they talking about , if we was under 12mts it maybe a different story .
So after a long discussion over the winter we decided as we not been to France for some year we go back .
 

sailaboutvic

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and If there will be no tax this year in Greece?

I not sure Alex , we may had did a few month and I then moved on to do the Black Sea .
You have to remember we done Greece from one end to the other and although the it has good anchorages and yes we like Greece , it can be a bit boring how many broken pots and bits of stone can any man take in one life time :) .
This one reason we love be croatia , there so much history,
What we going to miss the most , is the large amount of people we know and some really good friends ,
Them having smaller boat and like the quite side of light wind sailing will stay although there also many that say they plain to leave , like myself they not willing to pay a stupid tax.
 
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alexsailor

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@Vic
Tax is stupid. We agree on that one.
But missing all the friends...
I hate fat bureaucrats but nothing will stop me from cruising where I want! Life it too short and the fact is (as you have mentioned it many times) that boat owners or liveaboards are becoming a rarity.
And in ten years we'll be looking back, drinking beer and saying:"those were the days, back in 2019, when we could swim in the sea without paying a tax" :cool:
 

Crisby

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It looks like we will be going against the traffic then this year as we will be heading to Greece for the summer. It will be our first year on board full time and cruising waters we know reasonably well from 20 years chartering will hopefully give us a gentle introduction.

After working in South East Asia for the last 18 months though our eyes have been seriously opened to how big the world is and the Greeks won’t be getting tax out of me for too long, call it a newbie tax this year and we will see after that.

Chris
 

sailaboutvic

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My feeling is the tax if not be throw out within a few years then at less reduce , no matter what the odd few say here .

In real life big boats are moving out , over the last weeks in Malta we seen and spoken to two Greek boat , one a motor boat the other a cat , both have left Greece for new bases one in Spain the other in Sicily , and the tax isn't even in yet .
Both boats out of Corfu and say many other large boats are doing the same ,
Not just because of the tax it self but what it mean to Greek be brought out from under the radra to the tax officials.

So the tax that's supposed to catch Greek out isn't going to do nothing re taxing Greeks other then mostly tax visitors .

Six of the boats we winter with all plain to spemd then next few years in Greece and wintering there ,
only one going to spend the summer now , the others all change there plains two are going to do a month or two then head for Croatia the other three are now going to Turkey .

I don't believe there be a mass exit this year for one reason the tax isn't in yet and most are still hoping it won't , but as the season goes on I can see more moving out and many more not keeping their boats in Greek waters or wintering them , come next year is where if it hit it start to effect local businesses.

Has for the charter companys who some seen to think with fill the gap , I don't believe the tax is going to have any effect on the company's them self , they will just pass it on to the clients , but as we seen over the last few years more and more charters are eating and drinking on board mostly because of the prices the restaurant in charter area are charging .

The company's have their own staff to work on they boats and a lots of them import major parts ,

What that means for local businesses is a big drop in income .

What would really turn this around would be empty berth in marinas , sadly I don't think this will happen because as one private boat moves out two charter boats move in .
 
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sailaboutvic

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@Vic
Tax is stupid. We agree on that one.
But missing all the friends...
I hate fat bureaucrats but nothing will stop me from cruising where I want! Life it too short and the fact is (as you have mentioned it many times) that boat owners or liveaboards are becoming a rarity.
And in ten years we'll be looking back, drinking beer and saying:"those were the days, back in 2019, when we could swim in the sea without paying a tax" :cool:
Alex your right we will miss our friends but a lot like us are moving out mostly to Turkey , there quite a lot we know who have plains to cross the pond in a few years and now brought they plains forwards and some who had been put off by the Croatian fees over the years have decided if they have to pay then they go somewhere new after many years in Greece .
Out of the doz or so we personally know from here I thinks it's Vyv, tonyM and Jorden all with boats under 12 mts that plain to stay , the rest are moving out.
although things may still change , it's never over to the fat lady sings .
 

OldBawley

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As to moving to Turkey with just the tax in mind, I know that for us ( -12m ) Turkey with its ridiculous blue card and stealing agents every three months ( clearing in and out ) is not cheaper.
Have read that Turkey is cheap now, that is basic food. If you like a glass of wine or a beer.....
Meat the same, extreme expensive.
Nature and people are fantastic, the overall feel of the country is not what we liked some decade ago.
Just looked at a new youtube vid of the Göcek bays. Filled to the brim with giant mobo´s and gullets. No thanks.
 

sailaboutvic

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Let's try and be fair to them who read this stuff and give a good overall impression of places we write about, I don't think any newcomer would be impressed to read some place is good or bad just to find it's the opposite.
With no disrespect to your self , your comment are a very one sided .

To compare Goc'eck bay or come to that Marmaris to Turkey , it's like comparing Lefkas or Corfu with Greece , you also can't swing a cat in most anchorage in summer , its full of charters , Italian and the rest of the world .

The blue card is not here or there , very rarely In force if ever but is it really a bad thing anyway or would you rather swim in a bay where people are pumping out they poo ?

As far as agent goes there good and bad once last time we checked in agent fee to do everything for us as well as the blue card was 45€ and we stayed for the season , we checked out our self , we could had checked in our self as many do .
You have the same problem in Greece with guys charging for line taken in places ,
Give you a receipt out of a book they buy , they don't tell you that's what you paying for , leaving you to think your paying for mooring only to find some time later another guy comes around .

You have small fishing port turned into private marinas charging what ever they like , port harbours fee that was once a few euros are now mooring fees running into twenty euros and more at times .
Yes there are hundred of free anchorage but there also hundreds of free anchorage in Turkey, Croatia and the rest of the Med .

As far as food goes , I lost touch with what meat cost in Turkey , but come on you can't tell me food is cheap in Greece , we spend no more in Italy in the supermarket as we would spend in a big supermarket in Greece last year , see how far €50 goes in one of them small shops on the islands .

I agree if your boat under 12mts , the tax isnt going to be too much of an hard ship , but I lay money if this tax don't go away in a few years you too be jumping up and down with the rest of us , has your €30 pm will soon be € 50 and we can all have this conversation again .
 

Irish Rover

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As to moving to Turkey with just the tax in mind, I know that for us ( -12m ) Turkey with its ridiculous blue card and stealing agents every three months ( clearing in and out ) is not cheaper.
Have read that Turkey is cheap now, that is basic food. If you like a glass of wine or a beer.....
Meat the same, extreme expensive.
Nature and people are fantastic, the overall feel of the country is not what we liked some decade ago.
Just looked at a new youtube vid of the Göcek bays. Filled to the brim with giant mobo´s and gullets. No thanks.
Excellent post above from Vic with his usual common sense and fair play. Turkey is still excellent value for money if you avoid the frontline tourist traps in the main resorts. Marmaris would not, in my experience, be the cheapest resort on the Aegean yet it scored 3rd cheapest in the recent UK Post Office survey https://www.postoffice.co.uk/dam/jcr:3fc064dc-67b8-4df7-a956-2a906ea6877e/holiday-costs-barometer-2019-tables.pdf. The Turkish Lira has lost a lot of value against the main currencies in the last year. Good quality steak is less than £10 per kilo in the supermarkets, sirloin less than £12 and chicken around £2.50. With the meze system more favoured not too many people would be ordering a steak and chips in the restaurants but if you avoid the waterfront you can get excellent value in most places. Alcohol is relatively expensive but you can still buy good beer in the supermarkets for around £1.50 for a 50cl bottle and drinkable wine for £5/6 a bottle. The Blue Card system is a bit inconvenient for those not using marinas regularly but it's hardly a sticking point in terms of visiting Turkey. There are literally hundreds of safe anchorages all along the coast most of which are uncrowded even in high season. With a bit of advance preparation you can do the check-in and check-out yourself.
 

Resolution

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I would support what Irish says. We have been based north of Bodrum for five years and have had some most enjoyable holidays in the region. Berthing cost is very low, other living costs are, to us, very modest. And most of the people we deal with are really nice.
 

OldBawley

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To my experience, that is 11 years wintering in Turkey there is not much difference in living costs between Turkey and Greece. Basic stuff is good and cheap in Turkey, Greece has more diversity and if you like a drop is cheaper. Back when we wintered in Turkey there was beaf, lam, chicken and turkey.
From time to time we could buy wild boar. In Greece more diversity. Price of meat was skyhigh in Turkey. Most Turks had chiquen once a week, that was it. We could buy beaf and lam, even the doctor I visited told me they rarely bought meat. Mind, his salary was compared to what we ware used to extreme low.
For us berthing costs are the same for Greece and Turkey, zero. We anchor. The really hurricane proof bays in Turkey where we anchored when bad shit was forecasted ware free, are now privately owned, ( Göcek Fethiye area ) or leased and from what I hear not free anymore.
That can have changed, just after the leasing procedure, fellow liveaboards who ware still in Turkey mailed us that they ware not welcome anymore in those leased bays.

One spring we sailed from Fethiye to Alexandroupolis ( and back ) , hopping between Greece and Turkey. With sailing I mean sailing. No engine. About 50 different coastal anchorages, all on sail.
Coastal sailing like that learned us a lot about the differences between both countries.

To us, the Turkish South coast is absolutely winner for scenery. From Bodrum going north.... aw. Not nice. Are those awful dead holiday villages still there ? The Turkish people however get even nicer than nice going north.
Greeks are different. We often have the impression Greeks are more reserved, mind there own business. Witch I prefer.

As to the blue card, I was at the hub or berth of the system. The blue card was developed to chase a wealthy Turk out of a Göcek bay. He had a huge pontoon with a villa on it moored on a prime spot in a heavenly bay. To get him out of there the blue card system was developed. The result of the Blue card is that everybody who is not in a marina has to “ Pump out”. As is known, you just have to collect the electronic “stamp” the pumping out is almost non existing. The only pumping out we often witnessed was gullets pumping out in the bays very early in the morning when the guest ware still asleep.
No idea how things are now, back then I knew of two places where pump outs ware made,.... to be pumped into the sea during the night. There ware no treating stations.
BTW, back in Holland where pumping out was a big thing 20 years ago, the system is dead as well.
I installed our black tank with subsidy given by the Dutch state. Nice guys.
Most of the pumping out stations are broke. Nobody bothers.

Not one of the people I spoke about the tax is going to leave Greece. All less than 12 meter, just 4 months in the water, they don't care about the tax.
I do, but I wont have to pay. We sail a classic.
 

lask

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To my experience, that is 11 years wintering in Turkey there is not much difference in living costs between Turkey and Greece. Basic stuff is good and cheap in Turkey, Greece has more diversity and if you like a drop is cheaper. Back when we wintered in Turkey there was beaf, lam, chicken and turkey.
From time to time we could buy wild boar. In Greece more diversity. Price of meat was skyhigh in Turkey. Most Turks had chiquen once a week, that was it. We could buy beaf and lam, even the doctor I visited told me they rarely bought meat. Mind, his salary was compared to what we ware used to extreme low.
For us berthing costs are the same for Greece and Turkey, zero. We anchor. The really hurricane proof bays in Turkey where we anchored when bad shit was forecasted ware free, are now privately owned, ( Göcek Fethiye area ) or leased and from what I hear not free anymore.
That can have changed, just after the leasing procedure, fellow liveaboards who ware still in Turkey mailed us that they ware not welcome anymore in those leased bays.

One spring we sailed from Fethiye to Alexandroupolis ( and back ) , hopping between Greece and Turkey. With sailing I mean sailing. No engine. About 50 different coastal anchorages, all on sail.
Coastal sailing like that learned us a lot about the differences between both countries.

To us, the Turkish South coast is absolutely winner for scenery. From Bodrum going north.... aw. Not nice. Are those awful dead holiday villages still there ? The Turkish people however get even nicer than nice going north.
Greeks are different. We often have the impression Greeks are more reserved, mind there own business. Witch I prefer.

As to the blue card, I was at the hub or berth of the system. The blue card was developed to chase a wealthy Turk out of a Göcek bay. He had a huge pontoon with a villa on it moored on a prime spot in a heavenly bay. To get him out of there the blue card system was developed. The result of the Blue card is that everybody who is not in a marina has to “ Pump out”. As is known, you just have to collect the electronic “stamp” the pumping out is almost non existing. The only pumping out we often witnessed was gullets pumping out in the bays very early in the morning when the guest ware still asleep.
No idea how things are now, back then I knew of two places where pump outs ware made,.... to be pumped into the sea during the night. There ware no treating stations.
BTW, back in Holland where pumping out was a big thing 20 years ago, the system is dead as well.
I installed our black tank with subsidy given by the Dutch state. Nice guys.
Most of the pumping out stations are broke. Nobody bothers.

Not one of the people I spoke about the tax is going to leave Greece. All less than 12 meter, just 4 months in the water, they don't care about the tax.
I do, but I wont have to pay. We sail a classic.

:encouragement:
 

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