Monday, September 1, 2014

ALMA'S LOG - RHODES

The Old city of Rhodes is a great place, no doubt, but the lack of a place to anchor near the city, the almost impossibility to find a place at the local marina as well as the huge crowds of tourists take some shine from it. Let me tell that’s a strange place from the cruising view point: Several ports almost unused were you cannot stay and a huge marina that is still not finished after 10 years. The new marina is a local joke among the resident Greeks that say always that it is going to open next month :-)


There are lots of boats that anchor outside the walls, near the marina, but the holding is poor, the winds strong and I like to sleep well, knowing that the boat is not going drag the anchor, so we chose a beach on the outskirts of the town, were some very nice and helpful fishermen live by.

We come to love the place, that has good shelter from the prevailing winds, places to leave the dinghy with the fishermen, nice and inexpensive restaurants near by.  It is at 30m walking from the old town and a Taxi to there costs only 5 euros, even if they are hard to find around that beach.


Rhodes is great, deserves a long visit but after some time there are just too much tourists to my taste.

The city has been vastly destroyed by successive invasions but the majestic walls, mostly built by the knights of St John of Jerusalem, survived the passage of time as well as some old stone buildings and those are the highlights of the place.

Unless you have come for the night time (wild) or for shopping touristic souvenirs on the streets. The streets, including the old stone houses have been submerged by the tourist stores and restaurants that cover everything on a very Turkish (Arab) way:
 You cannot see the houses anymore but a succession of expositors with T shirts, glasses, souvenirs and all that jazz.

More away from the center it is possible to find an urban landscape less degraded by mass tourism and some medieval/Turkish streets have survived, if not in the flesh on its essence (last photos).

You can fell that on Rhodes West mingles with the East and the Christians with Muslins. Not always have been that way and Rhodes was one of the places were the clash between Christians and Muslins and their different cultures was stronger.

Just to give an idea of the turning point this city has been it suffices to know that the original settlers were driven out by Minoans (Crete) an later by Dorians (Greeks) then come the Persians. In the time of Alexander the Great it belonged to the Macedonians and after it was finally independent. That is the time where the Rhodes Colossus was built. Their independence only lasted a bit more than 100 years!!!

 The Romans come next, then Byzantium, then the Genovese and the Knights of St John (initially Hospitaller Knights). Their rule, in name of Christianity stand for more than 200 years. The Island become Muslin under the rule of Suleiman the magnificent (Turkish-Ottoman empire). That lasted 400 years.

After it was Italian for more than 30 years and only for the last 60 years it belongs to Greece again, after a time lapse of more than 2000 years!!!

So you can imagine what a melting pot Rhodes is :-) and that's one of the things that makes this a fascinating place.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

THE JEANNEAU SUNFAST 3600 AND THE BRITISH

A lot has been said here about the SF3600 and its rival, the JPK 1080. The sailing performance is very similar, both can be sailed with crews in regatta but they were thought specially for solo or duo ocean racing and in the case of the JPK (that has a decent cruising interior) also for performance cruising with a solo sailor or a couple. They have already proved that they were fast, winning the first leg of the Transquadra (the JPK come first followed by the Sunfast but the diference was real minimal). They have also showed that they can compete in handicap crewed racing on equal terms with the best boats. Quite a package :-)...and now the British seem to be wakening for short crew racing, as we can see on this test by the British magazine Yachting world:



It is case to say: Better later then never  :-) and for what the tester say they seem really to be liking the idea. 
For having an impression of what is living and cruising aboard this other video gives a good idea:

 

Quite spartan, but possible. I have to say that as a cruiser that likes to go fast I prefer clearly the JPK 1080, same performance but a cozy interior and a lot more comfort while cruising not to mention the possibility of customization that is only possible on a small shypiard owned by a great sailor, JPK himself. He is really passionate about what he does and understand the passions and desires of others even if different from his  own. And these are really boats for passionate people, passionate by sailing and beautiful carènes (hulls), like the French say.

Friday, August 29, 2014

CR 380DS

Maybe the Brand does not ring a bell to you, it is a North European small one, almost custom, a family shipyard that is making boats for a long time and among then the (true) Deck Saloons are an important part. Their history is impressive:

"CR Yachts is a family run company that was founded in 1989 by Charles and Marita Rutgersson. At the age of 15 Charles started working at Harry Hallbergs Yard in Kungsviken, nowadays Hallberg-Rassy. He worked there for 15 years, 7 years as a carpenter and 8 as Service manager, before he decided to start his own company. For 4 years he helped boat owners around in Europe with various things from changing impeller on a 31 foot boat to participate in building a 110 foot Super yacht. After all years going around talking to and helping boat owners, he found that there was a lack of sailboats on the market that offered a High Quality wooden interior, good sailing performance and the possibility to get the boat customised. So in 1990 Charles developed the CB 370. Since then more than 150 boats have left the company, both One-offs and own models."

 Not many brands making DS boats, I mean small ones and the reason is that a DS looks very nice on the boat show but they are not really the right choice for the Med or the Caribbean and that's where most of the sailboats are. They are not a good choice because on those warm climates the large "windows" will let a lot of sun in and with that a lot of heat, too much heat in fact.

If you sail there you can see that the sailboats that have this configuration have permanently (during the day) the "windows" closed with outside covers and then, why do you want a boat with a view if the only thing you will see most of the time is a white cover?

Big yachts use this configuration a lot more but that only means that they have the engine(s) power to cover the excess of heat inside using powerful AC systems. Not very ecological and not really suited for smaller sailboats or not so full pockets.

Of course there are exceptions, the countries and latitudes where the heat of the sun is welcome most of the time and it is not surprising that the builders of DS sailboats are from those parts, higher latitudes, like the North of Europe. There are a considerable number of sailors from those parts (North of Europe, Alaska and Canadá) following this blog so for them I would like to say that if I lived there and sailed all year around this would be one of the boats on my short list, the CR 380DS:

Impeccable building, great interior, very modern hull, not too beamy, light and fast. Look at this video  (yacht de boat test) and you will understand why I like the boat (maybe you like it too ;-):

http://tv.yacht.de/video/F%25C3%25BCr-jedes-Wetter%253A-CR-380-Deckssalon/d3e1adf0b2f924dd61461970da5a3447

Specifications and more information:
http://cryachts.eu/models/deck-saloon-line/cr-380-ds-new/380-ds-data
http://cryachts.eu/models/deck-saloon-line/cr-380-ds-new/380-ds-technical-specifications

Sunday, August 3, 2014

ALMA'S LOGBOOK

As promised some more information about our voyage and as a picture says much more than words, it will be mainly pictures with some information.

We left Agios Nikolaos at 27 bound to a small beach on the East Coast of Crete (Vai) to stay for the night and to cross in the morning to Karpathos Island.
We made some friends on Agios Nikolaos that are travelling with us now, a couple (Yvonne and Arnaud) from Saint Malo (France) on a little First 30: Good sailors as it was to be expected from cruisers from the old Brittany Corsaire city.
We made it to Karpathos and next day we made it to Rhodes Island, more precisely to Lindos, sailing nicely upwind, first close to the wind (7K) than at 60º (over 8K).

Lindos is a gem that not even the tourist crowds, that come in bus and day trippers, manage to spoil. It is almost too perfect to be true: A good and very nice anchorage (not crowded) a nice old typical Greek village, a medieval castle and a Greek/Micenian Agora.

No cars in the town, but lots of "Taxis", I mean donkey taxis :-)

Sorry about the non edited pictures, they could be better if worked out but I have no time now, I am enjoying myself at Rhodes old city waiting a break on the wind to make it to Simi, a tiny but very nice Island were Yvonne's brother is building a house. And that's all for now. 




Saturday, August 2, 2014

A JPK SAILED BY JPK WON THE FIRST LEG ON THE TRANSQUADRA

Nice!!!! that's a double for JPK: JPK sailed by JPK :-). The boat is the all new JPK 10.80 sailed by his builder JPK (Jean Pierre Kelbert and Hervé Perroud). They had all the way a huge fight with the also new Sun Fast 3600 (with a top crew) and managed to overtake them on the last night arriving 14 minutes earlier. Solo the first one is a A35 and on compensated time a JPK 10.10 is probably the winner. The third in real time was another JPK 10.80. As usual JPK made the best overall performance, this time with JPK, the MAN, coming first on one of his boats.

Some images of this very interesting Transat for amateurs with more than 40 years of age, a favorite race of mine ;-)



Départ de St Nazaire por overlapprod
Arrivée 1er 204 3D DÉVELOPPEURS IMMOBILIER por overlapprod

Monday, July 28, 2014

TOUR DE FRANCE (SAIL ): THE VICTORY GOES TO SOUBEN AND AMAZING NEWS!!

Cammas arrived late (to the team) to recover the advance Souben and team Dunkerque had over Groupama, specially after a leg cancelled due to bad weather. Several victories were not enough. But the great achievement from Daniel Souvent risk to lose importance face to the big news: Next year the Tour de France will be raced on multihulls.

It seems that the guys don't find the M34 fast enough :-). It will be raced on this baby:

It is going to be fast, very wet and very physical,specially on the long legs. For sure it will provide some amazing movies. I cannot wait ;-)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

GIANCARLO PEDOTE

He deserves this post! Look at the advance he has! Nobody is going to steal this victory from him on the secretary....and it is not (only) the boat since there is another similar boat racing and a more modern one. Italy has a champion in solo racing and that is good. Now great solo racers are not only French, but also German, Swiss and Italian. Solo sailing is on the rise and I like it :-)
http://lessables-lesacores.com/
Here Pedote this year on another race: