A Greek Island Cruise — The Top 10 Problems of Yachting Life

Have you ever had a vacation so epic that the only way to feel like you deserved it was to work your butt off for months beforehand?

This was such a summer for me and Oysterman, as we prepped for a Greek Island cruise — our first visit to the country and our first time traveling on, gulp, a private yacht.

Greek sponge fishing boat
Not this boat…

We already knew our Oysterville friends and neighbors, Steve and Martie, were pretty spectacular human beings: generous, talented, kind and fun. But I’m still not sure how we got lucky enough to join them on the vacation of a lifetime — a week sailing through the Greek Isles on the 120 foot private yacht of Steve’s friend, a Turkish software entrepreneur (who also has an extra helping of generosity genes).

Greek fishing boat, Vathi
…not this boat…

But that’s what happened — we were invited, we said “yes, at (almost) any price, yes!”

Private yacht, Rhodes harbor
That’s the one.

We all agreed on a date — the tail end of the summer season — and set to the business of planning it like a location shoot. We had to book flights, reserve hotels, stockpile oysters, train new staff and beg a few favors.

Of course, I didn’t have to work as hard as Dan (he quite literally did not take a day off since March). But hey, I made sure we had travel insurance and Dramamine and all the right shoes. It was stressful, but I knew it would be worth it. Little did I know that Yachting Life would have problems of its own….


The Top 10 Problems of Yachting Life

1. Unable to pronounce the names of the Turkish crew.

It was a lot of work learning the names of our four crew: Captain Yasar, Sanye the cook, Achmed the deckhand, and the young man who acted as first mate/coffee getter/bartender/Zodiac pilot and whose name was pronounced something like “Oourdgh.” But now that I think of it, it was probably just as hard for them to deal with the seven of us.

Yacht captain and crew.
Captain Yasar and crew. What’s Oourdgh up to?
Cook serving Turkish doner
Sanye serving up Turkish Doner.
Breakfast service, yacht.
Yourgh and Achmed serving breffy.

2. Mandatory shoelessness.

Upon walking the plank stepping on board, were were immediately relieved of our shoes by Urgh. All that outfit planning down the drain. The sweet blue and white sandles, the sexy cream and gold thongs, all remained in the suitcase and the only thing I could wear with my breezy sundresses and cute capris was a fresh manicure. Life sucks so hard when you have to be barefoot for breakfast (even if Uargh is bringing you coffee).

Pedicure and striped pillows.
Don’t ask me how I picked the perfect coordinating polish. A girl knows.

3. The ice in your gin and tonic melts too fast.

Warm Aegean breezes are okay for some things, like “beach” hair, but when the dilution ratio of melted ice to gin becomes unacceptable, the only solution is to either drink it faster or fall back to champagne.

First mate with champagne.
Oaurgh, First Mate of champagne. (Psarrou, Mykonos)

4. No parking for the yacht.

There’s perhaps nothing as frustrating as having all the slips in port taken by other yachts or even cargo vessels. This causes one to have to find another, smaller, perhaps secluded port and moor in the harbor. Though it does making jumping off the boat more enjoyable, and also eliminates problem #5.

bay
No room in port. (Pedi Harbor, Symi)

Yacht moored in bay
That’s okay, we’ll just hang out here. (Grikos, Patmos Island)

Yacht mooring rock
Who needs a dock? (Grikos)
Swimmers on back of yacht.
Who needs a beach? (Symi)

5. Loud techno music from the neighboring yacht.

We can’t hear our Tom Petty/Rolling Stones mix.

Yacht at night with lights
Also their lights are too bright. (Psarrou Port, Mykonos)

6. Hard to apply mascara when the boat is moving between islands.

The only solution is to not wear it, which is really more of a problem for my traveling companions than me.

Wake of yacht, Greece
All wake means no makeup. (Somewhere between Patmos and Mykonos)

7. Can’t decide whether to eat on the upper dining patio, lower deck or indoor dining room.

Fortunately, Oordgha is good at setting them all.

Yacht outdoor dining table
Lower deck luncheon.
Yacht inside dining room.
Breakfast inside because 95° outside.
Yacht upper deck dining area.
Upper deck on all-white night.

8. Ouurghh can’t pick you up from your private beach in the Zodiac because he’s too busy unloading the jet ski for “those other people.”

Enough said. See #9.

Jet ski, Greek Island
Sorry, not available. (Secret beach, Poros)

9. Those other people.

Okay, this actually wasn’t a problem at all. How did I get so lucky to have such fun, generous, brave, adventurous and easygoing companions? I’m just hoping that I wasn’t one of “those other people.”

Couple on yacht
Steve & Martie
Dan chillaxin’.
Angelene & Julian
John with Angelene

10. Saying goodbye to Ugur.

Yes, that’s how it’s actually spelled (he has it tattooed on his arm), and it really didn’t take a week for us to learn how to pronounce it.

Turkish coffee being served
I will admit I miss having my Turkish coffee delivered.
Captain and crew on private yacht.
Achmed and Captain Yasar.

After six days at sea, we docked in in Athens at the port of Piraeus. We were sad to see the trip ending but also to say goodbye to our Captain and his first-rate crew (and to our fellow voyagers, new friends to whom I feel forever bound).

The gang in Knidos, Turkey.

Yasar took care of us as his own children, shy Sanye nourished us, quiet Achmed always had a broad grin, and Ugur never stopped working (or smiling). Though, upon docking in Piraeus, Ugur seemed happier than we’d seen him all week. I’m hoping he was simply looking forward to a few days of shore leave, and not just relieved at not having to make yet another cocktail or Turkish coffee or tell us, one more time, how to pronounce his name.

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7 comments on “A Greek Island Cruise — The Top 10 Problems of Yachting Life

  1. Lori Palermo
    October 12, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    Great article and gorgeous pics. Looks like a fabulous trip. Thanks for sharing!

    • lindaeee
      October 12, 2017 at 2:16 PM

      Thank you! It was a dream trip and we were so, so lucky.

  2. Deborah Vaupel
    October 14, 2017 at 10:42 AM

    So nice! Tina & Mark just got back from Italy and cruising the Greek Isles, but not on a private

    yacht! Looks like a super time!

  3. Anonymous
    October 14, 2017 at 8:12 PM

    Omg. What a great mini trip a log. I loved reading your about your deluxe adventures in Greece, So fun and wonderfully written. Oysterville north…. has the great travelers …. you should all write travel books!!!

  4. Linda J.
    October 20, 2017 at 11:46 AM

    Love it!!! Thank you for taking us with you!

  5. Kiku Terasaki
    December 10, 2017 at 6:54 PM

    Ever graceful, wry and generous. So glad to read you’re having more wonderful adventures.
    Hugs Kiku & Paul

    • lindaeee
      December 17, 2017 at 4:42 PM

      Thanks, Kiku – so great to hear from you. I’m so busy adventuring I don’t have time to write — hope to catch up in 2018. Miss you guys!

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