Weekend sailing lesson: From Athens to Aegina island
In one of our final practical lessons for our Greek sailing licences, we excitedly packed waterproof bags and set off for a weekend-long lesson that involved sailing from our club base at Athens’ Flisvos Marina to the Saronic island of Aegina.
Together with Nautical Club of Palaio Faliron instructor Lazaros Ioannidis, we plotted our course for Aegina, not with a GPS but old-school style with a divider and a parallel rule. We checked Rod Heikell’s Greek Waters Pilot and ensured to avoid reefs and shallow waters.
We arrived at the island’s main town, of the same name, in the early evening and gathered together with our fellow students for a fabulous meze dinner at a taverna right on the water just as the sun started to set. Lazaros regaled us with amusing sea tales.
Aegina’s port was bustling with yacht and ferry traffic, busier than we expected on an early Spring weekend.
Lazaros and the younger members of our group partied at Aegina’s bars, tucked in the town’s backstreets, till the early hours but we crashed at our hotel.
Early the next morning, we gathered for breakfast and headed out, this time with instructor Giorgos Mitropoulos and racing yacht Exionas.
On our return to base, powered by steady winds, Giorgos explained some of the intricacies of sail trimming and achieving an optimum slot between the mainsail and Genoa. His method of teaching is straightforward and easy to comprehend.
We carefully ducked around the numerous tankers plying the Saronic Sea, including one ghost ship that Giorgos noted we should be wary of when sailing in the area at night.
All in all, a brilliant weekend of sailing lessons and bonding with our fellow future sailors. As newbie sailors, this will be a frequent weekend route for us as the Saronic offers relatively calm seas and Aegina is in close proximity to the mainland.
Videography by Carlo Raciti
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