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Eco Sailing, Nature and Wildlife cruising holidays in Greece

Discover the unique wildlife and nature of the Greek islands and participate in our efforts to protect and support the local environment.

Elusive threatened species like the Loggerhead Sea Turtle and the Mediterranean Monk Seal, as well as beautiful endemic species like the Milos Wall Lizard and the Milos Viper are waiting for you to discover them and contribute towards their survival.

Whale and dolphin spotting, trekking through untouched paths in search of unique species of animals and plants are only a few of the activities you could participate in our trip.

Under the guidance of our experienced team of biologists you will be introduced to the tens of endemic species, both from the animal and plant kingdoms, which exist only in this small corner of the globe.

Eco sailing holidays in Greece

The concept was inspired by a team of sailors, divers, biologists and environmentalists who were brought together due to their love of the sea and nature.

Their primary objective is the study and protection of the marine world and the raising of public awareness on environmental issues. They have formed a series of eco activities involving sailing, diving and exploring unique species in order to support their work the rest of the year.

Below is a sample itinerary of a typical biodiversity cruise

Syros - Milos, May - October

DolphinsDay 1. We start our journey from the historical port of Syros, Ermoupoli. The day will be devoted to getting to know each other, a briefing on the Aegean ecosystem and settling down on the boat. You will have plenty of time to walk around the picturesque old town of Ano Syros.

Day 2. Sailing and dolphin spotting is on the agenda today. We will follow the route southwards towards Paros island. Plenty of time for dolphin spotting with the aid of our hydrophone and for watching sea birds like the common Yellow-legged Gull, the rare Audouin's Gull and plentiful of Shags that hang around in these waters. By late noon we will reach the small fishing port of Piso Livadi, on the eastern coast of Paros, where you can taste the local fish delicacies of Antonis.

Day 3. Our prow is pointing to the southeast , to the very heart of the Aegean, the ''small Cyclades'' complex. Only a few of the 50 islands, islets and rocks are inhabited by man, giving the impression of an ''empty'' habitat to the unsuspected eye. On the contrary, these islands hide an impressive variety of life. The next station of our "project" will be the unspoilt fishing port of Iraklia.

LizardThe typical vegetation of the ecosystems here is phrygana. You will be surprised to discover that even a tiny rocky islet may be home to tens of invertebrate species and even to many vertebrates including birds like the Chukar, the Shag, but also Eleonora's and Peregrine Falcons and even the majestic Griffon Vultures. Reptiles include geckos, Balkan Rock Lizards, Sand Boas and others. And lets not forget the endemic flowers growing there, which include a variety of unique orchids, crocuses, knapweeds, mulleins, bellflowers and many more!

Day 4. Today's route is eastwards. The sailing area we will cover is a well-known passage for dolphins. Despotiko, another small island, favourite meeting point for sailors in the Aegean, is where we'll end our small experiment. We will compare and analyse our results and photos, breaking the work with plunges in the crystal clear waters of the bay.    At night you will be a witness to a unique spectacle: the glowing sea. A myriad of minuscule planktonic crustaceans produce light thanks to the phenomenon of bioluminescence.

momDay 5/6. We'll have an early start and enjoy a day sailing towards the unspoilt island of Kimolos. The area north of Kimolos and the neighboring uninhabited island of Polyegos harbor one of the most critically endangered marine mammal species in Europe, the Mediterranean Monk Seal.

MOm, the Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal, a Greek NGO, has been working for the protection of the Mediterranean Monk Seal since 1998, through field research, conservation and public awareness actions. After years of research and lobbying, MOm aspires to see Kimolos amongst the protected marine areas of Greece, as the second largest european population of the Mediterranean monk seal lives and breeds in the Kimolos-Polyegos island complex. Though the Mediterranean monk seal is not exactly sociable, who knows... We may be lucky!

TurtleDay 7. One of the first volcanic islands to emerge from the sea about 2 million years ago, Milos features a quite unique fauna, with the Milos viper one of its most interesting and rare animal in Europe. Its population is estimated to be less than 4,000 individuals and is strictly protected by a Presidential Degree. Milos wall lizard, the extremely rare Milos Grass Snakeand Milos Green Lizard are the three more endemic species of the Milos archipelago.

Milos and the Cyclades in general lie along the Aegean migratory route for European birds that fly southwards to spend the winter in Africa. Our observation point will be the small brackish lake of Achivadolimni (lake of shells in Greek), where wading birds can be observed (herons, waders, the occasional Glossy Ibis e.t.c.). It's trekking time! All the aforementioned animals, plus the Stripe-neck Terrapin, can be found here, in this small oasis of water and vegetation in the midst of the general Cyclades aridness.

Endangered wildlife of GreeceThat will be the end of our "biodiversity project". Please note that all the photographs and specimen that you may collect during the week will be offered to scientists to assist them in their data collection and researches.

We're as flexible as the weather!

The above itinerary is an example of what you can experience in our Wild Tale sailing trips in the Aegean Sea. We don't follow the same route every week and every itinerary may slightly change due to the weather and other factors beyond our control. Remember that we cannot sail against the weather! We will do our best.

When Tahita is not chartered, the team sail around cleaning beaches, recycling or giving a helping hand to researchers and organisations in their efforts to study and protect the environment and wild life.

Discover the unique wild life and nature of the Greek islands and participate in our efforts to protect and support the local environment.

Download pdf with more details....

The Yacht

TAHITA Sun Kiss 45

The Sun Kiss 45 is one of the most exceptional and elegant classical models created by Jeanneau, known and recognised for its strength and sailing capabilities, for sailing as well as cruising the world over.

Tahita can accommodate 10 people in its 4 double cabins and skipper cabin. There are 2 toilets/showers and a stern shower on the diving platform. In order to guarantee the maximum space and comfort for our guests, we take up to 6 people each time, while keeping the cost at a minimum.

The overall interior finish is of very high quality with genuine teak woodwork and ''solid wood'' mouldings. There is ample headroom in its double cabins and the entry is nice and free of clutter. The yacht has double ventilators, good stowage shelves and hanging lockers. All of this contributes to the comfort of those aboard.

The lateral beaming of the coachroof gives a particular character to the saloon which hails back to the days of wooden construction with beaming extending from the floor beams. The double series of horizontal screens offer exceptional lighting.

Our cockpit is spacious and comfortable. There is ample space on the teak deck for you to lie down and sunbathe.

saloonCHARACTERISTICS

Design by Philippe Briand for Jeanneau, built between 1983 and 1990
LOA 45 ft (14 m), beam 14,5ft (4,40m), draught 7,4ft ( 2,25m)
Sloop, main sail, roller genoa
Engine 60HP Daewoo (2002)
Speed 8 kts under power, up to 12 under sail
Water tank 700lt
Fuel tank 220lt
Electrics 12 and 24 Volts
Batteries x 5 (2005, 2006)
Electronics: radar, autopilot, GPS x 2, VHF DCS, echo sounder, laptop, internet access
CD stereo, DVD
4 cabins: 3 double, 1 with two berths, all cabins have opening portholes and/or hatches
2 x shower and toilet, 1x deck shower
Diving platform

cabin Tahita Sun Kiss 45 Sailing yacht

Sailing yacht Sun Kiss 45


Meet the Team

Skipper Sotiris Diamantis

skipper Sotiris was born in Essen, Germany on 9th January 1974. He has been skippering professionally for the last 18 years throughout the Aegean, Ionian, Adriatic and Central Mediterranean seas as well as the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. He has some 60,000 miles of sailing on his record. Sotiris has also been maintaining both wooden and fiberglass boats for the last nine years.

Sotiris started diving in the Red Sea 19 years ago and eventually became a Divemaster in Thailand in 2002. He is also trained to give first aid and rescue assistance.

Sotiris speaks German, English and Spanish fluently and also basic French.

 


Annie

Dive Instructor / Deck - hand / Cooking Annie Antonatou

Annie was born in Athens on 31st August 1973. Her love for the sea and marine world brought her together with the rest of the Mystic Blue crew. Annie started her career in the world of marketing and publishing but soon sailing and diving stole her heart.

Annie is a certified Day Skipper (RYA) and has sailed around 20,000 miles in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. She's also a PADI certified Diving Instructor (Open Water Diver Instructor & EFR First Aid Instructor). She's dived in Belize, Thailand, Red Sea, the Society islands in the Pacific Ocean but the Mediterranean Sea is her big love. She'll be glad to share with you the secrets of the underwater world!

Annie is also a keen hiker and she has been guiding our guests around the traditional paths of the Greek islands. Annie speaks English fluentlyand basic Italian and French.

 


Biologist & Wildlife photographer / Andrea Bonnetti

AndreaAndrea is the scientist but also artist of theTahita crew who will introduce you to the unique fauna of the Ionian and Aegean Seas.

Andrea was born in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1968. Soon after finishing his studies in Biological Sciences at the University of Pavia, Italy, he moved to Greece to begin a research on the birds of the Gialova Lagoon of Pylos, SW Peloponnese. As the years went by, Wildlife photography slowly became his first occupation. Throughout the years, he's travelled around Greece taking part in researches and studies of the local wildlife and ecology of various NGOs, always carrying around his camera and taking photos that would be published on a number of national and international magazines, including the National Geographic and the BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Andrea published also several books about Greek nature, the last of which – “40 Natural Paradises”, was published in partnership with WWF and is a guide to the 40 most interesting protected areas of Greece. Andrea also had the honor to win two awards in the prestigious photo contest BG Wildlife Photographer of the Year, in 1999 and in 2004. His pictures can be found at the UK Photo Library:w ww.nhpa.co.uk and at his website: http://www.andreabonetti.com.

Andrea is keen to share with you his passion and knowledge about Greek wildlife and wildlife photography. He speaks fluently English, Italian, French, German and modern Greek.


Environmental Researcher - Melita Lazaratou

Environmental researcherMelita was born on March 21st 1979 in Athens. Her interest in the causes of human and animal behaviour and their interaction with the environment determined the selection of her studies and professional orientation. After completing her studies in Psychology she studied Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare in the University of Edinburgh. Her love for cetaceans motivated her to specialise in them and through her postgraduate thesis she studied the effect of whale watching on minke whales in cooperation with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.

Motivated by her interest and respect towards wildlife she has participated in the work of environmental NGOs for the protection and conservation of the natural environment. She has participated in programs of the Hellenic Cetacean Research and Conservation Society as well as the Hellenic Ornithological Society. She was in charge of operations in the Peloponnese region for ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, and she has been heading projects for the Mediterranean SOS Network.

Melita speaks English fluently and also a little bit of French.


DafniWalking Guide / Dafni Kalafati

Dafni Kalafati was born in Greece in the decade of the eighties. She studied photography and education and then followed a Masters degree in Art Therapy. Combining both disciplines she travelled around the world giving workshops of participatory video to children. Today she lives and works in Athens, continues her teaching practices while directing her own documentary films.

Dafni's love for the mountains has followed her everywhere she went. Since a young age she started climbing on the Greek mountains and then continued with her mountaineering career in the Alps. However the climax came when she visited the Andes where she spent almost a year walking in several national parks. Today, back in Greece, she re-discovered the greek islands through their traditional paths that she started exploring in 2008.

Dafni looks forward to guiding you around the undiscovered paths of the islands of the Aegean Sea.



Odyssey Sailing
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Odyssey Sailing is registered and bonded with the Greek National Tourist Organisation (GNTO - EOT) and is a member of the Hellenic Yacht Brokers Association (HYBA). © Odyssey Sailing

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Tel: +30 24280 94128 | Tel / fax: +30 24210 36676
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