How it all began
What do you give you dad on his 60th birthday, when he basically can afford everything material? Time! Time with his children. Because after all, it is the quality time with lovely people that everybody remembers a long time and which intensifies the bonding between parents and kids – even if the kids are already adults.
One week of quality time with our dad. Thinking about the right destination and a decent action factor ( … our dad loves action) we decided quite fast for a sailing adventure. Since we were all absolute sail rookies, we needed a boat with a skipper and so we finally booked a sailing trip, which promised us a lot of expert guidance. We chose Greece as or travel destination. None of us had ever been there before and the sailing area around the Cyclades promised the sufficiently high wave and the desired action.
Island hopping in the cyclades
On a warm September day my younger brother Max, my dad and I landed in Athens. We had around 12 hours to get a first impression of the city. So we explored the historical part of the city at the foot of the Acropolis and strolled through the small streets. Athens was simply great. Fortunately, at the end of the trip, we had the opportunity to go back to downtown Athens and Max and Isa had the chance to explore the impressive Acropolis. The next morning, we went early in the direction of the harbor. From there, the ferry took about four hours to Naxos – the starting point of our sailing trip. The anticipation rose with every nautical mile we approached our sailboat. Having arrived at the harbor, we quickly spotted our boat and were directly greeted by our skipper – a somewhat self-sufficient man with disheveled hair and crooked glasses. From Naxos with its famous Apollo Temple we sailed back via Sifnos, Serifos, Kythnos, Hydra and Poros to Athens. It took us six days.
On the sailing boat
The first hours on the boat were immediately quite exiting, thanks to high waves. Max spent the first day due to sea sickness more under deck and sleeping than on deck. Luckily, he felt better on day two. Together with two other travelers and our skipper, we quickly developed a pleasant sailing routine. Everyone had the chance to practice how to carry the boat as gently as possible over the waves. Above all, my daddy had great fun when a wave spilled into the boat and I sat wet from the top to the bottom where a perfect place for sunbathing was before. In the meantime, our skipper showed us different knot types, explained the rules of the sea cruise and familiarized us with the work on the deck. We spent the evenings in the harbors of the respective islands, eating delicious and exploring the places. One of our highlights was anchoring in a beautiful bay, where we spent the night under the starry sky. Isa was sleeping on the deck of the boat. The sunrise the next morning was stunning.
Life as a sailor
Sailing is definitely a way of traveling which is really special. On a sailboat on one side you feel endlessly free, while on the other side the sea always shows how unpredictable and powerful the waves can be. On a sailboat you have a lot of time. A lot of time to read, to watch the waves, to think, to enjoy life, to sunbath, to talk, to learn new things, … . The often stressful everyday life is quickly moving into the distance and you can relax wonderfully. Sailing decelerates and the striking distance to the pure nature is fantastic. In the end, we´ve all became big sail fans.
Traveling with your family members
If the last long trip with your own dad has been around for a while, then you might be wondering why my brother and I decided to give him a birthday present that will not let us get out of each others way for a whole week. But hey … in the worst case, we simply would have drunk Ouzo permanently. 😊 That we all three are very different, we know. By the time our days were determined by the rhythm of the sailing, traveling with my brother and my dad really made fun. We enjoyed he quality time together and still speak about the trip today – more than a year later – every time we see each other. We will certainly never forget this time together.