Crisis, what crisis?

Sailing in a Greek crisis without an anchor

11th July 2015
Loosing body parts in Greece
Living on a boat
The Greek Crisis


Sailing in a Greek Crisis without an anchor


Greece is like coming home.

Greece always feels like home

Cygnus III at home in Greece

Greece to us feels like coming home. In a previous life, when we were grown up’s and had proper jobs we chartered boats in Greece for our holidays. Many of the places we are now sailing to in Cygnus III we have been before and they evoke fond memories. The islands are as beautiful as the people are friendly.


What crisis, It’s all Greek to me.

The Greek crisis may be real but there is little outward sign of it apart from large queues at the banks each day. Granted the national anthem has been changed to “Greece is the word …. I’ve got bills, they’re multiplying” but apart from that everything appears the same.

We really feel for the people of Greece and what they are going through. We started our own austerity measures aboard Cygnus III a few years ago so we understand some of what they are facing. I even pulled some of my own teeth out to save money.

Locals are limited to taking out 60 euros a day in withdrawals from cash machines and the banks themselves are closed. Although we have our own self-imposed limits the banks will allow foreigners to withdraw up to about 300 euros a day each. Although the Taverns’ here are thriving and aiding the economy it must gall the locals to see tourists spending more on a fried bit of cheese than they have to live on each day.


Austerity and how to help

As we are now old hands at austerity we thought we would try and help the Greek people come up with a cunning plan to get the economy back on track. This is what we came up with:-

  • Greece is a major tourist destination and visitors should be taxed extra. For example, fat people should be weighed prior to getting on planes and charged for each pound over an average weight. (Well they do that with my bags). I know it would hit Americans and Brits hard but come on.
  • Ginger haired people should have to take out extra medical insurance. You know darn well that as soon as they spend 30 seconds in the Greek sun they are going to fry and fill up hospital beds. Even if you decapitate yourself and take your own head to the hospital you are never going to be treated as they are full of crispy ginger haired people.
  • Gin and tonic should have a 1000% tax levied on it. I don’t like it and don’t drink it so what better reason.
  • Germans should be taxed 1000 euros for each sun towel they have and 200% a day on future earnings. Well that is what they seem to be doing to the Greeks.
  • All women with excessive body hair, especially armpits or legs, should be taxed heavily. Sorry Fraulein but with that curtain of hair in your pits you deserve it.
  • All Russians and French who want to charter boats should be taxed until they are bankrupt. Why, because Russians have no idea how to sail a boat and the French do not know how to anchor. Besides, the French also don’t know what a toilet on a boat is for.
  • Mc Greek crisis

    Just convert a few old buildings

    We have noticed that there are a lot of old buildings and ruins in Greece that don’t seem to have been used for a while. This of course includes the banks. Now if they tore so of these old piles of stone down or converted them it would create employment in the building industry.

  • Put Greece up for sale on E-bay.. it may raise a few euros.


The Greek crisis is not complicated, let me explain!

You see a lot of people believe the Greek crisis is complicated but it is not.. let me explain it in simple terms.

The Greek Bailout

It’s was a slow day in a small Greek Village.
Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

On this particular day a rich German tourist stops at the local hotel and lays a 100 Euro note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms before spending the night there.

The hotel owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs the hotelier grabs the 100 Euro note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.
The butcher takes the 100 Euro note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer.
The pig farmer takes the 100 Euro note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.
The guy at the Farmers’ Co-op takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his ouzo bill at the Taverna.
The publican gives to the local prostitute who has had to offer him “services” on credit.
The prostitute then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the 100 Euro note.
The hotel proprietor then places the 100 Euro note back on the counter so the German traveller will not suspect anything.
At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the 100 Euro note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory and leaves town.

The whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

And that is how the bailout package works…..


What has Cygnus III been up to?

Angelina, Lakka, Greece

Angelina considers the Greek crisis

So now we have sorted out the Greek crisis and made them a few extra Euro’s on the side what else has Cygnus III been up to.

Well, we have been slowly sailing and motoring down the northern Ionian Sea visiting many old and new anchorages on Corfu, Paxos and mainland Greece. Angelina has of course been working hard on solving the Greek crisis and we have met many new friends. Life at the moment is laid back and we are more than content with our lot.


The anchoring dance.

The afternoons in some of the more crowded anchorages are always fun. As soon as a new boat comes in all the other boat owners are like meek rats popping up praying they don’t come near them. Then the antics start.

Anchoring in Lakka, Greece

You can’t anchor there!

The boat anchors and owners are out like the changing of the guard on their decks. They march up and down looking at the new arrival, shaking heads or gesticulating at them that they are too close. Some will take pictures, others will do the anchoring dance but whatever, it’s always amusing, unless it happens to you.

Charterers wonder round aimlessly trying to work out how to use that big, heavy bit of metal at the front of the boat and why it is attached to a lot of chain. When you wake up in the mornings the same charters are still going around in circles having learnt a new phrase “You can’t anchor there”.

There is the story of the Australian charterer who called his flotilla leader up on the radio asking for a spare anchor. When asked what happened to his he replied “we used it last night”.

In a way the Greek economy is like a charterer. They are learning slowly and keep getting told they cannot do this or that but if someone took the time to give them a decent anchor and show them how to use it they would be fine.

We have our own thoughts on making money whilst sailing but what tax can you think of that could be brought in to end the Greek crisis?



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  1. Great analogy, you must have been a hoot work with back in your regular days on the job. The whole world in sinking in credit, we should all get in a boat like you. MUCH LOVE FROM the GREAT STATE OF TEXAS ! you can put your boots in the oven, but that don’t make em biscuits.

    1. Joel, Put your boots in our oven and an hour later you will have….. a pair of boots. The dam thing is hopeless and keeps going out. Another item for the to do list. We are still sailing in a Greek crisis but someone really should tell them about it.

  2. Stick to your principle on the gin and tonic. There is just something wrong with drinking turpentine. Well, it’s not exactly the same, but the taste is. The tonic, no so much.
    Excellent analogy with the Greek pay-off of debts, unfortunately, you aren’t reaching far enough with it. This is the system the entire world is using, and there is no more “German” to lay out the 100 to pass around. Crash is coming and there is no one to save us now, other than covering up and borrowing more that will never be repaid.
    Keep going, I’m planning to join the club,,,someday.

    1. Ric, You don’t know how right you are. Gin and Tonic tastes like the inside of a camels mouth first thing in the morning(don’t ask me how I know but we are still very good friends).
      The Greek crisis for the people is not getting better but worse. Now they are asked to pay next years taxes in advance. Do not expect it to go away but just get worse.

  3. Thoroughly pleased to finally find a bailout article I can understand, thank you! I’d love to hear some more stories about these Russian and French and look forward to more impressions of your stay in Greece!

  4. Thank you Mark, it was really fun reading that. Just a short remark on “the French do not know how to anchor”. Mediterranean French don’t. They don’t really know what sails are made for, on a boat (I bet they think they’re made to show one that he charter that boat without having a licence – in French law there’s a licence obligation for motor yachts, but not for sailboats). We who learned to sail and spent time at sea in Britanny (Normandy too) do it every week, and in tidal waters too. With that I agree that we don’t really know what toilets are made for. They invented a word in French – “balconner” – peeing (or more) while on the “balcony”. Best doing that in a full anchorage, makes neighbours’ kids happy
    The 100€ bill trick… just great !

    1. Florin, I hate to say it but we spent a lot of time in Brittany and Normandy and the French sailors there are totally mad. They will go out in any weather for fun and yes, they are exceptional sailors. There is only two speeds on the engine though. Full forward and full reverse. It certainly is the case that the French in particular in the Med have no concept of space and will happily anchor on top of you. Then again if they are carrying French wine rather than Greek wine (which is a real crisis in a bottle) then that is no bad thing. Thank you for reading and your comment.

  5. Love your solution to the Greek financial woes! Perhaps they could sell some of the statues of the Greek gods and goddesses. They’d make great figureheads on sailboats.

  6. It may take me a while to figure out the 100-euro bill trick….damn, I just realized the hotel owner – by not keeping the bill – didn’t get paid (or laid) by the prostitute. So much for my plan to retire early and sail to Greece with a 100-euro bill.
    On the other hand, maybe I can just take out a loan, retire early and pay it back after I die.

  7. Great post Mark I was laughing at your story on how to fix the economy of Greece… I think the tourist industry could help by promoting more holidays to the region, but there would be no more space’s to anchor so I think that one is out as well… Fair wind in your sails… Looking forward to your next post

    1. Ellen, we did have a referendum aboard but Angelina voted against it.. apparently she like gin and tonic and this has become a real sticking point. She has even refused my next bail out unless this point is taken out.

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