Cruising the Greek Islands Page 2
Peace of Mind
Part 2: All meals are served family style, which allows you to try new things in varying portions.
Story and Photos by Kim Kavin
The Greek charter market has long been an entity unto itself, a closed sector in which foreign-flagged yachts were not allowed to carry paid guests. As in any marketplace that lacks outside competition, the players had the luxury of occasionally choosing profit over performance. This led to the existence of a Greek charter fleet with more than a hundred crewed motoryachts, but with only a few dozen that offer the quality and service the worldwide charter industry demands.
Today, Greek law is changing. The first foreign-flagged yachts going through the paperwork process should be registered for legal charter in time for this summer’s season (and the Olympic Games in Athens). With them, these yachts will bring a level of competition destined to bury the lesser performers in the Greek fleet.
On the other hand, a few Greek charter boats will thrive—those that have spent the past few years preparing for the onslaught with refits, crew training, and the adoption of Western business practices and contracts. Within this select group, Oh Que Luna is widely regarded as among the very best. She offers everything you would expect on a yacht in her price range in virtually any port worldwide, along with a crew that uses local knowledge to make the most of each charter.
The boat, which served as our host courtesy of her owner, carries five crew to tend to eight guests. These are not the Colgate-smile kids so often seen washing hull sides in the Caribbean; these are hardworking, middle-aged men with wives and children who consider yachting their careers. Only Capt. Vangelis Alexakis and steward Rudy Punongbayan speak English, but everyone working aboard Oh Que Luna knows how to smile and say, “Is okay?” The chef asked us this after almost every meal. We were always pleased, but if he didn’t get a wide grin in response, he became sad and promised to work harder for us the next time.
All meals are served family style, which allows you to try new things in varying portions. You might recognize the feta cheese slices and grilled octopus tentacles on your plate, but the tasty sadziki (known over here as tzatziki, a combination of yogurt, cucumber, and garlic) and mousaka main dish (like eggplant parmesan) will surprise any taste buds unaccustomed to creative cooking. Lunches, in keeping with Greek tradition, are huge, with smaller breakfasts and dinners.
This article originally appeared in the January 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.