>International Travel News
>After months of searching, we found that "Passion," run by Yann Mauguiere
>out of Rhodes, offers a terrific service because of his ability to probe
>expectations and to match successfully clients with boats and crews.
>Thanks so much -- Sandra
>After almost a year of searching for an affordable Mediterranean charter,
>husband and I finally tracked down -- stumbled upon, would be more
>accurate -- a fantastic agent we would wholeheartedly recommend to
>individuals or small groups:  PASSION, the descriptively named company of
>Yann Mauguiere, a passionate yachtsman based in Rhodes.
>Larry and I had been to Turkey several times, but because we plan our trips
>both geographically and thematically, we'd delayed visiting the
>Mediterranean Coast.  For our September 1999 trip, we also desired a
>slightly different strategy from the usual land travel:  we wanted to "play
>Phoenician," approaching the historically and artistically significant
>maritime settlements from the sea, particularly along the Lycian Coast, as
>the early settlers and traders would have done.

We needed a sailboat for two weeks -- comfortable yet affordable enough for
two passengers -- and a crew that was interested in more than just ferrying
passengers to charming anchorages for swimming.  Most of the agents we
talked with suggested much larger boats -- up to 90' with a crew of four and
prices to match -- more suitable for small parties, family groups, or shared
passengers.  Because we had a very specific, two-week itinerary in mind, we
were reluctant to share a boat with other couples and unwilling to join a
Gullet "Blue Voyage."  Our diligence and patience were rewarded.
>What particularly impressed us in our many conversations (via E-mail) with
>Yann was his willingness to listen to what we proposed and to make
>suggestions specifically geared to our objectives.  He was particularly
>sensitive to the type of experience we wanted and recommended boats and
>crews he felt we'd be comfortable traveling with.  We were far less
>interested in paying someone to ferry a floating hotel than in the dynamics
>of shared experiences.  We were, to speak quite literally, all in the same
>boat.  We, too, listened and made adjustments to take advantage of wind and
>current that our text-derived itinerary had ignored.
>Although Yann matches some groups with skippers of many large and beautiful
>sailing vessels, he suggested we might enjoy sailing with Jean and Helene
>Doulay, a French former merchant marine, and his English wife on their
37-foot ketch, "Le Mayero," a real ocean-going vessel rigged as a sailor
would want, not as a
>yachtsman might desire.  The cost for everything -- and I do mean
>everything -- was $150.00 per day; $2,100.00 for two weeks (September
1999).  Cocktails started early and ended late.  Meals were outstanding.
>Because "Le Mayero" holds Turkish registry, we met Jean and Helene in
>rather than at a Greek port, and leisurely sailed toward Rhodes before
>heading to Caunos and the Lycian settlements along the Turkish
>as far as Kekova Island.  On two occasions (Kalkan, Simena), we rented a
>for a day so we could explore the nearby ancient hill-towns and
>fortifications; at two other locations (Rhodes, Patara), public
>transportation was sufficient. After we departed
>the boat at Kas, we spent another ten days on our own touring via car to
>Alanya before returning to Istanbul.
>Our specific itinerary is less important here than our experience of the
>itself, the
>people who sail it, and Yann who made it all possible.  Along the way, we
>became a part of Jean and Helene's French expatriate and Turkish adopted
>communities, joining their friends for cocktails and meals along the way.
>As a special treat, we met Yann and his charming wife, Servan, for a
>wonderful dinner in Rhodes.  They were, in person, as delightful as he had
>been via E-mail.
>Yann and his associates are truly passionate about sharing the
>sailing experience with others, and I feel just as passionate about Yann's
>approach to service.  He recognizes that it is critical for the traveler
>crew to be compatible.  Even the largest boats shrink as time progresses,
>and one must be matched according to personality and personal preference.
>By the time we'd decided on the boat we wanted, we felt confident that Yann
>had filtered out what might not make a good match and that our choice was a
>good one for us.  It was.
>For anyone contemplating a sailing vacation among the Greek Islands or
>the Turkish Coast -- or, as in our case, both -- we highly recommend
>contacting Yann at "Passion."  The boat we chartered may not suit
>needs -- it was compact and efficient; no go-fast "toys" here.  But, by
>clearly and honestly discussing preferences, Yann is able to match
>client to boat and crew that will provide what is needed -- and without its
>costing a small fortune -- for a unique and unforgettable vacation.
>Yann Mauguiere, "Passion"  -- 
> Web site: 
www.sail.aegeanpassion.com .

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