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Dasha Tinkova On Life Onboard Luxury Explorer La Datcha

Super Yachts Charters - Thu, 12/03/2020 - 11:30
Dasha Tinkova On Life Onboard Luxury Explorer La Datcha When the 77m Damen explorer yacht La Datcha was delivered in September this year, the industry marvelled at news of her radical charter itinerary. Pushing the boundaries of explorer yachting to unprecedented heights, guests onboard La Datcha will be coral reef diving in the Seychelles one month and heliskiing in South Kamchatka the next. We spoke with Dasha Tinkova, Marketing Director of the Tinkoff Collection and daughter of La Datcha's new Owner Oleg Tinkov, to gain exclusive insight into what guests can expect from a stay onboard this 77m luxury explorer yacht.

‘The Tinkoff Collection started about six years ago,’ Dasha tells us. The venture, which initially began with the family building a ski chalet in Val Thorens, has grown with the addition of a bespoke luxury rental in each of the family’s favourite destinations - including a Mexican villa in Cabo San Lucas and a Tuscan palazzo in Forte dei Marmi.

‘As a family we’re very active, we love to do extreme sports. We found that often when we went on holiday somewhere remote, with extreme sports and activities on offer, the accommodation was a little bit lacking. The perfect example is the place in Astrakhan in Russia.’

Each of the Tinkoff Collection homes sleeps between 12 to 16 people comfortably, complete with spa, pool and gym facilities. The idea, Dasha explains, is for holiday goers to enjoy the very best in comfort and privacy afforded by renting a home instead of a hotel. Now with the addition of the luxury explorer boat, this philosophy has been given new life. 

‘Normally when you go to places like Kamchatka, where it’s not catered for any kind of luxury, you stay in a tiny cabin in the middle of the woods with no WiFi or anything. So having the boat and being able to go out, have a crazy day of heliskiing then come back and stay in the height of luxury, that’s a really great thing.’ 

La Datcha is currently completing her safety video in Turkey, Dasha tells us, but the Tinkov family will be the first to stay onboard overnight in an upcoming trip to the Seychelles. 

We asked Dasha how La Datcha compares to previous luxury explorer yachting experiences she and her family have enjoyed. ‘Last winter we went to Greenland on an explorer, which was amazing,’ Dasha says. ‘However, the viewing platform on that boat was outside, so if we wanted to go out and see the polar bears it was absolutely freezing. We wanted to make sure ours on La Datcha was inside, with comfortable seating and all the rest.’

‘I would also say the standard on La Datcha is the best of the best. Every room has a TV, sometimes even two and a third in the bathroom. Her entertainment systems are Bang & Olufsen, her furnishings are all Baxter and Promemoria which is the world’s most expensive furniture.’

With such a high cost venture of course comes a great emotional investment. Oleg Tinkov was ‘very hands on’ even down to the most intricate detail on La Datcha, Dasha explains. ‘My dad was very particular even down to the duvet covers. We treat our properties the same; they’re very personal projects and we spend a lot of time in them, so we want to make sure it’s everything we love to the highest standards.’ 

And the great care paid to the project has certainly paid off. La Datcha has already generated a huge amount of charter interest, particularly to the island of Madagascar where very few boats can access and luxury accommodation is virtually nonexistent. 

‘Because it takes so long to get there, very few yachts will go for a week’s charter,’ Dasha goes on, pointing to the benefits of La Datcha’s unique business model. ‘But with La Datcha, you book the week you want based on the destination, so you have to adapt to the itinerary of the boat.’  

There is much room for flexibility within those destinations though. With two helicopters, a submarine, a large rescue boat and four jet skis, guests onboard La Datcha will never be wanting for toys on which to explore the local area. 

We were interested to know whether La Datcha’s 25 crew members had been specially trained to prepare them for her wild itinerary. Dasha relayed a message sent to the family from the boat’s captain:
‘The crew onboard La Datcha have been handpicked from a number of specialist programs… We are all trained professionals who have dedicated our careers to this industry however in addition to what would be seen on a normal white yacht, the deck officers are polar code trained and certified to navigate in both the South and North Pole region, with particular reference to ice navigation.’

La Datcha will also be staffed by two diving instructors trained to operate ‘The Triton’ (a three-man submarine), a paramedic and a nurse, as well as coming equipped with its own ICD Compressing Chamber in case of any diving emergencies. 

‘If you are in somewhere like Kamchatka or Madagascar, getting to the closest hospital might sometimes take hours, so it was very important to have all the necessities onboard.’

The crew experience plays an extremely large role, even on a charter as unique as La Datcha’s. ‘We generally stay onboard to eat. There are so many zones to eat, and the crew will lay each table differently every evening, so it feels like you’re going to a new restaurant every night.’ 

Dasha goes on, ‘When you’re out in these destinations, local fishermen will often come up and sell the catch of the day. So you want to make sure the chef knows how to cook that, what it’s best paired with, etc. Our chefs are amazing at that.’

There is much to be said for the combination of luxury accommodation with high-octane destinations, but a truly unforgettable charter experience is found in the details. With this in mind, the latest addition to the Tinkoff Collection is sure to prove a resounding success.

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RYA WindFoiling First Flights course: Learn to windfoil in Dorset

Windsurfing - Tue, 12/01/2020 - 16:26

Windsurfing, as a sport, never ceases to amaze. Just when there’s a belief that progression in development has plateaued, along comes a new manoeuvre, a more ridiculous wave ridden or a legendary event, witnessing competitors charging with reckless abandon. As with all watersports, hydrofoiling has gripped windsurfing completely, and what is more it is easy …

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Burgess Presents ‘Most Luxurious Sale Ever’

Super Yachts Charters - Tue, 12/01/2020 - 00:00
Burgess Presents ‘Most Luxurious Sale Ever’ Burgess has launched the superyacht industry’s answer to a winter sale, and it is quite the temptation for those looking to their next dream-like escape. A far cry from the shopping mall warzones of Black Friday, Burgess is offering the “Most Luxurious Sale Ever” with a discount of 25% on a selection of high-quality charter yachts.

The offer applies for charters booked from 1 December 2020 to 31 March 2021, and there are some renowned superyachts included in the sale, available in some of the world’s best luxury destinations.

Caribbean

The Caribbean is the quintessential superyacht destination for the winter season, and some of the gems of the Burgess fleet are available in the region for the discounted rate. Among those is 73m Lurssen superyacht Titania and 65m Eternity.

Designed to offer her guests a magnificent indoor-outdoor lifestyle, Titania is an ideal superyacht for exploring the picturesque beaches and thrilling reefs of the Caribbean. Fresh from a recent refit, Titania boasts state-of-the-art amenities and plenty of entertainment spaces to make the most of your time onboard and at sea.

Eternity has similarly undergone an extensive refit to ensure that she remains at the pinnacle of luxury superyacht standards, with spacious decks providing the perfect setting for relaxing days under the sun. This modern and stylish superyacht comes with an array of exciting features, from a large sun deck to a tempting arsenal of water toys.

Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is a fantastic destination for superyacht charters which fuse secluded island escapes with action-packed adventures. Available as part of the Burgess charter sales in this region are 70.5m Turquoise superyacht Talisman C and 60m Slipstream.

Talisman C is an elite charter superyacht which was designed with a focus on providing a platform for family fun on the water. With luxurious accommodation for up to 12 guests overnight in 6 cabins, Talisman C is well suited to family parties, with your every need attended to by 19 expert crew. Whether popping champagne in the huge sun deck jacuzzi, lounging on the amazing beach club or enjoying movie nights in the comfortable lounge area, Talisman C is guaranteed to keep you entertained while exploring the Indian Ocean.

Multi-award-winning superyacht Slipstream is another exciting proposition for a winter charter in the Indian Ocean. While she is famed for her striking black hull and silver superstructure, Slipstream’s spectacular living and entertainment areas make her a complete charter yacht. Her vast sun deck is the centre of social activity onboard, with giant sun pads forward and aft, jacuzzi, glass-topped bar and outdoor cinema.

Around the World

In the South Pacific gem of French Polynesia, Burgess is listing explorer yacht Latitude for the discounted charter price. Latitude completed a two-year total refurbishment in June 2020, so guests will now benefit from brand new amenities and water toys. Charters onboard Latitude are about complete and utter indulgence, while a private Meditation Deck will enhance your experience with a Masseuse and Yoga instructor included in the crew.

For an alternative and unique superyacht charter experience, 37.8m Picchiotti Stella Maris is available in the Galapagos Islands. With expert naturalist guides leading your expedition, charters in the Galapagos will expose you to a rare natural environment and enthralling wildlife encounters. With a perfect blend of outdoor and indoor living spaces, Stella Maris has long been a favourite charter yacht for this awe-inspiring region of the world.

Titania Burgess Winter Charter Sale Titania Burgess Winter Charter Sale Talisman C Burgess Winter Charter Sale Talisman C Burgess Winter Charter Sale Slipstream Burgess Winter Charter Sale Slipstream Burgess Winter Charter Sale Stella Maris Burgess Winter Charter Sale Stella Maris Burgess Winter Charter Sale

1 day Dorset RYA advanced windsurfing course in Portland Harbour

Windsurfing - Thu, 11/26/2020 - 21:40

The 1 day Dorset RYA advanced windsurfing course in Portland Harbour is designed to help you master dynamic transitions, advanced planing techniques, the waterstart and the infamous planing carve gybe. Each skill is broken down and simplified, backed up with the relevant theory. Waterstarting, carve gybing and other advanced skills such as advanced carving and …

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Beginner 2 day RYA Start Windsurf course in Portland Harbour, UK

Windsurfing - Thu, 11/26/2020 - 20:50

The RYA accredited course will provide all the skills and knowledge to be able to windsurf independently and safely. There will be plenty of time and tuition on the water to hone your progression, but in addition, there will be a wealth of knowledge and understanding, so that you can step confidently into the windsurfing …

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2 day Portland Harbour RYA intermediate windsurf course in Dorset

Windsurfing - Thu, 11/26/2020 - 20:44

In the 2 day Portland Harbour RYA intermediate windsurf course in Dorset, we introduce you to the RYA’s Fastforwad coaching technique. With the goal of helping you fine tune basic skills and make your windsurfing faster and more fluid. New techniques such as the beachstart, faster tacks, use of the harness and getting in the …

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2 hour or 1 day Dorset windsurfing taster session in Portland, UK

Windsurfing - Thu, 11/26/2020 - 08:48

Our 2 hour or 1 day Dorset windsurfing taster session in Portland, UK is the perfect session for the newcomer to the sport. With a little time spent on the land-based simulator, the aim of the session is to get you out on the water and windsurfing across the wind, turning around to return to …

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The Official Test Centre Ltd

Windsurfing - Wed, 11/25/2020 - 20:20

The OTC (Official Test Centre) is a watersports centre located right on the water’s edge, within the grounds of the National Sailing Academy on Portland, Dorset. Catering for windsurfing, kitesurfing, wing-foiling and stand up paddling (SUP), we are also the UK’s first Fliteschool, making the new exhilarating sport of Fliteboard e-foiling accessible for all. Accessible …

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Kiteboarding Lessons

Windsurfing - Tue, 11/24/2020 - 20:36

Sharm el Sheikh is famous touristic place due the sandy beaches, clear water, stunning coral reef and special relaxing atmosphere. Sharm fenced by two National Parks, from one side by Ras Mohammed and from another side by Nabq. The only one place in Sharm where wind blows constantly during the season is Nabq Bay that …

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Charter Spotlight on 68m Ragnar With Burgess

Super Yachts Charters - Thu, 11/19/2020 - 00:00
Charter Spotlight on 68m Ragnar With Burgess Raw power meets sophisticated elegance onboard 68.2m Ragnar. A remarkable conversion project launched in 2020 by Icon Yachts, Ragnar is a breath-taking Arctic explorer with ice-breaker capabilities and world-class levels of luxury. Available for charter through Burgess, Ragnar is a superyacht primed for thrilling expeditions to the most remote areas of the world.

With her name deriving from the King of the Vikings, Ragnar is the ultimate explorer. Sananborg, a Dutch-built multi-purpose support vessel, provided the platform upon which Icon Yachts constructed this formidable explorer superyacht.

Whether marauding through ice fields and glaciers or venturing to secluded islands in the remote regions, Ragnar guarantees exquisite luxury and incredible amenities to ensure that guests make the most of their adventure.

Ragnar’s menacing exterior profile and sumptuous interiors have been designed by renowned British studio RWD, affording the yacht a unique character and incredible onboard liveability. The unique living and dining areas embody the Viking spirit of Ragnar, letting guests slip into a fantasy as they cruise the world in luxurious comfort. 

The 68.2m superyacht comfortably accommodates up to 12 guests in eight opulent and flexible cabins. The beautiful suites comprise of two elevated B deck master suites, four main deck doubles, a twin suite for staff and an office that can convert into another twin suite. After long days spent immersed in the natural wonders of the world, Ragnar provides an indulgent and relaxing environment to return to.

The phenomenal luxury amenities onboard Ragnar will have guests well pampered during their charter. A comprehensive spa centre with massage room, sauna, steam room and foot spa adds a wellness element to the charter experience, with a fully equipped gym also found on the yacht.

A top deck jacuzzi and C deck pool forward of the helipad allow guests to enjoy activities while soaking up the sun and their surroundings. An al-fresco dining experience is offered on the pool deck, perfect for family meals under the stars followed by drinks in the B deck observation lounge.

This ice-class explorer is destined for adventure, with a range of 6,000nm and zero speed stabilisers for peaceful nights anywhere in the world. To make things even better for her guests, Ragnar boasts a large arsenal of water toys and supporting vehicles which put you in the heart of the action. This includes an Airbus EC145 helicopter for heliskiing and a three-passenger submarine to explore the depths, meaning this superyacht can truly take you to places not seen before. Her other toys include four jetskis, four snowmobiles, 4 quadbikes.

As explorer yachts become more sought after by a clientele demanding expeditions that test the limits of possibility, Ragnar is a unique opportunity on the charter market. To find more about exhilarating escapades onboard this magnificent superyacht, enquire with Burgess.

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Shep (Fred) Sheppard

Booker Gliding - Sun, 11/15/2020 - 21:43
We are saddened to announce that Shep (Fred) Sheppard took his last breath on Sunday 8th November with his family by his side. He had a good, long and adventurous life, much of it spent at Booker. Because of Covid there will be a small family congregation for his committal. At a later date, yet to be determined, the family will have a memorial service or gathering to celebrate his great life.

Christmas Eve 2007 - Shep with some model flying members - John Tournier, Mike Collett, Steve Brown, John Herman


Shep derigging after a flight in February 2008

Shep out-running a cu-nim in July 2008


Damen Yachting's 77m SeaXPlorer La Datcha Delivered

Super Yachts Charters - Tue, 11/10/2020 - 15:30
Damen Yachting's 77m SeaXPlorer La Datcha Delivered The highly anticipated 77m SeaXplorer La Datcha has departed the Damen Yachting shipyard in the Netherlands. Her maiden voyage marks the beginning of her life as a charter vessel with a difference, embarking on an adventurous itinerary set to impress the most daring and discerning of charter guests.

The explorer yacht forms part of the La Datcha Tinkoff Collection, assembled by Russian entrepreneur and founder of Tinkoff Bank Oleg Tinkov. From heli-skiing in Kamchatka to diving along the coast of Papua New Guinea, Damen Yachting have released that La Datcha’s go-anywhere itinerary form part of the yacht’s unique appeal as ‘the first purpose built expedition yacht with a fixed itinerary and commercial goal.’

Overseen by Fraser Yachts and Owner’s Representative Stefano Feltrin, Chief Executive Officer of La Datcha - Tinkoff Collection, the finalisation of La Datcha’s build marked a momentous occasion for all parties involved. 

Stefano commented, ‘The owner’s team is thrilled to take delivery of LA DATCHA and start her journey which commenced on the drawing board years ago and will continue in the remote and beautiful places on Earth. We are thankful to the whole Damen Yachting family for all these months working together in very challenging times. The great end result represented the LA DATCHA yacht has been achieved thanks to the relentless efforts of many talented people that joined forces to make this happen. We felt at home in The Netherlands and at Damen Yachting’s shipyard and are very proud and excited to sail today on such a magnificent yacht.’

The Owner’s vision for La Datcha has always been very succinct, Damen Yachting added - for charter guests to ‘set out on the journey of a lifetime to places others can’t reach — exclusive adventures to share with friends and family in total comfort, style and safety’. The result is the ultimate harmony of rugged explorer capabilities with luxurious comfort and style.

The largest of Damen Yachting’s successful SeaXPlorer range, there is no doubt that La Datcha’s adventures will transform yacht charter as we know it. Managing Director of Damen Yachting Rose Damen explained the significance of the delivery for the Dutch yard: 
‘It is always a very proud moment for everyone who has been involved in the build when a yacht departs our yard. The departure of LA DATCHA is certainly no exception and has definitely been highly anticipated. The interest in her has been phenomenal. She’s a real head-turner with a unique proposition and is not afraid to stand out from the crowd.’

Rose Damen also commented on the significance of La Datcha’s smooth delivery coming at the end of a particularly challenging year. ’In a year that has challenged us all with COVID, new working measures and travel restrictions, it is incredible to see LA DATCHA head off on the adventures she was built to achieve. That is down to the dedication of everyone involved in this project from our own teams at our yards, to our co-makers and the Owner’s teams. We are looking forward to following her adventures as she heads off to explore the world’s far-reaching destinations.’

Managed by Edmiston brokerage, guests onboard La Datcha can expect a totally unique take on charter as they know it. With a range and autonomy geared at taking on previously impossible adventures and environments, La Datcha will be able to go where very few yachts have travelled. In contrast to the oftentimes wild and remote conditions she will be exploring in, guests will be able to enjoy La Datcha’s sumptuous interiors crafted by the Tinkoff Collection’s interior designer Vasiliy Sphrits, making for a truly unique and unparalleled experience.

Damen Yachting's 77m SeaXPlorer La Datcha Delivered Damen Yachting's 77m SeaXPlorer La Datcha Delivered Damen Yachting's 77m SeaXPlorer La Datcha Delivered Damen Yachting's 77m SeaXPlorer La Datcha Delivered Damen Yachting's 77m SeaXPlorer La Datcha Delivered Damen Yachting's 77m SeaXPlorer La Datcha Delivered Damen Yachting's 77m SeaXPlorer La Datcha Delivered Damen Yachting's 77m SeaXPlorer La Datcha Delivered Damen Yachting's 77m SeaXPlorer La Datcha Delivered Damen Yachting's 77m SeaXPlorer La Datcha Delivered

Luxury Marina Villages of the East Mediterranean

Super Yachts Charters - Mon, 11/09/2020 - 00:00
Luxury Marina Villages of the East Mediterranean The turquoise coastline of the East Mediterranean has an enduring year-round appeal. Its picture-perfect coastline is brimming with white sand beaches, kaleidoscopic coastal towns and a treasure trove of hidden coves and beaches, while enjoying much more favourable climates year-round than its Western counterpart. We put together a tour of the East Mediterranean in luxury superyacht marina villages, including all of the must-see berthing spots along this glamorous cruising route.

Mandalina Marina - Croatia  
The romance, charm and breathtaking beauty of Croatia is no secret. Year after year travellers flock to the old towns of Split and Dubrovnik, to bask in the waterfalls of the Krka national park and discover the Dalmation coast. Yet for a relatively small country, Croatia does retain a mass of undiscovered coastline and hidden treasures off the beaten path. Mandalina Marina in Šibenik is just one such gateway; Croatia’s only marina designed for superyachts and recognised by the prestigious Yacht Harbour Association of London, the marina is impeccably managed by D-Marin and acclaimed as ‘one of the safest berthing places in the Adriatic’. Well connected on St Anthony’s Channel and in close proximity to Split, Zadar and Krka National Park, Šibenik is itself a quaint coastal town abrim with medieval architecture and boasting two UNESCO world heritage sites. The marina offers a choice of 440 berths for superyachts up to 70m in length, a boatyard and catamaran friendly berthing. 

Porto Montenegro - Montenegro
Montenegro is a superyacht haven whose appeal and reputation far outweighs her modest size. With all of Croatia’s beauty and none of her crowds, Montenegro is recognisable from her turquoise seas and rugged mountains, verdant forestry and medieval villages, all untouched by the polluting effect of tourism. And there is no better place to berth while enjoying this jewel of the Mediterranean than Porto Montenegro - nestled in the UNESCO protected Bay of Kotor, Porto Montenegro is one of the most luxurious and developed superyacht marinas in the world. On top of a 450-berth luxury yacht marina accommodating vessels over 100m, Porto Montenegro also boasts a glamorous yacht club, boutique shopping, private residences and exclusive events held throughout the year. This state-of-the-art marina has it all - a full range of services, onsite brokers and agents, and a team of staff committed to making your stay memorable - making Porto Montenegro an essential stop-off on your Adriatic cruise. 

D-MARIN Didim Marina - Turkey 
Heading east to Turkey, there is a lifetime of glamorous destinations and breathtaking sites to discover. This large, transcontinental country is utterly steeped in ancient history, and as a gateway between Europe and the Middle East is considered a colourful melting pot of cultures and influences. Didim Marina is an ideal first stopping point - a short sail across the Aegean Sea from Athens, the town of Didim is home to crumbling ancient temple ruins, glamorous resorts and esteemed Turkish eateries set alongside a glittering coastline. And Didim Marina, managed to meticulous standards by D-Marin, is a one-stop superyacht base for Aegean adventure. With an impressive 90 superyacht berths of 576 berthing capacity, Didim Marina is well equipped with a heliport, good transportation links and an array of restaurants and beach clubs in its Didim Yacht Club. Didim Marina is an obvious choice to berth and explore the nearby ruins of the Temple of Apollo, bathe in the mythical Bafa Lake or simply indulge in some world-famous local cuisine. 

D-MARIN Turgutreis Marina - Turkey
Sail further down the Bodrum peninsula and you will arrive at Turgutreis; a breathtaking town of pearly white architecture set against a backdrop of rugged mountains and swaying palms. D-Marin’s elegant flagship Turgutreis marina is located here; just 20km from sunny Bodrum, Turgutreis comes superyacht ready with an award-winning marina village, heliport and 550 berths. Relax in the marina’s prestigious yacht club or take a day trip out to nearby island delights of Karaada’s healing mineral springs or windsurfing hotspots of Kadikalesi and Akyarlar. With an enchanting mythical history, nearby ruins and tantalisingly flavourful local cuisine, Turgutreis marina is ready to welcome yachting guests for an adventure you are unlikely to forget.

D-MARIN Göcek Marina - Turkey
Turkey’s irresistible Gulf of Göcek is a yachting haven, and Göcek Marina is ready to welcome yachts of all shapes and sizes to enjoy this bountiful region. Made up of hidden coves and bays, turquoise waters and lagoons and undiscovered islands, D-Marin Göcek is the perfect place to berth and discover Turkey’s mythical side. Known as the Turquoise Coast for its outstanding beauty, Göcek is a haven for smooth sandy beaches and hundreds of nearby islands for day trips to remember. The well serviced marina boasts a badge of D-Marin approval, berths for superyachts up to 70m and its own boatyard and travel lift. Dock and discover the nearby Butterfly Valley, home to hundreds of butterfly species and rugged clifftops, or take a trip to the mythical ruins of Telmessos. Meanwhile, Göcek Marina has a remarkable array of sports, wellness and shopping facilities, as well as a dizzying choice of fine dining options. 

Limassol Marina - Cyprus
Last but far from least we arrive at the enticing Cypriot coastline, where the state-of-the-art Limassol Marina awaits yachts and luxury yachts up to 110m for an indulgent experience at sea. This outstanding yachting haven has collected an array of industry accolades recognising its excellence for superyacht services and facilities, and it is not difficult to see why. Blending sophisticated private residences with a full-service marina and high end shopping and dining options, Limassol Marina leaves the discerning traveller wanting for nothing. Stroll along Limassol Marina’s elegant promenade and dip into an array of award-winning eateries and beach bars, or relax at the marina’s own spa and fitness club. Limassol Marina is also extremely well connected to the attractions of the East Mediterranean, both in the vibrant Limassol city itself and further afield. Soak in the warm and welcoming atmosphere of Limassol, the boutique shopping and flavourful Cypriot cuisine, or venture out into the wineries and orchards of picturesque Cyprus. Wherever you choose to discover, Limassol Marina is sure to be an unforgettable end to your East Mediterranean adventure. 

Couple Lifestyle Mandalina Marina Mandalina Marina Mandalina Marina Porto Montenegro Yacht Club Porto Montenegro Porto Montenegro Didim Marina Didim Marina Didim Marina Turgutreis Marina Turgutreis Marina Turgutreis Marina Gocek Marina Gocek Marina Gocek Marina Limassol Marina Limassol Marina Limassol Marina

Guide to windsurfing in California: 11 best Cali windsurf spots

Windsurfing - Thu, 11/05/2020 - 13:35

In this guide to windsurfing in California we look at where, how and why to visit the Golden State for a windsurf holiday. You are in for a great trip, regardless of whether you visit a single destination such as Davenport Beach or explore the 11 best Cali windsurf spots in an RV/campervan. Why go …

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Aboyne expedition round up

Booker Gliding - Thu, 10/29/2020 - 13:05

 Every year Booker goes on an expedition to Aboyne in Aberdeenshire, home to Deeside Gliding Club, and this year was no exception, although it was all a bit different this year, with restaurants closing early and no shared accommodation. However, we made the best of every opportunity to fly, and several members achieved firsts - first solo at Aboyne, first solo at a different airfield, first wave flight. Nils provided an excellent weather briefing every morning with some very pretty graphs from the comfort of his campervan. And when we weren't flying there was plenty of beautiful countryside to explore. We are grateul to Richard and Dave for keeping us in order, and to Dave for his time in fixing some towing damage.

Here is a selection of pics from the trip.

A view towards the east coast past the airfield



Andy Duncan after his first Aboyne solo

Loch Avon and Cairngorm

Morven


316 ready to go

Dave spent a day on repairs

Nils and William enjoying a walk from Crathie


62.5m Apogee Captain John on Chartering After COVID

Super Yachts Charters - Thu, 10/22/2020 - 11:30
62.5m Apogee Captain John on Chartering After COVID The 62.5m Codecasa-built superyacht Apogee has been docked in the Dania Canal in Fort Lauderdale for the past seven months. As her Captain of 17 years John Fleck tells us, this is the first time since being delivered in 2003 that the seminal charter yacht has not enjoyed a European summer season. The luxury yacht and her crew are now looking forward to making up for lost time this New Year charter season in the Bahamas and Caribbean as restrictions are eased. We caught up with Captain John to learn more about the luxurious experience guests can expect from a New Year’s charter onboard Apogee, including the heightened measures of safety the crew will be taking to ensure utter peace of mind at sea.

Apogee is the ultimate charter yacht. Attended by some 17 crew members, Apogee’s onboard experience is defined by rich and decadent interiors, a fully equipped gym and even her own private night club. And the yacht’s crew have not been resting on their laurels these past seven months either, Captain John tells us:

‘The upkeep of the vessel is of the highest interest to the owner. He simply loves and adores the boat - we have actually just had a new 70-inch AK television installed up in the bridge bar while being docked here.’

Despite her high levels of maintenance though (Apogee underwent an extensive refit in 2019), the unique appeal of this superyacht lies in her progressive in-built volume - remarkable even for a yacht of 62.5m, Captain John tells us. ‘She was a little ahead of her time - main aft decks were shortened on Northern European boats, and when we bought the boat we opted out of an enclosed main aft deck. Which left us with a large area which easily accommodates all the guests in comfort under cover in open air.’

With three outdoor decks available to guests, there is certainly no shortage of socialising or entertainment space on this purpose-built charter yacht.

'She boasts four cabins down below, two of which have king sized beds. ‘The volume is also obvious in the lower guest cabins, that it would be very difficult for anybody to go back to a 50m boat after experiencing that feeling of space.’

So difficult in fact that very often, guests will not charter any other boat.

Apogee enjoys a number of repeat clients, which John tells us is testament as much to the appeal of the boat as it is to the success of her crew - a number of whom have served between 10 and 15 years onboard. 

‘Clients have that full experience when chartering Apogee, which is something of an Apogee signature. The owner is very personally concerned about the experience of the guests, he always aims to ensure he has the right crew front of house to take care of them.’  

To illustrate the advantage of Apogee’s extensive and doting crew, Captain John told us of one party of repeat clients with a very particular request. ‘They wanted to swim in a new location every morning at 9am - the challenge being that we had to travel overnight every night. But that wasn’t an issue for us with 17 crew onboard; we can very easily run the boat and provide 24/7 service to our guests.’ 

When Apogee’s Christmas and New Year charter season gets underway, she will return to the Bahamas and Caribbean to catch some winter sun. We asked Captain John about the revamped measures of safety guests could expect during this time. 

‘We’ve had plenty of practice while we’ve been here in Fort Lauderdale! We’ve adopted measures you will see in the commercial industry with safety, health and operations onboard. For example, where our boarding ladder is, we have an upright hand gel dispenser for all guests. Products wise, everything will undergo a strict sanitation process as we bring items onboard.’ 

Apogee’s crew will also be assigning two deputies - another luxury afforded a crew as sizable and experienced as this. ‘That way there will be watchful eyes throughout guiding the safety protocols.’

However, Captain John and his doting crew have been going the extra mile for some time now. John tells us that Apogee’s crew has a forward-looking practice of sending out advance teams to guests’ locations of choice, to ensure standards and requirements are met ahead of the guests’ arrival. 

‘This affords us the added advantage of understanding the safety and wellbeing of our guests - the crew are playing an active part onboard as well as off the boat.

Apogee comes perfectly maintained, well equipped and ready to make up for lost time this New Year charter season. We would like to wish her and her committed crew a very smooth and successful season. 

Apogee is available for charter with TWW Yachts, to book a luxury charter onboard this vessel please contact yachts@twwyachts.com.

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