Catherine Eade tells the story of her sailing holiday in the Greek Islands...
"For all-weather sailors with grit and determination there are a range of UK based sailing companies offering anything from a weekend learning how to sail a Mirror dinghy to a week cruising around the coast on a tall sailing ship. But for a 'soft' entry into sailing, you can't beat joining a flotilla to sail around the Greek islands in the sunshine.
After a thorough induction where we learnt all the different parts of the boat, including which ropes were for which sails, and got a safety briefing - including how to use the ship's radio in an emergency - we cast off, leaving Gouvia for the small port of Petrides, on the southernmost tip of Corfu.
Our pattern for the week is idyllic: After an early breakfast of fresh fruit and Greek yoghurt with honey we attend a briefing about the day ahead and then sail to a succession of beautiful bays for swimming, snorkeling or just relaxing on board. As well as patiently giving us all lessons in sailing, Josh teaches the children how to use the dinghy's outboard motor safely and they enjoy the independence of zooming to shore to explore beaches and caves. Being in charge of a powerful engine in such a safe environment is a great opportunity for my teenagers to experience freedom and responsibility at the same time.
Each evening we moor at a different port and have free time to explore the nearest village or beach before a communal evening meal taken in friendly local restaurants with the other families in the flotilla. This allows everyone to mingle and my three teens soon strike up friendships with children of their own age."