After emailing several different companies in the Paphos area about self-drive boat hire – I chose Latchi Watersports because they got back to me straight away.
And, they were so friendly, even over email. The payment process was so quick and easy, and I received confirmation and receipt straight away. The main reason we decided on a self-drive boat hire was the freedom that it allowed us. Being alone in our own happy bubble, just our family and able to spend the whole day exploring the Akamas national park.
On the day, we arrived 30 minutes early, as requested. We checked in at their office. We had to bring a copy of our car driving licence and my husband’s credit card, just in case of accidental damage. It was not dissimilar to hiring a car in that way.
We headed out on to the decking area. We received a map and had a briefing regarding the coastline from a lovely young woman called Megan.
It is obvious the staff here know their stuff. Megan could tell us about all the best spots to anchor up and the places to not go near (due to rocks, etc.). She described the marine life that we may see and shared her favourite spots for snorkelling. Latchi Watersports include snorkel equipment on all the boats, so we didn’t even have to bring our own.
Megan completed the briefing and safety talk, and loaded up a cool box with ice, handed us our life jackets, one each and took us down to our self-drive boat!
This is where the fun really starts!
The people who take you through all aspects of the self-drive boats make it all so much fun! We had a young person called Sam teach us everything we needed to know and boy, does he know a lot about boats!
They start at the stern (some boating terms we learnt on the day!) and cover every aspect right up to the bow of the boat! Sam showed us the propeller and explained how we needed to make sure it was always in the water when the engine was on and out of the water when we were anchored.
Sam explained the process of anchoring and even stopped outside the harbour to demonstrate to us, as we were a bit unsure. Being boating novices, you never can be too careful!
Then we were off! Whizzing along the coastline in our Marinello 26. Trumpy Mcfartface was our self-drive boat for the day and boy were we going to make the most of it!
We spotted some turtles by St. Georges Island and slowed down to watch them descend back to the depths then we continued to the Blue Lagoon!
The Blue Lagoon really is everything they say it is. Such a famous place to visit and now we know why. The water is crystal clear and flat calm. It is an oasis of beauty. We snorkelled around the island, swam into the underwater caverns and floated around the reef.
Once all the big tour boats came, the Blue Lagoon became crowded. Since we knew that this is the only place they go to and we had already had our fill, we drifted along the coastline to Manolis Bay.
Again, clear and calm water awaited. Once we had anchored, we were back in the water exploring the caves! There was a sizeable number of fish to follow, which the kids loved, and they could even climb up on to the rocks and do some cliff jumping! It was so much fun and so quiet! We were in our element. Our own private bay!
We spent the last part of our day right at the end of the peninsular! We felt like we had travelled to the end of the world!
The beach was so sandy and gorgeous! The Latchi Watersports safety boat had been to check on us a few times during the day. Thankfully we had not needed any assistance. The boys in the safety boat were more than happy to help us, anchor, closer to the beach so that we could take our sandwiches onto land without getting them soggy!
We had our picnic on the beach, played in the sand with the kids and made castles! Once we had packed up all our belongings, we jumped back on board and made our way back to the harbour under full-power.
We used the VHF to radio the Latchi Watersports to let them know we were ready for collection outside the harbour. And, we didn’t have long to wait. We headed up to the facilities and showered while we waited for our fuel!
The whole day, from start to finish, was perfect! I wouldn’t and will not go anywhere else for self-drive boat hire! Tom and his team are second to none, and we will be back again next year for more boating fun. You can read more about Latchi Watersports on their Facebook Pages.
…this is a guest blog written by Gloria.
For more information on everything that we offer at Latchi Watersports Centre please, email [email protected] or call +357 26 322 095.