I’m really not sure. We plan to depart first thing tomorrow and the overall goal is to reach Barcelona by Sept 15th.
Short term our first goal is Taurmina, Sicily which is just before the entrance to the Straits of Messina. If the current is favorable we will hopefully continue without stopping and make our first stop in Palermo, or even Trapani on the West side of Sicily.
The weather looks very light so we should be set up for a nice trip. We will be burning some diesel!
Spot will be up and running so you can check our progress by visiting the “current position” link in the header of this blog.
Yes, this is not a place that was ever on my list.
But, the EU has some strange tax rules and one of them is that “non-EU” boats can only visit for 18 months before the authorities want to charge you a 24% import duty. That’s not really strange, what is strange is you just need to take your boat out of the EU for an undefined period of time and then you can turn around re-enter the EU and the boat has a new 18 month grace period!! I’ve heard that time can be a few hours. We are playing it safe and staying for 48 hours.
When I figured out that Albania is only 8 miles from Corfu, Greece and is well set up to work through this process it became a no brainier.
If only it was that easy for non-EU visitors. People only get to visit for 90 days out of a rolling 180 day period. So there is no quick and easy way to reset our 90 day clocks.
Who could have guessed back in 2002 when we first met these two New Zealanders in Musket Cove, Fiji that the four of us would spend time cruising in Greece together in 2015 & 2016??
It was great to get back to the boat and find friends immediately. We spent about a week and a half bouncing from harbor to harbor. Good times!!
We are checked out of Greece and the EU with a grace period of 7 days for me and 10 for Jim. The Immigration officer here in Prevesa actually counted the days we had been in the EU! (You can have 90 days out of a rolling 180). Scoff laws beware! Headed to Albania for a few days to get out of the Shegin zone and potential VAT taxes.
No photo for this one because it all happened so fast….
We are hunkered down in Northenmost Greece, waiting for some weather to blow through tomorrow. So what does Jim do when there’s 20 knots of wind in the Bay? Jim goes kiting off the back of the boat!
We are way in the back of the mooring field. No one behind us. A mile away from the channel. Jim gets up and goes kiting for about 5 minutes, when the Coast Guard boat swoops down on us with sirens wailing and two very pissed off Coasties telling him to let go of the kite and get in their boat. He was right behind Morpheus when this all took place. Jim talked them into letting him hook the kite to the boat, grab his papers and shoes, into the Coast Guard boat he jumps and he’s gone.
Now what? I’m alone, anchored off on the boat, and they have taken Jim to God knows where. I watch the CG boat to make sure I know which Marina they are going to, then clean up all the lines and kite gear, grab the phones, wallets, and a book, and off I go in the dingy to track down my husband. This could take all night….
As I’m tying up the dingy to the docks, I look down the pier, and here comes Jim. He’d already gotten himself out of jail. The Coast Guard said they had received at least 10 calls from boats in the anchorage about Jim kiting. Apparently you are not allowed to kiteboard in the anchorage or in the shipping lane. Jim explained that he wasn’t in the anchorage and didn’t cross into the shipping lane…. As it turned out, the CG guys were very nice and just explained that there was no kiting here, at all. When Jim walked in all wet, the guys in the office just laughed and let him go.
The anchorage will be a lot emptier once we figure out who made those calls….
We are currently sailing between several of the Greek Ionian Islands. They are beautiful and seem to all have too many anchorages to count. It’s really difficult to believe that we will be leaving them in just about a week.
We are enjoying our reunion with Paul and Amanda Mitchell whom we met in Fiji in 2002. Paul and Amanda live in New Zealand and we’ve spent time with them there as well as here in Greece last year. We always have a great time together. This cruising world is a small one!! It will be difficult to leave them next week…
However; we’ve planned to meet our friends Torben and Judy Bentsen in Barcelona mid September for well over six months. We both left the Richmond Yacht Club within months of one another in 2010, and we have run into them in both Mexico and the Caribbean. Barcelona is next!!
PLUS, it’s time for the La Merce Festival!!!
So, in about one week, Deb and I will set off on what will be a bit more than a 1,000nm journey leaving Greece behind and heading towards a big party and some friends in Barcelona. These trips never turn out the way you think, but here are our initial thoughts regarding our stops along the way.
All of this is of course weather dependent. So, stand by and compare this to reality as we move forward!!