On Friday when we arrived we asked the Customs people if they were going to be open on Sunday so we could check out. “No Problem, open 8 O’clock”
When they found out that we were staying on anchor they customs guy said but you need 3 copies of this form and if you are not a the marina it’s a 60 euro exit tax. And the police weren’t there yet. “But I’ll tell the police you are at the marina and you give him a little gift! No tax.” Baksheesh is alive in well in Montenegro!
We were gone from Montenegro. Rick had been researching Albania and there are mixed reviews. Some cruisers say that it is very nice, people are friendly, others are less than happy, then there is the issue of MINE FIELDS! The mines are supposed to be disabled but you aren’t allowed to anchor in the country. So it would be marina’s only. If you can’t anchor maybe those mine fields aren’t quite so cleared. So we decide to do an overnighter and bypass Albania. During the night we came across a couple of places where there were areas marked on the charts that said “Dangerous area due to mines and not to cross except in designated areas. There were boats inside of us (we were skirting the outside of the mine field) that didn’t have any problems. We were chickens and stayed well outside the field. There was a fair amount of shipping and cruise ships in the area. Rick installed the new broadband radar which works really very well, I was quite impressed compared to my old technology radar. Very clear, very little clutter and you can see well close in to the boat. The other really nice toy was an AIS receiver so he gets continuous reports on his nav display of all the commercial shipping and larger pleasure craft, he also has a Class B transponder, which tells everyone with a receiver where he is, his speed and course. The nav software also automatically calculates the closest point of approach, and when. So last night when we saw a ship looking right at us 7 miles away we could check the AIS CPA calculated by the nav software we could see that we were safe and the ship would pass safely by 60 feet away. 60 Feet, Ok when he was 2.5 miles away I changed course 10 degrees and increased that 60 by quite a bit before turning back on course.
We were doing 4 hours on and four off with bonnie and I on one shift and Rick and Tsipy on another. It took us almost a full 24 hours to make the trip. Rick arrived a little early for his 8 am shift and told us to go to bed so I crashed in the main salon and awoke when the engine’s dropped in RPM when he slowed to come into the marina at Gouvia, just north of Corfu. We are allowed to enter here and then go to the New Port for customs and immigration. When it was all done Rick was pleasantly surprised the four of us, with the boat have a cruising permit for Greece for 6 months was about 45 euro. The service was friendly and the people were efficient. Compared to Montenegro where it cost over 380 euro for a ONE WEEK cruising permit, 45 euro for 6 months sounds pretty good, and I’m not sure that covered the baksheesh to get out.
We went from the customs dock to the old fortress at Corfu. Bonnie and I walked around while Rick and Tsipy got a Beer and internet service “Free wifi”. We walked up to the light house and it was a spectacular view. It was a very hot and very vertical walk to the light house but we made it and took a few (ok maybe not a few) pictures, before joining them for a beer and a bottle of water. The bill was 14 euro, maybe not so free wifi. We were thinking that Greece was going to be on the expensive side but on the way to the bus station we stopped for lunch at a local eatery and got lunch and two waters for 5.20 euro, and they had free wifi. The bus cost us 2 euro each and brought us back to the end of the road going to the marina. There is a AB grocery store across the street from the intersection to the marina so Rick left us to go to the port authority and Bonnie and I went to the grocery store with Tsipy. We got a lot of vegetables, 2 six packs of beer for a little over 32 euro, neither bonnie or I though that was a bad deal. Tsipy is a vegetarian and does all the cooking. She cooks meat for the rest of us.
We have a bad stretch of wind forecast until Saturday so it looks like we may be staying in Corfu for a while.