Final Week in Athens
For what seems to like a never ending run of the movie “Ground Hog Day”, finally this week promises to be the one when we get to set sail!. Finally the lawyer has an appointment with the Ship registry office taking with her the Tax certificate that has taken 6 months to obtain to get our yacht deleted from the Greek registry. Although its just a stamp this usually takes around 3-5 days, our lawyer says she we see if they will produce the deletion certificate immediately.
Then we can go and visit Customs to get our transit log allowing us to travel in Greek waters and pay the cruising tax ironically all so we can leave Greece directly due to them not extending my covid induced expired visa!
The people we have met in the last few months have mostly been wonderful.. cant say the same of the bureaucracy.. its a bloody disaster!
The small blessing of all the delays is that we have been able to really find out all the bits and pieces of living on Polly and iron out a few issues like a blocked holding tank and calcified head hoses.
Also the time has allowed us to make the most of help from our seller Armando who has been wonderful in getting us ready. From driving lessons in the marina to extra halyards, ropes and most of all advice. Hes a brilliant sailor, having competed in three Olympic Games and won many world titles.
Another nasty saga coming to an end is the reunion of our 10 boxes of possessions. These were sent by air soon after Silke and the kids left however flights stopped before they could leave New Zealand . They were then shipped via sea adding another 40+ days to the delay (after Covid travel restrictions lifted on shipping) … so, thats also happening this week. They have arrived in a port nearby and are being unloaded from the container and processed. The shipping of our treasures cost NZ$1700, and now we have had to pay another $500 to the shipping handlers to unpack and store the boxes (for a couple of days!) AND another $500 to the Customs agent (yes its a real industry here!) AND another $200 to deliver to the yacht! Lesson learned there!
Friday , weather permitting looks like the day we will leave for Turkey ( you can follow us here https://freedomfamily.nz/locations/where-are-we-now/ Luckily there are many many islands along the way which means there wont be the need of overnight sails , maybe some early starts which will be great as we take baby steps in our adventure.
Several other yachts with visa issues similar to mine, have already left Greece and have reported that they have escaped overstay fines so we are hopeful it’ll be the same when we clear Immigration from the island Kos