Preparing to exit
25 May 2014
We had been warned about crossed anchor lines and this was an infamous harbour to view the consequences first hand. This apparently is great yachting entertainment as long as you are not the victim, of course. So we joined the spectators and watched as yachts attempting to raise and lower anchors caught other boats anchor lines and had to either dive into the water to untangle chains or use an anchor hook with a trip line to lift chains and get free. After watching this happen to several boats we decided a visit to the chandlery on Monday was warranted to purchase said anchor hook.
Our main admin task in Symi was to exit Greece. Stories around the cockpit-table were that foreign flag boats may need a fair bit of tax, depending on how long they stayed in Greek waters. The rate that people talked about was in the order of €300 per 3-months period. It did not become clear if that would include 'on-land' time or not. For us that could add up to between €600 and €900, a considerable amount of money.
First to the Customs Office who say no we don't do that you need to go to the Port Police. So we went to the port police/coastguard to hear the verdict. A fairly young man was sitting writing line numbers in the margin of a BIG book. He looked up from this complex task with not too much enthusiasm for more complications on a Sunday morning. We explained the reason for our rude interruption of his important work, and with much heavy sighing he gave us a 'new and the only standard' crew-list form to fill in and asked us to come back after three that afternoon as he didn't know what to do and his boss would be in by then. We have seen about 5 or six of those standard crew-list forms, all completely different. We filled it in and went to the 'normal' police on the other side of the harbour to get it stamped, together with our passports. The police station obviously doubled as a refugee camp as there were about 10 people camping out on the balcony, including sleeping bags and other camping gear. There was a small yellow 'barrier' to contain them: about 1.5 m high and with about 2 meters open access on either side. For some reason it did not remind us of the Australian detention centres.
Anyway, the female police officer seemed to know what she was doing and all was done efficiently and with a smile and then informed us that we should now go back to the Port Police. While waiting for the port police boss to arrive, we went and visited Annette and Rein for some more info on Turkey and a cupper.
Sunday 25 May 2014: Preparing to exit
At 4.00 p.m. Francis returned to the Port Police wondering what kind of fee or tax would be charged. The sighing police officer was still on duty and went to consult with his boss what to do about us. He returned after some time where Francis was already planning either to sell the house of rob a bank to be able to pay for the taxes. To our great relief there was no charge he just wanted our transit log and when Francis asked for a receipt he was told in no uncertain terms, and with more sighing explained that you have to buy a new one when you return! Considering what we thought we might have to pay, the cost of a new transit log when we go back to Greece is getting off lightly. We had a drink to celebrate.