Summer 2021 cruising the rivers towards the Netherlands and this winter crossing over to Italy. Sounds like a good idea to us when we arrive in Koronisia, so familiar to us, more than a month ago. But the longer we talk about it, the more obstacles we see along the way. So for the time being we stay where we are: in Koronisia.
If we sail to Italy now, we can get on the train to the Netherlands and limit our travel stress around Christmas. Moreover, we can leave Italy behind before the expensive high season without having to sail multi-day trips. Something we don’t really feel like doing with two dogs on board. And if the weather is good, it is also a fun trip.
But the weather is bad. The stable summer weather has given way to more changeable weather since the medicane at the end of September. Not ideal for planning multiple trips with few really safe harbors along the way. Unfortunately, the weather is not the only obstacle on our way.
Italy has recently stopped recognizing the commonly used Dutch boat ‘registration’ ICP. We sail with a self-made boat passport, but the question is whether we can get away with it right now. We also have an ICP, but I already claimed my money back at the time, because the applicability of the Dutch flag was suddenly removed. The risk now is that we will be detained by the Italian coast guard until we can show a registration recognized by them, which is not so easy to arrange.
Then of course there is also Corona. In Italy you have to wear mouth masks everywhere and that doesn’t really appeal to us. Here in Koronisia we are still reasonably safe from Corona and the associated measures, although the infections in Greece have also increased rapidly in recent weeks. The measures differ per region in both Greece and Italy, which makes it difficult to estimate what kind of situation we will end up in. The last thing we want is a sudden lockdown in an expensive or unsafe port.
Are there any other neighboring countries we can go to? Well not actually. Turkey and Greece are on the brink of war and refugees are used as a means of power. In so far as we would like to go to Turkey, the way back has been cut off by the Greek Corona rules. The latter also applies to neighboring Albania. Cyprus then? Or Tunisia? A bit far if we want to travel to the Netherlands by train for Christmas …
The possibilities to travel with our sailing house are more than ever limited. For the time being, we will therefore remain in Greece. To start with, in beautiful Koronisia. After Christmas we’ll figure out our next step.
Fortunately, limited travel options open up unlimited other possibilities: having drinks and dinner with our friends Alida and Auwert of sailing yacht Frya, shopping in Arta with Michaelis from the Mare Mare tavern next to the harbor, doing odd jobs on the boat and a lot of walking with the dogs. So you won’t hear us complaining;)