Someone asked about the paperwork and why it was so important.
I have finally launched Alegria and gotten the new, 5 year papers for her. (Like a visa for the boat.) and a 3 year multiple entry visa for me. The reason this is so very important is that under the new rules in Turkey I would have been required to leave at the end of May and stay outside of Turkey for 90 days, then I could come in for 90 days, then I had to leave for 90 days. This is a major hassle, because the permits for the boat are fairly expensive, and a bother. To check out of Turkey and check into Greece and then check back into Turkey makes it quite expensive. It would make Turkey no longer an interesting place to cruise.
I am also told that early next year they plan to require that you get your extended visa in your country of origin. This would add at least $1,500.00 and a lot of bother to every time I wanted to get the visa renewed. And it is not clear, that if in the future it will only be available for one year at a time.
I have been working very hard since my return to the boat. And, of course, I was working very hard for the prior three years. So, I am certainly going to try to decompress, and blend more enjoyment into my chores. Living on a boat there are always a lot of chores. One of the jokes is that, living on a boat, you can never hear, “There is nothing to do.”
Is very possible that there’s nothing to do that you WANT to do. But I can promise you, that if you own a boat, even a brand-new boat, there is always a list of things that need doing. There were things that needed doing when we flew to the states three years ago, and in our absence, the list has continued to grow.
Fortunately, over the years, we have made Alegria quite low maintenance, in every way we can think of. But, no boat will ever be zero maintenance. And, as I have repeatedly mentioned on the blog, there is a mountain of stuff that needs to be correctly stowed. And the inventory that we have of where everything is on the boat, is many years old. An inventory is only as good as how well it is kept up. When you get a new thing or get rid of an old thing, or if you move something to a better location, you must tell the inventory.
We were always pretty good at that, but we were never perfect. It is definitely time to create a new and accurate inventory. Also, it is time to get rid of a lot of old things so that the boat is not so crowded. We must keep many spare parts, and we have a large selection of ‘junk’ that is being saved because it is useful raw material when you need to make something. But space is limited and many tough choices will have to be made about what is worth keeping and what is not.
A common term for living on a boat the way Janet and I have for so many years is called “cruising.”
Cruising has been variously defined as ‘doing boat maintenance and exotic places.’
Or walking for many miles on a hot dusty road, or in a cold driving rain, carrying a heavy backpack, a load of laundry, and some bottles of water and/or fuel. All the while thinking how lucky I am to be here doing the things I love.
It is also been pointed out that cruisers can only be successful if they have very selective memories. The nature of the beast is that you have to put up with a lot of poop. Things that no rational person would really ever want to do twice. Or even once. But they go with the territory, so you do them. And you forget about how much you hated doing them at the time, but you remember all the many good times. The beautiful sunsets or dawns. The front row seat to watch nature. The wonderful people that you meet, and if you’re lucky, meet again in other ports. The joy of traveling in an RV, where you can take many belongings with you and have your own home, kitchen, bed and bath. But this RV enjoys traveling on water. Which means that you can go, at least in theory, over a huge portion of the globe.
Janet and I always preferred warm places. T-shirts and shorts, Palm trees, warm water to swim in, that sort of thing. However we have friends who enjoy the high latitudes and routinely sail to the Arctic or Antarctic. So, I guess that means there a lot of wacky people out here.
Well, I need to go organize something. More later.