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Covid 19/Coronavirus

The restrictions imposed by different countries on the sailing community are very variable and not necessarily set at national level. What follows is a “best guess” of the situation in each country that we cover at our site.

At least for the next 2 weeks there are virtually no flights to or from the main Mediterranean sailing countries so if you’re not already there, you ain’t getting there any time soon. Our guess is that if things improve on that before the end of May, we will be surprised and delighted. Anyone thinking of the train, can think again too. There are few running in France and none from France to Italy and Spain.

If you are already there, the situation seems variable. In Spain there is no national edict; individual marinas make their own decisions. To some extent the same goes for France. Italy (unsurprisingly) is in total lockdown; so is Greece. Croatian marinas impose a 14 day quarantine, IF THEY LET YOU IN. The same is true for neighbouring Montenegro. If you are already in Turkey, you can move around, but you cannot enter from most other countries, and it is the flag of registry that determines what is allowed, NOT where you come from. This it seems that a Greek flagged yacht coming from Greece, would be allowed in, but not a British flagged yacht coming from Greece. (Totally illogical if true).

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Corfu to Sicily

Corfu to Santa Maria di Leuca

Having spent four happy seasons in Greece, we decided that the time had come to move on. Knowing that we could not afford Croatia (otherwise our first choice), we opted for Sicily, partly because over-wintering in Ragusa and Licata is relatively simple.

From Corfu we set out first for Othoni for our last night in Greece. That was fine except that at 4a.m. we could see nothing when leaving and there was another yacht nearer than we would have liked. Our Italian landfall was planned for Santa Maria di Leuca – the obvious choice. Maritime traffic was enough to keep us on our toes, but overall we spent a boring, uneventful day chugging along partly under sail and partly under power.

Used to Greek port pricing and the plethora of anchorages, we were painfully aware of what awaited us at Santa Maria if we went into the marina. Shock #1 was that what was given as an anchorage just before the marina was manifestly quite unsafe, so marina it was. Shock #2 – Italian restaurants go into meltdown after the end if August, so our pursuit of guide book recommendations was thwarted by serial closures. In practice this probably did us a good turn because we ate well at moderate cost not far from the marina. Snag is we can’t even give them a credit here because we didn’t take a card. Shopping was however miles away – a big negative.

We could find nowhere of interest by way of lunch stop, so we headed up the “boot” towards Gallipolli. Heikell and other sources suggested that it was well worth a visit but that Otranto was to be avoided like the plague that it is.

This gave us our first exposure to the way things work in Italy. In Greece there is a marina or a town quay or whatever and that’s that; Here in Italy there are three or four competing operators in the same location each offering different facilities and prices. In the end we opted for Marina Blue Sorrento who offered us a berth at €50 a night on the visitors pontoon visibly a bit exposed if the wind got up – it did, but not dangerously so.

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