Our original plan was to go sail Croatia, which has many options for sailors of all levels. The bareboat charter industry is big business and the coast is a favourite destination for full-time cruises as well as short-term getaways. The prices are reasonable and all reviews describe a place of amazing beauty. There can also be wind in Croatia, so kitesurfing could also be a possibility.
We were super excited and started researching and planning the trip, which would have been a 2/3 week stay around May 2020. This would be our short break holiday and could give us an idea of what it’s like to sail solo, and live full-time in a cramped space. Before jumping head first into our venture, we had to first test the waters and confirm if this is what we both really wanted.
The process came to an abrubt halt when we got to visa applications. We are required to apply for visas in person, which is not out of the ordinary, and is considered usual procedure. However, we can not apply longer that 3 months before our intended visit. As we are living full time in Maldives, we would not be able to adhere to these conditions. There is a Croatian consulate in Sri Lanka, which is very close to us, but they cater for Sri Lankans and Croatians only. So that was the end of the Croatia dream, and we needed to find another solution and suitable destination.
This brought us to Turkey. Now we have changed our plans, and have started researching sailing options in Turkey, along the coast around places such as Marmaris and Bodrum, which apparently also has some kitesurf options. Visas are easily obtained and the bareboat charter industry is a healthy business with many affordable options.
Right now, our plan is to gain some extra mileage later this year (2019) back home in Cape Town, and then sail Turkey next year May 2020.
We have made some contact with charter companies and are considering some of their advice, such as the possibly of joining a flotilla, so that we can enjoy safety in numbers while we gain our experience.
That’s the plan in brief.
Now to do as much research as possible, plan plan plan… Looking for suggestions and input from anyone who has sailed this part of the world.