We are living in the most unusual time with the world in lockdown due to COVID-19, but life on a yacht seems no different. We are still in Kas and have been informed we won’t be arrested for being illegal but will just face a fine when we leave. I think they should scrap that rule as these are such unique circumstances but we are lucky to be in such a gorgeous spot that we don’t want to upset the apple cart.
At present we are still able to go out and have dinner as some of the restaurants are still open but no alcohol – not sure what the reasoning behind that rule is, but we are grateful we can go out and are very glad to support these local businesses in these uncertain times.
Living on board is probably easier for us than our friends and family back home locked in their houses – Why? Because we chose to live in an isolated environment, sailing for days at a time with no land in sight and only each other to talk to. We are used to provisioning for weeks at a time, making our own bread etc. We also have access to literally thousands of movies and e-books as this has been our sole form of entertainment for the last 4 years. We also have learnt to enjoy our solitude and not get bored. I honestly believe living on a boat is probably the safest and most sensible thing to do at present – and being tied up to a quay where we can just step ashore to get food etc is really convenient. The real problem for some of our sailing buddies is that a few of them are at sea. Crossing the Indian Ocean from Thailand to India, or sailing from India to Djibouti can take up to 3 weeks and when some boats left there were no borders closed. On arrival at some countries they are being told they can’t come in, can’t anchor and have to leave. They have only a small amount of diesel left, a little food and hardly any water. Having been on the ocean in isolation for the last three weeks you would imagine the authorities would take that into consideration and let them in but unfortunately, they are being very strict about their closed border policy. In one case, friends who arrived in Djbouti had to get another boat to come out and give them some food, water and diesel – I cannot imagine the fear and worry they must be going through. In Europe, boats are banned from docking in a EU countries now with no end in sight. This is why we have chosen to become illegals rather than get trapped out in the Med with no-where to go. They are now talking 6 months, maybe more so we opted to at least be somewhere where we could get food and water and good shelter. There is a chance they may even shut local borders which will mean we can’t even travel to another port in Turkey – that would be a shame but not a real issue. There are 4 of us on the quay, Mike and Proud in an apartment in the town and another 6 or 7 yachts in the marina round the corner so we are not alone and are all helping each other. Lots of jobs will get done finally, and the boat will love the attention.
The local animals on the quay have all adopted us. There are three golden Labradors that we nicknamed Tom, Dick and Harry and they sleep just at the end of our sugar scoops. Next door to us Corry and Jennifer on Wilson Street, have an old dinghy they threw onto the quay that has now become a dog basket for their adoptee. We even have a stray cat that comes on board and makes herself at home.
Mike and Proud have developed heavy colds the authorities, although having cleared them of Coronavirus, have asked them to self isolate until 3 days post any symptoms. They are staying in an apartment on the hill overlooking the bay, so everyday we are going out and buying food for them and leaving it outside their door. I think they are going stir crazy but it’s a good precaution.
Today they shut all the restaurants completely. All people over 65 have to stay indoors which includes cruisers. One of our friends was told to go home from the local supermarket and not to come out again! Also we now have to all wear masks when outside. Turkey are being very sensible about this and everyone is following the instructions which are read out over a tanoy in the main square every morning.
We still have sundowners with our friends every night sitting on our boats observing the social distancing rule and we can still run around town on our motor bike but its getting a bit boring. Jobs are getting done onboard, newflooring, fridges cleaned out, new antislip decks, etc but we still reckon we are well off compared to some. Take care friends, stay away from everyone and take pleasure in this new life – one day you will look back and wish for this solitude again… ❤