Dates: 09/30/09 – 10/01/09
Sailed from: Nísiros
Distance: 40 nm
We’ve “cleared-out” of Greece here in Simi and are headed to Marmaris, Turkey tomorrow. Since we chose to anchor in this beautiful bay rather than taking a berth in the town of Simi, we had to make a bit more effort to complete exit formalities.
David stayed with the boat while Lisa took the convenient one euro shuttle bus over the mountain to Simi where she found the Immigration police near the clock tower on the opposite side of the harbor. Outside their small office, she was alarmed to see that on one side of their wrap-around porch was crowded with about 50 immigrants sitting quietly under the watchful eye of an armed guard. Dark-eyed men, women with head scarves and shy children were among the group which looked like they had arrived in Greece from nearby Turkish shores. After our passports were stamped without delay, Lisa made a remark to the police officers about the solemn scene. To the two young officers who were casually watching music videos on the TV in their office she said, “It looks like you have your hands full out there.” They sighed and jokingly replied, “Can you take any of them back to Turkey with you?” Illegal immigration is a real problem in these parts because many Greek Islands sit just a few miles away from Turkey. It’s a gateway into all of Europe from the east, just as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Malta are gateways from the North African countries to the south.
We anchored for the night next to Godspeed, an American-flagged yacht with Cindy and Bob, friendly Minnesotan owners, onboard. They gave us yet another recommendation for Marmaris Yacht Marina, and more specifically for Demir Marine to do the refit/repair projects we had in mind.