Checking out in Eregli

Minka of Southampton - Cruising Log
Edmund Wigan
Fri 18 Jul 2014 05:44
In the past I have used an agent to check in or out of Turkey. This can cost anything from £50 to £150. Because I was at anchor and not in a Marina, so no agents visible, I decided to have a go myself.

I rowed ashore and tied my dinghy up at the yacht club. It was only about a ten minute walk to the customs office. There were no English speakers but they filled out a form for me and sent me to see the harbourmaster. They even arranged a lift for me.

The harbourmaster's office is about half a mile from the port. They spent about an hour looking at my ship's papers before telling me I had to pay them 11 Turkish lire (£3-4). However, they wouldn't take the money but sent me to a bank in town to pay it in. I did this and returned to the HM office to find it closed at 1700hrs.

Having been told they opened at 0600 I decided to give them a couple of hours to wake up and went to the office at 0800. Yes the office does open at 0600 but the HM staff don't start until 0830. They eventually turned in at about 0900. This time there was a helpful young man who spoke some English. Between him and the HM they took half an hour to scrutinise the forms, sign them and apply the all essential rubber stamp.

By this time it had started pouring with rain so I got quite wet walking the half mile back to Customs to see the Immigration Police. I had to wait about an hour as he hadn't got up. In the end he did the necessary but it took half an hour as he had to fire up about three computers first. There was also a delay whilst he set up the air conditioning and kept wiping his head with paper towels. He then ignored the computers completely and after 20 minutes scrutinising my papers and passport, stamped them all and that was that bit done.

I should say at this stage that these people seemed to have no humour and were very serious about their work. They have also been trained to grunt ominously as they read all the forms.

I then returned to customs who took another half hour to stamp everything they needed to. I now had three stamps and signatures on my transit log. I still had one remaining task which was to return to the HM and give him one fully stamped up copy of this form. There are about 6 copies .....apparently one goes to the minister for culture. Presumably he has a wood burning stove at home and this saves him buying fuel for it.

So in summary I saved myself at least £50 at a modest cost of 6 hours of my life. It was actually worth more than that for the entertainment value. I should say all the people involved were very friendly and courteous and two even smiled. In total 14 people examined my papers. I was told that about four yachts a year check on or out of Turkey so this may have been the reason for the gruntfest.

Enough of that rubbish. I am now making my way back west towards Bulgaria. I stopped last night in Akcakoca and had these visitors who spoke no English but insisted on coming aboard.......

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......which was rather nice. So I gave the baby one of my RNLI teddies.