An ordinary person is tied to land life by an infinite number of invisible ties, and when leaving, he must decide whether to tear everything completely or leave it only for a while. Examples: a contract for a telephone, electricity, gas, an apartment, a car, a declaration of income, these are just the most common.
If the voyage lasts a long time, then renting or subleasing an apartment will help replenish the budget. However, you can only rent out an apartment to people you trust, who will not let you turn off the electricity or turn off the gas, who will maintain the housing in order and are ready to move out when you return. If the journey is not very long and you do not want to close the contracts, you can entrust their payment to the bank. It may seem like a fantasy, but AEM, Milan's municipal energy company, and perhaps not only it, if asked, suspendsbilling for electricity and gas for the period of absence. Upon returning, it is enough to notify them and everything resumes. When they told me about this, I asked them to repeat it three times, it seemed so strange to me!
— No problem, when you get back, call us and we will start sending invoices again. — and so it was.
Usually, going to sea, the house is closed and the car is sold. If the car is decided not to sell, you can suspend insurance. It is enough to park the car in a private area and return the coupon to the insurance company. The policy is suspended and the rest of the paid insurance can be used upon return. Minimum suspension period, three months.
There are many other issues that need to be resolved before sailing, but know that once you are out of territorial waters, absolutely no one will care about the condition of your safety equipment, RINA inspection, VHF subscription fees and insurance. You will take care of your safety yourself, as directly interested, and of course, you will do it better than it is done with us, with the help of laws and orders, often meaningless.
Only occasionally, in some ports, you may be asked for documents for the boat, most often to write out data, and sometimes they also ask if you have a call sign, and nothing more. But remember, outside of Italy it can be very difficult to get through the bureaucratic procedures of RINA inspection, safety equipment control and others. If during the voyage they are overdue, when returning to Italy, it is better to notify the captain of the first Italian port where you plan to stop in advance and agree on a resumption. This is what we did when we returned.from around the world on the Vecchietto. We went to the island of Procida and in the captain's office, where we wrote in advance, straightened out all the documents. At least we thought so. Until, in waters under the jurisdiction of another captaincy, we were stopped at night and demanded a garbage log and outboard motor insurance! It would be nice if with the unification of European laws such tyranny has sunk into oblivion.
A few years ago in Australia we changed boats. To sell our old schooner, it was enough to write on a piece of paper our data, the data of the buyer, the price and put the signatures of both parties. With this sheet, the new owner paid a tax of two percent of the cost and ... everything: the old Barca Pulita became Australian.
When we bought a new boat, in the same place in Australia, a couple from Germany who decided to stop circumnavigating the world did not even have to pay import duty. It was enough to issue the same sheet, after which we lowered the German flag and raised the Italian one. Simple, isn't it? It's a pity, but it looks like a fantasy to us. I'm already thinking about the technical centners of paper and the rivers of money that will be needed when we bring this boat to Italy.
Insurance outside the Mediterranean becomes a problem. Its cost increases the further you go from Mare Nostrum, and insurance companies want to know where you intend to sail, during what period, detailed route and stops. It is difficult, expensive, and for many years now we have decided to do without it.
- What if something happens?
What if you get caught in a hurricane?
“What if you hit a ship?”
Many in this guarantee society criticize our choices. I well remember the controversy that fell upon Fogar, who himself was an insurer. When his "Syrprise" sank, it was discovered that he was not insured.
Our choice is completely personal and prompted by a simple calculation: having paid insurance for twenty years outside the Mediterranean, we would have spent an amount equivalent to the cost of the boat. Beyond Gibraltar, everything seems more dangerous, but in fact there are much fewer ships and the risk of collision is greatly reduced.
But everything is completely different when it comes to meteorological conditions. If the route passes through areas with the risk of cyclones, the probability of accidents increases, even at anchorage or on the ground. We know cases when our friends were compensated for the damage on the basis of only the provided estimate, while others, to this day, have been waiting for several months, stuck in the port, for the money to repair the boat to come. Apparently it depends on the place where the accident occurred, on the availability of experts and shipyards cooperating with insurance companies. In short, ifyou have an insurance policy and there is a risk of an accident, try to endure it better in Tahiti than in Haiti.
Although recently the number of boats with insurance has been increasing. Apparently, insurance companies have simplified procedures and adjusted prices. But it also shows that the wealth of people traveling by boat has increased. As for health insurance, we have already written about it in the corresponding chapter on health. To summarize, health insurance is only useful in countries such as the United States where public medicine does not exist. If you really want to be insured, accident insurance is more useful.ev.
The issue of visas may seem like the biggest bureaucratic problem, but in fact it is very banal. There are many countries for entry into which you need a visa obtained in advance from the consulate. However, arriving by sea, you can almost always do without it.
Going out on the first trip around the world, we did not know about it and went crazy running between the consulates of Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama with documents, photographs, forms, declarations of solvency in order to get visas in advance. Labor and money spent in vain, because we never needed these visas, and the most interesting thing is that even the consular employees did not know about it!
When the boat enters the territorial waters of the country, it is enough to enter the customs port, raise the yellow flag and the port authorities will issue temporary visas to the entire crew, allowing them to stay in the country for some time. This is a simple and fairly quick procedure, developed over the centuries and applied to both merchant sailors and sailboat crews.
Of course, there are exceptions. Examples: India and Australia requiring everyone to have a consular visa obtained prior to entry.
We first came to Australia ten years ago. We had a government publication saying that visas were not required for captains and sailboat owners. The year before we had spent among happy islands and serene people, where bureaucratic problems had not yet been invented and where every difficulty was solved with a smile. After three weeks of sailing in the Salomon Archipelago and the Clarence Strait, between uninhabited lands and turbulent currents, they arrived in Darwin, the only city on the wild northern coast of Australia, and a tabledealing with the bureaucratic machine was especially painful. It was off season and perhaps our arrival aroused some suspicion. We were instructed to stand on a customs buoy and the boat, with us on board, was literally sifted through a sieve by a team of customs officers for two days. They found things we had lost a few months ago, dismantled lockers and bulkheads, we did not even suspect that they could be dismantled, and found nothing but our stock of gin bought in Venezuela, which should have lasted until we returned toMediterranean. After customs control, it was the turn of the immigration officer, who had to stamp our passports and finally let us go ashore. And then it turns out that the rules have changed and we do not have visas!
Bali is in sailing week, so if we can't get ashore, we could leave and tried to explain it to the official.
- Impossible, the customs procedure is already open and cannot be closed if you do not enter the visa number.
It took two days to find a solution to the problem: a temporary visa, as an exception, for ten days.
There are also countries that you cannot enter at all, such as Saudi Arabia or Burma, but even these can be stopped in an emergency. You need to approach the port and request permission to enter by VHF, explaining the reason. No one will refuse to stop for 72 hours for repairs or medical assistance.
In the Red Sea, we met the French, who went to Saudi Arabia, because the girl had paresis of the hand after diving. They were directed to an empty pier, free medical care was provided, the boat was supplied with food and fuel, although no one, except for the patient, hospitalized for three days, set foot on the ground.
When arriving in a new country, you need to call the port authorities by radio and ask for instructions. Usually instructions are given to anchor in the customs zone and wait on board for a delegation consisting of a customs officer, an immigration officer and a port employee, sometimes also a health official. In Australia they are very severe. Even as you approach the shore, a Coast Guard aircraft keeps you under control and tracks you until you arrive. It is strictly forbidden to go ashore before passing the sanitary control and until the Quaranteen officialdesigns a boat, removes all fresh food and products containing at least one molecule of milk. But in most other countries, the procedures are more relaxed and there are even places where no one will answer your request by radio, and you yourself, having gone ashore, will go in search of the necessary offices and forms. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's long and tedious, but it's all part of the game too.
Once we stopped at one of the islands of Tonga. Knowing that the port is customs, we expected to go through the entry procedure. Having gone ashore, it turned out that the only customs officer on the island had gone to the mountains to hunt goats and would return in about three days. However, he asked to inform the crews of the arriving boats not to worry, to calmly go ashore and go wherever they please.
Another time we had to leave Fiji. It was Friday afternoon. But in the morning, the immigration official who was supposed to stamp the passports left for the nearest island to control the fishing boat, at least that was the version. Since it was Friday, he decided to stay on the island for the weekend, which, quite by chance, included Monday, due to the queen's birthday. Therefore, until Tuesday morning it was impossible to get an exit stamp in the passport!
In addition to a passport, with a validity of at least six months, in some countries, the document that you always need to have on board is a clearance. This is something like a certificate of legality of departure, issued in the last country from which the ship leaves, which in the next country of arrival guarantees the authorities that you are not in any debt. In Europe and the Mediterranean, this practice does not apply unless specifically requested, with the exception of Gibraltar. If you are sailing across the Atlantic from the Canaries, do not forget to get clearance andStamp your passport to leave Europe.
Don't wait for an inadequate response from a fuel tanker to your credit card to realize that most of the world is still using money. Here credit cards and checks are the norm, but in many countries this is not the case, and there are even places where the barter system is still used. A few years ago we spent four months in Vanuatu and, except in the capital, did not use cash anywhere, only goods in exchange for food. Clothes, fishing hooks, fishing line, towels, potsexchange for vegetables, fruits, fish, straw bags, wooden souvenirs and even piglets. Usually in third world countries, only local currency is used, which can be bought for euros and dollars in banks in the capital and most large cities. But even in these banks, credit cards are sometimes difficult to accept. So, in addition to the two credit cards we keep for emergencies, we always have cash on board for the amount we plan to spend over the next six months. Someone manages to send money to local banks, but thisNot only does it oblige to stop at pre-determined places, it also requires an effective banking system, both in the country of departure, and it may still be, and in the country of receipt, and this is already very difficult!
A good way to receive mail while traveling around the world is to send it to the address of the harbor captainry where stops are provided. At one time, everyone did this. Now there is e-mail, and this slightly magical and romantic process of flipping through dozens of envelopes, with stamps from different countries, in search of letters that came from home, is a thing of the past.
Receiving parcels with books, equipment and spare parts from the other side of the world is quite simple. There is even an advantage that a boat traveling around the world is considered transit in any country and can receive goods without customs duties. When we changed the boat in Australia, we ordered from America, England, Denmark and Italy a huge amount of materials that we could not find locally and which cost a fortune. We bought all these products in the countries where they were produced, without VAT, as they were sent abroad, and did not pay a cent there.women's duty, as they were intended for a transit boat.
You can come to any country in the world with a weapon on board, but you must always declare it. In the forms filled out at the entrance, there is always a question about the presence of weapons. But declaring often entails the confiscation of weapons upon arrival and their return when leaving the country. But the ports of arrival and departure do not always coincide. In addition, the purpose of weapons on board, except for a rare goat hunt, is still protection from dangers that, if they arise, are from land and not from the sea. Therefore, the temporary confiscation of weapons makes it meaningless to have them on the battlefield.that, of course, if in case of danger you are really ready to use it. But this is a completely different problem.
In our first trip around the world, we had a gun, bought it in Venezuela on a South African boat. We have never declared it and no one has ever looked for it. The Australian customs officers, who turned the whole boat over, found it, but did not even pay attention, apparently looking for something else. And in Panama, while waiting for customs control, we were so afraid that we carried it ashore and buried it in the garden of the sailboat club. But the customs officers never came!
We resold our Beretta in Greece to an Italian boat bound for the Caribbean, never once taking it out of the oiled sock it was sold to us in.
Now we have no other weapons than spear guns!