This will just be a short SitRep on where we are and what’s been happening this past week. We continue to ride the roller coaster of life again this past week as our second attempt to get a temporary two week Schengen visa extension plays out.
Some important progress that won’t take long to report but we wanted to keep everyone updated so here you go.
We, along with the two dogs, have ended up in a cozy one bedroom AirBnB about 15km West of Bodrum which has provided us with a lovely sanctuary as we play out this seemingly endless waiting game going through the process with the officials over in Greece for our second visa extension application. Sunny weather continues with just a brief sprinkle of rain last night so we are very grateful for how well this has all turned out.
Christine has particularly enjoyed being able to keep up her physio therapy after her knee surgery with long walks as she explores this new area and with views like this and the one above, you can see why.
Location wise, we remain as we left off in last week’s SitRep, “exiled” over in Bodrum Turkey which is less than 30 nautical miles West of the Greek island of Kalymnos where Möbius is docked as we work through the visa extension process so we can re-enter Greece and get back aboard Möbius.
If you’d like to know more about our Schengen situation and get a few chuckles, checkout Christine’s latest SubStack newsletter titled “Life in Exile” HERE. I think you’ll enjoy reading this and she is the real writer in the family so if you have not already done so you may also want to subscribe so you will automatically receive each newsletter as soon as she posts it.
The All New Mr. Gee has arrived!
Meanwhile, on the VERY good news part of the ride UP the rollercoaster, on Friday we received confirmation that the new Mr. Gee which you saw in this photo last week when James was getting him ready to ship out of the Gardner factory in the UK, had arrived in Kalymnos AND succe$$fully cleared customs. A huge relief and milestone for us to say the least. Right now Mr. Gee is on a truck in a warehouse in Kalymnos awaiting the final short trip over to Möbius.
Step one was getting the new Mr. Gee to the boat, the more challenging step two is to get us back to the boat!
First thing tomorrow morning (Monday Oct. 17th here) Christine is taking the 45 minute ferry ride over to Kos on the neighboring island where the Greek Immigration office is located to give them the official papers showing Mr. Gee is now in Kalymnos and ready to be installed.
Christine is able to go in/out of Greece because she still has 17 days left on her Schengen visa from the time she was out and back in Florida last month whereas I only have two days left and need to hang onto those if we end up having to leave Möbius for several months.
We are hopeful that with the engine now delivered to Kalymnos and ready to be installed they will approve a short two week extension to our Schengen visa to give me enough time to install the engine, get the boat fully seaworthy again and check out of Greece and the Schengen area.
IF they grant us this two week extension, we will pack up our things here in Bodrum and take the ferry to Kos and then one over to Kalymnos where we can move back aboard Möbius, install the engine and check out of Greece and Schengen.
Depending on weather we will most likely head for Tunisia. Given that we are not allowed back into any Schengen countries until after the end of December, we will most likely travel West across the top of Africa through Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco and see when and where we can cross the Atlantic from there.
Plan B, C, D……..
If they reject our extension application again, we will need to continue to reside outside of Greece and any Schengen country until at least the end of December which is the soonest date we are eligible for a new 90 day Schengen visa. We would then move back onto Möbius, install the engine and see where the weather patterns will allow us to go from there.
Yet to be determined where we will go to wait until the end of December but right now most likely choice will be to stay in Turkey as we have long term visas good for here until end of 2023. We’ve spent many years in Turkey and seen a lot but far from all so this would be the opportunity to use this unexpected opportunity to explore more of this wonderful country before we return home to Möbius and get back to the sea.
Our longer term plan is to head West out of the Med and cross the Atlantic this winter if possible and if not then sometime in the Spring. Our route across the Atlantic will all be driven by weather at the time we are crossing and position of the Azores High at the time.
Of the three routes shown on this map, we would most likely be crossing somewhere between the bottom two routes and most likely make landfall somewhere in the Caribbean. But that is all several months away at best so we will just wait and see what looks best as we exit the Med.
Right now though we are keeping our fingers crossed that we can go with Plan A and move back aboard Möbius later this week, get the engine installed and be on our way again by the first week of November. So wish us luck and stay tuned for the next episode of as Möbius.World turns.
Today or yesterday, the Greek authorities welcomed “92 naked migrants” from the Turkish border. I include the link to a German newspaper – you might use that as an argument. And yes, the EU is very crazy… https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article241617285/Griechische-Behoerden-greifen-92-nackte-Migranten-an-Grenze-auf.html
Thank you for that that great blog and all the very interesting information!
Thanks for the interesting new approach to border crossings Stefan and hopefuly we won’t need to resort to such tactics. Christine is over on the island of Kos today meeting with Immigration officials and she reports that things are looking promising now and we should get their decision tomorrow as to whether they will approve a 14 day extension for me so I can go back into Greece and over to Möbius to install the new engine.
Will keep you posted in the next update.
Thanks for your kind words about the blog and delighted to know you find it useful and interesting. We will do our best to continue.
Will be hoping Greece allows you travel freedom .I spent time in N Africa in 2019 Cueta lovely town but not sure about docking for Mobius and finally in Tangir Marina, Morocco , no trouble for docking and also massive seaport.Unfortunately I didn’t get to do a lot of land travel in Morocco but so much to explore inland ..in the future.
Hope the knee is recovering
Hi Marj. Your name has come up in our conversations of what lies ahead of us as we recall you, or at least your boat, spending quite a bit of time in Morocco. We’re looking forward to some time there and hopefully sooner than later depending on how this whole visa extension situation works out.
Thanks for asking and Christine’s knee is doing great and she is back enjoying her long walks most every day so very pleased with the progress so far.
Hi Wayne I follow your blog for quiet a while. With the difficulties you have so far I would strongly recommend you make the short trip from Kalymnos to Didim Marina. They have all facilities including a large dry dock. The berth costs are even lower than in Finike. Very nice and experienced workers for all kind of problems. ( No advertisement) Our own experience after 4 years. I guess you are in Bitez now. Think about it before hanging somewhere in Tunisia. Greetings Peter
Sorry for taking so long to get back to you and thank you for this thoughtful suggestion Peter. As you have probably read by now, everything worked out in the end as we were able to get back to Möbius to install the new Mr. Gee 2.0 and left Kalymnos on Oct. 30th. Since then we have travelled over 1600nm and are now in the little Spanish enclave of Melilla on the north coast of Morocco. We will continue our travels westward and likely exit the Med late next week or so once the current winds die down and we can have comfy passage through the Straits of Gibraltar.
Thanks again for your very good suggestion to consider moving over to Didim Marina and we’ll keep that on our list for next time we are back in Turkey.