Sunday, May 20, 2012

Someone....anyone....please talk us out of doing this!

We are leaning more and more towards wintering next season in the new marina being built in Istanbul.  Our friends and readers of this blog know what wimps we are about cold weather.  It snows in Istanbul!!  Have we totally lost our minds?!?!

We have obtained quotes from 11 marinas and have shortened the list to a possible 5.  Returning to Karpaz in Cyprus or the new marina in Istanbul (should be ready for occupancy in August or September 2012) are equally at the top of that list.  The other 3 marinas are better situated geographically for beginning the cruising season in May 2013 but have no other positive qualities in our opinions.  We really liked Karpaz and the winters are milder (still very cold to us!); but we have already seen everything of any interest to see on Cyprus.  Istanbul is COLD but would make international travel very easy and the city is great in itself; lots of things to see and do.  We will return to Houston for at least the month of December anyway, leaving only January and February/March to contend with the coldest weather.

What to do?  What to do?

Update 23 May 2012:  We have now been talked out of wintering in Istanbul.  A Turkish friend emailed us recent photos of the Marina Istanbul under construction.  Based on these photos we would be shocked, extremely shocked, if this marina is actually ready for occupancy by September 2012.  We absolutely would not chance this.  Sailing to Istanbul is "uphill" all the way......meaning against the wind and against some very significant currents.  And the older marinas in the Istanbul area already are filled to capacity.  It would be terrible to fight our way all the way to the new marina and find it not ready to accept boats for winter berthing.  Where would we go then!  So Marina Istanbul is no longer under consideration as a place for berthing next winter.


  1. Have you considered Malta? It has been years since we wintered there when we were on our prior yacht STRIDER. But as European winters go, it's mild. Malta is a very interesting place, historically and culturely. We enjoyed it greatly. On the other hand, Istanbul is currently on our radar for visiting soon - in the summer, of course!! Good luck. We'll follow your blog to see your decision. Pura Vida from Costa Rica where it is always warm. Richard and Debra - Sailing Cat TANGO

  2. We cannot spend a winter in Malta because we are Americans. Malta is a signatory to the Schengen Treaty. Would have been nice; but the Europeans do not want Americans hanging around the entire combined EU for longer than 90 days. Ridiculous situation for American sailors in the Med....and for Australians and New Zealanders and basically any citizen of any non-EU country. Bureaucracy rears its ugly head again.

    1. Yes, we understand. Costa Rica, in its infinite wisdom, only allows a 90-day stay for foreign flagged vessels. This is a rule passed about 2 years ago. It really makes it hard on cruisers seeking a safe haven during the 6-month hurricane season. Costa Rica used to be perfect until the rule change. Tango is in Costa Rica under a special permit, which cost a couple thousand dollars for an attorney to obtain. Good luck with your decision! Debra and Richard


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