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Spain - Bio-Security

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COVID-19: OPEN

  • Since 21 October, 2022, Spain finally dropped the requirement of visitors from non-EU countries, including the UK and USA, having to provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19, a recent negative test result, or recovery to enter the country.
  • Even though few travellers were being asked to show such documentation at sea ports and airport over the past months, the legal requirement did still exist.
  • All Covid restrictions have now bee lifted and clearance procedures are back to normal.

Our thanks to Puerto Sotogrande and Alcaidesa Marina for assisting with information throughout the Pandemic.

Resources:

History:

  • Mid-March 2020, Spain declared a “state of emergency”. Recreational sailing was restricted and marinas operating with maximum precautions.
  • On 23 March, borders and port closures swiftly followed, including the Canaries and Balearics.
  • Foreign yachts were not permitted to land on Spanish soil, but in the case of an emergency were permitted to co-ordinate with the Guardia Civil to obtain essential services.
  • During April, foreign cruisers at anchor in the Balearics (from before the SOE began) were told they had to leave Spain.
  • April 20th, boatyards opened for business once again, which meant that boats already in
    Spain were able to be moved to yards for maintenance and repair.
  • Although the SOE and lockdown continued, by the end of April 2020 it was clear that some regions were accepting foreign yacht arrivals (according to Covid 19 protocols). A four-phase plan was announced to lift restrictions gradually. Children were permitted outside for 1 hour a day (with strict guidelines) and adults from 2 May for essential activities and to exercise (alone).
  • By May recreational cruising was permitted once again in some regions.
  • For owners who left their boats in Spain and wanted to get back to them, a letter from the marina/shipyard enabled entry into the country.
  • By mid-June many regions were moving into “new normality”, with ports and marinas opening to visiting yachts. Each region had their own interpretation of protocols, but most did not require any testing or quarantine, just contact with marinas prior to arrival and declaration of any crew members with symptoms.
  • On 21 June, 2020, the State of Alarm ended.
  • Mid-July most regions of Spain made the wearing of face masks compulsory.
  • By mid-August a sharp rise in Covid cases was being seen.
  • On 26 October, 2020, a second State of Emergency was declared. The country remained open to visiting yachts. While land borders were closed inter-provinces, foreign flagged vessels could navigate the entire coast without problems.
  • Mid-November the requirement for all visitors to have a negative Covid test on arrival came into force, however, this was not enforced in all ports of entry.
  • Although Spain restricted access to visitors coming from outside the EU/Schengen, there were no specific biosecurity rules for yachts arriving in Spanish waters. The Covid-19 border rules, that applied to tourists arriving in the country, applied also to yacht crew, however, only when they officially crossed the border (i.e. disembarked from their vessel and signed off the crew list). Crew that slept on board, and didn’t venture far from the port, were considered crew in transit and therefore no Covid protocols were applied.
  • October 21, 2022, all covid protocols were lifted for entry into the country.

Reports:

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Spain was last updated 1 month ago.

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  1. May 24, 2023 at 7:41 AM
    xoan says:

    Robo en Real Club Regatas Cartagena. Reportado por velero youtuber BahiaLas islas Ángel Viana armador ( ver comentarios en Nabyli), entraron de noche con gente dentro, y robaron 2 ordenadores teléfonos y cartera dinero y tarjetas de crédito. Amarrados de costado al muelle en pantalan Norte.

    Thank you for reporting this – some marinas in Cartagena do not have good security.
    Google Translation:
    Robbery at Real Club Regatas Cartagena. Reported by youtuber sailboat Bahia Las Islas Ángel Viana shipowner (see comments in Nabyli), they entered at night with people inside, and stole 2 computers, telephones and a wallet, money and credit cards. Moored sideways to the pier in the North jetty.

  2. September 7, 2022 at 7:09 AM
    profile photo
    lehmannhr says:

    During my trip south, I have to divide Spain in 2 parts. One is at the Atlantic side and the other is at Gibraltar and Spanish Mediterranean Costa del sol.
    The Atlantic side is amazing! After incredible expensive Portugal with really lousy services for the price (€ 37.– for a 9.25 Meter boat), I decided to enter the Spanish Ayamonte, intead of Portugal Marina. What a delight is Ayamonte. Beautiful and very well located. Quiet Marina, helpful people and the start for a amazing Spain on the Atlantic side.
    I looked up http://www.puertosdeandalucia.es for locations and here is our choice and experiences:
    Ayamonte! Simply wonderful. Price is right for what you get.
    Mazagon! Simply wonderful. Price is right for what you get.
    Chipiona! Stay away. It is a shitty place. All dirty from Seagulls, nobody from there seems to care. The only good thing in Chipiona is the Mausoleum of Rocio Jurado. The harbormaster is unpolite and he charges as his own will. We paid a day in Mazagon, arrived at 0600 in Chipiona and he charged the hole day before, since he argued, the new day starts when he arrives in the Marina. Boats entering before will have to pay the hole night and day before. His own law and interpretation. He had arguments with all our group of boats and we left Chipiona after visiting Rocio Jurados grave.
    Rota! Simply wonderful. Price is right for what you get. We were twice in Rota and experience repeated.
    Cadiz! What a city? We had to wait for a weather window and did for almost 15 days. But it was worth it. Cadiz is spectacular. Historically and all, it is a delight.
    Sancti Petri! We were warned of a 35-40 knots gale and sheltered in Sancti Petri. The regular Marina threw us out and we got a Buoy to tie up from the Restaurant. Not pleasant due to the Rivers current, but people and hospitality was spectacular.
    La Linea de la Concepción! Disappointing, just disappointing. Price is incredibly high for what you get.
    Estepona! Really shitty place. The Costa del sol locations exploit the cruising yacht traffic wihtout returning even hospitality. The mediterranean Tie up Marinas are not a real catch. My boat (rather small) was always sandwiched and I got the first scratches after 2 years of taking care.
    Fuengirola! My experience with Estepona repeated. Read up!
    Ceuta! Well, that was a experience. 2 weeks waiting for some package. We departed before due to the shitty place.
    Day 1: We got sandwiched between some 13 meter boats in the Med way of docking. Most boaters would not even care with Fenders. My famous crie out for “I hope you have a good third party insurance made them change their attitude” (I speak erfectly Spanish, so they understood.
    Day 2: At 0600 we got out from the yelling within the Marina. A speedboat had taken fire and since they had not even fire extinguishers, the just pushed the boat in the middle of the Marina. 2 sailboats took fire and burned down completely. Weather the Marina nor the Ceuta Fire Department were prepaired. The first had all extinguishers outdated and not properly working and the Fire Department lacked of longitude of hoses. The water pressure was not enough for fighting the fire, so they just wet the neighbor boats.
    Day4: I asked the Marina for a better place, since I would stay up to a month. They relcoated me to an area for only up to 10 Meter boats. At 2200 hours, the Marina guy placed 2 boats, one 15 meter and one 16 meter on my sides. The second one, a Danish guy had a woman on board, she was to old to handle Fenders. When he heard me with my famous insurance threat and saw me with the camera. then he asked for assistance.
    Finally we decided to take the chance to go into Tanger and it was the best decision. I am already 15 days relaxing from my Spanish Mediterranean experience.
    I really don´t get the boaters, why they would take all this crap from the Spanish Marinas, although the fear from the Orcas attacking, has appearantly all frantic.
    We were 5 boats meeting Orcas off Cap Trafalgar and none had an incident. The Orcas not even cared about us. We didn´t cared about them neither…

  3. September 7, 2022 at 6:42 AM
    profile photo
    lehmannhr says:

    Here is my cruising experience with (NW) Spain! For information I am a liveaboard and “on route”. So far I´ve come from Germany, Netherland, France, northern Spain and am now in Morocco.
    Northern Spain Marinas, Laredo, Gijon, Ribadeo, Viveiro, A Coruña, Camariñas, Muros, Portosin, Ribeira, Villagarcia.
    Laredo Marina! Is well equipped, but dirty place. It is rather expensive for the service you get. It is definitely not used to pleasure cruising.
    Gijon! Very nice Marina, price is according to what you get.
    Ribadeo! Very nice Marina. Well equipped and you get good quality for what you pay.
    Viveira! Very nice Marina, price according to what you get.
    A Coruña! Very nice Marina. Well equipped and you get good quality for what you pay.
    Camariñas! Very nice Marina, price according to what you get.
    Muros! I needed mechanical assistance in Muros and they like to rip you off. Changed my boat to Portosin and thatfore, they had not even a outboard dinhy, to tow me out of the harbour. Another sailor hauled me over to Portosin, where I got assisted to enter. Wonderful Marina!
    Portosin! I arranged my mechanical work and the Mechanic José is a genious. He does very fine work, very diligent with great knowledge of mechanics and to a very fair price (Muros asked € 3000, Jose charged € 986 for great work). I stayed all the wintertime in Portosin as liveaboard and I was VERY welcomed by the local members of the Yacht Club. Every Friday they would invite me for lunch, I got some trip for fishing and participations in local Regatas on their boats. The nearby Noia is comfortable and nice for riverwalk jogging and the only 30 Km far Santiago de Compostela is a must. I also explored future stops like Ribeira, Vigo…
    Ribeira! Rather expensive and not nice facilities.
    Villagarcia! Is not a common Yacht Port, so they´ll accomodate you in a corner, but ok. Good to walk to Cambados. Cambados is a MUST in Galicia…
    Vigo! Very nice Marina. Rather cheap for what you get.

  4. April 21, 2022 at 4:37 PM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Fuel prices in Spain:
    In Spain now you get a discount on the advertised pump price of 20 cents per litre.

  5. September 23, 2021 at 9:03 PM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Reported by Jason Banks:

    I have just become a test-case for British yachtsmen trying to get his boat out of the EU and failing. After a 3-month ordeal to sail from Croatia back to the UK, I reached Gibraltar just as my 90 day period expired, but was told they are full to capacity for all vessels. The natural alternative was always Morocco, but their ports are closed due to Covid. Meanwhile, the Spanish authorities offhandedly denied my application for an extension or long-stay visa. Bereft of options, today I left my boat in Alcaidesa and checked into a hotel in Gibraltar, being unable to return for 3 months. Absurd times!

    Update from Jason:
    I am in Melilla now. They have welcomed me and according to the port police, basically I can stay as long as I like, it is not currently inside the Schengen zone.

    Personally, I seriously doubt the EU would ever consider bringing it into Schengen, as that would put an EU border on the African mainland. Apparently it’s already hard to police and requires a huge presence by Spanish border control.

    So for the interim (until ETIAS comes into effect) this is a solution. Let people know, it’s beautiful but lonely here!

    1. September 25, 2021 at 8:39 PM
      dheather says:

      Great report thanks. I’m in Cadiz with 7 days left in Schengen after coastal cruising from Brest and was about to sail to Tangier on Monday. Didn’t know they were closed! I assume Ceuta is a similar option though closer

    2. October 5, 2021 at 3:27 PM
      dheather says:

      I’ve just had a beer with Jason. Started in Ceuta but it’s a bit expensive and quite noisy, so took the plunge and am now in Melilla. Nice place and a real bargain

    3. October 5, 2021 at 3:28 PM
      dheather says:

      Ceuta a good starting point just to get out of Schengen quickly as just a few hours sailing from Gibraltar

    4. November 17, 2021 at 11:36 AM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      Non-EU Skippers should be aware that, despite what local port police may say, the territories of Melilla and Ceuta are within the Schengen zone with special rules for local immigrants only. Spain is required to police movements between each of the territories and the remainder of Schengen. Noonsite has liaised with the Cruising Association RATS team who have researched this in depth and confirm the same. These territories should not be relied upon as a Schengen “get out”. See our EU page for more information: https://www.noonsite.com/cruising-resources/european-union/

  6. August 5, 2021 at 7:13 AM
    bartgib1 says:
    1. September 26, 2021 at 1:51 PM
      dheather says:

      Now lifted, with the whales apparently moving north

  7. April 19, 2021 at 1:19 PM
    peoplevalue says:

    The information regarding the clearing in formalities into Spain by a third country visiting yachtsman on this site, while helpful, all the links and recommended apps to complete Health Declaration Form before arrival to obtain a QR code, requires the entering of a flight number. It would be good if Noonsite could post either a link to a form or other means to obtain the QR code for visiting sailors which does not require the input of a flight number or explains what we need to do to clear in at customs.

    1. April 19, 2021 at 8:20 PM
      profile photo
      Sue Richards says:

      Thanks for the prompt. I am currently working on getting all of Europe updated re. Covid protocols for sailors. I am waiting on replies from various contacts in Spanish ports to get the true picture, likely it will vary from place to place. Probably it is similar to the Canaries, whereby, there are no specific biosecurity rules for yachts. The Covid-19 border rules that apply to tourists arriving in the Canaries, apply also to yacht crew, however, only when they officially cross the border (i.e. disembark from their vessel and sign off the crew list). Crew that sleep on board, and don’t venture far from the port, are considered crew in transit and therefore no Covid protocols are applied other than the normal shoreside restrictions. Will confirm once I get an idea from our contacts.

    2. April 29, 2021 at 10:25 PM
      profile photo
      Sue Richards says:

      It appears that in some Spanish ports there is no requirement to have a PCR test for yacht arrivals, however others have told Noonsite that a negative Covid test is recommended. See Biosecurity for more details: https://www.noonsite.com/place/spain/formalities#biosecurity-section

  8. March 28, 2021 at 4:18 PM
    ianw says:

    MASS EXODUS OF BRITISH YACHTS FROM THE BALEARICS
    British qualified cruise ship captains are also at threat

    Brexit is threatening to sink the British yachting and nautical industries in the Balearics with a hugely damaging impact on the local economy.

    British commercial skipper and Royal Yacht Association instructor Martin Whyte, who ran a sailing and sea training school in Alcudia for 15 years, until earlier this year, has been forced to close his yachting businesses in Mallorca because British yachting qualifications, across the board from skippers to stewards, crew and engineers are no longer recognised as a result of Brexit.

    Martin, an MCA Master 200 Commercial Captain, RYA Principal Yachtmaster Instructor Sail and RYA Principal Yachtmaster Instructor Motor, said yesterday: “I keep seeing a lot about the yachting situation in Mallorca bit I’m not sure people have really understood the current situation.

    “As of January 1, The authorities in Mallorca no longer recognise British Marine Qualifications.

    “In short and as a starter, any British person with a boat in Balearic waters who holds a UK qualifications to skipper it no longer has a qualification recognised here and may be treated in the same way as someone without a license caught driving a car.

    “This is a disaster for all British boat owners and their options are to either get a Spanish qualified skipper, pass their Spanish maritime exams or take their boat and leave, although technically they are no longer permitted to even move it from its berth.

    “The RYA were made aware of this problem in January, 2020 when I contacted their Chief Instructor, Richard Falk to advise him but they have failed to get it resolved.

    “The ICC ( International Certificate of Competence) issued by the RYA for use in most EU countries has still not been confirmed by the Spanish as remaining acceptable, so nobody actually knows if it is valid or not.

    “The yacht crews operating from Palma with internationally recognised RYA / MCA certification are not longer legal here either.

    “The Spanish and German etc. yacht charter companies are no longer able to rent boats to British license holders.

    “The Spanish commercial skippers who decided that the RYA /MCA commercial license was far better and more widely recognised are now also unable to work.

    “All this will have a huge affect on the yachting industry in the Balearics and if its the same throughout Spain and the Canaries then the situation is far worse of course.

    “To date I have shipped, delivered and removed 27 British flagged vessels from Spanish waters and I am aware of over 60 People, Spanish , English and EU Captains and crew that have already lost their jobs.

    “It seems that the Spanish do not want British boats in their waters and are seeking to destroy the entire yachting industry at a time when they should actually be grateful for the huge amount of income it generates.

    “It makes no sense when one considers that a Briton can come to the Balearics and hire a car with a UK license but can’t charter or use his or her yacht.

    There are countries bending over backwards to attract vessels, making life as easy as possible and this is where British yacht owners and skippers are moving their vessels to.

    “Some are returning to the or Channel Islands, I’ve taken others to Sardinia, Tunisia, Greece, Malta, Gibraltar and the exodus has only just begun as the full implications of the situation is only just sinking in.

    “OK, the current Covid travel restrictions have not helped, but the simple fact that British yachting qualifications are not recognised in the Balearics will kill the industry and cost the region billions in lost revenue in the long term.

    “Superyacht skippers and crews are being hit, not to mention the small yacht owners or those wishing to come and charter a vessel. It’s does not matter where the vessels is flagged, it’s the qualification issue.

    “It could even impact the cruise industry.
    “Will British qualified cruise line captains be allowed to operate in Balearic waters – it’s a nightmare?

    “Over my 15 years in businesses as an instructor, I’ve trained people from all over the world, from Russia to Canada passing through most European countries tries and now, their RYA qualifications are null and void here in the Balearics.

    “Around 30 percent of the vessels moored in the Balearics belong to owners with RYA qualifications and, as things stand, they can’t move their vessels, not even from their moorings to the hard, all they can do is come and sit on board,” Martin stressed.

    “In theory negotiations with the Spanish authorities have been on going since the alarm bells first began ringing last year, but the Spanish don’t appear to be willing to make any concessions – so all they are doing is forcing boat owners to take their vessels out of Spanish waters and move them to more welcoming and quite often cheaper destinations.
    “They are destroying a massive industry.”

  9. December 22, 2020 at 11:43 AM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    DEAR ALL
    In November 2020 a storm hit the region of Cannes, thousands of trees came down with the flood, most were stranded on the beaches but a lot are still drifting in the sea.
    On 28.11.20 we were sailing from PALMA to PORT NAPOLEON. We could avoid trees and all kind of debris during the day, slaloming, but during the night…
    We struck a floating tree (and got a big dent in our bow).
    Be careful this winter in the Med – Keep a Sharp Lookout!!
    Dirk Mertens
    S/V EULALA – LAGOON 52

  10. July 13, 2020 at 12:41 PM
    nigel says:

    Hello – we have a new Lagoon 40 Cat. and plan to install solar panels mounted over the s.s. dinghy davits. Anyone advise on a good place to have stainless steel work done – brackets to hold panels.?
    on the Atlantic coast – Portugal or Spain ? Thanks

    1. October 11, 2020 at 11:04 AM
      spjwpja says:

      We had a good job done on our broad blue 385 by Pritchard’s in Gibraltar. All done in a day in a marina once the solar arch had been built. Then another day to sort out electrics.

  11. May 11, 2020 at 10:17 PM
    talaria says:

    We sailed across the Atlantic last spring ending in Spain and then returned to US due to Schengen visa restrictions. And then Covid-19… Our plan had been to sail to Tunisia on our way to Italy this year to reset the VAT. That seems unlikely at present. So… we are wondering if there is any information regarding the VAT since people are unable to return to their boats?

    Thank you!

    1. May 13, 2020 at 9:30 PM
      profile photo
      Sue Richards says:
  12. April 20, 2020 at 5:21 PM
    talaria says:

    Hello,
    Just checking to see if anyone has information regarding when foreigners will be able to return to their boats in Spain. We are in the US but our boat is in Cartagena, Spain. We are hoping to return sometime this summer. Any information would be appreciated.

    Dillards
    s/v Talaria

    1. April 22, 2020 at 11:42 AM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      For the latest on Spain see https://www.noonsite.com/place/spain/formalities/#biosecurity-section
      It is currently not possibly to fly into Spain unless you are a Spanish citizen or resident.
      There will be a Government announcement today about possible extension to the lockdown.

  13. April 16, 2020 at 8:49 AM
    madg says:

    Dear sailors, from Spain we want to wish you enjoy good health. The marinas in Spain are not closed, although there are restrictions on the movement of people.

    Puerto Sotogrande, on the southern Spanish coast of the Mediterranean, next to Gibraltar, is an open port. The boats can enter prior contact (puertosotogrande@puertosotogrande.com) at least one day in advance informing ETA to inform the authorities of the arrival of the boat. That yes, the crew and passengers may not disembark except for health reasons that are considered emergencies and that must be expressly authorized.
    Fuel supply and provisions are available.
    The dry dock is operating applying containment measures recommended by the authorities and the World Health Organization.

  14. February 3, 2020 at 11:14 PM
    clauspkinder says:

    Hello,
    I am about to take private yacht voyage as a passenger from Spain to Italy for 1 month. What documentation will I need for immigration when I arrive in Spain from the USA and what documentation do I need for immigration when I depart Italy. Thank you.

    1. February 5, 2020 at 8:19 PM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      Hi Claus,
      Citizens of the United States with a valid US passport can travel to 25 European member countries of the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days without having to apply or obtain a Schengen visa for short-term tourism or a business trip. Spain and Italy are two of the 25 member countries.
      Find out more about Schengen here – https://www.noonsite.com/european-union/.
      Make sure on arrival in Spain your passport is stamped so you have proof of first entry into Schengen. If you intend to return to Europe anytime soon, it’s worth getting your passport stamped on departure in Italy so you have proof of how many days you used of your permitted 90 in 180 days.
      Documents you’ll need to show on entry include:
      – A US Passport. It must not be older than 10 years and it should be valid for at least three more months beyond your intended date of departure from the Schengen Area.
      – Evidence on purpose of entry. Documents that show why you are traveling to the Schengen Area (booking confirmation, letter from the Skipper etc.).
      – Proof of sufficient financial means to support yourself during the stay in Europe.
      The ETIAS system doesn’t start until 2021 so there’s no pre-arrival registration you have to do at this time.
      Any further questions, please do ask.

  15. January 31, 2020 at 3:55 AM
    mardeviento says:

    Hi,
    Wondering if anyone has any first hand information on the state of the cruising in the Baleras Islands or the coast of Spain between Alicante and Barcelona after the storm Gloria.
    Cheers

    1. January 31, 2020 at 11:22 AM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      Hi Lawrence,
      Storm Gloria did cause damage to quite a lot of facilities up the coast of Spain. Some of the more exposed marinas lost pontoons and boats sunk. It’s definitely recommended to contact marinas in advance to confirm they have visitor space available. There was also a great deal of debris in the water following the storm (trees, dead animals and large amounts of seaweed). This appears to have improved but it’s still a problem in some places so keep a good lookout.
      I will post a tweet with your question to see if we can get some feedback from cruisers based there.If anyone has first-hand experience of conditions at berthing facilities up the coast of Spain following Storm Gloria, in particular in Murcia, Valencia, Barcelona and the Balearic Islands, please post your feedback here.

    2. February 1, 2020 at 8:36 PM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      Jan 31
      Replying to
      @NoonsiteEditor
      All good in Almerimar. There was hail in Murcia and hail in Malaga buy somehow Almerimar was not affected by Gloria.

  16. July 21, 2019 at 8:44 AM
    musketeer says:

    Hi
    We are trying to book to stay at Cabrera and the Webb site is showing it is fully booked even though. You can not book for twenty day
    Can anyone help or advise what to do
    Thank you James

  17. May 13, 2019 at 4:55 PM
    glide2277 says:

    Hi all
    Can anyone recommend a good yard at fair market prices to store my boa, Orkka, (2005 Beneteau 473 Oceanis Clipper) in southern Spain, on hard–stands, for July and August? (I tried one in Palma, and frankly, it seemed about 3x the price of Greece…) I need a little work done–simple stuff–repair/replace Bimini, clean the bottom, probably a coat of bottom paint… Thanks very much for any suggestions…max And thanks to Noonsite…so super helpful…

    1. January 31, 2020 at 11:23 AM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      Max, I don’t know if you found a suitable yard, but please do give us some feedback if you did to help those needing the same. Many thanks.

  18. April 26, 2019 at 3:43 PM
    Lynda Lim says:

    Apr 26, 2019 03:43 PM

    Checking out for Australians and other non-EU folk. After some frustration with the lack of information available and a great deal of angst, we finally managed to find out how to, and successfully achieve, checking out of La Linea in Spain. We needed that all important exit stamp in our passports in order to preserve our 90/180 Schengen Visas. So…we booked into La Linea (Alcadeisa) Marina for 1 night. The next morning we settled our account, and then took that, along with our passports, boat documents and crew list for a short walk over to the Frontier Police (or Border Police) located in a building to the right (but on the Spain side) of the Spain/Gibraltar border crossing. At reception we needed to explain that we were on our own sailing boat in the La Linea Marina and that we needed to get an exit stamp in our passports to preserve our Schengen Visas before we could then sail out. They will ask where you are going and when, what was your last port, where did you enter the EU/Schengen Area etc etc. Very little or no English is spoken so for us it was a challenge. But eventually, you will get there. The officials are friendly but a big smile and lots of patience and respect helps!!

  19. February 14, 2018 at 12:48 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Posted on behalf of Jan Harzem

    Immigrants at sea
    Due to the issue of immigrants trying to get to Spain from North Africa, you will no doubt encounter some of their boats, as we did. The Spanish coast guard will put out notifications on VHF about boats that they know of, their approximate vicinity and no. of people on board. My advice is as follows:
    When you spot such a vessel, get in contact with the closest MRCC centre in Spain or Italy. Get close to the vessel so you can report status etc., but do not attempt to take anybody onboard. Some of these boats have 28 people or more on board. In these areas help is only a couple of hours away. We spotted a small boat about 60 miles south of Carthagena and changed course 90 degrees to investigate.

    Within 3 minutes we were called up by MRCC Carthagena asking us to help in the search of a vessel with 8 people on board. We followed the small boat for a couple of hours until dusk but never caught up with the boat as they were going as fast as we were, but gave course and heading to the Spanish Coast Guard who picked them up a couple of hours later.

  20. September 9, 2017 at 1:39 PM
    Data Entry says:

    August 2017

    Enjoyed the dramatic sights offered by circling Isla Dragonera before dropping the hook in what passes for the island’s only anchorage at Cala Llado. A quick jump in the water with a mask revealed a less than ideal anchorage and all who use it should BE AWARE:

    Holding is very sketchy. The bottom offers tiny patches of grass amongst a cavernous collection of large and jagged rock. Our anchor bit simply because it snagged a crack along the top of a rock, lucky us. However, an anchor could easily land in any one of the abundant crevasses and become seriously fouled, or it could fail to grab anything. We watched a neighbouring boat attempt to anchor several times before ultimately moving on.

    There is a massive ridge-like rock amongst the surrounding 5-meter depths than raises much closer to the surface, to within about 2 meters (approximately N 39* 35.18’ by E 2* 19.68’). This rock was noted during my snorkelling explorations, however, it appeared far-enough away to not warrant concern. Then, of course at O’dark thirty, a 180-degree wind-shift (seemingly not uncommon in these locales) swung our boat directly over said rock, and thunderous smashing sounds and vibrations had all hands on deck to remedy the situation.

    Anchor retrieval saw a small glitch but luckily the anchor did come up without too much fuss, perhaps the swing in direction actually helped dislodge us from our little “crack” holding. At any rate, my imagination was certainly capable of imagining a much worse outcome, and it served as a good reminder to always anchor with a 360* view in mind.
    We got underway and decided to cross the channel (less than a mile) in hopes of snagging a vacant mooring ball from the nearby Sant Elm field, we’ll sort the rest out in the morning.

    All went according to plan, and we were sleeping soundly until woken by the second round of smashing/crunching noises. “You gotta be kiddin’ me!” is all I could think as I hastily wrestled on a pair of shorts before gaining the deck. A large (18-meter or so) motor yacht still tied to its mooring ball was somehow tangled with us.

    Wha? A younger crew member of the said yacht was doing his best to fend off the embattled bows. We joined the fight. We soon realized that their mooring had failed and they awoke as surprised as us. The skipper got his engines running, the crewman cast off his mooring lines, and we both parted ways relatively unscathed, thankfully. After the mess, I watched their yellow mooring ball bob itself out to sea.

    That was the first (and last) time we ever used one of the CBBA mooring balls. I am not writing this post as a targeted criticism against CBBA, nor am I opposed to fixed-moorings. Accidents do happen and even well-made parts do fail. Sooner or later, the sea claims all. That said, we should all be aware that such failures do occur, even in popular, protected, and well-funded first-world cursing grounds.

    Because we tied-up in the middle of the night and had not paid for the mooring, we were told by a staff member the following morning that we had little room for recourse. Considering that we received only scratches, the other boat was already gone, and that our itinerary was very tight we choose not to pursue the issue any further. All in all, it was quite a night, but thankfully—for me at least—all’s well that ends well.

    I should note that we observed a number of boats using the anchorage at Isla Dragonera seemingly without trouble or hassle. I can only offer an account of my observations and experiences, of course, every crew must decide for themselves.

    If you are new to the Med, as I am, I do recommend diving your anchor (especially if staying overnight) as the holding conditions seem quite differentiated and erratic.

  21. August 25, 2017 at 7:24 AM
    Data Entry says:

    Posidonia

    The drive to protect Seagrass (Posidonia) is making cruising Mallorca (Balearics) at anchor in particular very difficult.
    You are not allowed to anchor anywhere where there is sea grass where your anchor or your chain touches it. The “posidonia police” come along and inspect your anchor then tell you to move on, even if your own dive onto your anchor showed no weed present. This is ANYWHERE. So if you drop into a cala or anchor off a beach (e.g. Cala Carogol) they will turn up and turf you off, even where they have not yet laid buoys.

    Others have mentioned the price of moorings (Euro 50-100)and the fact you have to book them in advance by phone talking to someone whose English is about as good as my Spanish.

    Makes you feel very unwelcome – we shall move on next season.

  22. November 18, 2016 at 8:29 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Wintering in Spain at Sotogrande

    WE are leaving out boat out of the water at this marina the cost seems reasonable for a 13M sailboat at 4200 EU. The boat yard appears organized and there are lots of staff and security people around

  23. October 22, 2016 at 10:37 AM
    Data Entry says:

    Posted on behalf of Mark & Lisa Powell

    A warning to non-EU cruisers in the Med.

    We would like to pass on our experience yesterday with French customs. As the website correctly states, non-EU registered boats may remain in EU waters for 18 months before payment of VAT is required. We entered the EU last July, after crossing the Atlantic in May and then spending some time in Portugal and “resetting the clock” in Gibraltar in July. Therefore, the boat could stay in the EU until Jan 2017 without paying VAT. However, before returning the US for the winter, we obtained a “Precinto” (6-month customs bond) in Spain. This basically put the boat in bond while we went back to the U.S. for 6 months. Our understanding was that this Precinto would stop the Temporary Importation (TI) clock for 6 months, effectively extending our time to 24 months in EU waters before VAT payment is required.

    Yesterday, while motoring along the south coast of France (near Bandol/Toulon), we were approached and boarded by French customs. Because out boat has only been in EU waters for since last July (13.5 months), they were very cordial and we had no problems. We also showed them our Precinto from Spain. They were completely unfamiliar with this document. I also showed them the paragraph in the IMRAY cruising guide describing the customs bond and 6-month extension. In no uncertain terms, they told us that France does not provided such an extensions and that they would not recognize or honor this Precinto from Spain. They kindly suggested that we sail to Tunisia for a day to “reset the clock” before our 18-month deadline in Jan 2017.

  24. November 10, 2013 at 6:04 AM
    Data Entry says:

    The above report is VERY astonishing!
    Spain, having been hit by the crises quite hard (unemployment rate shooting to an average of 50%!) is in desperate need of funds – and they go and look for income wherever they can.

    Very recently a yacht (“Air”) has been seized by the authorities in Palma de Mallorca for an outrageous claim for “back taxes” because it had advertised on its website to be available “for charter in the Western Med”!
    Mind you: They have not advertised to be available for charter in Spain and they have not been caught actually doing an illegal charter in Spain – just the mentioning on their website was enough for the authorities to seize the vessel!
    The owner – a billionaire – has received very little sympathy from the public when he was billed € 20 Million(!) for the authorities to again release the yacht! While I have to admit that I can also keep my sympathies at check for people in that income range, I still feel that the concept behind this system to compensate for a significant drop in income from the yachting industry should be taken as a major alert to all of us!

    Also very important to keep in mind is, that Spain may be a “member of the European Community” – but only on the paper. Sad truth is, that there is a lot of corruption and at least “massive bending of the law” going on – and foreigners can’t expect to see much help from their own governments because by them Spain is considered a “law-abiding member of the EC”.

    See for your info the story of an attempt to make a salvage case out of a simple emergency reported on our blog at http://786global.com/?p=147 (in German and English) as well as an at least as outragous story that is still happening to us which you can read up at:
    http://786sail.com/786global/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/IMAGINE_en.pdf (in English) or at:
    http://786sail.com/786global/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/IMAGINE_de.pdf (in German)

    As far as importing your boat to Europe I would most seriously dispute Spain to be the “by far best place” to go about this.

    If you are coming from outside the Med, I would strongly recommend going about this in Portugal (where most people speak English on top of it!).
    I personally know the first-hand story of a large 38m Schooner that had been imported to the EC in Lissbaon with the Authorities happily accepting the value stated by the owner as a basis to compute the taxes. (Which, in that case, were ridiculously low!)

    Another good option I have heard a lot about is Croatia. But also Greece seems to be a place where one can strike a fairly good deal with just a tiny little bit of negotiation.

    On the other hand, does Spain, France and most of all Italy have the reputation of being “hard-headed” and especially if you run into an official having a bad hair day can quickly get out of hand.

    Just my 2 Cents…..

  25. October 25, 2013 at 1:11 PM
    Data Entry says:

    Posted on behalf of Don Stewart, SV Glenn Farr

    By far the best place to import your boat into in Europe is Spain. The valuation of the boat is based on the “blue book” price (or if your boat is not listed, then listed sale price of your model boat or similar found on the internet). This was the case with my sailboat. Of course there were a number of different boats for sale.

    They took the middle of the road price. The procedure is then to take 10% of that price and charge VAT/IVA on that. So for example, if your boat is valued at $50,000 then you pay VAT/IVA on $5,000. The whole process took place at the customs office in Barcelona. This was the only office we had to visit. Officials were very friendly.