October 20-21, 2019 —
Albania seems to want to encourage boaters but currently has too many obstacles in place to be successful. All boats are required to check in and out of every port. There is only one marina in the country and anchoring is not allowed. With roughly fifty miles between ports we pushed to have daylight days of travel. There was no wind for our trip north along the Albanian coast. That was a help as the winds are generally from the north and we needed easy cruising to make the distance we needed to accomplish each day. With the calm water we were graced with a full dolphin show consisting of about 15 dolphins.
Our first night after leaving Sarande was a shorter day and we went into Porto Polermo, a small bay recommended by our agent. There were a few old fishing boats anchored in the bay but they looked too decrepit even for old fishing boats. When we arrived we found no town and one very high concrete dock to tie up to. It looked like it had been left over from the Russian occupation. It did have a police boat secured to the other side of the dock so we figured we would be safe! Our required calls for permission to be there went unanswered. Climbing up onto the dock from the boat was a stretch, literally, but we accomplished it with a boost.
Sailing north from there we observed the local advice we were given to stay five miles offshore to stay out of trouble. We are not sure if this was referring to going aground or hitting mines but we complied. All along the coast we would see bunkers and pill boxes. Another throwback to the Communist era. It gave us the feeling our every move was being watched, of course we knew they weren’t. But, it was sobering to imagine being here during that period, not too long ago.