Sailing The Dream
Montenegro, Zelenica - checking in
On our way south the Adriatic Sea, we decided we should once again take advantage of the possibility of fuelling up with duty-free fuel in Montenegro but at the same time, we didn’t want to go through the process of booking a slot time to do the check-in at the Marina Porto Montenegro in Tivat. We wanted to arrive at our own pace, do the check-in and then stay one or two days at anchor waiting for the weather window to carry on our journey.
With that in mind, we decided to go to Zelenica, the first port of entry in Montenegro when coming from the north.
As we approached the police pontoon, which looked reasonably long and able to accommodate several vessels at the same time, we realised that a big portion of the pontoon was actually in shallow waters (although we didn’t check the actual depths) so we docked immediately behind a huge motor yacht that was already docked. With both of us there probably there was only room left on the area with good depths for another boat our size.
The place in itself was a bit eerie, feeling very much like an abandoned dock next to a vacant parking lot. At the end of the pontoon a little pre-fabricated office container just past it a gated fence.
We walked to the pre-fabricated office and discovered that it was actually where both the Customs office and the Immigration police were located. A bit of chit-chat with the very relaxed officers and we were told that we needed to first go to the harbourmaster across the seafront avenue to the abandoned looking building.
(Yes, those were the words used by the officers to describe the building)
I rushed quickly to the harbourmaster while John returned to The Dream to keep an eye on Ella.
The harbourmaster office was indeed an abandoned-looking building and the official on duty had been clearly having a snooze but was quite amused to be doing the check-in of an Australian vessel.
In his mind, we had sailed from Australia to Montenegro and no matter how much I explained our travels none seemed to change his mind.
I rushed back to the police pontoon to complete the check-in formalities but this time around the same officers that just minutes before had been super relaxed-looking were now looking very grumpy and for the first time we were asked for Ella’s papers in a very threatening tone.
Off course I had her Pet Passport with me together with her rabies titer exam but the reality was that we had not done the necessary veterinary health declaration 10 days before arriving in Montenegro.
For a moment I panicked, but very quickly I realised that was exactly what they were counting on so very quickly I presented all the documents I had without mentioning the missing details, hoping that they had no clue of what exactly was necessary to enter the country.
Spot on, they weren’t sure of what was involved and the moment I asked how long did we have to wait on the dock for the veterinary inspector would come they rushed me out of there, giving us clearance. Clearly, the thought of having to deal with other authority department was not part of their plan for a good relaxed afternoon!
In no time we were at anchor just by Tivat enjoying the rest of the afternoon.
***In the spirit of sharing our dreams and experiences we have shared this blog post in the NOFOREIGNLAND.COM website sailors community. In this post you can find information regarding check in and out procedures with location for the Customs and Immigration