Port Yasmine – Hammamet – 18 June 2019

After a late start we moved the boat from the bay, down into the marina. An easy 30 minutes motoring followed by hours of sweaty offices, endless paperwork and bribery.

Marina plan

We all sat in a very hot office filling out paperwork that was eventually loudly stamped. We were taken to another hot office where more paperwork was completed and again, loudly stamped. We then went to have the boat searched. Two men with guns came on board and started looking through our stuff.

I didn’t know what to do. We’d been told to bring spirits for entry and exit bribes, so had four bottles hidden away. Two ready to bring out when the moment was right in this hot and boring process. But how do you start that conversation? “Errr, can I bribe you to get the f**k off my boat and let us in to your country?”

Anyway, eventually one of the two blokes said “Errrrm, would it be possible to have little present?”. Relieved, I countered with “Of course, I’d love to show my appreciation for your beautiful country” and produced two bottles of Scotch. He then suddenly dashed up on deck shouting and I thought, crap I’m going to a Tunisian jail now. He arrived back with another bloke with a uniform and gun and said, “Do you also have little present for my friend?”

Nope. That was it. I needed the other two bottles for exiting Tunisia as I couldn’t get anything like that locally. So I went and found a bottle of OK wine and put it on the table, and the guy said “No, no, no, no”. I shrugged to say that’s it mate and he struggled too, grabbing the bottle and stuffing it down his trousers, and off they went. We were in.