We have now been at sea for almost 4 weeks and are coming to the end of our time in Croatia. Since we left our home port in Rogoznica we have sailed steadily south, revisiting some of our familiar island haunts and exploring some new bays and anchorages that we haven’t had time to visit in previous trips during school holidays.
It has been good to take our time and soak up a little more of the beautiful Adriatic island scenery, which is pretty stunning from our view out at sea. We have had dolphins swimming at our bow (always a magical sight) and have witnessed some incredible sunsets, a view we never tire of.
We found a lovely anchorage in the bay of Vrnik on the east of Island Korcula and stayed put for 3 days, spending time doing some more boat jobs, including customizing our sun hood in preparation for the hot weather to come during the summer. This involved chopping our hood in half, allowing us to create essential shade for the cockpit, but keeping our solar panels exposed, to allow us to draw in maximum solar energy, which helps to keep the batteries charged. Damian has rebuilt the frame for the hood and the sewing machine came out again to remodel the canvas cover. We also took the opportunity whilst in calm water, to put the dinghy in the water and scrub the whole outside of the boat – working out in the ‘gym of sailing life’ offers fitness of a very different variety!
Our steady journey south offered us the opportunity to put together a potential itinerary for the week we were due to spend with some friends, who were flying into Dubrovnik. It is always good to know where we might be able to enjoy some nights out at anchor with ‘bail out’ options in case the weather turns nasty and we need to run for cover. We also have to consider options for picking up water and supplies and our ability to get back into port for flights home.
On our way towards Dubrovnik we took the opportunity to visit Slano on the mainland, which was a popular Yugoslavian holiday destination prior to the 1991-95 war when the town was brought to the ground. Sadly during the recovery from the war the town suffered an earthquake and still shows scars of the conflict as the town continues to be rebuilt. We sailed right around Island Mljet, visiting the National Park in Polace and explored some bays further south of the island, which we’d never been to before. For the first time in 10 years of swimming in the sea in Croatia I was stung by a jellyfish, but thankfully prompt treatment with vinegar sorted out the pain pretty quickly and we didn’t have to resort to the other recommended treatment of ‘peeing’ on the sting! Damian was sad to lose his only bottle of Sarsons, but I was grateful for the great sacrifice….
Our friends arrived in Cavtat – a short journey from Dubrovnik airport, and we have spent the last week retracing our steps, visiting Island Lopud and travelling back up to Island Mljet National Park. We rented mountain bikes in Polace and went in search of Plitvice Lakes, Paklenica and Risnjak. This ride involved some pretty impressive hills and gave us all a hell of a workout, but the views and spectacular scenery made the ride worthwhile.
We sailed around Mljet to the beautiful bay of Saplunara, taking advantage of a gorgeous sunny day to swim and relax on the beach. A sail past Dubrovnik old town offered a unique view of what is thought to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world and a visit into the city showed just how popular Dubrovnik has become as a tourist destination.
The week of sailing with our friends produced a wide variety of weather – beautiful sunshine, rain, storms and an exciting evening of un-predicted winds gusting beyond 30 knots, quite an experience for newbie sailors! It was wonderful to have company and spend time with old friends who were happy to muck in and deal with the unique, but very basic lifestyle of living onboard a sailing boat. Thanks to Mark and Jill, friends for 32 years and fabulous company for our farewell sail in Croatia!
Back in Cavtat we are alone again and the washing machine has been put to work. We are preparing to clear Customs and check out of Croatia in a couple of days to make our way down to Montenegro. We plan to spend a week exploring the anchorages of this stunning coastline and pay a visit to the historic town of Kotor. Whilst there we will stock up on supplies, fuel and water and plan our next big trip – the sail across the Adriatic to Italy.
The last six weeks has all been a bit of a whirlwind and my Yoga practice has changed enormously. Having had some time to adjust to our new way of life I find myself ready to consider ‘what next’ regarding the future of my Yoga teaching and how I might share some practice. I have some thoughts on how I might continue making some video and audio practices available and my daughter is paying a visit to a retreat venue in Montpelier in the south of France, which I hope to book for next May. Keep an eye on the website for details.
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