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FROM CROATIA TO MONTENEGRO TO GREECE, May-June 2012, 39:45.90N 19:57.00E


FROM CROATIA TO MONTENEGRO TO GREECE, May-June  2012, 39:45.90N 19:57.00E

Fi and Alan cruised with us in Croatia for a fortnight, and we left our winter marina in Murter, Croatia, on 18 May, after testing our new Yanmar engine. We sailed to Dugu Otok, passing snow-covered mountains, and stopped at the Kornatis, moonscape islands covered in rocks, and stopped in Sibenik, where Customs wanted to see our engine installed in the boat. After a lot of bureaucracy, we cleared out of Croatia at Sibenik, with a Bora predicted. We stopped at Razina, then Consie’s favourite: Primosten, and Rogoznica (pronounced Roger’s Nickers), Trogir, Vinisce, and Vis, where we fitted and tested our new Rocna anchor. The weather improved and we swam most days, and walked ashore whilst revisiting some of last year’s anchorages. Roland and Alan tried out the new Bic Open sailing dinghy, named “Livi” (also shipped from England with the new anchor) at the Pakleni islands at Vinogradisce. We stopped at Hvar, Korcula (where Marko Polo was born) then Luka Vrnik. On to Mljet, where we  had a last ‘Peka’ meal ashore (where Calypso had kept Ulysses captive for 7 years) and bought fresh sardines for lunch. We stopped at some favourite anchorages on our way south: Otok Jakljan, Sipan, and finally Dubrovnik. We had not walked the fortress walls last year as the temperatures were in the 40s, so we walked with Fi and Alan at dusk in a soft evening light, and had a last Croatian meal of fried squid together, before they flew back to Scotland.

We motored a few miles south to Cavtat, where we collected David M and Dutch cousin Maurits, and together we took a bus to Dubrovnik and a ferry back to the boat after we had taken a few hundred photos of Dubrovnik. The next day we cleared out of Croatia and set off to sail to Montenegro, some 50 nautical miles south. We left Croatia a few days under our 1 year cruising permit, which expired 5 June.

 

2 June we sailed into Montenegro, past forts at the entry to the huge Boka Kotorska river, which is surrounded by mighty mountains up to 1800metres high, and anchored beside one of hundreds of churches on the water’s edge. The next morning we motored into Kotor, and cleared into Montenegro, buying one-week’s cruising permit for E132.50, and tying up at the harbor wall, beside the centuries old walled village. Kotor has been fought over for thousands of years, and has remnants of its many rulers, a dozen churches, fabulous palazzos and marble cobbled streets in pink, white and gold. The fortified walls extend to the top of the hill, and we walked the 1300 stone steps up to look over Kotor. Then we rented a car and drove up the mountains, along narrow roads with hundreds of hairpin bends, to the original capital of Cetinje. Back down at the coast, Gilbert’s girlfriend Pip emailed us that Gil was in hospital with a slipped disc, it is always hard to be so far away when there are emergencies, and dodgy communications.  7 June we checked out of Montenegro at the new superyacht marina at Tivat, and set off past Albania, for the Ionian islands, 170nmiles, an overnight motorsail in calm water with a huge orange moon. We are getting used to our new engine and cruising at 8 kts. Very easily! Our new Rocna anchor is eyed enviously by some of our neighbours.

 

8 June Yasas! We arrived at Erikoussa, one of the Greek Ionian islands, and checked in at Corfu, which took a few confusing hours, now we have a Transit Log for 6 months. We walked around Corfu’s streets, many of which are marble, found the fresh food markets between the hillside forts, bought squid and sardines, and stopped for drinks in local tavernas. Day temperatures are up in their 30s. David left us to return to Scotland, and Maurits is with us for another 10 days, sailing to Poros, where his sister Mia lives. We are enjoying stopping at tiny bays loaded with myths and legends. Yesterday we photographed Pondikonisi, supposedly an island formed when Poseidon turned the Phaeacian boat Ulysses was on to rock. Next we are going to Palaiokastrita, ancient Phaeacian capital, where Nausicaa took Ulysses home, after finding him tossed ashore at Ermones. The legends are more alive when you are in Greece, and I am glad I downloaded a couple of translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey onto the ipad Olivia and James gave us last year. We hope to meet up with our New Zealand friends  Pat and June on ‘Antares’ in the next couple of weeks and spend some time cruising together in Greece.

 

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Authors: Restless of Auckland - News Feed

Read more http://blog.mailasail.com/restless/77

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