Showing posts from June, 2018

Durres – Saturday 30 June 2018

It rained all night long.   Between the rain, being first cold and then hot, and be pursued by a host of mosquitoes, I didn’t sleep at all well.     So when the alarm went at 7 it wasn’t a surprise.     But at least when we did get up it had finally stopped raining and the sun was trying to peek through. We found Frrok at the club and collected the last bit of paper we need for the next port.  He wouldn’t accept payment for all he did yesterday but did take 25 euros towards the petrol. He really has been very sweet. So we left port just before 9am. The sky was blue out at sea and the winds light.  However, there was a bit of a swell.  For a time I managed it, but after 3 hours I decided to take a pill.  I also had a little nap below to make up for my disturbed night.  When I got up and went on deck I was surprised to find the wind instrument saying we had a force four on the beam and yet Richard had not put up any sail.  At first I didn’t like to query the situation, but when

Shengjin – Friday 29 June 2018

We had to sleep under the duvet last night it was that cold.     When we got up the weather was not at all encouraging.     It was drizzling and very grey.     The weather forecast showed that if we set out for Durres the wind would be on the nose.     Tomorrow looked better so we decided to stay here. The arrangement with out agent Frrok was that we would meet him between 8 and 9am and tell him what we had decided to do.  So after breakfast we put on warmish crummy clothes and went to find Frrok.  He was driving up to us as we got off the boat.  We told him we were staying and he asked what we wanted to do.  We asked for suggestions with a view to perhaps hiring a car and going inland. Then he asked if we would like to go up to “the village” to a very nice restaurant for lunch.  We agreed and he said he would make a reservation and mentioned 12 o’clock.  We thought this meant he would collect us as 12, but we soon discovered we were wrong when he drove off with us then and there.

Shengjin (Albania) – Thursday 28 June 2018

Well our plans to check out of Montenegro didn’t quite go to plan.     We woke up to the alarm at 6am and went to deal with customs and the immigration police at about 6:45.     The customs office appeared to be closed, but when they heard us at the door they opened it and took our piece of paper from the Harbour Master.   However when we got to the police they told us they do not open until 7am and we had to bring the boat around to them.     By the time we did all this it was about 8am before we left Bar harbour.     The weather forecast was better but there were still problems.  The wind has dropped but there is nearly a metre swell in the sea.  I took a pill before we set out in the light of this.  With the sea state and the late start we abandoned the plan to go straight to Durres and headed to Shengjin instead.  In fact the journey was not that bad.  The sea settled down after a couple of hours.  The main problem is that it became very cloudy and cold. I had to put on long t

Bar – Wednesday 27 June 2018

The wind howled all night.   In the morning it was still blowing strong and the sky was very grey with some rain.     It seemed to me to be a day to sit in away from the weather. But we decided we must get out. So after a leisurely breakfast and read of the paper we decided to start to check out of Montenegro.  We paid for our three days berthing and then got our boat papers back.  We found the Harbour Master’s office which was open and we got out papers endorsed to show we are leaving for Albania tomorrow.   We have to clear immigration and customs tomorrow. We then went up the road and to the supermarket to top up our stores with another day’s food.  We also stopped for a bit of lunch in a café, which was pretty ordinary. The weather was still grey and drizzly, but we decided to go to Stari Bar.  That is the ruins of the ancient city that started this place. We were told there was a bus that goes hourly, but to save time we took a taxi.  The site is another climb up a hi

Bar – Tuesday 26 June 2018

Well we are still here sheltering from bad weather.     In the middle of the night the wind got up to 30 knots and made a racket waking us both up.     We were perfectly safe in out berth, but it was still awful.     There was also a bit of rain, but not too much. We slept as late as we could and the wind abated a bit, but it was grey and cold.  We finally got up our courage to go into town and do a bit of food shopping.  We then sussed out where the Harbour Master’s office was.  For a change Richard got it wrong and I took us straight to it. In the afternoon the weather cheered up a bit.  The wind wasn’t so strong and there was a hint of sun.  Our dinghy was in the way and worried the pontoon man.  So we took it out of the water only to discover that it was completely green on the bottom growing weed and that in only a month. So we scrubbed it off and deflated it.  We have only used it twice and then not of necessity.  So it may as well be put away.  It just has caused us pro

Bar – Monday 25 June 2018

We only woke up at 8am and then Richard got the weather.     The forecast has deteriorated and high winds and some rain are expected tomorrow and Wednesday.     So we made a last minute decision to leave right away and make our way to Bar (probably our last stop in Montenegro).     We were stuck in Bar last autumn for several days.     It is a boring town, but with a marina and shops. The day did not start well. We made the most terrible mess of leaving the mooring.  We started off and I didn’t hear Richard tell my to cast off the forward line.  The couple next door shouted that R was going forward while the line was still attached.  I hurriedly let the rope go, but then further disaster struck.  Dave on the next boat shouted that we were trailing a line.  I couldn’t work out what it could be and then I realized that the pick up cord of the forward line had got tangled on a stanchion.  As I freed it, Richard let the boat go back and hit the pulpit of David’s boat!  Hysterics all a

Kotor – Sunday 24 June 2018

There was quite a lot of wind in the night, but we had no particular problems and had a reasonable night’s sleep.     The wind was still a bit brisk when we got up, but we decided that was a good thing as we plan to go up the hill to the fortress. So at about 9:30 we started into town to walk to the fortress.  I was tired before we even got to the proper entrance, having to climb up to the last houses in the town.  I have no idea how far or how high we walked, but it was very high.  At one stage I nearly chickened out. We took a wrong path and found ourselves at a very steep stairway that I knew I would never be able to get down safely.  But when we found the right path I struggled on and we did get to the top.  The tourist office said it was a 45 minute walk, but it took us more like one and a half hours.  But we made it and actually beat a young Russian couple to the top, much to their dismay!  I was worried that the journey down would be worse because we would be tired and

Kotor – Saturday 23 June 2018

As we were about to fall asleep last night there was a lot of thunder and then we saw lightening.     But having noticed that I just fell asleep.   I would have slept through the lot if I hadn’t turned over in the night and noticed that Richard wasn’t in the bed.     I guessed he was in the heads, but a look there showed he wasn’t.     I then thought he might have gone over to the marina toilet block, but his shoes were still on the boat so that wasn’t likely.     The wind was blowing strong and I began to really worry until he came into the salon and said he had been sorting the dinghy and ropes out in the light of the storm we were experiencing! When we got up it was still blowing 15 or 16 knots gusting 20.  We were safe and comfortable enough but we couldn’t decide what to do about leaving today.  So we had a walk through the marina.  I found a whole foods shop where I was able to buy some bread and muesli. By the time we got back to the boat the wind had abated somewhat and th

Porto Montenegro – Friday 22 June 2018

So it was up at 6:30 and off the berth at 7:30.     The weather seemed mild with only light winds.     We made our way to Gruz, being the port of entry for Dubrovnik to sign out of the country.     I was able to get through to the customs office on the VHF and they told us where to moor up on the customs quay and even had someone there to take our lines.     But then we saw there was a huge queue of people, cars and lorries all waiting for clearance.   At one stage we were told it might take 2 hours for them to get to us.     On hearing this we thought maybe we would be better to go on to Cavtat and check out there.     But when Richard went to the office to say we were thinking about that they said that today is a national holiday in Croatia and Cavtat might well be closed! So we sat it out and in the end the delay was only just over an hour.  But that did mean our journey to Montenegro was going to finish quite a bit later than we hoped.   The weather forecast was for southe

Dubrovnik Marina - Thursday 21 June 2018

After the traumas of yesterday a peaceful day of relaxation and domestic chores was what was needed and what we got. In the morning we found the laundry and put in a load of sheets and tee shirts which should keep us going until we get to Corfu.  We also found the supermarket and topped up our stores which should keep us for a few days. We were going to wash the boat, but the marina says they charge for water for boat washing and we were hot and tired, so we didn’t bother.  Richard put the boat back together again last night and this morning, so we are sort of respectable. It turned out to be a very hot and sticky day with clouds and sunshine.  We sat on the boat most of the time with a couple of trips to the pool and one trip to collect the washing. The idea was to go into old Dubrovnik in the evening and see what it is like at night.  So at about 5pm we dressed and took the bus into the old town.  Of course it was still daylight when we got there.  We walked around a

Dubrovnik Marina – Wednesday 21 June 2018

I was so upset yesterday that I could not bring myself to write a blog.  It was an awful day.   It didn’t start out too bad. The sun was shining and we got away from our mooring in good time.  There was no wind at all to start with and as ever we motored.   The wind picked up a little bit and was dead behind at about 5-7 knots.  We tried putting out the Genoa, but it just did nothing.  So we spend a long morning and afternoon motoring, which was very boring. We got to Dubrovnik at about 3pm having had no lunch other that a few biscuits.  The mooring man paid no attention to our pleas for help to come in.  He chose us quite a tight space between boats and Richard had to work really hard to get us anyway near the right angle to get in.  Eventually the mooring man went to the bows of the port boat and took our stern line and helped rope us in.  So we did finally get safely tied up. I was by this time desperate to ring the engineer (whose name I later was told was Alan) to get

Luke Polace, Mljet – Tuesday 19 June 2018

Well we have had another day that hasn’t gone to plan.     I never got though to Korcula marina. So we had to make some decisions.   The weather forecast for going back to Korcula was bad.     There were predicted to be 20 knot winds on the nose.     Also going to Korcula would mean going north when we want to go south.     So for all those reasons we gave up on that idea and decided it would be best to make our way to Dubrovnik where Jonnie had the details of an engineer who fixed his bow thruster earlier in the season.     So first Jonnie spoke to the engineer who said he could help us if we contacted him when we got to Dubrovnik. Then we made reservations to go into Dubrovnik marina on Wednesday and Thursday.  So today we would go back to our original plan of going to the island of Mljet where there is supposed to be a lovely bay.  There we could go on a restaurant pontoon if not too crowded or windy so we could manoever without hitting anything, or go on a mooring buoy or anch

Zaklopatica, Lastovo – Monday 18 July 2018

Well, it has been a day of ups and downs.     We got up fairly early with a view to leaving with the Luries at about 9:30.     However we decided to stop for fuel on the way so we left a little early.     When I took up the anchor I was not surprised by the mud and weed, but I was surprised by what I first thought was a log lodged in the anchor.     However when I tried to shift it I discovered that it was a metal rod!     It was entwined in the anchor and we couldn’t shift it even with a boat hook.   So we decided to leave it until we stopped at the fuel pontoon.     I wasn’t sure that I would ever get it off, but with an effort I did.     The blooming thing weighed almost as much as the anchor itself!     But having dislodged the thing and go filled up with fuel we set off happily with the Luries just behind us. At first the wind was quite good and we started to sail really well.  We were going at over 6 knots at one point.  But good things don’t last long.  The wind kept givi

Uvula Luka, Korcula – Saturday 15 June 2018 and Sunday 16 June 2018

We set out fairly early on Saturday 9am to get the 20 odd miles to Korcula to meet the Luries.     They do not like to go to marinas so the plan was to meet in a bay around the corner from the town where we can anchor.   The pilot book says that it is ½ a mile away from the town so easy to walk to.     It really is important to get to the town because it is a little gem with walls and beautiful old buildings. We managed to sail for the first three hours, but it was a very lumpy sea and I didn’t feel very well.  I even had to take a pill.  By about midday the wind had dropped and the sea flattened out so it was more comfortable, but we had to have the engine on.  Oh well at least that means we will have hot water when we get to the anchorage. Because I didn’t feel well on the way we didn’t have lunch and just ate a few ginger biscuits (very good for sea sickness).  We got to the anchorage just after 3pm and found the Luries in their nice big boat right away. We were able to anc

Milna - Thursday 14 June 2018

The weather forecast remains the same so we decide to leave and get to the next port before the rain arrives. The sky is blue and we were hopeful that we might get a sail, but although the forecast was for a north easterly which would do us fine, it was south - easterly and on the nose.  So it was another motoring job.  For a time it was even a bit choppy.  But we got here in good time.  We were warned that it would be rather busy as the flotillas like to come here before the end of their charter at the weekend.   It was busy. One whole wall was reserved for a rally, but they found us a nice space near the town. The town is old and cute. There isn’t much here, but it is pretty.  The weather comes up to forecast. We had a sharp shower.  Although there was thunder in the distance there wasn’t any at the time of the shower.  The only concern is that the mooring man said a Bora was due.  The actual weather report does not show that, but there must be some basis for his belief that

Marina Agana – Wednesday 13 June 2018

In the middle of the night we had another huge thunderstorm.     It rained exceptionally hard.     Also the electricity went off in our boat during the storm.     At first we thought that it was just our connection but when we got up we discovered that there was a power cut for the entire village.     The marina office and facilities were running on a generator so we had internet and lights in the loos, but that was all. Given the situation without electricity we had a lazy day to start with.  The last of the boats for the CA dinner came in.  A number were doing laundry so I was really pleased to have had mine done already.  We did go to see if we could get some shopping despite the lack of electricity. The butcher shop was not open.   We were able to buy bread at the bakery.  The first supermarket was open but it was dark without lights and the fridges were off.  I did manage to buy a few things, but was then directed to another supermarket which also must have had a generator be

Marina Agana – Tuesday 12 June 2018

We only had 6 miles to go from Trogir to here where we are meeting up with members of the Cruising Association for a sort of mini rally.     So we had a very leisurely morning and didn’t set out until 11:45.     As we had such a short distance to go I got lazy and persuaded Richard to let me lie the fenders on the deck and we didn’t take the passerelle off, rather just lifted it up on the main halyard.   That did mean we couldn’t use the mainsail. This did not deter Richard who was determined to sail.  So in just 7 knots of wind he put out the Genoa and turned the engine off. We had plenty of time so speed was not a problem and we were going along at just over 2 knots.  Now my usual rule of thumb is that if the boat speed goes below 2 knots it is time to put the engine on.  Well, the wind dropped a bit and we were going well under 2 knots, but I did not impose my rule especially as it was my idea to keep the passerelle on the halyard which has reduced the amount of sail we have. H

Trogir – Monday 11 June 2018

So it is Happy Birthday Richard.   I got up very early and went to the shop here in the marina.     It was surprisingly well stocked.     I was able to buy a selection of breakfast pastries and some other stores I had been looking for. We had breakfast in the cockpit and then did the domestic stuff.  I first sorted out the laundry to take to the laundry lady around the corner. She will have all the sheets towels and underwear washed and dried by this afternoon.  So I have no laundry worries for another three weeks at least. We then made our way to the other side of town to the fish market.  That was a disappointment.  There was very little there and most of it was sprats (apparently a local specialty).  We could see no live lobsters or crayfish.  We finally found someone in a larger unit and all she had was frozen lobsters and then at a price equivalent to about £75 a kilo.  Richard rejected that.  So no lobster dinner today. But what we did find was a very good outdoor market

Trogir - Sunday 10 June 2018

We were up fairly early and set out to Trogir, which Richard has chosen as the place he wants to be on his birthday tomorrow.     It is an ancient town on an island which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.     It also has a couple of nice marinas.     So we set off and there is a bit of a breeze.     We put up the mainsail but initially we are motoring.     But it isn’t long before Richard shuts off the engine and puts up the Genoa.     For a change the wind is behind us.     To start with there is only 8 to 10 knots of wind and we are only doing 3 knots.     I am concerned that it will take us so long to get to Trogir that the marinas will be full. For the last few days we have seen loads of boats and the charter boats are out in force.     I had suggested that we reserve a space in the marina, but they charge extra for that and we hoped it wouldn’t be necessary.     But now if we are going to arrive much later than midday as we had planned I don’t want to mess up the birthday plans.