March 28 - April 2, 2002
Travelog 2 of 2002
March 28, 2002. Tomorrow is Good
Friday and we are in Dubrovnik. Pete Johnson and I left Brindisi
yesterday morning at about 7 AM. We had planned to leave there
for several days and in fact went further than planning and did
leave on Tuesday, only to get out a mile or so and return to
our slip. It was rough. The people in the marina said that we
shouldn't leave on Tuesday, but we had to try. The wind blew
from the north for 5 days and was accompanied by rain. It just
wasn't to be that we leave before Wednesday. It was very rough
at the beginning of the trip even on Wednesday. The Navtex, a
reporting service for major shipping concerns with major sized
ships, had been reporting the weather in the Northern Ionian
and Southern Adriatic as Seas rough to Very Rough, winds
from the north at 45 to 65, gale force winds from the NNW to
NNE at force 7-8 to gale force 8-9. Our heading to Dubrovnik
was 0 degrees, straight north.
I figured the trip would last
about 20 hours as it was 122 no and we should average about 6
kits, with help from the engine. The day had plenty of wind,
some clouds, and several ships. We did fine up until the last
3 hours or last 20 miles. As we approached Dubrovnik the wind
increased and we had it shift from stbd to port and gain strength..
The most wind we saw was 37 kts. As we found out this morning
at the marina office there has been a Bora blowing in this area
for 6 days. It is a very strong local wind that blows from the
tops of mountains toward the sea and is prominent in the winter;
it can blow for as much as 6 days. The definition or further
explanation is much too long to repeat. We arrived at about 3
am and went to the entry area, Gruz, for our check in to the
country. I expected to rest until about 8 am and then complete
the entry procedure, but shortly after arriving we were greeted
by the police and asked to begin the process then. I was filling
out paper work until 4:40 when I was told to be back at the customs
house at 6 am to finish the job. At 6 I was awakened and completed
the entry process and we moved further up the Dubrovnik River
to the marina.
We are tied up and now we can
go to a most beautiful town, Dubrovnik. This area is beautiful
and the setting of the marina in a narrow canyon on the river
is picturesque. While walking through the town I was walking
beside a young man who was carrying a musical instrument. I asked
if there was to be a music program this evening and he assured
me that there was a concert in the Cathedral. The music was to
be from Hayden and they were going to do a rehearsal at noon.
Pete and I sat through the complete rehearsal and the music was
outstanding. It was an all string group with about 35 musicians.
We saw it and now will be able to get to bed at an early hour
tonight; otherwise we would have gone back to town.
Friday March 29. We did our provisioning
and got the appropriate charts, and left Dubrovnik at 10:30,
we are bound for the island of Miljet. This island is reputed
to be the island home of Calypso who so enchanted Odysseus that
he stayed with her for 7 years. We did get there and tied up
to a village wall in Okuklje. There is another boat here, from
Germany. There are two brothers and each man has brought his
son. I spent a bit of the afternoon on the veranda overlooking
a very tight land locked bay. It is not so large, but the restaurant
owner says that in the summer there will be up to 50 boats tied
up to the piers. I enjoyed the visit with the men and had a conversation
with the sons. They take English in school but get no practical
conversation exercise. Peter and I end the evening by having
supper in the restaurant. There are 11 of us at the table, Pete,
me, the men and sons, the owners and their two sons and their
daughter. The lady, who is Swiss, says that this is the first
meal of the season and she made it a celebration. So she could
visit and also because she was not prepared for such a group,
she farmed out, to ladies in the village, each of the dishes
that we were to have in the meal. We had a special fish in a
tomato sauce, spinach, boiled potatoes, and polenta. One of the
German brothers is a wine importer in Bavaria, so he had a Croatian
wine with him. It is from a nearby peninsula, Peljesak, and he
says it is the best wine in Croatia. I thought it was great and
to watch him in opening and determining whether it was good enough
for the table was a real show. This restaurant and the island
of Miljet are featured in the current issue of Yacht
which is the premier yachting magazine in Germany.
It was a delightful evening and
certainly a future destination for Traumerei when we are back
in this region.
Saturday, March 30. This is to
be a slow day in that we are not moving very far. We leave our
very protected anchorage and proceed to Korchula. This is the
reputed birthplace of Marco Polo. We found shelter in another
of the many ACI (Adriatic Croatia Internationale) marinas. The
town is not so large and is principally on a very small peninsula.
The west side of the peninsula is not so good now that the wind
is from the west and one would get pinned to the sea wall. The
marina is on the east side and furthermore, it is behind a sea
wall. We found a few supplies and did a photo tour of the major
spots of interest in the town. This is the town where the prevailing
winds in the winter are from the north and in the other parts
of the year from the east or west. The original town fathers
laid the town out such that all of the streets run east west.
A perimeter road circles the town. Thus the cold winds of winter
do not blow down the East-West streets and the non-winter winds
blow down the streets for cooling purposes. We found a restaurant
Marinero which is the lower floor of a 4-story building.
It is in the very old part of town. The owner is a retired merchant
marine and serves some very fine local dishes and seafood. As
usual we dine so early as to be first.
Sunday, March 31. and we depart
for a site on the mainland. We are again at sea with no wind
and very calm seas. The journey is about 25 miles and ends a
up at a very small village, Podogora This is most definitely
not a tourist or charter boat stop. The town is small with a
small-protected area for the local fishermen. We are directed
to tie to the wall in back of one of the larger local boats.
Many of the locals find a reason to stroll by and look at our
boat and us. One-man stops to visit, he is with his son and wife.
They each speak English and we have a history lesson about the
area. He is a surgeon from Split, but keeps a small boat here.
It is a very interesting conversation and he speaks of places
we should see and in fact recommends an anchorage to visit after
we leave here.
April 1. We are in Supetar which
is on the north side of the island of Brac and just 10 miles
from Split. This is Easter Monday so no one is open for business.
Peter and I walked the whole town and it seems to be very prosperous.
I believe that it is a bedroom community for Split. The ferry
runs to Split every hour and it takes only 30 minutes to get
there. Split is a very large industrial center not only for Croatia
but for the Adriatic as well. Pete and I did not find too much
to do except watch the ferry come and go. However the next morning
we were entertained by an older man in a small boat. He spent
the better part of two hours trying to get his outboard started.
If it started it would run for 20 seconds and stop. This was
repeated so many times that we only watched occasionally. After
it started for real, he headed for the open sea. We sailed to
Split on Tuesday and arrived to find the Split ACI marina under
reconstruction. They have taken about 30% of their slips out
of service for repair. So we did not find a place to leave the
boat. The fuel dock was also under repair so no diesel. The attendant
at the marina did contact the ACI marina in Trogir and reserved
a space for us. That is only a 10-mile trip and we found a new
home for Traumerei. This is a really neat place. Picture an island
about 3 miles long and 1 mile wide about 400 yards off of the
mainland. In the straits midway between the island and mainland
there is another small island, about 250 yards wide and a half
of a mile long. The ancient town of Trogir is on the island in
the strait. The buildings of Trogir are from about 1200 and include
a castle and fortifications. You can probably find the town on
the web. We prepared Traumerei for a period of time when we will
be in Arizona.
The transportation to Split and
Trogir is pretty good, ferry, bus and air, but the air is very
expensive. A 200-mile flight to Rijeka Croatia is about $700.
We took the bus for $20. An all night bus ride to Trieste, Italy
and a two hour train ride to Venice puts in our town of departure
for Frankfurt and Phoenix. We spent an afternoon and the whole
next day exploring the lagoons of Venice and the island of Murano.
This is pretty much a need to see area. Good food, good shopping
and a good nights rest prior to the long day on Lufthansa. We
are home now and preparing to return with Kathy and my granddaughter
for a late spring visit to the upper Adriatic.