PART 1 May - July

Mike came out to Bar in March to open up the boat, have her taken out of the water for her annual hull clean and inspection; this was the best part, no rot and no significant cracks.

The weather was cold and miserable.

Then disaster struck: picture this, the boat is on dry land, entry is up a steep ladder, some ten feet high.

Mike came back into the boat dripping wet oilskins down onto the galley steps, slipped, fell head first down them, his head managing to find the sharp corner of a strong plastic box. He was probably concussed but managed to get himself into bed.

The next day realised he had cut his head open, got himself off to the local hospital, only to find he should have been at the other one, to which he was driven by ambulance. Once the medical staff saw he was in pain and had a wound, all systems fell into place, he was given a cat scan to check for anything broken, blood tests etc and stitches to the head wound.

A day or two later he went back and was prescribed a neck collar as he couldn’t hold his head up. Added to which the pain killers upset the even balance of his warfarin.

Naturally he couldn’t do the sanding, painting, varnishing and all the other little jobs we had decided to do this spring, so had to call upon the services of the boatyard - some good, some infuriating and some plain bad, but always a hassle.

A month at home and some serious physio, we set off for the summer.

Friday 9 MAY 2O14

Train to London, left our luggage at huge expense at Euston. Empty handed and fancyfree went down to the river to have a delicious lunch at Butlers Wharf Chop House, so calm and efficient and yummy. The restaurant is just down river of Tower Bridge and opposite HMS President and St. Katherine’s Dock.

Then off to The Design Museum and of course a host of fascinating concepts, a Paul Smith exhibition and much more.

Unfortunately by now it was the rush hour, so a battle with the crowds, however we arrived at  the Radisson at Stansted Airport in one piece but a little tired. The hotel is perfect for weary travellers with an early morning start. The staff were delightful and helpful and even found weighing scales for us to check big bag’s weight before confronting Ryanair.

Saturday 10 MAY 2014

Lovely blue sky and warmth greeted us at Podgorica airport, our joiner Nenad’s wife met us at the airport.

Boat is dusty and naturally the painters hadn’t finished nor the joiner.

A quick lunch at the Marina Restaurant and later basic shopping. Back to work to tidy, make bed, unpack etc.

Sunday 11 MAY 2014

Sun, warm but chill breeze when out of the sun

One of the newly gilded domes of the cathedral glistens through the trees within sight from the boat. Laundry, sorting, varnishing, supper onboard.

Monday 12 MAY 2014

Sun, but chill wind,

Not warm enough to sit out on deck, though wearing shorts OK.

The new head lining looks excellent and when the mahogany trim is put on, a brilliant improvement on the old ragged one. No new lights as yet, they will arrive soon hopefully.

Delicious ice creams, unfortunately Mike’s didn’t agree with him, just like the one he had in Turkey in Assos just round the corner south of the Dardenelles; perhaps he shouldn’t indulge in them, what a shame.

Tuesday 13 MAY 2014

Dull, windy and a bit chill

The chemist’s medicine has worked a treat and M is feeling much better.

Nenad came to start the trim, which looks excellent.

Gale, thunder and lightning in the night, the result only two very small leaks. At long last the boat is nearly watertight, the best are Mike’s door conversions from last year which are completely watertight - marvellous.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Sun, gusty wind, some rain

I went looking for the shop which I had found last year selling cushions, but it seems to have disappeared, on the other hand I have bought a new turquoise brush and dustpan for 90c. Also found a fruit and veg shop with really fresh produce plus a baker; I don’t think I have ever managed to buy a loaf which doesn’t fall apart, perhaps this is normal here.

As I was walking through the marina I noticed that the EU has very kindly donated new commercial size rubbish bins to the town of Bar, why?

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 15-17

Mixed weather, cold, wet, occasional sun

Nenad the joiner came again to fix the mahogany trim around the cabin ceiling whilst Mike dealt with the sewage pump - once more.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Warm and sunny

A day off, we took a taxi up to Stari Bar, the ancient ruined town above Bar.  It is quite impressive, very peaceful as we were early and missed the coach parties.  The wild flowers and butterflies are stunning.  A quick beer then managed to hail a taxi and back home.

Monday, Tuesday 19-20 MAY 2014

Mixed weather

The painters came to finish the cabin sides and did an awful job, they then spent most of Tuesday morning clearing off the spatters with my saying infuriating things like, “if you painted more slowly and carefully you wouldn’t need to clear up” - nagging woman!

Great excitement we have bought a shopping trolley for €10.80 as even my strong arms are starting to weaken.

Wednesday 21 MAY 2014

Warm/hot sun.  Good breeze at sea

The decks are painted and of course masses of splatters, they will be back to clean up. ( No- they weren’t)

Today is a national holiday and one of the Montenegrin naval ships in the harbour waiting to be sold, was dressed overall.  Someone said the navy had been issued with new uniforms and as a treat for the day, parking fees were lifted around the marina.

Thursday 22 MAY 2014

Warm/hot sun, good breeze

No painters to clean up, we will have to do it at some point but we are not sure we will pay the final part of their account. Spent the day getting the boat into a sea going state.

Friday 23 MAY 2014        water/elec

Warm/hot, good breeze

Waiting, waiting for formalities to be completed - 1.5 hours!!.  Finally left our mooring only to find a queue for fuel.  After ten months in Bar we left the harbour at 12.00 out onto a  glassy sea, good for us but no good for sailing.   

Arrived at our mooring in Budva at 15.30.  In the marina, now owned by Dukley we were met by two of their “concierge” team in lemon yellow T shirts and tight white trousers, who gave us a glossy brochure; amongst their offerings are waiter service at breakfast - would they think Eos a suitable recipient of this service I wonder?  looking around at the majority of boats, probably a useful one for most.  Mike can confirm that the heads and shower unit were superb, with spare towels, hair dryer, all spotlessly clean; the only drawback, they were near the office and miles from the yachts.

I have a dilemma - Bar was not very interesting but honest post Communism, whereas Budva has a very attractive old town, rebuilt after the 1979 earthquake, immediately attractive to tourists but an out and out holiday destination, in parts brash and noisy, but popular and of course a source of employment. We like to come into a town quay, but here  the entire length is taken up by ‘luxury’ yachts, people like us are not wanted!  Which is the more useful place to the population as a whole?

Shock., horror, I haven’t been able to buy coffee suitable for a cafetiere since arriving in Montenegro.  However I have discovered they produce a fine ground coffee which isn’t instant and not Turkish;  if you use a very large tea spoonful, stir it very thoroughly, you can achieve a passable expresso.

Saturday 24 MAY 2014        water/elec

Dull, wind force 2 later 4, sea state 3/4

We suddenly realised we had by-passed Sveti Stefan (a must apparently). We had thought  of going back today, but the weather was not brilliant and we didn't feel like adding a further 12 miles to our day.

So north we went to Kotor, stopping first at Herceg-Novi to ask about fuel discounts which they don’t do.  Kotor is Europe’s most southerly fiord, obviously surrounded by mountains, the population lives close to the water in mostly very attractive houses, some quite ancient; red roof tiles, stone, some rendered and painted walls.  As we got further into the fiord, the houses are largely stone, many 3 storeys  and very reminiscent of Cotswold architecture. Old Navy bases and vessel shelters.

Kotor is very ancient and attractive, three churches with three different clock times and, of course, a lot of bell ringing to summon the devout to services.  Chi-chi shops and a lot of restaurants and bars, I suppose to cater for the cruise ship passengers.

We are alongside a recently constructed stone pontoon to hold probably 6 boats. More space to anchor off. Our across the pontoon neighbours came for a drink.  I am jealous of their travels to the very far east of Turkey by air and car, not in their boat, organised by an Englishwoman living in Marmaris.

Sunday 25 MAY 2014

Hot, sun, no wind

A glorious Sunday morning, still and warm, so obviously we set off up many hundred of steps to the top of the fortress, with young Americans telling us we should “feel proud of ourselves.”  I think at the very top we probably were the most ancient.

This little exercise took sometime which meant we haven’t done as much exploring at ground level.

Supper at the oldest fish restaurant in town with our over the pontoon neighbours, food a little disappointing and we didn’t really care for the attitude of the waiter/owner?

Monday 26 MAY 2014        water/elec

Dull and some rain, warm.  Sea flat calm

Visited the delightful Maritime Museum housed in a beautiful old building, once a palace I would think.

Slipped 11.30, a quick trip down the fiord to come alongside at Perast, another attractive ancient large village with nineteen palaces so the guide book says.  As the harbour master was expecting a large yacht to come alongside to take our place, we couldn’t get off to explore properly.  Also saw a Sunseeker “Baksheesh”, painted the most vile copper colour (imho).

Unless the conditions are very calm, I wouldn’t think this a very comfortable berth overnight.

Half an hour later we were in Porto Montenegro at Tivat. Tivat was once  a naval establishment. All over the world you can recognise establishment buildings even though they have had a facelift.

This is a new marina built to cater for mega yachts, I think run by Camper and Nicholson; Strangely we don’t feel too out of place in spite of not having bow/side thrusters and all the gizmos even quite small yachts have these days.  The whole development is being built quite sensitively and some lovely plant landscaping.  An enormous amount of very attractive limestone paving is used.  There is more building work in progress but not too intrusive. The breakwater layout was in the process of changing.

About seven super yachts moored, Golden Eagle, oldish, registered in Douglas Isle of Man  looked very welcoming and not at all intimidatingly smart.

I have felt very stiff after our climb yesterday.

Tuesday 27 MAY 2014       water/some elec

Overcast first thing, sun later, little wind, sea state 1

Refuelling at the marina, such pleasant staff.  The whole process took ages including getting our fuel at duty free prices (80cents instead of €1.60).

14.45 arrived at Cavtat to go through immigration into Croatia at the same time as the Czech motor yacht Dominator, which has been in the same ports as us since Budva.  We nearly missed the Customs, who close at 15.30, due to Dominator’s anchor not taking a hold, then our anchor chain having knots in it so we had to jill around whilst we freed it.  We managed to slip into the quay ahead of them, though they still came out of the office ahead.  What a mess they made of coming in!!

As is our habit we went across the car free road to the bar opposite for a beer.

On a short acquaintance with the town, we find it delightful.  As usual lots of bars and restaurants, so far not found any useful food shops, but I am sure we will.  As long as the wind doesn’t strengthen and go round to the north, we will stay here and visit Dubrovnik by bus.

Alongside us is super yacht Jo, registered in the Isle of Man, not new but elegant.  I have been watching the crew take stores on board, golly they work hard!  I assume as we are very close to Cavtat airport, the owners and guests will arrive this evening.

We can people watch at close hand - far too many people young and old are overweight and badly dressed.

Wednesday 28 MAY 2014

Overcast first thing, hot and sunny later

Did a few useful jobs then took bus to Dubrovnik.  On reflection I don’t think either of us was really in the mood for major sightseeing, too many people and too hot. However we did look into several churches and I renewed my acquaintance with the city; of course since my last visit in 1964 it has been through the terrible war of 1991/2 and although rebuilding took place immediately, somehow to me it has lost its magic, perhaps too popular and that we really enjoy the less populated places to visit.

When we got back to Cavtat the quay was packed with largish yachts, registered in Malta, London, Vienna, Isle of Man and us in Liverpool.

I had managed to buy steak for supper as Mike was beginning to get a little jaded without a good piece of red meat.  Pudding of the most delicious icecream from up the road.

Thursday 29 MAY 2014

Overcast, warm, sun later and a very nasty swell.

Decided to stay another day.  Mike again took the bus to Dubrovnik to buy a Croatian wifi dongle, I don’t know why we didn’t do this yesterday! As soon as he left the swell appeared and we spent the next seven hours being thrown around. When he came back we had to put his shopping, glasses and wallet into the fishing net, for me to bring safely on board in case he fell in still carrying them; then lowered the gang plank so he could crawl across onto the boat.

Eventually the swell subsided enough for us to go out to dinner with the Halls at Bugenvila, opposite the boat.  I hadn’t realised quite how up market it was, the food was absolutely delicious, probably the best since the River Cafe in London for Mike’s 60th birthday celebrations.  The staff were excellent, adequately attentive, friendly and professional.  After supper we went back to the Hall’s boat for a metaxa, a highly dangerous manoeuvre to get on and off their boat, then of course we had to negotiate ours.

I didn’t sleep a wink, just too much noise.

Friday 30 MAY 2014        no water/elec

Dull, still some swell, calm later, hot in the sun, thunder in the hills

Did the shopping I had hoped to do yesterday when I couldn’t get off the boat.  Slipped 09.10. A bit of a swell until we got under the lee of the first of the Elephite Islands.  Passed by Lopud where the Dohertys had stayed last year.  

Twice I caught a glimpse of a black fin, presumably a porpoise, it didn’t surface again unfortunately.

Very calm inside the islands.  Eventually reached Ston (watch the depths up the channel) at the head of an inlet on the Peljesac Isthmus and tied up to an old stone jetty.  Very helpful Sandor the “harbour master” and were charged 130 Kn per night.  We will stay until Monday morning as Mike can get his INR done here.

The area has salt pans on one side and reeds on the other, a narrow channel which is only 2.5m deep.  The area is a bit like the very end of some Scottish lochs with bits of old boats, cars etc.,tidy though.

Thunder all around but only light rain so far.

Saturday 31 MAY 2014

Clear blue sky, sun and strong northerly 4-6

Ston was famous for its salt production, the envy of Napoleon who thought the place more important than Dubrovnik.  There are two massive defensive walls built in 14th c and straight up the hill to guard their precious commodity.

Today the village is re-emerging after the 1991/92 war and the earthquake of 1996. Old buildings have been restored, one brilliantly converted to an art gallery. Lots of bars, restaurants, B & B and two supermarkets.  There are ideas of making a marina here, we think a small harbour which is seriously integrated with the town would be perfect; we fear that any marina developer might try to make the place too grandiose for the area.

The local fishermen use big wire fish cages, so far we have seen nothing other than very little fish and some mussels.  This is meant to be an oyster and mussel haven.  Also the home of two great red wines Dingac and Postup.

Sunday 1 JUNE 2014

No wind early, light thunderstorms, wind in all directions, chilly,

 A day to do useful things, more joinery, more removing of the painters’ paint, more varnishing etc.

We had a good walk later up and along the magnificent walls built in the 14C to protect the salt pans - what a fantastic piece of engineering, now being very sympathetically restored.

Supper out at Barrovic.  Mike had mussels - but to our tastes, and we have heard from other people in other restaurants,  they are not cleaned in the same way as we are accustomed to, in that the ‘beard’ is left on including bits of extra shell, large shells and small mussels.   I had cheese in oil, ordinary cheese and you poured oil on yourself, the oil was made in house and delicious, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting after talking with Nenad in Bar, I assumed the cheese would have been preserved in oil in a jar too.  We had a very nice local wine  “Providenca 2011 Plavic Mali at 16.3%, not often you come across such a strong wine outside Australia.

Monday 2 June 2014

Sun,  calm, later wind 2-3, sea state 2      elec/no water

Mike was up early to go with Sandor to the clinic for his INR, the results will be given around 12.00.

I spent a happy half hour having a coffee and using the cafe’s wifi, sitting in the sun.  Then shopping.

Slipped 12.15 and for the first time this year I took the ship off the quay, no mishap.  We were nearing the southern end of the kanal when we met up with Mora who was making for Ston, had a quick word with Tony and Judith about Ston and on we went.

16.00 took a laid line from restaurant Antika in Polace on Oto Mljet a very pretty island, not deforested by the Venetians.

Very nice and cheerful supper at the restaurant.


Tuesday 3 June 2014

Warm, sun, light wind

Not moving today so that we can visit the salt lakes over the other side of the island.  You can go by mini bus, but we needed a walk which took roughly 35 mins through the woods with all the bird singing, masses of butterflies and of course wild flowers.  The lakes form part of the Mjlet National Park, we went on a shortish boat ride, past the monastery, but not allowed to stop today.  The lake water is so blue, beautiful.

On our walk back we came across a party of around 60 fairly ancient French people out for a hike and one beautiful guide dog for a blind man.

As we are on a restaurant mooring and being honourable people, we felt we should eat something there today so opted for a light lunch instead of a big supper.  Two days mooring on their quay cost us about 750kn (£75 approx) including two meals.

Wednesday 4 June 2014        water/elec: Warm, sun, later in day wind force 4. Sea state 2

Slipped circa 09.15.  I made a bit of a mistake and went too far to port , narrowly missing the boat on that side, we were going only very slowly, but not good practice!

The trip to KORCULA town was uneventful though with the wind on our beam a bit uncomfortable initially.  We came through the islands surrounding Korcula, one with a delightful, what looked like an old naval establishment building, where there was a sailing school. We encountered numerous trip boats, all of whom wanted our piece of water.  

Our best intentions to use the town quay on the east side, were thwarted due to the wind and chop, quite untenable for us, so had to go back to the ACI Marina which was very nice and not too marina-ish, though it did cost us 605kn for one night, which is why we try to steer clear of marinas.

We had a good tour round the city, there are so many glorious buildings, or bits of.  The cathedral was beautiful with a Tintoretto altar painting; the column capitals were so intricate, just wonderful.  We spent a lot of time looking for a bar sheltered from the wind but which also had wifi and came across a little corner of Korcula which was for the locals and this included a wonderful butchers shop - there aren’t too many of these

Big motor yacht Peda (Maltese registered) came in with a very pleasant and not at all bling family on board.  At night the whole ship was lit up with hundreds of lights, some blue, some white, but all over the top!! I wonder what they thought of it.

Saw Talisker briefly whom we had met in Bar.

Our next door neighbours were not enamoured of us as we had to tell them to get their mooring lines tightened up before we were crushed.  We, of course, a mere motor boat, wouldn’t know about such things!

Thursday 5 JUNE 2014        water/elec

Hot, very little wind

09.15 slipped for SUCURAJ on HVAR island, at its most eastern point.  The dearest little port, much changed we think since our Croatia Pilot was written, two wooden pontoons built over the ballasting, some alongside, some laid lines, no flotillas call at present, all very easy.  No shelter from east.

Two very efficient and pleasant lady harbour masters, a car ferry to and fro to Drvenik across on the mainland; one that just goes about its business, no wash, minimum noise.  Several restaurants, a shop or two, fine old buildings but nothing very grand; still a large number of houses boarded up.

Beach, swimming, swallows by the hundred.

Friday 6 June 2014

Warm to hot, breezy in afternoon

Yesterday we decided to visit Hvar town by bus, not knowing then that the only bus leaves at 05.45 and takes nearly 3 hours by the time it has gone around the villages to collect school children.  Never mind, we had an interesting day: it was good to see the interior of the island, very remote, quite wooded, an enormous amount of terracing and stone clearing to allow for small patches for cultivation, some lavender for which the island is famous, hairpin bends and a mini bus driver insisting on having the equivalent of radio 1 on very loudly, and an old biddy talking with the driver non-stop when he wasn’t using his mobile phone!!!  

The main square in front of the Arsenal and Theatre, second oldest in Europe built before Shakespeare’s time, is wonderful, the famous Riva walk along the main quay, is lovely too, but we were disappointed with the rest of the town, much preferred Korcula.  All the stalls sold the same type of jewellery, lavender bags etc, nothing different at all.

Back to the boat to dress her overall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings.  I expect people will think we are a trip boat - never mind.  Whilst walking around the village, I came across a group of 8 middle aged/elderly cyclists sitting at a cafe eating the most enormous ice-cream sundaes.

“Under the Bell” - this is the way the locals cook various foods - mainly lamb, pork or fish.  A wood fire is made very hot, the meat/fish are put under an upturned bell with all the vegetables, the bell is placed on a a metal circular frame over the fire, three hours later you have the most divine meal, but you do have to order it an hour or two in advance and is usually for two or more.  We ordered a lamb dish from the delightful family run restaurant Vlaka, they are trying really hard to make a living and are well worth visiting.

Saturday 7 June 2014

Hot, almost flat calm        water/elec

Regretfully we had to leave, slipped circa 09.15.  A beautiful day for non sailing people, almost no one else out, a bit like change over day in a ski resort.

Our aim was to tie up in the river at Omis on the mainland and take our dinghy up the Cetina river, or at the very least in the little harbour.  However, any spare berths on the river were taken and the harbour was full.  We decided, as we needed to buy a new battery, to make for Split where we hoped we could come alongside the town wall.  How naive were we.  Since our pilot was written a big change has occurred at the waterfront, all very beautiful and does give a much clearer view of the city without boats moored, however, we do think the trip boats have been allowed to take up more than their fair share of harbour wall.  Not everyone who visits Split wants to pay the very high fees at ACI Marina.

We arrived at the marina at the very worst time, it was change over time for charter boats, chaos.  We were initially sent to jetty E only to find we should be at C, the turns are extremely tight, as at Bodrum Turkey, by the time we got into our very tight berth we were exhausted - possibly even stressed!

After supper on board we set off for the old part of the city.  The new waterfront is very modern, beautiful paving from Oto Brac, hundreds of bars, music, good public seating, lovely planting, but we were making for the old city which is glorious.  So many layers of history, never mind Diocletian and his cabbage growing when he retired.  We found the most beautifully designed wine bar called Uje-oil bar, built into the ancient town walls.

We got chatting with a local Splitian and football came into the conversation, apparently Liverpool FC is the favourite with Croatians and when we didn’t win the Premier League this year, they all burst into tears - believe that if you can!

Sunday 8 June 2014

Hot, wind 2/3. S/s 1       no water/elec

Late leaving as our contact for a new battery didn’t turn up, so our trip to the marina a complete waste of time and money.  We could easily have gone by taxi to a battery shop, but the contact was so insistent that he could provide, we left it to him, naive again!!! Not like us at all.

A lovely day and most boats actually sailing.  Arrived at Drvvnik on Otok Mali, stern to at a newish pier. Another small village and harbour, a shop or two, a restaurant or two, fishing boats, car ferry and peace and quiet, very few street lamps, certainly no lighting on the jetty.

We walked right around the harbour and found restaurant Lude Godine which didn’t look open, but on entry we were made really welcome; I had Croatian interpretation of meat balls, these were finger shaped and delicious, Mike had octopus warm salad, sliced octopus mixed with potatoes and herbs, also delicious.

Monday 9 June 2014

Hot, wind at midday about 3/4. S/st 1/2     water

Having not managed to buy a battery in Split, we decided that mainland Sibenik was just the place.  We had a lovely motor through islands small and tiny; so much sea traffic we really had to keep a very good watch. The approach to the city is through a narrow channel, well buoyed and with a one-way lights system for ships more than 50 tons; yachts can go through at any time but must be aware that there could be shipping.

Typically as we arrived at the quayside the wind got up which caused us to make a second approach where we were ably assisted by the harbour master, a cheerful, no nonsense man.

Mike went off to get his INR checked. An hour or two later he returned having done a deal for a battery from the local petrol station manager who had given him a lift to the hospital.

The battery seemed vey expensive but on reflection a taxi would have cost something.  However, we were unable to get a receipt for the amount paid - I wonder why!!!

The old city is very old with more very slippery marble paving slabs.  Unlike Hvar and Dubrovnik, the city appeared to be a good place for the local population to live. We are leaving a visit to the cathedral till Tuesday.  The city has good lady street sweepers. Unfortunately the communist era architecture is much in evidence encircling the old town.

The Riva at our end of town had no bars or cafes so was quiet late on, a lovely place for all to promenade..

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Hot, little wind        No water/elec

Slipped 12.00 after doing a good and useful shop.  I went to the market, then Mike and I shopped for his medication, hearing aid batteries, duplicating paper then our visit to the cathedral. Another glorious building, the stonework at the entrance gates is the most intricate I have ever seen as is that in the Baptistry.

Not so many yachts around today; we had a very quiet trip to Luka Muna/Otok Zirje,   Another tiny harbour with ferry.    About eleven laid lines recently installed, the whole area repaved.  Very small shop, very small restaurant, a tiny inner harbour very sheltered for the local boats, a small lift out crane for them.  However, something happened to the old village above the harbour - apparently just due to emigration, no jobs for the young, but the houses we saw abandoned all appeared to be the 1920’s communist type, so perhaps the locals didn’t like them!!l  Again we were made very welcome especially by the only other boat , seven Germans in uniform Breton striped jerseys, as they said, their prison garb.

Wednesday 11 June 2014       no water/elec

Hot, flat calm, beautiful

Not a good day actually, our internet  connection was haywire including our passage plotting, however, we can still do physical passage planning; then we found the aft bilge pump had been left on; luckily due to a faulty electrical connection it hadn’t damaged the pump itself, just needed a replacement impeller.  

We came into Lojena, Otok Smokvica at the foot of Otok Kornati, a lovely peaceful bay, picked up a mooring buoy for  Pico restaurant.  We had a rude awakening though when the National Park Rangers appeared in their rib demanding 5000kn - we had completely forgotten about this, hadn’t noticed the demarcation line on the chart and felt quite foolish, we should have bought the ticket before we left Sibenik, probably. If we had taken ourselves to the pier, it would have been free.

Mike swam for the first time, but in his wetsuit, masses of reasonably large fish, several cormorants, also saw a black fin again - porpoise I hope.

Apart from these trials, we had a lovely day, little dinghy had an outing, our electric outboard worked perfectly and we had a very nice supper at Pico.  A very peaceful evening and a nearly full moon.

Thursday 12 June 2014        water/elec

Hot, nearly flat calm, later a good wind                   

Slipped 09.30 ish.  Our navigation system woke up refreshed and working. We quickly went out of the National Park area and motored up the side of Otok Kornati, a completely barren island, apparently years ago the trees were burnt down to allow for sheep grazing, that didn’t pay so now no sheep, no trees, and virtually no people.  

Arrived at Sali on Otok Dugi, quite a large harbour with plenty of room on both sides;  the fish processing plant doesn’t appear to be working these days.  Welcomed by a cheery  harbour master.  Around 15.30 every berth was taken; nowadays there are so many different charter companies, I counted ten.  Later we walked right around the harbour and approximately 60 boats could berth here.  Since the demise of the factory, landscaping has taken place, more restaurants, but not at all busy.

I can’t believe it is eight years since we passed through Vienna at the start of that year’s football world cup - here we are again with Croatia playing Brazil, what excitement in the village, flag waving, singing, flares, you might think it the final.  Unfortunately Brazil won 3-1, the 1 being a Brazilian own goal.  According to the waitress, the refereeing was very unfair; in the course of chatting with locals, they are of the opinion that our press is far too critical of our club managers, they should be allowed longer in office.

Friday 13 June 2014


A quiet day here as the bareboat charter boats head back to Zadow.  I thought the little supermarket here might be re-stocked this morning when the delivery lorry came, but not till tomorrow, today was just for pallets of water which had to be taken on a very noisy forklift truck up quite a steep hill to a store behind the shop.

This is another work day, all sorts achieved, however internet, batteries and voyage planning still haywire.

Saturday 14 June 2O14

Rain, light wind, clearing, hot later

All well this morning, batteries ok and Fugawi working.  Internet came back later in the day. Slipped 10.15 in the rain but by travelling north we were soon clear of rain though dull.  We threaded our way through the islands, here mostly tree covered unlike those in the Kornati.

14.00 arrived Ist on Otok Ist.       

No water/elec

Small harbour, ferry, two jetties, space for 10 yachts inside and a few more on outside of main quay, several very small shops, 3/4 restaurants, the harbour area a little run down, but cheery.  The anchorage south of harbour has what looks like a large number of laid buoys.

Here as in other ferry ports, the wheelbarrow is the most useful means of moving luggage, some are kept solely for the purpose, others obviously used more agriculturally.  Next door boat had guests chatting till 02.00 - grown ups too.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Hot early, later light cloud and cooler.  Very blustery wind

Fathers’ Day so we had a light lunch to celebrate.  My birthday too, so out to supper in the evening to have spit roasted baby pig - very good.

Did a few useful jobs, curtain rails, cleaning connections to solar panel controller which had corroded.  Didn’t find the path up to the chapel on the hill, but had a good walk nevertheless.

Monday 16 June 2024

Sun early then cloud, a little rain. Some wind. S/st 2

Slipped 09.35, good run, wind later once out of lee of islands to the east of us. Arrived at 13.00 channel between Otok Ilovik/Petar picked up one of the many buoys, a few boats already here but by evening filled with about 20.  Pleasant village to the west, ferry, shop, bar, restaurants, small quay.  Taxi rib (10kn per person return) who also collects harbour dues and rubbish.  Very efficient.

Unfortunately too cold to sit out to take in the surroundings.

Tuesday 17JUNE 2014

Dull, sun later, wind 3/4. S/st 2

We were woken at 04.30 by phone saying our home burglar alarm was ringing, unfortunately none of our key holders were around but alarms usually stop ringing after 20 mins.  Sophie to the rescue later in the day.

I just managed to see the boat baker delivering bread to other boats, also cheese, apple strudel and jam doughnuts, that makes a good start to the day.

A quick shop, then off to Mali Losinj to get more money.  We made a fine alongside and departure and were there less than ten minutes.  It appears a very smart place, but mooring not easy unless you go to the marina which is a long way from the centre.

We had a very bumpy final leg of trip to Unije/Maracol inlet.  Approx 70 mooring buoys (some laid too closely) in this deserted inlet, lovely.  2km over the hill to the village where there is a tiny harbour, 5 boats at most alongside.  2 restaurants, post office, shop I think.

Back at anchorage, someone very close, later they moved having decided we were too big and heavy and would do them no good if we made contact - as we have more windage, we swing differently from the yachts.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Light breeze in inlet, warm

We all came through the night unscathed, no-one hit us or vice versa.

This is our lay day in the islands and what a beautiful place to spend it.  Most people went off, just three spent all day here.  We are again doing odd jobs.

I swam, briefly, not quite warm enough, but now I know it is bearable, I shall be swimming morning and evening just as all the other nationalities here.  Some have hardly switched off their engines and got the mooring lines sorted before they are diving into the sea.

It is a mere 7 minute row to the jetty, but I have just watched in amazement as three Austrians take at least 30 mins to get the dinghy and engine ready - I was dying to say, “don’t bother, rowing will do you good!”

Thursday 19 June 2014

Overcast, some sun, force 2/3 s/st 2      water/elec/fuel

Uneventful crossing from the islands to mainland Istria.  We tried hard to get into Medulin town, on the southern tip of Istria, but the whole harbour area looked chaotic and not much depth so were forced to go to the ACI Marina.

Quite pleasant with reasonable restaurant, a very little shop run by a cheerful, helpful lady but had nothing to sell us, she caters almost exclusively for boats chartered by men who don’t eat on board.

We had to have supper out as even I was getting fed up with store cupboard food.

This area appears to be a favourite with the Germans and Austrians, we haven’t seen a single British boat since leaving Mjlet.

The lighthouses around the Croatian coast are delightful stone built buidings, unlike the rather basic metal framed structures along the Greek and Montenegrin coasts.

Friday 20 June 2014

Overcast all day until we arrived in Rovinj:     water/elec

Wind 1/2, s/st 1/2

A bit late slipping as Mike was checking the wiring to the st/board temperature gauge.

Coming out of Medulin was a bit chaotic, every type of craft out, not many on look out.

A bit of a dull day, until we arrived in Rovinj where we had the usual difficulty finding a suitable mooring and eventually had to come into the marina.

Rovinj a delightful town, very old and very Italian.  A lot of restaurants and bars, but also many arty shops which seemed a bit different from the usual tat shops we have seen so far.  The old town is built straight out of the water with tantalising glimpses of the sea down little alleyways, nothing to stop you sliding down the path and falling in.  A number of mouth watering cafes and bars built out over the rocks, how romantic.  To me the town has a slight affinity to Prague.

Eventually found a supermarket, then a little market; one stall selling all sorts of truffle products, can they really be genuine., or merely impregnated with the smell?

We are moored next to the most beautiful 60ft mahogany sailing boat, she is so narrow and has such a tall mast, the keel must be deep.

Saturday 21 June 2014

Overcast, hot later.  Wind  1/2

Slipped 10.15 for uneventful trip to Novigrad.  The medium sized motor cruisers are going to be a real pest, not sure they have a look out and their wash really upsets us.

For once we arrived in time to get a mooring on the harbour wall, so idyllic as long as the weather holds, a strong westerly could be disastrous; nothing between us and Italy, the sunset perfect.

The town is delightful, the balance of tourism and domestic seems right here.

I have decided the one thing wrong with Croatia is the very tall thin girls - beautiful though.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Overcast, sun later. Wind 2/3/4 more than forecast

Stayed another day to meet up with John and Pam.  I finally was able to vacuum the entire ship which now looks tidy and organised ready for visitors

Finally made contact with Cosi who had missed us on the wall and were in the marina.  Met up for drinks at the marina hotel, then very pleasant supper at Amfora I Bonaca the restaurant nearest harbour wall with plum coloured umbrellas and a lime yellow building above.  Lovely to catch up and have a good old gossip.  Food delicious, my tagliatelli with truffles very good.

Monday 23 June 2014

Overcast, sun and hot later.  No wind but swell    water/elec

Slipped 08.00 to customs’ pier for signing out of Croatia.  Uneventful trip to Piran though quite a swell.  Arr circa 11.15.  Didn’t see the Customs’ pier as builders in the way, a slight slap on the wrist from the port police.  

On the other hand we arrived in time to find a space on the harbour wall; unfortunately opposite the public WC’s so a pong occasionally.  Dave and Lindsay soon appeared, lovely to see them again.  Arranged to have supper here on board.  Mike set off to the customs’ office and I took down the Q flag.  Medical centre for his warfarin test closed till 07.00-09.00 tomorrow.  

Joint supper on board Eos

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Dull, sun later, thunder/lightening.  At night the Libeccio wind blew

We hired a car jointly with Dave and Lindsay for a trip to Lubljana for the day.  Beautiful alpine scenery.  The city very pleasant, had a nice lunch beside the river/canal.  A funicular to castle above the town.  It is not a very fortified castle, more a hilltop village, panoramic views over the city.

Icecreams only 8/10.  A huge platform in the main square, microphones, seating etc ready for a concert to celebrate Slovenia’s national day.  

Once back in Piran, the wind suddenly appeared from all around the compass and all boat owners hurriedly checking on mooring lines and all loose items on deck well tied down.

WEDNESDAY 25 June 2014

Dull, humid, thunderstorms off and on all day

Not a day for setting forth to Venice, but much better to do a bit more joinery, completing the trims to the new deckhead lining and tidying etc before the Nicols arrive from Australia on 5 July.

I found a very tiny shop selling small paintings and modern pottery items made just up the road by a husband and wife team, Pavlinc Marta in Karel.  This is the first time I have seen anything remotely buyable, useful or decorative; I bought a shallow dish and small cup, the dish for olives and the cup for the stones.

After supper we had a quick visit to the square to watch dancing by members of the SNG Opera and Ballet Co from Ljubljana.  Excellent they were too.

Quick drink with Dave and Lindsay to wish each other bon voyage and will meet later in the year in Licata, southern Sicily.

Thursday 26 June 2014

Very little wind, sun, black clouds to the south of us.

Today we are off to Venice at long last.  Slipped at 07.30 to call at Portoroz to pick up some more fuel to avoid buying too much expensive Italian diesel, only to find the fuel man didn’t open till 09.00 and in fact didn’t arrive until 09.45 after we had rung the marina office.  Very frustrating.            

Finally slipped 10.30 and arrived at Isola La Certosa Marina, Venice at 15.15.  A peaceful trip though we could see black clouds to the south. No shipping to worry about as we crossed the two separation zones.  Initially arriving into the lagoon is muddling to say the least, red and green marks everywhere, then suddenly all becomes clear.  The water is so choppy in no wind, what is it like in a storm I wonder? I don’t know how the little fishing boats don’t get submerged.

The island of Certosa is being transformed from an old armaments store to 24 hectares of “nature park and marina”.  It is so peaceful, pheasants and garden birds singing in the woods to the east and egrets, terns of all kinds, seagulls etc on the mud flats to the west.

At present the marina office, very good showers, loos, launderette, a small hotel, boat building workshops and small conference centre are all there is on the island, a shop might come later.  Transport to Venice is by vaporetto, 4.1 or 4.2 from the end of a long walkway 15 mins from our boat, 10 mins to San Marco stop.  There are other marinas but they all look very hot and organised.

After all the communications during the last year, we finally met the delightful manager Guilio.

Apparently yesterday, Wednesday, was a huge storm, the vaporetto stops flooded as were the marina grounds.  This was the day we should have arrived if the forecast hadn’t changed for the worse.

Friday 27 June 2014

Nicely hot

Off really early to the Ospedale for Mike’s INR test, €25 later, very efficiently dealt with and OK.  The hospital is right on the waterfront and is being refurbished, some really new and modern sections and some being transformed from ancient buildings; orthopaedics, paediatrics for instance are through 16th C doorways.

We stepped out of the hospital into a typical Venetian square and Mike was completely bowled over.  We did a good day’s exploring of the Cannaregio area (north Venice) as we were far too late to venture into San Marco area and all the tourists.

Came across the Church of Madonna del l’Orto, most wonderfully Baroque and with 6 magnificent Greek marble barley twist columns around the altar.

Also came across a useful looking chandlery which we shall have to return to for various purchases before leaving Venice. (Fondamenta Plovin?)

At lunchtime we found a workmen’s cafe. (Campo Pestrin) Between12.00-13.00 it was full.  3 courses €14. At 12.50 it emptied when all went back to work.  The noise and bonhomie superb, the staff so cheerful, food good.

Wandered slowly till we arrived at Piazza San Marco, certainly the wrong time of day and came back to the boat.

It is so quiet here, just birds.  The only hassle comes from the the boy racers in their boats doing the equivalent of “wheelies” and each day around 15.30 a group of lads appear for swimming and shouting, after 17.00 all is quiet again.

Saturday 28 June 2014

Lovely sun, not too hot

I set off early for a shopping trip, vaporetto 4.1 to Fondamenta Nova (at the end of Certosa Island jetty, two red buttons, press the appropriate one for your direction).  I followed old ladies who were obviously on their way to the shops and found a good supermarket Billa on Strada Nova.  Two hours later I arrived back.  I now think the little building near the jetty is for sheltering bikes, shopping trolleys etc.

Didn’t go back to the city, but lazed around on boat.  Went to the hotel to find out what it is like - very pleasant.  18 rooms, lots of outside seating on different sides of the building, so you can always sit in the shade.  The manageress came to chat and made sure we had mosquito repellants.  It is quite expensive I think.

Sunday 29 June 2014

Lovely sun again, not too hot.

A morning’s visit to the Venice Bienale Architectural exhibition.  All a bit above my head and a bit disappointing that we didn’t see plans/models of any current buildings. There are various country’s pavilions, we visited the GB one. Again, though we understood the ethos of the exhibition (what good can come from failure, ie Thamesmead and the Hulme Estate in Manchester) we thought the British Council could have come up with a more positive theme.  On duty were 3 architectural students, one from Liverpool, two from Glasgow.

Took ourselves off to the Dosoduro district.  Several high end shops, some selling the most beautiful modern glass, some selling typical Venetian fabrics, chandeliers, all sorts and all expensive.  Had a beer then bought a slice of pizza to eat in the street! F. Venier di Leoni.  

The back of Palazzo Dario/Campo Bastion, according to a passing art teacher, is the most painted/photographed part of Venice - I am not sure I believe him, see San Marco, but it is a very pretty little corner.

A quick visit to Santa Maria del Salute, we weren’t that struck in spite of a Tintoretto or two.

Back to boat, then a trip by dinghy to the trattoria round the corner on Isola Le Vignole.  The patron of the restaurant also owns the island, grows all the vegetables and has chickens too.  The restaurant must have 200 covers and a lot of staff; it is self service, you pick up your cutlery, tablecloth, condiments and enjoy supper.  Today was a bit wet and cold but  you can imagine how glorious it must be on a sunny day.  We will visit for supper, probably on Tuesday.

MONDAY 30 June 2014

Warm, hot later

Woken at 04.30 by our phones telling us the alarm at home had gone off again; it can’t be another spider in the workshop.  Anyway Paul went round and reset the system.

Off in good time to visit San Marco before the queues  got too long. Opens at 09.45 and  took us 25 mins to get in, free.  Beautiful mosaics, paintings etc. But it is the floors that I really liked; one aisle was pure patchwork designs, the other of exotic birds.

You pay €3 to go round the apse. A beautiful gold and jewel encrusted??

Enough of culture, off to find Harry’ s Bar. We had done our homework so no problem finding it.  Luckily we were wearing trousers and tidy shirts, no shorts allowed.  The barman was a bit taciturn, but made us delicious fresh orange juices served with tiny shortbread biscuits. €28 later we left.  The decor I assume is as it always has been, very plain and brown.

Across to St Giorgio Maggiore, fab church, lovely monastery grounds, up the campanile for a wonderful view all round and, of course, a view of the Cipriani Hotel, the same founder as Harry’s Bar. Vaporetto to Redentore on the Guidecca, lunch at Il Pontil, another workmen’s cafe.  We had a Venetian speciality, spaghetti, anchovies, onions and capers.  Ok’ish.

There is a good supermarket.  I will now come here for major shopping, catch the 4.1 from Certosa straight to Redentore with my shopping trolley as no steps.

I had a quick visit to Santissimo Redentore, a gloriously simple church, a Tintoretto, a Bassano etc.

We have had the most extraordinary skies, very Turnerish, or I suppose Canalettoish but only a small amount of rain.  A beautiful new moon.

Children were having sailing lessons in Oppies, learning how to capsize etc.  This is just the most marvellous place for them to learn initially.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Hot, slight  breeze

Mike had a day staying on the boat to do useful works - again.  Mending our gangplank before someone falls in, fixing another crack in the topsides etc, etc.

I went into town and explored the Arsenale area, very quiet and certainly no tourists around.  Several streets of blocks of flats all the same and it must have been wash day as everyone’s washing was hanging out at high level across the streets.

I found the most beautiful church with its magnificent painted ceiling San Guiseppe in the Giardini  area.  There are 3 other fabulously decorated churches within half a mile and the congregations are about 10 each.  In earlier centuries, what did the builders think they were up to producing so many, was it to boost their egos and pave their way to heaven?

At the Arsenal itself I discovered the Naval Officers’ Club and the Italian equivalent of Greenwich, the entrance guarded by two magnificent huge stone lions. Had a snack lunch at Bar Arsenale - very friendly and pleasant.

In this area I found several shops which could sell me something for Mary’s wedding present, but of course, it was after 12.00 and they were all closed till 15.00 and I couldn’t wait.

Home, didn’t feel brilliant and didn’t feel like cooking.  We had supper at the Marina hotel; Mike was quite shocked when his main course of steak tartare came in a tiny ramekin.  He had the remains of my tagliatelle to fill him up!!!

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Cloudy at first then brilliant sun

Did a few jobs sorting out for the arrival of friends.  We went to look for Mary’s wedding present, but found the shop still closed though it had said it would be open.

A very nice Italian family in their motor boat came to our jetty.

Thursday 3 July 2014

Hot, good wind for sailors

I went to the Accademia, wow. Even if you are not keen on Titians, Tintorettos etc you should visit just for the scale of some of the paintings, particularly Veronese’s Feast at the House of Levi, renamed after he had been rebuked for calling it The Last Supper - it is vast.  Also the Carpaccio room.  The ceilings are well worth viewing too.

I am still having trouble buying bread, I can have all sorts of pattiserie goodies, but not plain bread; I couldn’t find a single shop around the Accademia area, then got lost around the back of San Marco, got too hot and then cross!!

Supper across the water at the Trattoria di Vignole good.  Plenty of anti mosquito spray is essential. They picked us up and deposited us back again. Better than being mown down by the speedsters

Friday 4 July 2014


Big clean, cook and sort out ready for our guests.  

Saturday 5 July 2014



Rather strange going by vaporetto to meet the Milan train, also seeing cars and buses so close to city centre.

J & J arrived in good form, then a long wait whilst they bought their month’s vaporetto pass.  We made a mistake by taking them via the Grand Canal which was very slow, we should have caught the 4.2 and done a circular tour back to Certosa.

Lovely to catch up so lots of chit chat.  I am a bit concerned that Jill will find Venice/boat a bit hot.

Sunday 6 July 2014


A lovely lazy morning then Sunday lunch out.  We had pre arranged with the Trattoria di Vignole that we would phone them so that they would come to pick us up as we can’t get 4 adults in our little rubber dinghy.  When we arrived our table was already laid up with a red tablecloth and the only vase of flowers - we must be very special, or just a soft touch.

Admir our waiter looked after us very well and even told us when he was going off on his break.  The following waiter was from Lake Skarda in Albania, he was delighted that we had been to his country.

The restaurant has a large selection of starters and main courses, and a choice of just two puddings or ice cream. I had spaghetti con fungi nero, I couldn’t see any spaghetti and the funghi made my tongue and teeth very black, delicious though quite rich.

Back to our boat; we were all too full to do anything much, obviously siestas were the order of the afternoon.

Monday 7 July 2014

Hot, small breeze

We decided we should visit the Lido, two vaporettos later we were there; very strange to see vehicles again.  We had a very hot walk to the beach where we were confronted by row upon row of beach huts and loungers; it was very orderly but looked incredibly hot and airless. James swam briefly, but the water too warm even for an Australian.  Lunch and a very good lemon icecream, 10/10 this time.  I am glad I have been there but probably won’t revisit.

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Overcast, slight rain later

Mike and I packed, Jill and James had a final briefing.  A last lunch at the hotel on the island, very good.  We caught the 14.35 airport vaporetto to Marco Polo airport; €16 if you pay on board, €15 if tickets pre-booked.  7 minute walk from boat to check-in. Airport well organised and the shopping area quite small.  easyJet to Manchester, taxi home.  House fine, kitchen area very hot and garden looks very lush, all plants have grown enormously and my scabious seeds have come up, pretty blue everywhere.


Two things which surprised me about the Italians, one was their love of dogs, I had never thought of them as a dog loving nation.  The other is????



PART II August to October

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Sunny in England, hot and sunny in Venice

Taxi at 11.15.  Very delayed on M56 where a lorry had fallen off the motorway on the other carriageway so don’t know why we were held up.  However we caught the flight which was uneventful.  Alilaguna ferry to Certosa.  The new pontoons close to the vaporetto stop are now in place for short stay visiting boats.  Guilio was pleased to see us.  Boat left very clean and tidy by James and Jill.

Quick change and back to hotel for supper which was nice but the late evening midges were a curse.  VERY hot at night as boat had been shut up or several days.  Lightning all around but no rain.

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Hot first thing, thunderstorm and rain late afternoon.

Food shopping and Mike to hospital for INR blood test which has taken all day.

Tidied and sorted our belongings.  Washing.  Thunderstorm and heavy rain for a short time in afternoon.

Thursday 14 August 2014


I did a big shop in via Garibaldi and arrived at vaporetto stop at the same time as Sue arrived from airport.  Lunch on board and a siesta then back to Venice for sightseeing.  Delicious pizza for supper. Mike nearly got his wallet pickpocketed but was quick off the mark to apprehend quite a pleasant looking 40ish year old.

Friday 15 August 2014

Hot, then cloud, rain later.     Water/elec €69 per night

Sue and I went over to St. Giorgio Maggiorie for her to view Venice from the top of the campanile.  Back to boat for a quick lunch and off to Chioggia up the canal.  Sad to be leaving Venice, but onwards, ever onwards.

The trip along the canals keeping the lido on our port side was delightful, brightly painted houses most of the way and a huge number of fishing boats.  Finally an enormously high sea wall, all part of the Venice sea defences.  There are two different areas between islands where they are constructing underwater lifting barrages.

Finally made it to Chioggia Marina where we were met by very helpful marina staff.  

The landscaping and washing/wc facilities are excellent. Sorted ourselves out and walked into the main town;  this is the down side as you have to walk through an industrial area to get to the next bridge.  The town consists of three main streets separated by canals.  The whole town was out for its passagiatto, most shops closed I think for the holiday period. We found a locals’ cafe for a beer which wasn’t too crowded, unfortunately Mike had to take back his cloudy beer.

Saturday 16 August 2014

Dull, slight wind, strong wind and rain later

Slipped 09.30.  After one hour of buffeting against the wind in horrid conditions, we decided to turn round back into the marina.  Stefano from the adjacent boat very kindly helped us in in spite of the torrential rain.  Later when it had cleared we found a supermarket and even later Stefano and wife came for a drink on board.  They are the proud owners of a lovely 7 year old timber cruising boat built on traditional lines.  They were very kind about Eos too.

Sunday 17 August 2014

Calm, hot, sun         water/elec

A long day to RAVENNA, a huge marina, 1000 plus boats, however they are missing the mega yachts which used to moor and spend money, now some are under suspicion of non payment of taxes in their various countries and are not travelling.  Very good facilities, very pleasant staff.  A supermarket, a delicatessen I think, though it was closed whilst we were here, a very nice bar which would do simple food.

We realised after this our first long trip since 6 weeks spent in Venice, poor boat was not careering along as usual, so must be dragging weed/barnacles etc. also the port oil cooler was suffering from some blockage. We found a diver who came to clear the hull of debris and Mike spent the next day taking apart and cleaning said cooler.

Monday 18 AUGUST 2014


We left Mike to clean his oil cooler, he has such a nice life, if it isn’t oil bits it is one of our many pumps.  Sue and I had a lovely day catching the no. 70 bus into Ravenna which is another elegant city, lots of bikes and mosaics to die for, so bright and sparkling, also some fabulously ornate marble floors. At the tourist office you buy a ticket (€9 for oap) for entry to some but not all.

Ravenna is applying to become European City of Culture in 2019.

Miraculously we found the bus again for return trip.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Hot, wind 2/3, s/st 2        €?? Per night

Slipped 10.00.  Uneventful trip to RIMINI Blu marina, tied up alongside at end of jetty with good view of the big wheel which at night is lit up beautifully.  

We had a long walk around, another elegant town.  Found Tiberius’  lovely old stone bridge and a very nice area of small cottages, bars and restaurants.  The town has much more to offer than the seaside resort I had always imagined.

For Sue’s last night we went out for supper to the ????along the harbour wall.  Quite smart and at first thought it would be very expensive, however, the food was delicious and copious and the bill OK.

Wednesday 20 August 2014


Sue caught the 10.40 train to Venice where she was to spend the remainder of the day sightseeing before catching her plane back to UK on Thursday.

We did a quick turn round, washing, cleaning and shopping before Tom and Madeleine arrived at 19.30.  We just made it.

They had had a very smooth journey from England, plane and train via Venice.

Thursday 21 August 2014                 water/elec


Slipped for FANO, Arr 14.30 ish.  The marina is large and includes the fishing fleet.

Another long walk to town through a not very interesting area, passing the beach volleyball pitch and a long beach filled with orange umbrellas and more very tanned bodies.  The railway line runs between sea and town and nearly the length of Italy as does the autostrada.

Oil and gas rigs scattered down the coast, not sure if they are all still functional.  Large fish farms indicated by the occasional yellow mark, very difficult to see in bad conditions.

The town is delightful with its Roman city walls and many medieval buildings together with Emperor Augustus Arch. It is interesting that in all these fine cities the town authorities appear to be strict about the design of shop fronts which appear to be very sympathetic with their surroundings, even large chains adhere to regulations.

We found an up market cafe which serves all manner of delicious sandwiches cakes, ice creams, coffees, alcohol.  The clientele very varied, noisy families to ladies of a certain age out for tea. The waiters wear beige braces and bow ties - very smart.

Supper on board then a rather disturbed night including fireworks again and the fishing fleet, leaving and returning.  Some seem to call out their wares and prices before actually docking which makes for an awful din at 0500.

Friday 22 August 2014        water/elec/fuel                                  Dull at first, hot later, wind light

An early start and uneventful trip.  We hoped to get Mike to his INR clinic in ANCONA.  Initially we planned to moor in the sailing club area near the commercial port and fuel jetty.  

However, as usual this proved impossible and we had to go around to the marina DORICA where we were instructed to come alongside near the entrance.  We have never seen such activity, a boat going in or out about every 5 mins.  Mike took a taxi to the clinic which cost €20, blood test and result came quickly, but it took him hours to walk back particularly having been given duff directions.

Tom and Madeleine found a bus and did some shopping in a rather poor area of the city.

Saturday 23 August 2014

Hot, thunder and heavy rain later      water/elec

A short day to CIVITANOVA, a delightful little marina run by the sailing club who couldn’t have been more helpful and welcoming.  The jetties are a little wobbly, but nevertheless the place works and has a thriving club for dinghy sailors and for larger boats; their trophy cabinet shows this.

We went to the club for a drink then the heavens opened so obviously we had to stay longer - Mike went back to the boat for oilies, how kind of him.  Later we went to explore and found another thriving town centre belying its first appearance. For a week there had been a large brocante event adjacent to a park, huge crowds and some interesting wares, though I couldn’t see a lot of selling.  Most shops closed other than some fashion stores and numerous makeup shops.

More fireworks and a jazz concert.

Sunday 24 August 2014

Hot, strong wind later        water/elec

An earlyish start for SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO

Another good sailing club.

Monday 25 August 2014       water/elec no charge

Hot, gentle breeze

A short day to ORTONA, A quite different architecture here and the houses are white, probably limestone. No response from the yacht club or indeed a marina so tied up alongside a yacht club berth.  Eventually a YC official came by and said we were OK to stay, he fixed up the electricity and water for us.

Bearing in mind food shops close from around 12.30 until 16.00 ish, we were too late to bother catching a bus up to the town so supper at the beach restaurant.  A delightful affair sitting on “filigree” orange plastic chairs; no menu, we were served by the most charming giggly girl who brought us dish after dish of mainly seafood until we had to tell her to stop.  We had a good wine -Montepulciano. Served much colder than it is served in the Artists’ Club at home.

We arrived back at the boat to find an official from goodness knows where demanding we move as we were on a private mooring.  Eventually Madeleine and her best Italian placated him and we gave him a piece of paper with our official stamp.  The next day we discovered he was from the yacht club, obviously a break down in communications, he had been quite aggressive and with our limited Italian we couldn’t find out what his position was. We met him later and all was resolved.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

 Off to catch the 08.35 bus up to Ortona town for a really big shop, returning at 11.30 with the trolley full plus two big bags.  Slipped 12.15 for PORTO PUNTA PENNA, at 15.00 ish no room on the yacht club pontoons, neither would the harbour master allow us alongside the commercial quay which is very long with no one there.  Out again with the wind strengthening to MARINA SVEVA  (Porto San Salvo/Marina di Montenero di Bisaccia) opened in 2013 (€72 per night).  

This marina was not in our pilot in spite of us having the 2014 updates.

The marina is enormous and barely used, huge new breakwaters, lots of shore buildings awaiting tenants, the restaurant/bar some way from the visitor moorings.  Wcs and showers good though no curtains and too few hooks, lots of hot water though.

We were just sitting down to supper when a chap came along to warn us we may hear tapping on the side of the boat, not to worry, only the turtle who can’t find its way out to sea again, we wondered why the boatmen couldn’t guide it out.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Slipped 09.00 to call in at TERMOLI for some oil which the port engine had started using.  The marina is said to be VERY expensive, having seen it, it seems to have seen better days.  

The harbour looks quite run down with the odd derelict hulk, the buoys are difficult to see as they remain faded and unpainted.  However the fuel jetty people were helpful though they had no suitable charts and the oil was quite expensive.  The alongside jetty was very short, I doubt whether yachts any longer than us would be able to tie up.

At 17.00 ish we turned into GARGANICO €70 per night, water/elec.  

A small ferry port taking people to the Tremiti Islands.

This is another nearly brand new marina with new breakwaters etc. And not in our pilot updates, we are not at all impressed with the editing. Not quite so far to walk to the office, showers etc.  

The boatman has the most lovely black labrador who stands in the bows of the rib and appears not to loose his balance.

Thursday 28 August 2014      water/elec €70

A short day to VIESTE,  an old town set up on the cliffs, houses mostly white/cream and built of limestone; lots of marble steps and steep streets, markets, specialist food shops etc.  The town is on the Promontorio del Gargana part of Puglia and appears a little haven of specialist food producers.

The marina is run by Caterina and her daughter (Canadians) who also run a cafe and know all the gossip and are generally mines of information.

We had a good explore and back to boat for supper.  During the evening the wind started to rise.

Friday 29 August 2014

Hot/windy gusting 25 knts.

By the morning the Sirocco was blowing and no way were we moving, though the trip boats and a lot of very small craft were carrying on their business as usual.

Bad day, we had been wondering why we had water in the aft bilge, we now know it is coming through the rudder shaft; we are awaiting an engineer from Manfredonia to come to assess the damage;  we hope, weather permitting, to go there on Saturday to await lifting out - just as things were going so well and we were on schedule.

Saturday 30 August 2014

Hot, little wind

As the man from Manfredonia didn’t come until late afternoon we obviously weren’t going anywhere today.

Not all bad though, Madeleine and I had a good long exploring walk through the oldest part of town, lots of restaurants but may be expensive as they have a sea view.  As in other old towns, the streets are narrow, winding and full of tiny shops.  The cathedral has a lovely painted ceiling, strangely some of it looks concave and some convex so hope it isn’t in imminent danger of collapse.  We think perhaps in the past there has been some rebuilding, the lower 20ft of columns appear ancient and above much newer.

Supper out at Box 30, just up a street or two. Tom and Madeleine decided to leave us from Vieste rather than Manfredonia as train connections were easier, so sadly this was their last night.

Sunday 31 August 2014

Hot, no wind, s/st 1        water/elec/€50

T & M left at 05.00 to catch a bus to Foggia, then train to Venice via Bologna, quite a trip.  We set off at 07.50 for MANFREDONIA, MARINA del GARGANO.  Luckily the sea was very flat; due to our leak we wanted as few rudder movements as possible, this we did by not using the auto pilot and steering using engine revs.  11.30 we arrived at this enormous, new and largely empty marina with the most efficient ormigattori we have come across.  

The marina is built close to a poorish part of the town and the promenade and cafe are used by the locals for a very pleasant place to walk and have a cup of tea, certainly most didn’t appear to have a boat.  

Thunderstorms in the evening, also what sounded like pigeon scarers.  At about 01.30 a long firework display, this apparently is another celebration of fishing, Vieste had theirs on Saturday.

Monday 1 September 2014

Thunder, no wind

I managed to get the first two loads of washing dry.  Mike had his INR, very quick getting the results this time and only €5.

In the evening Jean-Marie from “Timetogo” came for a drink.  A very civilised Frenchman.  His wife is not a sailor so he is awaiting a weather window and crew to take boat up to Ravenna,

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Hot, cloudy

Disaster day. I slipped on the only very small puddle over the central metal drainage grid, in the whole length of the car park area between the heads and shops.  My foot at a very strange angle to my leg, the outcome three breaks to my ankle.  I have never felt such pain and just screamed, people soon came running and in no time I was in a brand new ambulance being whisked away to the Ospedale s.

Poor Mike - not only did he have to supervise the boat being lifted out (the most efficient so far), organise said repairs, find himself somewhere to stay, hire a car, visit me etc, he does this all in Italian and in a strange town;  there being few English speakers around here.

Wednesday/Thursday 3/4 September 2014

I slept the days away whilst Mike scurried round supervising the repairs.  Unfortunately there were so many thunderstorms and heavy downpours of rain, the men were unable to work without soaking the interior of the boat delaying the completion.

Friday 5 September 2014

Operation day, local anaesthetic in my spine, the whole process quite surreal.  The op took 1hr 10 mins and once pinned and plated I have had very little pain.

The most difficult aspect of my stay has been the other patients’ visitors who think nothing of staying 2/3 hours, using their mobile phones continually and being Italian.  Ana next to me must receive about 15 calls a day.

Saturday 6 September 2014

Boat nearly ready for lifting back.  We are awaiting the arrival of John and Judy who have been delayed as their TGV broke down and replacement bus service so late they missed their connection to Rome.  Nice to know other trains break down not just those in UK.

Sunday 7 September 2014

Figs arrive late and can stay in our b & b.  I am nearly at my wits ends with other visitors, eventually the nurse throws them out.

Monday 8 September 2014

 A lovely early visit from John, then I am discharged with papers saying I am able to fly which is lucky, x-ray good but no copy to take home, and no crutches, we have to find our own in down town Manfredonia.  The first pair we bought proved hopeless but by the afternoon we had tracked down a better set.

Tuesday-Thursday 9/10/11 September 2014

Hot, some thunder

A jolly day or two spent with John and Judy, various meals out, various attempts to buy their rail ticket back to Rome - astonishingly difficult from Manfredonia, so had to drive to Foggia.

Boat back in water so they were able to spend one night on board;  They should have been cruising with us from Brindisi to Taranto.

Just our luck, of course this marina is considerably more expensive than that in Licata.  Mike has been trying to bring the price down particularly as it is nothing like full, so far no joy.  We are between the devil and the deep blue sea,  we don’t want to go back to Vieste for the winter and we can’t go on to Sicily

Friday 12 September 2014


John and Judy leave on the 14.40 little train to Foggia thence the big train to Rome.  It has been lovely for Mike to have some different company.

Our little b & b is owned by the owner of the bar/cafe next door where we get the most delicious coffee and croissants for breakfast, now I am back at home, I really miss them!

I became really nervous about hopping along to the nearest restaurant for supper. Having a takeaway seemed safer, Mike sometimes bought half a chicken or a pizza from Spar and sometimes he got our supper from the restaurant, kindly sent in really nice ceramic dishes not tin foil

SATURDAY/Sunday 13/14 September 2014

Hot/some cloud, some thunder

These two days spent putting boat to bed, draining down engines, de-frosting fridge, packing away clothes and bedding etc.  I could actually be quite useful in a slow sort of way.

Monday 15 September 2014


Car back to car hire, paid for b & b, quite expensive considering there was no service other than clean towels, but not a lot of choice as Manfredonia doesn’t appear to do hotels.

Last lovely coffee and croissants for breakfast.

Mike just managed to pay for the boat repairs and check who was looking after boat during the winter - should we be surprised that no-one actually turns up when they say they will.

Mercedes taxi driven by the boss Cosimo to our hotel near the airport in NAPLES.  A very hilly drive over the Appenines, all sorts of agriculture, arable, vines, grasslands and one patch with dreadful wind turbines.

Our hotel KLEOPATRA, a boutique hotel in a very run down part of town.  Lots of black carpet, black bedspreads, tiling etc.  Mike found us some lunch of spaghetti and mussels.  from an old fashioned trattoria, one of a dying breed. Gran, husband and wife and daughter all wearing slightly grubby aprons.  Later we/I hobbled up the road for supper there, delicious it was too, with the family eating as well, two locals using the television as their own, flicking from channel to channel.

I slept really well for a change.

Tuesday 16 September 2014


08.00 taxi to airport, then my wheelchair experience starts, a rather shabby and uncomfortable yellow one.  Lots of waiting around, no one asked to see my “fit to fly” letter and eventually we were put into the scissor left which normally takes goods into the plane other than baggage.  The insurance company had booked 3 seats for me and 1 for Mike,  but not one member of the cabin crew ever came to see whether I was comfortable or not, luckily I had my own pillow and I was comfortable.

On arrival at John Lennon airport, Liverpool, we came off the plane the same way, and were met by a very dapper doctor/taxi/ambulance driver.  This time a Mercedes private ambulance with darkened windows.  He was quite nervous about taking his vehicle down our back alley, we said our removal van had come that way, and he managed it just.

So good to be home, a lovely sunny day and our view to die for.

Not quite the ending to this year’s cruising that we had envisaged, but at least we have more time to get on with house plans, so not all bad.


Harbour/mooring fees based on 12.5m yacht in 2014 per night

Left Bar, Montenegro  July 2013/23 May alongside Budva        23 May  laid line in marina  €84

Kotor (via Herceg-Novi)  23-25 May  alongside quay  €41

Perast for lunch    26 May  alongside quay

Porto Montenegro (Tivat)   26 May  laid line in marina  €68

Cavtat , Croatia   27-29 May  stern to quay   250kn

Ston     30 May - 1 June alongside quay  130kn

Octo Mljet, Polace   2 -3 June  laid line to restaurant quay free

Octo Korcula    4 June   laid line, marina  605kn

Octo Hvar,  Sucuraj   5-6 June  alongside quay  260kn +                  39kn harbour tax

Split (meant to go to Omis) 7 June   marina   97kn

Octo Mali, Drvenik   8 June   stern to small quay  ??

Sibenik    9 June   stern to town quay

Otok Zirje, Luka Muna  10 June  alongside harbour wall 312kn

Otok Smokvica, s.

of O Kornati,Lojena   11 June  restaurant buoy  500kn            national park

Otok Dugi, Sali   12/13 June  laid line, harbour wall    60kn +120

Otok Ist, Ist    14/15 June  laid line, harbour wall 169kn

Otoks Ilovik/Petar   16 June  mooring buoy

Mali Losinj    short stop to get money

Otok Unije, Maraco Inlet  17/18 June  mooring buoy  182kn

Medalin    19 June  marina

Rovinj     20 June  marina

Novigrad    21/22 June  laid line, harbour wall

Piran     23/25 June  laid line, harbour wall

Isola La Certosa Marina

Venice    26 June-15 August  marina Venti di Venezia

Choggia    15/16 Aug  marina

Ravenna    17/18 Aug  Marina

Rimini     19/20 Aug  Marina Blu

Fano     21 Aug  Marina

Ancona     22 Aug  Marina

Civitinova     23 Aug  Sailing club marina

St Benedetto del Tronto   24 Aug  

Ortona     25 Aug  Sailing club mooring

Porta   Penna     26 Aug  no room

Marina di Monterra di   26 Aug  Marina


Termoli     27 Aug  dropped by for oil

Garganico     28 Aug  Marina

Vieste      28-29 Aug  Marina

Manfredonia     30 Aug -  Marina for the winter

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