A productive week

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Dobrodosli (hello)! Firstly apologies for the slow first update.  It has been a busy first week and we’ve just set up regular internet access. Hope this finds you well wherever you are.

Today the guys are back to Sibenik (pronounced Shib-e-neck) with a ‘to do’ list of essential tasks, taking us a few steps closer to officially setting sail.

The trip here (via Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt) was long and eventful, concluding with an extra bumpy decent and precarious landing into stormy Split Airport. There were roughly 48 hours from Brisbane bed to Sibenik bed. So whilst we were almost falling asleep in our pizzas on the night of arrival, we all managed to stay up till regular bedtime hours. The 10 – 12 hour snooze fest that followed successfully defeated any jetlag. We are now officially 10 hours behind AEST (Sydney, NSW time) or 8 hours ahead of PDT (Vancouver, BC time).

Since our arrival on Wednesday and up until yesterday, we’ve had the valued company of the original German boat owners, Herbert and Angelika. They’ve so generously given us their time to hand over and explain the functions and individual characteristics of this particular Lagoon 440. It’s obvious that she’s been an integral part of their family for the past six years, since taking delivery of her from the Lagoon factory in France. And they’ve taken great care in ensuring her safe onward travel with us.

Herbert and Angelika have a solid trust and love for the boat, which is very comforting. Hopefully we’ll meet up with them again in some picturesque Mediterranean bay later this summer once they take possession of their brand new Lagoon 520.

These past five days have been productive. The day after arrival dad, Mike and Herbert motored the boat from her regular berth in Sibenik, three hours north to Marina Betina on the island of Murter. Betina has the only travel lift in the region wide enough to lift a catamaran. The boat came out of the water Friday morning and is currently sitting on the hardstand with work to start on anti-fouling, engine maintenance and hull polishing today. Though looking out the window this morning, we may be up against some weather delays with rain falling and expected to continue for at least 24 hours.

We are currently based in an apartment in Murter, about fifteen minutes walk from the shipyard. There have been several shopping trips back to Sibenik to stock up on typical bedroom and kitchen supplies. As of yesterday we are each connected with local Croatian phone numbers, plus a wireless hotspot that provides internet access for up to five laptops. We anticipate repeating this process (new SIM cards and internet dongles) with each new country we visit.

We also must extend a sincere thanks to Andy and Lana who own MARE yachting in Sibenik, where they have grown their charter business from one yacht to twenty-five in just three years. They‘ve become close friends with Herbert and Angelika over the years, and have provided us with invaluable support and local advice since taking possession of our catamaran.

Yesterday (Sunday) was our first free day to explore. A winding one-hour drive south along the coast took us to the magical town of Trogis (pronounced Troggie) with its ancient walled city that dates back to the 14th century. We’ve arrived in Croatia well ahead of the summer tourist season. So despite majority of shops and cafés along the coast still securely closed for a few more weeks at least, we’re loving the spacious sunny squares, deserted cobblestone laneways and wide peaceful harbour front strolls. At times it feels we could be the only foreigners about, as we mingle among the Croats who sit in simple cafes slurping tiny coffees and lighting one cigarette after another as they happily waste the day away.

Looking ahead this coming week we’ll monitor the boat maintenance and remove existing signage to replace with the newly Australian registered boat name “finally my darling”. We’ll visit Raymarine to make some technical adjustments to the VHF radio to comply with AMSA requirements, plus shop for wet weather gear, personal safety harnesses, life jackets etc. We also plan to check out some folding bicycles and make final purchases of essential bedding and supplies for the galley. Then we are very much looking forward to moving in and sleeping onboard once the boat is back on the water later this week.

So where to from there? Well we are not quite sure yet, but all the options look mighty inviting so watch this space!

First photo below was taken at dinner with previous owners Herbert (second on left) and Angelika (first on right) and new friends Andy (third on left) and Lana (second on right). Followed by the boat being lifted from the water at Betina Marina at Murter and beautiful scenery from a day trip to Trogir and Primosten. My goodness Croatia is photogenic.

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