We’ve covered some distance again this past 10 days or so. Though with target deadlines almost complete – now all outstanding is to take final possession of contents of the container in Rijeka. Thus finally allowing the pace to slow down a few notches to the leisurely cruiser lifestyle variety.
After crossing back from Venice to the Croatian customs clearance port of Umag, we have jaunted in and out of several ports. Including the hip and ready-to-start-pumping holiday village of Porec and the magnificent peninsular of Rovinj (pronounced Rovin) where centuries old stone and stucco buildings clung to every last available rock. We pulled up alongside Brijuni Islands – once the personal summer island retreat of former Yugoslav leader Tito – where a grumpy too-early-in-the-season-for-that harbour official demanded 100 euro before we drop an anchor. We promptly opted against that idea and sailed off on a solid six-hour square reach around the top of the Istria Peninsular taking a direct hit on the island of Cres (pronounced Tres).
BELOW: overnight anchorages at Rovinj and Porec
First night anchored at Cres Island was in a rocky bay near Osor under the haunting watch of a crumbling church ruin. Dad had initially wanted to anchor a stone’s throw from the ruins. But thankfully – and as always a lesson learnt – the wind swung unexpectedly and unfavourably through the night when a thunderstorm brushed by us. The chain swung full circle on its anchor, so we ended up with that front row seat view after all. Had we anchored any closer to shore in the beginning, that would’ve been the boat’s hull dragging on the rocky seabed, not just the chain.
Mum has been thoroughly enjoying her sister Robyn’s company. Our Aunty’s trip to Croatia was a treat to herself in celebration of her 70th birthday later this year. The sisters prefer to split off when we hit a new port and can potter together for hours in shops, markets and gelato bars. This was in place of poor mum being dragged around at our break-neck power-walking speed to visit another pub, marina, chandlery or nuts and bolts store!
Whilst hitting a few minor delays as the shipping container was cleared through Croatian customs in Rijeka, for four nights we were contently anchored in a deep protected harbour at Cres Town on the island of Cres. The slowed pace allowed the opportunity to continue with more tweaking and repairs around the boat.
The guys have been fine-tuning the pole and pulley system for raising and lowering the tender onto the boat’s bow – as next week the trike will take its place on new custom-made stern davits. Ropes have been end-for-ended to give new life to those that were well-used and worn only on one end. And there was another resourceful use of ropes and halyards to lift Mike perpendicular up the hoisted foresail in the boson’s chair. All was in effort to attach new cat tails (indicators to show when wind flow in the sail is at maximum efficiency).