Well, what a wonderful two days we have had. The passage from Hvar to Korcula was made without the assistance of wind - except for half an hour as we approached the Korcuka Channel. We got the spinnaker up again, only to find the wind dropping. We actually made 3 knots with the same amount of wind, but it soon dropped away. We had to get to Kircula in time to arrange the pontoon party so it was engine back in and down to Korcula at 5.8 knots. I never cease to marvel at the old town of Korcula; what could possibly be more attractive, on a sunny day with the brick-red roofs, the honeyed, weathered old towers and the spire of St Mark's Cathedral (a dead give-away as to its Venetian origins) rising majestically on top of the town hill. We got there by
Yesterday was a busy day for all the Little Shippers taking part in the Historic Croatia Rally. A few had arrived on Friday - including Paul Banks and Moira (who very ably assisted me with the Rally preparations) who came onboard for drinks and a quick update. Tim and Ann Bizzey appeared at 11am on Saturday having not eaten for about eighteen hours, to be followed by our other participants (save one absent through illness) all with broad smiles, but mostly also with bags under the eyes! Tiredness was quickly overcome and the efficient Dalmatia Charters briefers got going with the hand overs of our six charter sailing yachts (Steve Midgley was picking up his motor yacht in Split) . The boats easily met expectations. Meanwhile, the crew of "the Dream" (of Osprey that is) went off on various forays.
I last reported our stay in the Marina at Marina - the small town at the western, opposite, end of the sound of Trogir from that wonderful medieval UNESCO Heritage city. So on Thursday, with the weather much improved - save for the absence of any wind at all! - we motored the ten-odd nautical miles in two hours and tied up, after fuelling, in one of the Dalmatia Charter berths in ACI Trogir Marina and met up again with Ivica Buble the owner, now an old acquaintance. The outboard was collected for repair as promised. Basha Vucic, Mark's wife, joined us to make up our full crew of four and we all went into old Trogir town to lunch at one of my favourite restaurants, the Kamerlengo. Wonderful, and there was enough left over to take away to provide the basis for Basha's excellent supper supplemented by the victualling trip she and Nark made in the afternoon.
Today - hard to remember it's only Wednesday - we awoke to the Bura's continuing fiendish howls. But the forecast suggested it would finally blow itself out by midday. And indeed it did - so at 1300 we set off for Marina (see the explanation with the photographs!). The wind was westerly now, yet again bang on the nose, but as we rounded the point hoping to run down to Marina under sail, the wind died - from 30 knots to zero in two hours!
We arrived in Vinisce yesterday afternoon wet and tired. Today has been a welcome and delightful interlude. All the more so because the "Bura" did finally arrive. Normally it brings clear sunny skies, as it did today. If it brings rain then you absolutely must run for cover. But even in its mildest form it is no joke, largely because it is so squally with gusts over 30 knots from a literally clear blue sky.
It was such a delight to get back onboard the old "Dream of Osprey" on Saturday evening. She lives in Sukosan near Zadar, so I bought a bus ticket to get me from Trogir back to Sukosan at 11 o'clock. Half an hour later - no bus! I asked the lady at the ticket desk. " you wait. I don't know if it's late". When it came, half an hour later, it was a lovely bus and got me there by 3 o'clock! David my co-owner handed our boat over in pristine shape and Angus and Mark, my crew, arrived promptly at 1030pm, off the Ryanair flight.
Well, I'm finally on the bus to Sukosan at Trogir bus station after an hour's wait in the hot sun: bits of the Croat bureaucracy never change!
So it's now a three hour trip on country roads, after a successful two days making sure the Historic Croatia Rally preparations are all in place. Over coffee with Ivica Bubke of Dalmatia Charters, we checked the charter arrangements. He is going to fix up berths for Steve Midgley on 9/10 September. And Anamaria at the Calebotta confirmed our menus (thank you to all, for providing your choices!).
And Antoni of the Lucullus restaurant confirmed arrangements for the transfer from Palmizana marina to Hvar. So, so far so good, and Trogir looks as beautiful as ever!
The Anniversary Channel Island Cruise with our Corinthian friends turned out to be a magnificent occasion for meeting the Clubs Honorary Port Officers.
A grand total of 8 HPOs joined the cruise and the festivities:
Magali Hamoun - Cherbourg; David Clements - Dart River; John Davison - West Mersea & Blackwater;
David Mitchison - St Peter Port, Guernsey; Brian Alderson - Jersey; Larry Blount - Annapolis, USA;
Bill Thomas - Philadelphia, USA; Keith Martin - Le Havre |& North Brittany.
Gabbie and Tim Ryan joined Hunter Peace for the return voyage back to the UK.
On the first Friday we tucked into a delicious buffet at the l'Equipage restaurant above the Capitainerie in Cherbourg, with several platters of oysters, little fishy morsels, chunks of pate, local cheeses, and waddled off into the night wishing we'd brought doggy bags.
The St Helier Yacht club did us proud for our final dinner. When the first plate of five profiteroles arrived, we thought it was for sharing - but no!
Ronhilda is now over 29 years old with its original engine (Ford XLD 1.6 the type fitted in UK Post Office Ford Escort Vans of long ago) now logging just under 6,000 hours. This year 15 years after I had renewed the original injector nozzles I decided to renew the injector nozzles again. This sounds a long time between renewals but if one considers a van average speed of 30 mph during its lifetime this equates to just 90,000 miles between my renewals, so really I am guilty of over maintaining the engine.