The primary sailing region of “Nepomuk” is
and for this particular voyage was the Southeastern
Adriatic with start and finish in Bar, Montenegro. The country is currently in a union with Serbia,
hence it’s official name “Republic of Serbia and Montenegro”. The alliance was mandated by the European Union after
the Yugoslavian war and will likely dissolve in May 2006. Montenegro already enjoys a great deal of autonomy, so is the official
currency the Euro, rather than the Dinar in Serbia.
For quite some years smuggling was a
mainstay of Montenegro’s economy; cigarettes were taken illegally into Italy,
just 80 nm across the Adriatic. The EU finally put an end to it, threatening to withdraw
financial aide and the tools of the once lucrative trade (pic 2:
Smuggler) are now for sale in Montenegrin ports: asking price
for this one is 350,000.00 Euros, approx. US $ 420,000.00, allegedly
the boat can run 140 knots, the Italian Navy had nothing to compete with
A completely different type of
vessel captured my heart though: Many tales surround “Divna” (pic 3: Divna
1), she may have been the private yacht of Montenegro’s King “Nikola” who possibly bought her from Jules Verne, the
French author. Her history is an exciting mélange of fact and
fiction, not unlike Verne’s novels. King’s ship or not, she is a
beauty in desolate shape; deserving to be restored; if I only had the
While my budget does not allow me to
bring “Divna” back to glory, it affords me “Nepomuk”, I am quite
proud of her and now is the time to put her into the water.
This voyage would take me back to Croatia.
I was scheduled to meet my guests Todd and Louise in Cavtat on September
25. They are a sailing couple from Utah with a
life-long dream to sail the Croatian islands who had hooked up with me through
a sailor’s-forum and Nepomuk’s website . Now
I would introduce them to the country that was a second home to me.
Southern area, from Bar to Polace
Friday, 9/ 23/ 05, Bar to Bigova, Montenegro
In the morning I ran the necessary
errands to clear out of Montenegro. The Harbor-Captain was first; we know each other, the whole
affair took but 2 minutes. On to the customs-department. The officer on
duty did not feel like working (a quite common attitude of
officials on the Balkans) as his shift ended in 30 minutes;
fortunately the new guy felt like earning a pay-check. He produced a
huge binder, containing documents of all ship-arrivals (commercial and
pleasure) since January. The papers were not organized at all and one can
imagine how long it took to find “Nepomuk’s” little file. The final visit at
the police-station was a matter of minutes; still it was almost
when I returned to the boat.
Most Mediterranean countries take
formalities not too seriously but this was Montenegro and Croatia with their unique relations. I had cleared out of Montenegro, “Nepomuk” was already flying Q yet there was no way to
reach Croatia before sundown. A night-run alone..? Pedra,
my slip-neighbor merely stated: “Don’t worry, if someone asks tell
them you have engine-problems, you should have engine-problems in Bigova,
it’s nice there.”
Leaving Bar at ,
wind was NW at 15 kn in compliance
with the saying there is either no wind on the Adriatic or it
comes from the wrong direction. This was Maestral the fair-weather wind on
the Adriatic and I enjoyed beating under blue skies, “Nepomuk” was stretching
her legs at 6 kn. After passing Budva I recovered the sails
at and following Pedra’s suggestion motored into Bigova. He
had been right; this was my kind of place... and no
authorities who could have asked.
Total: 34 nm (sail: 28 /
Saturday, 9/ 24, Bigova / Montenegro to Cavtat / Croatia
In the morning I took a stroll
through town: people were friendly, striking up chats as to who I was,
where I was from and where I would go. A small
grocery store carried basic foods and beverages, a few restaurants
and most importantly: no tourists. It felt like going
back to the time before a terrible war had scarred
this country and her people. I would have loved to stay longer but
there was a schedule to keep.
Leaving Bigova at ,
wind was still NW at 8 kn, shifting to NNW during the day,
increasing slightly. Nonetheless it was slow sailing and I arrived in Cavtat, my Croatian
port of entry at . The customs-pier was easy to spot with offices of the Harbor-Captain,
police and customs conveniently located in the same building across
the street. Officials were all very friendly and asked me to come back
tomorrow as (yes you guessed it) they did not feel like working since it
was late. At least in regards to their work-ethics the once
bitter enemies seemed to share common ground.
Cavtat is essentially a peninsula and I
decided to anchor in the Southern bay just off shore from the office-building.
“Nepomuk” was secure at .
The location turned out to be choppy and noisy: charter-planes approaching
nearby Cilipi airport seemed to go directly over the masthead
all night long. There was also sudden swell into the bay making for an
uncomfortable night; not an anchorage to recommend. But I had arrived
safely and was well within schedule. Tomorrow I would look for Todd and
Total: 41 nm (29 sail, 5
motor/sail, 7 motor)
Sunday, 9/ 25, Cavtat to Komolac / Croatia
Getting up the first order of business
was to swim around the boat and dive under it, one of the superstitions aboard “Nepomuk”.
Pliva Pliva, Serbocroatic “Swim swim”
Afterwards I took the dinghy to
shore and completed entry-formalities at the Harbor Master’s
office “Lucka Kapetanija”. Now I had to find my guests; they were staying
at a small hotel called “Haus am Meer”, which translates to “house
at the sea”.
Todd and Louise were just getting up
when I arrived. We discussed details of the voyage. Daniela, the helpful
owner of “Haus am Meer” drove us around town to get needed supplies.
Unfortunately some items were only available at ACI Marina “Komolac” near
Dubrovnik. I would sail “Nepomuk” to the Marina as Todd and
Louise wanted to explore Cavtat, they would follow by public
transportation and embark in Komolac tomorrow.
Leaving Cavtat at
I passed one of the most famous cities on the Adriatic, perhaps the Mediterranean: Dubrovnik. I have
visited this marvel many times since 1978 and would not know
where to begin a report on her... much less how to end it. So let me
just encourage everybody: Place Dubrovnik high on your list of
places to see.
Wind was NW at a mere 5 kn, I did
not even bother with the sails and motored into Komolac at 18:00, a
welcome return to this safe and well-run Marina.
Total: 14 nm (motor 14)
Monday, 9/ 26, Komolac to Okuklje / Croatia
The chain of ACI Marinas is known
for their comparatively high standards along the Croatian shore; “Komolac”
is no exception. The needed supplies were readily available, shopping
and storing was soon done with time left for
sunbathing and swimming in the pool. Todd and Louise arrived just short of
noontime, boarded and we were under way at .
Wind was NW at 6 to 10 kn, perfect conditions for Todd to get acquainted with “Nepomuk”;
he quite obviously enjoyed steering the boat and caught on quickly although it
must have been quite a change from his tiller-steered Catalina 25. Sadly wind
all but died on the Southern tip of “Sipan” island, we motored into “Mljetski
Kanal”, where wind increased to 12 kn thanks to the funnel between “Mljet”
island to the West and the Croatian mainland to the East.
It may be important to explain a
few particulars about the Croatian shore at this point:
Most islands in the region are
rather mountainous, stretch from the NW to the SE and are long but
narrow in shape, creating channels that serve as funnels for most
wind-conditions. Even, say a wind at ENE may turn NW in
the channels, locally known as “jets”. In addition to dramatic
changes in wind direction, force will almost certainly increase,
sometimes quadruple...! Many inexperienced sailors have rounded
an island to see sails flopping all over the place, boats heeling
heavily and on occasion canvas turning to shreds.
In our current situation the increase in
force was welcome and we tacked into “Okuklje” at , tying up
at the restaurant “Maran”.
I know the owner from prior visits:
docking is free of charge; in return the crew is expected to eat
dinner at the restaurant. Water quality and temperature in
the picturesque cove mandated an evening swim right off the
Total: 29 nm (sail: 21, motor: 8)
Tuesday, 9/ 27, Okuklje to Korcula / Croatia
Rather early in the morning Todd and
I hiked to the village-chapel on top of a hill
featuring a beautiful view over the cove, nearby islands and the
On our way back we bought some croissants
for breakfast and left this quaint place at towards the island of “Korcula”.
Most Croatian islands also carry a town of the same name, which can be confusing.
I usually clarify by adding either island or town to the location’s
The day began with wind from NW
at 4 kn; even the jet did not do anything for us, so we motored for
quite some time. We took a detour through the archipelago of “Polace” and marked
the area as safe anchorage in any condition.
Northern area, Polace - Vis - Polace
Approaching the Island of Korcula we
noted a gradual increase and found 15 + kn approaching the
Eastern mouth of “Korculanski Kanal”. By now Todd and I worked well
together and we managed to gain on what I believed to be a larger Halberg
Rassy, approx. 1 nm ahead of us. But we became a
bit insolent and messed up one tack thoroughly... the HR was gone.
The jet between Korcula-island and
the peninsula of Peljesac is very popular with windsurfers from around the world, while
tradition is still thriving which became evident near the entrance
to ACI Marina Korcula at .
Tradition & Moderne
Docking here is always tricky
due to the narrow lay-out and frequent cross-winds. The
situation today was a true challenge but we lay safely after
zigzagging backwards through the tight-spots.
Total: 41 nm (sail: 21, motor: 15,
Wednesday, 9/ 28, Korcula to Palmizana / Croatia
The town of Korcula is
very likely Marco Polo’s birthplace and has subsequently developed
into a prime destination with British tourists leading the pack. Tranquility
can still be found outside high-season or early in the morning which we used
for a stroll through town.
Louise fell in love with the village and
especially enjoyed our visit to the local produce-market. Fresh figs were in
season, apparently not readily available in Utah.
We left at 9:00 and found hardly any
wind all the way to the uninhabited island of “Scedro” where in
a deja-vu to yesterday the early signs of the jet emerging from “Pakleni
Kanal” produced NW at 9 kn., increasing to 18 kn in the
channel. We tacked towards the city of Hvar
as visiting here was Todd’s expressed wish: Several years ago he
had come across the photo of a quaint, yet unknown town
and painted a water-color based on the depiction. Now he was sailing
towards the real thing at 6 kn.
One could see how much he enjoyed it.
Unfortunately there was no room at the quay or anchorage, going ashore
would have to wait until tomorrow.
We crossed the channel to spend the night
at ACI Marina Palmizana on the island of “Sv. Klement”, my favorite Marina in all of Croatia. The
pictures on the BYOA-website
“Nepomuk at the dock” and “stern view” are taken here. We were safely
moored at .
Thursday, 9/ 29, Palmizana and Hvar to Komiza / Croatia
Our intention was to take the water-taxi to
Hvar, where room for docking or anchoring is always scarce.
We would explore the city and have lunch
there. Upon return to Palmizana we would
head west through the channel, hang port at “Vodnjak Vela” and
make for the island of “Vis”. Great plan but unfortunately
the earliest water-taxi departs at ,
too late for our itinerary.
Leaving Marina Palmizana at , we
hoped to find a space for “Nepomuk” in the crowded port of Hvar and as
luck would have it we arrived just as a beautiful Grand Soleil was
getting on her way. We quickly occupied her spot, anchored in 8 meters (approx.
25 ft.) of water and went ashore by dinghy.
Hvar, harbor (“Nepomuk” at anchor in the
middle of pic)
The city of Hvar is a very popular
tourist-destinations and important ferry-port, yet somehow manages to
preserve innocent charms.
The region alleges to have the
most hours of sunshine in all of Croatia:
an average of 2,715 per year. Hotels advertise a 50% discount if it
rains and a full refund if it snows. Do not count
on tangible savings though: it never happens...
True to the claim Hvar presented us with
a gorgeous day: clear blue sky and plenty of sunshine above a dark
blue sea. Louise bought some nice pieces of local “Filigran”-jewelry.
We had a delicious lunch, with Todd discovering a taste for “Raznici”
a local dish that was difficult to pronounce but easy to enjoy.
Visiting here had been Todd’s dream, he savored every minute of
Priatno, Serbocroatic “Enjoy your meal”
We left town at , now
backtracking our own keel-waters through the eastern part of
Pakleni Kanal, then turning starboard for Vis; it would be my first visit to the remote island.
Wind had shifted since
yesterday to NE at 4 kn, increasing steadily. We were on a dead
run, the one point of sail I truly hate, not only due to angled
spreaders. Approaching the Northern shore of Vis-island we encountered
dolphins, a group of 5 or 6 animals.
Dupin, Serbocroatic “Dolphin”
It was exciting to see them as
the Adriatic dolphin was believed to be extinct only a few years ago.
Wind now exceeded 15 kn and after rounding the western tip of Vis we were beam-reaching
at 7.9 kn, a record for “Nepomuk”. Wind was still increasing even in the lee of
the island. In all the excitement about dolphins, boat-speed and the
imminent landfall on a new island I did not read the writing on the wall.
We came into “Komiza” at .
The harbor was impressive, secured by a massive breakwater,
mooring-lines were 1 inch thick and had been attached far out in
the middle of the bay, making for an extremely shallow angle, this
arrangement was made to withstand serious force.
The fishermen of Komiza are said to be the most knowledgeable on the Adriatic; a reputation
supported by the design of their home-port.
Friends had recommended the restaurant“Konoba Bako”
and it turned out to have a unique ambience: The former boathouse has
operational fishing-boats moored inside as the ground floor is sea-level.
It was rather late when we
returned from dinner; a closer look at Komiza would have to wait
until tomorrow. As always I checked the mooring-lines before turning in
and noticed a rather large Catamaran trying to find anchorage in the middle
of the bay. Wind was well above 10 kn creating choppy seas even
in the harbor and I was glad to sleep safely moored stern-to
rather than on an anchored Cat.
Total: 31 nm (sail: 28, motor: 3)
Friday, 9/ 30, , Komiza / Croatia
Generally I sleep well but light on the
boat, sounds like a contradiction but those of you who sail will understand. You
will also agree to check immediately if something does not feel right
because it usually isn’t..!
I woke up from some strange
scarring sound; the boat was rocking noticeably but her
movement felt normal, wind whistled loud through the rigging and then
there was this sound again... I opened the hatch above my berth,
wind coming over the starboard bow hit with force almost slamming the
handle out of my hand. Cold seawater blew into my face, there was a lot of
activity on the boat to starboard, the church-bells were ringing,
people running on the promenade and only a few boat-lengths ahead was the Cat,
illuminated by her deck-lights, revving engine,
bow-thruster and windlass, crew hustling back and forth. I
secured the hatch, threw on a few clothes and rushed up the
companionway. “Nepomuk’s” stern was awfully close to the quay; I checked
the stern-lines, both showed considerable slack, we had moved back.
Rushing forward I found both bow-moorings well cleated and rock
tight. The Cat apparently was getting things under control, had
recovered her dragging anchor and was making for the middle of the
bay. I started the engine, moved the boat forward until both stern-lines
were stretched, kept it in gear, went forward where the mooring
lines now had slack which I took in almost completely. I switched the engine
off and eased the stern-lines a tad: the boat lay secure with enough
distance to the quay. This technique has always worked for me; one
must pay attention to the stern-lines when first docking
Something my neighbors
apparently hadn’t: their boat veered heavily to port and was hitting
the quay with her stern, only one bow-mooring had been placed, subsequently
they could not use the engine, it would have increased the boat’s bad angle.
Righting the yacht was tough manual work but our joint efforts finally
By now many villagers had arrived on the
quay, following the call of the church bells. Some were assisting the Cat
tying up alongside vessels of the local fishing-fleet; others secured
visitor’s yachts and their own fishing-boats. Things were getting under
control. Wind was NE with gales to 38 kn: Bora.
Bracing against wind and
froth I joined a group of locals on the quay
who reiterated the events. A crew of fishermen had met at their
vessel to go fishing but decided conditions were too rough; on
their way home they noticed the Cat adrift, her dragging anchor
probably hit the concrete-cube that my bow-moorings are attached to,
pushing “Nepomuk” astern and waking me up.
Croatian Mooring System
Noticing the danger to most
boats they had sounded the alarm ringing the church bells.
I went below; it was about in
the morning only one hour had passed but one eventful hour. Todd was
awake, we chatted a little over some hot tea and checked once more on the lines
before turning in for the rest of the, ...well morning.
It may be necessary to explain this
The Bora is perhaps the most fascinating
and feared wind, or better weather system on the Eastern Adriatic. There
are cyclonic and anti-cyclonic forms with thousands of local variants but
in a nutshell: Cold air from the Northwest gets trapped
behind the “Dinaric Alps”; these mountains have few valleys, creating a huge
wall along the shoreline. (file 3: “Velebit und Manne”, taken in
April 2003) Since cold air is heavier than warm air the mass continues
to fill in; eventually flowing over the crest, gushing
down to the sea. The tumultuous event can begin from one second to another
and may occur in closely defined areas, known as “Bora-alleys”, where
topography lends a helping hand. I have seen cars being pushed off the
road and into the sea, while I was driving a few hundred meters behind...
in calm air.
Our system must have been
building gradually for quite some time, slowly creating an
enormous mass with the potential to affect a large area. I should
have noticed the possibility for emerging Bora conditions in
Hvar when the wind began shifting to NE.
Any island or barrier produces
a different type of Bora, creating countless local variations. Direction,
strength and duration of Bora are oftentimes
a guessing-game. Some traditional storm tactics will not work either:
the gales are naturally strongest leeward the given barrier. Either
get into open water with lots of sea-room or carefully select
shelter in a Bora-proof harbor.
Friday, 9/ 30, Komiza to Vela Luka / Croatia
The storm relented after daybreak and
true to the Croatian proverb ”Bora scrubs” a nice morning emerged.
Nothing reminded of the mayhem
only a few hours ago. Todd was glad to find the “Male Karte” in one of
Komiza’s maritime stores. He had admired the set of charts covering the
Croatian coast and islands which I use for navigation on “Nepomuk”; it was the
perfect souvenir. Komiza is a rugged town with hard working people,
who live off the land and sea and are much in tune with nature. The way
they handled last night’s crisis was impressive and probably thanks to Italy’s geographic
proximity their bistro-cafes offered the best Cappuccino, what else could
one ask for? Komiza quickly made my list of favorites.
Even the weather-forecast was favorable,
calling for moderate seas, wind NE at BF 4, indicating the Bora was on her
way out; perfect conditions to reach our next destination: the island of Lastovo.
We left Komiza at ; getting
under way became a tricky maneuver with crosswinds at 15 kn. in the
harbor. We motored South between the islands of Vis and Bisevo, making height
for a close reach towards Lastovo. Wind was NE at 20 kn. already
exceeding the forecast. This was atypical by all standards: Any
Croatian kid knows that the “Bora goes to lunch”,
meaning she is weakest around early afternoon. Perhaps she
did not find a restaurant today as wind continued to increase. We
reefed the main twice in short succession, this was “Nepomuk-weather”, the
boat handled well and we were gaining on a yacht ahead of us.
I do not quite recall the chronology
of the following events: the GPS lost signal, Louise noticed the
dinghy had flipped over and I ripped the Furlex in an attempt to reef
the Genoa. We had gone from contender in an offshore-regatta to
a bouncing hull within a few minutes.
First was damage control: Todd did a
great job at the helm while I took the Genoa in by hand,
getting trenched and tossed about on the bow. After a short break
I hauled in the dinghy, secured it with Todd’s help and finally got sick
below trying to get the GPS on line. Louise also suffered despite
Dramamine but kept a brave smile. It was clearly time to
abandon our original plans and search for alternatives. The nearest port
offering shelter in these conditions was “Vela Luka” on the island of Korcula, East
of our position. The GPS finally came back to
life, we plotted a direct course and had to help with the engine
as we could not sail that close to the wind under sole main, now in third
reef. I had been the target of interesting comments
after fitting the main with a third reef-line two years ago,
unfortunately none of these experts was on board right now.
Wind exceeded 35 kn, seas to
2 meters (approx. 6 ft.). We made 5 kn. and would have to
go another 3 to 4 hours before reaching protected waters. It was amazing
how well the boat handled despite being crippled; Todd was equally impressed
and continued to steer allowing me to rest.
We entered the inlet to “Vela Luka” at ,
staying clear off the northern shore avoiding the most
dangerous gales. Wind and sea became calmer as the
inlet extends 2 nm deep into Korcula-island becoming
narrower towards Vela Luka. We found the guest-quay along with astonished looks
from boaters already moored here. Apparently not many pleasure-boats
sailed in these conditions.
Docking was stern-to as usual but since
no mooring-lines were available, we had to use the anchor securing the
bow. After our experience in Komiza, I needed to be convinced that the anchor
had perfectly set; it took three attempts until I was satisfied. “Nepomuk”
was wounded but safely docked at .
We were all tired and turned in early;
assessment of damages and repairs would have to wait until tomorrow.
Total: 42 nm (sail: 18, motor/sail:
18, motor: 6)
Saturday, 10/ 01, Vela Luka / Croatia
Initially it was an uneasy night;
wind in the harbor was N at 12 to 14 kn., fortunately the local
variant of the Bora hit us directly on the nose, seas were negligible and
we all slept well once certain that “Nepomuk” and the boats next to
us lay safely.
Todd and I checked on the Furlex in the
morning. The line had not ripped but been pulled out of it’s attachment
inside the drum. We concluded that there was no winding
left when I attempted to reef the Genoa, the drum
could not rotate, increased force eventually caused the damage. Repair was
rather easy with the owner’s manual and a few small parts from the
Today Bora did go to lunch
and we enjoyed strolling through windy but pleasant Vela Luka, a
no-frills working town. We found a small Internet-cafe and accessed
the website of the Croatian maritime weather service: NE, BF 6, gales 8
today; NE, BF 4, gales 5 tomorrow. I did not trust the
official forecast and asked a group of men working
on their boats about their feelings: “Rough today, fine tomorrow.”
Consensus between satellites and fishermen. Guess which was more reassuring...
We decided to stay in Vela Luka for the
day, so how about cleaning the boat? Unfortunately my water-hose was too
short to reach from the spigot. Our neighbors, two British couples
had earlier been topping off their water tanks. Now they were
taking tea in the cockpit. Was “Rule Britannia...” only playing in my head?
I was most certainly welcome to use the
royal blue garden hose and gave “Nepomuk” a well deserved bath,
hosed down the dinghy and secured it on the foredeck. Returning the
hose, the Queen’s female subjects had moved on to biscuits and
marmalade, while the Gents tried to control newspapers in the Bora
and enjoyed potent brown beverages. “... Britannia rules the waves! “,
this was no imagination.
The Ladies thought some
vegetables in exchange for using the hose “darling” and Lord Nelson’s
descendants decided “Nepomuk” was a “bloody splendid name
for a yacht”. While chatting a new arrival moved in: Croatian flagged
charter-boat with a German couple aboard. These guys must have been through
quite a bit out there, so I decided to assist them tying up. Just as they were
moored, a slightly nervous French skipper from the far end
figured that his anchor-chain was now lying underneath theirs. Unless he had
stacked several hundred feet this was hardly possible but he insisted.
Translating his concerns to the newcomers they took another spot, right
next to our British tea-party. As they backed in, the exhaust spurt
water into the royal dinghy, which caused 4 pairs of simultaneously
rising eyebrows, no words were exchanged but utter disgust over the ineptitude
of inferior sea-faring nations was quite evident. “The Royal Navy is still
afloat...” I successfully diluted the building tension.
We all had a good time at the quay in
Vela Luka, European Parliament
Sunday, 10/ 02, Vela Luka to Polace / Croatia
In the morning we moved into place
at the gas-station, refueled and left Vela Luka at . There
was no wind all the way to the village of Brna on the Southern
coast of Korcula-island, where we found SE at 5 kn. slowly increasing to 7 kn. This was
the beginning of a Southern stream called “Scirocco” in the Med and “Yugo” in
Croatia, which brings warm and humid air, oftentimes rain and
sometimes thunderstorms. For now it gave us just enough wind to put
the repaired Furlex to a test, which it passed successfully. We
motored into “Polace” on the island of Mljet at , virtually closing our loop around the islands
of Korcula and Vis. On the first part of our journey we had visited the
area briefly, now we anchored to spend the night.
Mljet, approach to Polace
Total: 46 nm. (sail: 21, motor: 25)
Southern area, Polace to Bar (blue lines)
Monday, 10/ 03, Polace to Cavtat / Croatia
It was clear by anchor at
since we had a long leg ahead of us. Todd and Louise were already one day behind
their original schedule. We would have to reach at least Dubrovnik at Marina
Komolac or better Cavtat.
Immediately after leaving the Polace
archipelago we found SE at 8 kn, increasing in the jet of Mljetski Kanal.
This was classic Yugo, along with “Ostro” and the rare “Lebic”
local variants of the Mediterranean “Scirocco”, warm southern winds originating in Africa’s Sahara desert. Yugo
inevitably brings humidity, fog and rain and builds sizable surf as
it covers a large area of sea before reaching the Croatian shores while the
cold Bora produces much smaller, choppy waves. Yugo is more predictable
though and once the system of rain that accompanies him has passed, so has the
Ironically we were now tacking against
the Southern Yugo where we had been tacking against the Northern Maestral in the
beginning of our journey. Since you have become informed insiders
you know: there is either no wind on the Adriatic or it
comes from the wrong direction...
Wind increased well above 20 kn, we
reefed the main once: “Nepomuk-weather”. Near Dubrovnik the
cruise-ship “Millennium” was on her way to sea. We
were close hauled on a starboard tack she came from our port side
and needed room. I would have gladly tacked and called to find
out her intentions. The officer in charge declined the offer, moved
to starboard and passed our stern. Oftentimes big ships do not take
us seriously, much less care about our right of way; I was impressed.
We arrived in Cavtat at ; Todd
captured our approach and final berth directly in front of the
promenade. In the evening we celebrated the safe arrival with a
delicious dinner at restaurant “Leut”
Todd and Louise disembarked here;
tomorrow I would return to Montenegro.
Total: 65 nm (sail: 60, motor: 5)
Tuesday, 10/ 04, Cavtat / Croatia
to Zelenika and Herceg-Novi / Montenegro
In the morning I got the boat ready,
spent the last “Kuna” and cleared out of Croatia. “Nepomuk”
was heading for home at . Yugo persisted: SE at 15 kn, making for a close haul and long
I had no particular destination for today
other than getting closer to home and into Montenegrin waters, which would
require landfall at an official port of entry. A visit to the bay of Kotor had been
on my list for quite some time, so I decided to enter the fjord-like “Boka
Kotorska”, use “Zelenika” for the formalities and spend the night in nearby “Herceg-Novi”.
Zelenika turned out to be little
more than one gigantic yet run-down customs-pier, obviously constructed
for freighters. Calm conditions in the bay made docking feasible. The officials
were friendly as usual but somewhat ceremonious; a stark contrast to
their office-booths, which desperately needed repair.
After completion of
the customary chat, accompanying coffee and mandated formalities
it was on to Herceg-Novi a mere 2 nm west however some treacherous reefs
require careful navigation.
“Nepomuk” found a berth
alongside the quay and lay safely at with rain
moving in: the Yugo was coming to an end.
Herceg-Novi, harbor-view (“Nepomuk” at the
end of quay)
I went to dinner but postponed the walk
through town hoping the front would pass during the night.
Total: 43 nm (sail: 37, motor: 6)
Wednesday, 10/ 05, Herceg Novi to Bar / Montenegro
I got up early to explore the village,
drizzle continued mixed with short down-pours, typical end stages
of a Yugo-period. Herceg-Novi is one hilly town with thousands of stairs.
The lovely old town is home to a truly authentic produce-market. I
promised myself an extended visit in the near future.
Herceg-Novi, stari grad, Serbocroatic “old
Leaving at I found
SE turning SSE at 12 kn, acceptable for my course. This was a
slow-moving system as drizzle and down-pours continued all morning; on the upside
it washed the salt off the sails. Maybe for that reason I enjoy sailing in the
rain, which abruptly ended at , the sun came out, the wind all
but died an hour later, it was the end of the Yugo.
It was also the end of this voyage.
Standing on the bow I could already see the oil-tanks of Bar through my
binoculars. While not exactly pretty they have become my welcome-home beacon.
It had been an interesting journey: majestic Dubrovnik,
the quaint hamlets of Bigova and Okuklje, buzzing tourist
towns on Korcula and Hvar islands, tough working villages Komiza and Vela
Luka. The Adriatic had thrown a lot at us: friendly Maestral early, a full
grown Bora storm later and naughty Yugo towards the end. “Nepomuk” had
carried us safely over 470 nm, 307 under sail, 134 by motor and 29
motorsailing, offering not only a platform to explore wonderful places but
providing a home in foreign countries and shelter from the elements. It was a
bit emotional as we moved into Marina Sv. Nikola at ;
hope to return soon, buddy.