Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Last days in Greece

Our last days of the cruise was spend cruising around Preveza.  We went to Lefkada for a few days, and rented a car to take a look around the island. Also we went into the bay and docked at Vonitsa.

From Preveza to Venice and back!!!! all and all approx. 1250 nm

                     Some last day,s pictures.

Getting to know the locals.

Herman and Frea under the olive tree.
We are told the olive tree can grow to be over 600 years old.

                        One of Frea,s pictures. She has a good eye for taking a beautiful picture.

Fresh lemons right from the tree!!!

The weather was gorgeous for our last run from Vonitsa to Preveza.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Problems in Paxos

Our second stop over in Greece, Paxos, turned out a little different than expected. Instead of a calm, quiet anchorage we ended up with very little sleep.

We anchored in the channel going into Paxos and tied to the shore, as there was not a lot of swinging room.  once secured, we took the dingy to our favorite restaurant for dinner. Just when we finished our meal the wind picked up and became quite strong. I always am a little uneasy in a situation like that, so I left Joanne with Frea and Herman in the restaurant and went back to  the boat to check things out. Good thing I did, because the wind was very strong in the channel (some reported 7 Beaufort) and the anchor had started to drag. Le reve was very close to the rocks. I untied the stern line and lifted anchor, but now where to go? As I mentioned it was very crowded.  There was an other large luxury yacht that also was anchored out and had to move. They had docked on a commercial dock which usually is off limits to pleasure boats. I took Le reve close to it, and asked for permission to come along side. Permission was not granted until after I begged, and pleaded and finally they said OK.   After I picked up the rest of the crew from shore, we settled in and went to bed. Conditions got worse, and Le reve was rolling, and pitching like never before. Everyone was up including the crew of the luxury yacht. Between our bumpers and those of the luxury yacht everything was OK, except that the bumpers between the boats made an awful sound. The crew on the big boat wanted me to leave, but I was not going to go anywhere under those conditions. Finally they told me they were leaving and started there engines. We had no choice, either get dragged to sea along side of a big boat, or untie. Under the circumstances, I thought the later was the best thing to do.
Once we were untied and the large luxury yacht had taken off, we proceeded to tie up in their place. It continued to blow for an other 1 1/2 hour and than the storm receded. Exhausted we went to bed and slept till about 6 in the morning when we heard a knocking on the side of the boat. There were lots of people on the shore, waiting to board a ferry which was coming in any minute.  We quickly untied and went to our previous anchorage which was an OK place to anchor as the storm had all but passed.

                                                           The morning after the storm.


"Eclipse" is the name of this boat.
It is absolutely enormous. 168 meter (546 feet) long. 24 guest rooms, 2 heli pads, 2 swimming pools, several hot tubs, lots of water toys, including a mini submarine. And all this needs a crew of 60 people to keep things going.
The owner, Roman Abramovich a Russian business tycoon and a major share holder in the largest oil company in Russia (fifth largest in the world)  also owner of Chelsea soccer club.
At the time of delivery it was the largest privet yacht in the world. However he recently was bumped from that position as there now is one a few feet bigger. 
The "Eclipse" was anchored in the bay off Cavtat when we left Croatia and we just had to have a cruise around it for a better look before moving on.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

From Motenegro to Greece

 Docked in Kotor with a big cruise ship behind us.

There was a second cruise ship anchored out in the bay.

We hop scotched along the Montenegro coast to Bar but not before we rented a car, and explored the rugged mountains of Montenegro. Once done with our land excursion we left the bay of Kotor and cruised to Bigova to anchor out there for the night.  Bigova is a bay only 7 nm south of the bay of Kotor. From there we cruised to Bar, with a lunch stop over by the island of Sveti Stefan.  Once in Bar, we stayed at the marina and took on 2000 plus liters of fuel first thing in the morning.   Montenegro offers tax free fuel, so we took advantage of that. Who would not at 0.61 Euro cents per liter. Once fueled up we had to leave Montenegro right away. We went straight to Durres, which was only a 7 1/2 hour run from Bar.
 Continuing South we made and  overnight stop in Vlore and from there on to the Greek island of Corfu. The weather was absolutely perfect for the crossing from Montenegro to Greece. On our last day (just under 10 hours cruising) we set up a table on the bridge and had a game of "Canasta"  The water was like a "mill pond", could not have hoped for a smoother run for the last few days of cruising.

The old castle walls in Kotor by night.

Some pictures of the old "walled" city of Kotor. 

A look at Kotor bay from the mountain 

the country side up in the mountain.

Prosciutto ham everywhere.

It is delicious.  

This one is awaiting to be put to the knife.

And this one is ready for the knife!!!

The ham is held in a unique device while the  ham is hand cut to very thin slices. 

A picture of the four of us at our coffee stop. 

The "beauty" and the "beast"

Monday, September 14, 2015

From Korcula south

Sept. 11 we left Korcula. We picked an anchorage just north of Sipan. We made our first stop in Sipan after we left Srebrino (Dubrovnik)  were we visited with Christie and Andy on our way north 5 weeks ago.
This bay, Uvala Veliki Jakljan, was a real treat. first of all there was only one other sail boat anchored and a small cruiser tied up to a dock, so a nice privet anchorage.  On shore were several small buildings and a larger one which looked more like a hotel or restaurant. However all looked a little dilapidated  and deserted.  We noticed one man walking on the shore and watched him going into the small cruiser. Frea, Herman and Joanne wanted to go for a walk, so I brought them with the dingy to the dock where the small cruiser was docked.  We asked the man in the cruiser where the restaurant was. He told us there was no restaurant, but several miles further we could find one. We thanked him for his information and told him we would be able to find something to eat on the boat and did not need to go to the restaurant. As soon as the threesome went ashore and looked at what was obvious a war memorial the man came out of his cruiser to talk to them. There used to be a youth camp here, he explained, but during the war (1991/1992) it was taken over by soldiers and after the war it was abandoned and no one was using it anymore.
He said that he lived here on the boat with his wife for six months in the summer and moved to his house in Dubrovnik the rest of the year. He mentioned he had surgery and moved on the boat as this was his "sanatorium"  Indeed it looked like a peaceful place, fresh water, clean air, and plenty of fish to eat. He must have had a garden where he grew some vegetables as this was evidence in the "fish soup" he insisted they take with them to the boat. We bought some sea bass in Korcula in the morning before we left, which we fried up and had the soup as an appetizer. We had some of the fish soup but nobody asked for seconds!!!! However the kindness and generosity of this man really touched our hearts.
The next day we moved on and visited Dubrovnik again. It is an awesome city and a must visit when in the area, but it can not hold a candle to the previous  anchorage, and the visit with the old man.  

Before we left Korcula we indulged in some ice-cream.

 Our anchorage north of Sipan.

Joanne with the "soup"

What is that I see in there??? Fish heads.
Bonn appetite !!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

From Zadar to Korcula

Sunday Sept 6th and we left Zadar to continue our travels south. We departed Zadar at 0945 and cruised to Pakostane where we stopped, anchored and had lunch on board. this was approx half way to Tisno, where we had to be by 17.00 hr for a bridge opening. The bridge only opens at 09.00 hr and 17.00 hr. Once we were through the bridge we found a anchorage by Jezera Murter  and settled down for the night. The next morning we continued on to Skradin.
Skradin is inland about 10 nm and on the krka river.  We took a taxi boat (privet yachts are not allowed further up river than Skradin) to Kraka national park with the amassing Skradinski buk (waterfalls)
From Skradin we went to Rogoznica where we stayed on a mooring and from there to Hvar the next day. Hvar on to Korcula where we stayed in the ACI marina.

A Church from the Roman times in Zadar

Can anybody guess what these two are doing here???
Perhaps the next pic. gives it away!!


From Zadar to Jezera Murter 

To see all of the Croatian cruising waters would take a lifetime, however from what we have seen we liked the area from Zadar south the most interesting. 

The bridge at Tisno that connects the main land to the island of Murter.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

From Losinj to Zedar

Friday morning Sept 4th we left from Losinj and went to Molat. Anchored out just north of the town called Lucina in a bay (Uvala Podgarde) We were the only boat in the entire anchorage, evidence that the vacation period here in Croatia has come to an end.  Not much to see in the town, besides it was overcast. We woke up early the next morning (Sept. 5th) and after breakfast lifter anchor and set out for Zedar. Just when we were ready to go the wind picked up and it started to rain. We only had about 20 minutes to go before we were behind the island of Sestrunj and the waves subsided and we had a good ride to Zedar. Arrived in Zedar before 11.00 hr and tied up at the down town marina.

Anchored out at Losinj
 (Uvala Podgarde)

A look around in Lucina.