We had a cracking sail across from Venice, the wind gusted to the top of 6 and was almost on our beam, so with sails reefed down we made good time.
This was our first out-of-sight-of-land trip and very lovely too. There’ something quite wonderful about being out there with only the sea and the sky for company, and the sounds of Rowan rushing through the water. It’s spacious and open and empty, well apart from the odd fishing boat and big container ship on the horizon.
“Odd fishing boat” says Ashley,”I had to go through a fleet of about six”
As we approached the coast it was heartening to see we were arriving where we intended; Novigrad.
We tied up at the customs quay and Ash began toing and froing between them and the police to sort out the payment and paperwork. The rest of us sweltered on the boat where the heat forced a solution to the lack of shade problem; a sheet was rummaged out, string tied to the corners and hey presto a canopy was created.
Later we moved to the town wall and tied up between a big Austrian motor boat and an Italian yacht called Drosy. We discovered this name is derived from drosophila, latin for fruit fly as Georgio the skipper is a geneticist; he started with fruit flies but now works with coffee.
Georgio and his wife Fabia invited us on-board for a meal the following evening where we were treated to a delicious bowl of pasta with home grown vegetables, a huge platter of Italian cheese and cold meats all topped off with a splendid bottle of red and white from Georgio’s superbly stocked wine cellar.
Having got over the initial surprise of seeing icebergs in the Adriatic Rufus and Anya donned their swim suites and bravely went where no child had gone before! We had trouble dragging them away from all the fun they were having here.
Having decided to sail in company with Drosy we had a very enjoyable couple of weeks with our very own personal guided tour of northern/central Croatia.
Fortunately Georgio, and Fabia, as 30 year sailing veterans (including the war period) of Croatia have marked our chart with top tips for visiting while here, graded A , double A or even triple A in some cases.
We then crossed “ Bora Alley” to the Dalmatian islands making our first port of call at Uvala Artaturi on Losinj. Rufus’s log entry the next morning reads: “We are leaving whatever this place is called even although it had great water for swimming.” Little did he realise how much of that he would be doing. It seems to have become a routine to get up and swim first thing, truly a lovely way to start the day.
In company with Drosy we visited several places some of the highlights were Rovinj and Birbnj. Rovinj is a beautiful mediaeval town where we had another excellent meal served to us by an ex-professional footballer and his brother!
Birbnj became our home for longer than expected because of the weather conditions which meant we were unable to go further south with Drosy. They had hoped to show us the Kornati islands but sadly we had to part ways here, Drosy heading back north to Trieste and us towards Zadar. Bon voyage Georgio, Fabia and lets not forget Stella their cute wee dog.