When I refer to ‘Bora’ it is not a reference to the quality of Bob’s conversation but it is a strong wind off the mountains. We had a promising start to our passage from Punat on Otok (Island in Croatian) Krk with the prospect of sufficient wind to sail but once we reached the open waters between this and Otok Rab, the wind picked up to over 30 knots and we creamed along at over 8 knots under the jib alone. The sea was lively under cloudy skies with a big chop and spume, we even had some rain. The wind dropped away nearly completely in the lee of Otok Pag necessitating the engine ONCE AGAIN but at least the sun flirted with making an appearance.

I have been assessing potential destinations acknowledging my septuagenarian crew’s requirement for Air Conditioning and had to rule out one marina when it transpired that the electrical supply turned off at midnight.

Onion and Cheese

Unable to find the preferred cheese and onion crisps, we chose the next best thing, cheese crisps and onion crisps. Eating one of each should have done the trick – but it didn’t.

Our destination (ACI marina again) of Simuni on Otok Pag doesn’t get much of a mention in either pilot book or the Captain’s Mate app. but it ticked the ‘electricity’ box. I am tempted to offer the anchor and generator all night option to Bob but, I imagine the hum of the diesel ‘genny’ would be unacceptable and compromise his beauty sleep – he must have been very sleep deprived in the past!

The leap

Against all expectations, the marina in Simuni was a delight, nice berth, friendly helpful staff, good bar/restaurant and a short walk from the harbour village.

The attractive HARBOUR .

Bob writes:-

Last night’s repast in Punat is best described as ‘adequate’. What was a pleasant surprise was a gratis nip of fig brandy that was presented to us on payment of the bill. Very pleasant and something we shall probably try to purchase for the ship’s stores. If the reader happens to come across a newspaper article that references two old farts travelling Croatia who both suddenly turned blind, please send food parcels via the local consulate!

Another interesting issue is that we have been asked, on every occasion, if we are paying by cash or card. We have yet to broach the matter to discover what the difference in amount might be. I am tempted to offer Nick’s body by way of a counter offer, but have not had the courage to do it so far lest confusion ensues and we are actually taken for gay, again!

Last night, a fair breeze picked up in the marina, causing me to think that a less than pleasant night would have been endured had we anchored outside of the marina, bouncing around on the end of an anchor chain. I offer this as a counter to the Skipper’s constant entreaties to spend nights at anchor; I intend to remain resolute in my search for marinas with shore power, just in case the Skipper thinks that he can win this war of attrition!

The downside of the breeze was that some Teutonic gentleman (or lady) just down the pontoon from Hejira, had failed to make off their halyards in the approved Mines manner, leaving us with a constant frapping – all night. Very trying.

And another thing: it appears that boat owners in this part of the world seem quite unwilling or unable to berth their boats in a proper manner. The approved mechanism is stern to, pick up the attached shore lines attached to the berth, run those forward and secure the bow, then winch in the stern lines so that your vessel is orthogonal to the pontoon and won’t swing about, clouting other adjacent boats. This relatively simple procedure seems to have bypassed the yachting population in the area, meaning that significant chunks of change are left swinging around, knocking lumps off themselves and their immediate neighbours. This situation is further worsened when plonkers pick up the wrong pontoon line which then means that there are crossed lines, literally. This in turn means that accessing the berth can be a very tricky manoeuvre, particularly if there is a stiff breeze in either offshore or onshore directions causing the bow to blow into the next door boat. We found ourselves in exactly that position yesterday approaching Punat marina. The skipper handled the situation supremely well and there was only the slightest ‘twang’ as we left the berth this morning!

Finally, from me, today, we found out why the area is so full of Germans and Austrians; it’s simple when you know that they all live between 3 and 6 hour’s drive away! We forget how connected Europe is when we live on an island.