Despite a forecast of little wind, we were heartened as we left Cres as there was a reasonable blow from a favourable direction. So it was up with all sail and engine off – for five minutes before it died – how disappointing but we left the main sail up in the vain hope that there might be something around the headlands.

It turned into a pretty turgid motor to our next destination, Punat which was another marina but independent from the ACI state owned marinas. I have taken to balancing the pilot book information with the reports on the ‘Captain’s Mate’ app which is the Cruising Association facility for their members. The advice was that the marina was vast, 800 berths and although well run, it was likely to be a half kilometre walk from the transit berths to the office reception. Consequently, I phoned ahead, said I had and old and infirm crew on board and would welcome a central berth. They said they could accommodate this and I briefed Bob on how much he needed to limp !

While perusing ‘Captain’s Mate’ to evaluate our next destinations, I came across a disturbing entry about the island of Zut. I know there are followers who are Cruising Association members and if they can be bothered, they should search Luka then Luka Zut and look at the entry by David Lovejoy. A brief explanation involves a local in a dinghy wielding a large knife and a hacksaw. I will leave the rest to your imagination.

A turn into the town for a meal in the evening revealed another very clean and well turned out community. This is what we are coming to expect and it is a delight.

Punat on Krk

It seems the islands were not involved ‘on the ground’ in the terrible conflicts in the ‘90’s but many of their young men were sent to fight for the cause. There is a touching memorial in the centre of the town to acknowledge their gratitude.

’90’s war memorial with candles still burning.

Bob writes:-

It would be fair to say that we were not too fast out of the blocks this morning! A very pleasant meal in the heart of Cres, with an overview of a nicely laid out fishing harbour, quite evocative, as one imagines these places to be like, in a way, was followed by an experiment with slivovitz!

Charming Cres harbour.

Not for the faint hearted, nor to be repeated in the near future! I was going to be quite rude and suggest that when affixing a fender I had a ‘Doctor Stephen moment’, when my slivovitz addled brain refused to convey to my hands the requisite movements to effect a clove hitch, but of course , I wouldn’t do that to Stephen!

Bob struggling with the bill.

The other memorable matter regarding Cres was the fact that the old geffer behind the desk in the marina reception was clearly quite convinced that Nick and I were a couple of old queens! In an attempt to draw the frozen-faced old bu**er into conversation, we mentioned football (England vs USA ladies were on last night) and then went on to say that we were both rugby fans as opposed to soccer. He immediately went into paroxysms of laughter, claiming that all rugby players were gay! It has to be said that people who know us would never, ever, describe either of us as a ‘pretty boy’, so why he thought that we might be of that persuasion will remain a mystery.

Last night’s alcohol fuelled debate back on board allowed me to explain to Nick my preference for a berth with shore power for the air conditioning. I had to confide in Nick that my growing age and infirmity had led to the recurrence of the ‘old trouble’, betty swollocks. At least half of the adult population will probably have some sympathy for a sufferer of ‘the bettys’, whilst I would hope that the other half could at least have some empathy.

So far, to be fair to Nick (at this point I can well visualise cries of ‘why’ being shouted at the screen), we have found some delightful berths in some equally scenic locations. Whilst the majority of the locals do appear to be on the turgid side, there have been some exceptions to the rule, and we have held some entertaining and informative exchanges with some residents.

Perhaps this is because we are getting closer to larger and possibly more cosmopolitan areas? Or is it that we have become more aware of the national traits and are making allowances for them? I suspect that with the sum total of our emotional intelligence rising to the giddy heights of mathematician’s ball (the square root of four fifths of five eighths of sod all), it’s the former!