Simuni turned out to be our favourite destination to date when taking all aspects into account and unlike some of the other marinas, the water was crystal clear – the locals were even swimming in the harbour.
We had intended to head for Zadar which is a picturesque town with the marina in the heart of it. What we hadn’t accounted for was the fact that, on a Friday, the charter boats (this seems to account for most yachts out here) head back to their base for a ‘change over’ and the mainland marinas host these fleets.
It would have been helpful if the marina picked up the phone on one of the many times I called and they only responded as we were approaching, readied for arrival. Several other marinas refused us and it was looking like a welcome night at anchor when the massive 1200 berth Marina Dalmacija offered us a berth.
Having given a promise to Alison that I would return her husband in no worse shape than when he arrived, I was getting the impression that the ‘small step’ ashore may be something of a challenge. A mental picture of Bob not quite making it safely across the chasm and returning home with a smashed up face from an impact with the dock made me agree to the deployment of the passerelle (gang plank) and Bob was a happy man.
Needing a new bar of soap for the shower, I came across a bar of ‘Lifebuoy’ I had clearly bought in the Caribbean. Of the interesting features of this bright red bar was a best before date on the packet. This soap should have been used 18 months ago, I hope I will survive.
Well, the Skipper has done it and got the dirty word out there……..’passerelle’!
I had begun to wonder if the passerelle was ever going to be deployed, with the Skipper taking a savage delight in watching me ponder over the distance twixt dock and transom and whether or not I would actually make it. Old age does not come without some down-sides! Anyway, I feel that apart from the passerelle deployment, I have a slight moral victory today…….the Skipper gets his first dollop of state pension! Ha!
Having gone on about the passerelle, I have to remind the reader that the one that Hejira possesses is not one of your light and handy versions. No, as with most things that the Skipper contrives, Hejira’s passerelle looks and weighs as if had been designed and built by The Cleveland Bridge Company! It would not look out of place as part of the inventory of a cruise liner! No wonder there was so much muttering about getting it out, the passerelle, that is! Despite the deployment of the bridge deck structure, the Skipper chose not to erect the hand rail system, deeming it un-necessary and only for wusses! That saved about 15 minutes in total erection time, so not to be sniffed at.
The distances that we have had to cover to visit chandleries and forage for food have magnified as the marinas visited have grown in their size. This one, with its 1200 odd berths is enormous and it proved a good 20 minute walk to see if we could get a new gas bottle. Sadly, no gas bottle (there was, but it looked as though Noah had used it, so we decided against) but, what luck, the walk took us past a small hostelry where we partook of the customary dirty beer. Served by a particularly spotty and very surly youth.
The subsequent foray for food was much more successful. After a 45 minute route march through the outskirts of Sukosan, we headed for the church spire, trusting that it would identify the town centre.
Fortunately it did and we were relieved to find a delightful little wine bar and restaurant, rejoicing in the name Konoba Griblja.
We had noticed the word Konoba on several restaurants and on enquiring as to its meaning, we were advised that it translated to a restaurant that served traditional Dalmation fare.
The food and wine that we were served at Konoba Griblja were very good indeed and we felt that the distance was worth it…….until the bill came! About three times the price of other meals! You may imagine the mutterings from the Skipper on the way back, being convinced that he had been tucked up again!