We have nothing but pleasant memories of Milna, it was a quaint seemingly unspoilt place with a friendly reception from all the locals we met.
Having a 50 mile passage to undertake to Korcula, we favoured an early start. Bob had spotted that the Bakery opened at 6am so this provided a target for our reveille. Surprisingly, as we slipped out of the harbour at 06.40, there was activity everywhere; it seems that Croatians are early risers.
Our route was to the south of Hvar and we took the opportunity to look into Hvar harbour and, from the water, it seemed a pretty, bustling place. It had been recommended and it looked worthy of a visit – note for next time.
Our booking and advance payment for the marina at Korcula seemed inspired as we approached hearing over the VHF that the marina was full and they were turning others away.
We were pleased to be welcomed but we were directed to berth in a very tight position. As other boats arrived it became clear that we were completely ‘hemmed in’ and the prospect of an early departure extremely problematic. They were just stacking the boats against each other as they arrived, like sardines in a can. At 45 foot we were far too large for the berth with our bow lines almost vertical.
Asking the Germans on the adjacent charter yacht what time they intended to leave brought only a shrug and ‘about 9 when everyone else leaves’. This was particularly galling as the marina cost was the highest so far at about £125 for the night.
The town of Korcula is actually very attractive but suffers from the pretty blight of overpriced restaurants, galleries, boutiques and gift shops. Bob, probably not relishing the prospect of a meal cooked by me on board, succumbed to my preference for a back street smaller establishment to avoid the tourist ‘tuck up’. So, agreeing on an attractive menu in a restaurant behind the hubbub, imagine my disappointment on being directed round the side to a table on the front.
Things could have been worse as, after paying for the meal (probably a good thing that Bob holds the ‘whip’ money and I am kept in ignorance) and we were wending our way back to Hejira, the clouds started the warning of occasional heavy rain droplets, this was followed soon after by a deluge accompanied by the light show and sound effects, thankfully this was after we had made it back to the sanctuary of a cool saloon on board.
I expect a fitful night with the prospect of a review of our position at 6.30 in the morning when we ideally need to depart for the slog to Dubrovnik. The next blog will be interesting!
I actually felt quite sorry for the two girls behind the marina reception desk this afternoon in Korcula when the skipper let them have it, both barrels, with regard to his considered opinion of where they had allowed him to park for the evening! I have to concede that the position in which Hejira has been wedged leaves little hope of our extricating ourselves first thing tomorrow morning, as was the plan. Certainly not without leaving the marina without at least 4 other unsuspecting and slumbering crews in tow!
A fairly unremarkable passage today, apart from the fact that traffic of all sorts, from windsurfers and kitesurfers to super yachts, grows in intensity. This is fine, other than the fact that I have to be awake at least some of the time! Sitting on a stern seat, nodding off in the sun, does not wash with the Skipper, who insists on trying to conduct a cogent conversation about things nautical (at least that’s what I think he’s bellowing) with me, just at the time I close my eyes!
Last night it pee’d down again in Milna. Little sleep as the thunder and lightning was quite strident, as was the snoring emanating from the Skipper’s master suite! (editor’s note – this is clearly an exaggeration…….)
Milna proved a happy hunting ground for the elusive fig brandy. Having been introduced to this local ‘delicacy’, we had been trying to find a source of bulk supply, rather than paying through the nose for shots of the stuff at various hostelries. We found a little stall on the quayside in Milna, womanned by a most attractive lady who was selling her own versions of fig and cherry brandies. (It is interesting that there seems to be no authority overseeing this sort of cottage industry as there is in the UK with Customs and Excise.) We managed to purchase a bottle of fig brandy and two bottles of cherry, one maraschino, less sweet, the other being another brand of cherry which is sweeter.
The only drawback found so far is that at 200ml per bottle, they don’t last long when the Skipper gets back to Hejira after an evening’s carousing and fancies ‘something warming as a nightcap’, despite our having to quaff the stuff from re-purposed egg cups which we kid ourselves are the finest shot glasses money can buy!