Fri 23 Jul 2010 18:53
44:04:88N 14:59:67E

G: After our departure of Pula we were heading south, to Nerezine, to finally meat H&S. In order to meet them, we had to pass the bridge of Osor. The bridge is 1.5 meters high and 'swings' to one side twice a day to allow passage at 9:00 and 17:00 hours. As usual, and we now believe completely conform H&S's expectations, we would not make the 17:00, and were doomed to overnight on the Cres-end, looking at Losinj from only a few meters far.

This was the point that H&S stepped in, and stated that H would pick us op with the car and drive us to their place for a BBQ. Who knows how long they still had to wait for us to pass the last 2 kilometers if they would rely on us? 

Luckily WE have friends that honor a plan, so at least we were sure of some company tonight! We have also smart friends, as obviously we would also not make the new agreed time, and would surely need a hand lowering the anchor. So, there, from nowhere, was H in his dinghy riding the waters in search for our boat, assisting the so needed helping hand. We had just abandoned our first anchor place (too crowded) and were floating in circles in an alternative place (too deep). Long story short, and not to embarrass ourselves, someone managed to squeeze the boat in a too narrow spot and with some help from our neighbor we dropped the anchor and speeded towards S.

We were welcomed by S and the three kids, who were flawless in hiding their endless waiting for this moment. S always makes a fabulous meal out of 3 screws and a paperclip (kind of the female version of MacGyver), so we had a wonderful meal and left at midnight. 

The next morning the whole happy family joined us on board, and after filling up the boat with toys, color books and 'i-have-no-idea-what' (I thought we were "masters in stuff") we made our sailing plan. 

We had a nice sail. We finally had some wind, force 3, that brought us to Veli Losinj where we arrived around 19:00. We took the dinghy to a harbor a little further and had a nice meal. We already noticed that wind was slightly increasing so we decided to have the cup of coffee on board. On our way back we could see the boat (tallest mast of all), so it was still there. But, did we 'park' it so close to shore? When arriving at the boat we saw that the anchor was not holding too well and we were slowly blowing towards a concrete wall, only about 2 meters left. It was already around 22:00 hours, so we decided to re-anchor, and re-anchor, and re-anchor. Not much luck. So we discussed plan B, which was quickly thrown away. Plan C held for a few minutes, but after some debating we ended up with plan D. So, kids to bed (to their disappointment) and we would motor back to Nerezine which was roughly 2 hours by motor. By this time it was already midnight, so we would be back at 2:00.

There is one thing you need to know…. Croatia has a zero-tolerance for drinking and boating. And as we Dutch say, "Fish has to swim", so we had plenty of liquids accompanying the fish for diner. We forgot this little detail until the point that we left in the darkest night and heard a lot of "safety messages" on the VHF radio. We had already spotted a very strange boat that was rapidly heading our direction. A little panic kicked in, after surviving Umag, would they still find a way to put us in jail? We innocently steered our coffees and quickly chewed S's provided peppermints to create some fresh breath situation. I can tell you, I had never sailed at night, and the idea that we were haunted by police was enough to raise my adrenaline. 

But it was a nice day so there had to be a nice ending… obviously we have too much imagination and the boat turned out to be a fishing boat, just coincidentally heading our direction. What the VHF message was (directly addressed to us), we still have no idea, but are ok with our ignorance.

We made it safely back to Nerezine around a quarter to two, and toasted to our well arrival till 3:30.

The next morning H&S&Kids (and all toys), left in the morning in preparation of their departure back home, and allowing us to continue our speed travel to Italy to be in time to pick up H&A the 29th. 

We had a very nice time. Thanks H&S&Kids to invade our boat and have a tiny look in our 'you-never-know-what-happens-next' adventure!

Nerezine, with H&S&Kids going home in dinghy...