Another change of plan and we were off to Montenegro!
Steve & Carol
Fri 1 Jul 2022 11:00
Soon we were sailing though and made good progress, by 5pm Steve was having a snooze and we weren’t too far from Brindisi, Craig called on the VHF and said he had looked at the new weather prediction and it looks good to head straight to Montenegro! I woke Steve and we downloaded the weather again 🙄 indeed it looked like it would be a reasonable trip and we would sail most of the way - the wind would runout before we got there but then blow from the NE and there wouldn’t be another opportunity nearly as good to go across for over a week - feeling somewhat unprepared and especially as we were quickly heading out of internet range and would not have any when we arrived in Montenegro. We let family know our plans and had a quick look at ports of entry etc so we could plan for when we arrived, luckily I had downloaded some info including noonsite info and other cruisers blogs a while ago and so had information regarding entry procedure we could access without the internet and read on route! With a plan of when to call the authorities and where to checkin we felt more relaxed about our hasty change of plan!
The crossing was dark - no moon to brighten the sky but with lots of stars there was plenty to look at as well as keep an eye on the other traffic moving up and down the Adriatic, we did our usual 3hours on 3 off overnight and managed to get some sleep. by midday the following day we were just over 20 miles from our destination the wind died and we couldn’t keep the sails from flogging so we motored the last few hours.
Montenegro in the distance didn’t look too inviting!
After we crossed into their waters Steve called the Montenegrin VTS to announce our arrival and let them know our intentions - they weren’t very interested and told us to proceed, we arrived at Zelenika and moored onto the custom dock - a long concrete dock with big rubber defender blocks sticking out about 2 1/2 ft and big bollards a long way apart - it's obviously meant for big ships! there were a couple of other yachts coming and going - it seems quite a popular checking in spot! once tied up we headed off - first to the port police who looked at our passports before letting us carry on to the harbour masters office, there we had to wait a few minutes for a Canadian boat to check in before we went to get our Vignette - The vignette is the permit to cruise in Montenegro waters, The fee depends on the length and type of the boat, as well as the period the vignette is valid for - we had the choice of 1 week or a month - as we don’t think we want to be here more than 2 weeks we opted for 1 week €31, which we can renew in a weeks time at any or the harbour masters offices in Montenegro! As we left to head back to the dock it began to spit with rain, it was quite refreshing and the first we have had for a while.With vignette we headed back to the port police who keep a copy and then stamp our passports - yippee, having renewed my passport in 2020 this is the first stamp I've got 😁 - why they randomly chose a page 9 who knows 🤔😂!
We asked if it was ok to pop to the shop opposite the dock to get a sim card and a some bread and eggs as well as be nosy and see what the shops are like here - not much different form anywhere else 😂 . the ladies in the supermarket directed us to a kiosk just outside for the sim card - €10 for 500G valid for 2 weeks 😁 - wow that’s a bargain why can’t it be that cheap everywhere!
By the time we got back to the boat the wind had picked up and we were being blown off the dock - not great for getting the ropes off and getting back onto the boat which was already a few feet off due to the big rubber blocks! we decided to wait and see if it eased, meanwhile Adriana arrived and so we helped them dock. while they were checking in there was a lull and so with the help of some dutch sailors, from the boat in front, who threw us our lines we were able to leave the dock and head to an anchorage for the night!