Thursday May 5
Awake to sunshine, a rare commodity this week. Wind N 8-10.
Anchor briefly in the harbour after clearing customs to have breakfast.
Notice that the back stay piston is not holding pressure and discover it is
leaking from a pressure relief screw that had not been completely closed.
Leak immediately above a pile of towels was opportune. One towel a write off
but no need to do extensive clean up - hydraulic fluid is messy. Loose
backstay keeps us from setting sail and we motor down the coast. Fixed and
refilled with transmission oil in Budva and everything works fine.
Arrive in Budva at 1500. Get told off by Customs for approaching the marina
before clearing in. He suggests I might have a present for him and he will
not make a deal of it. Not a demand mind you! (10 Euros change pockets). By
the time pleasantries had been met, I find the harbourmaster has gone home
(1500) not to return until 1000. The customs officer says he can leave his
compatriot a note saying everything is fine and we might not have wanted to
pay 70 Euros for a one week vignette anyway. (20 Euros change pockets)
Entering the marina our depth alarm sounded and we move slowly in 2.8
metres. The marina staff collects our ships papers and tells us we cannot
get them back until their office opens in the morning 0830.
Budva is an attractive walled Venetian fortress town. Not as impressive as
Kotor but interesting none the less. Nice shops, cafes and clubs. We had a
lovely seafood dinner at a first class restaurant outside the walls,
Demijana - sea bass, calamari, octopus, possibly the best black risotto I've
tasted. Good Plantaze wine. E50pp.
Pay the marina fees at 0830the next morning. I had noticed large mooring
blocks in the marina and so Duncan is posted on the bow to ensure we do not
hit one in the shallow water. Unfortunately he chooses a path to the north
not the south of the blocks and we find a sand bank. Despite our slow speed
on grounding, our winged keel does not want to leave it's nest and we have
to launch the dinghy with the shore line and winch ourselves off. Not the
best marina we've encountered.
Arrive at the customs dock to check out. The police officer's computer
aborts and I wait while he repeatedly tries to re-boot the system and calls
various people on his cell phone. The officer must enter our names and
passport numbers in this computer. This information is on the crew list form
that he and we have a copy of. No apparent reason it cannot be done at some
later point when the system is up. The passports all past muster on
yesterday's check in. Anyway, he finally gets his computer running and
slowly inputs the information. 45 minutes but no request for a present
despite my asking if there was any way of expediting things. At 1030 we are
finally off on our 175 mile run to Corfu.
Montenegro is impressive in its scenery and history but leaves a little bit
lacking when it comes to efficiency. We were the only boat checking in and
out. I cannot imagine what Budva might be like in the heat of summer.