Pula bound

Sun 26 Jul 2015 08:45
Following Rob and Liliane’s departure we got stuck into a day of boat jobs and domestic chores. The temperature is in the mid to high thirties but with all three air con units running the temperature inside the boat was very comfortable enabling the cleaning and laundry to be done in relative comfort. Whilst on deck I had to don boat shoes to avoid burning my soles on the teak decking. Come to think of it there are those that say my soul should burn!
We decided next day to head back to Uvala Siroka on Otok Ist. Temperatures remained high with little wind so motor sailing was the order of the day. Once in the bay we picked up a mooring buoy but later moved on to one  in a slightly better position that gave us more swinging room. Around 19.00 the guy came to collect his fees, he recognised Pamarzi but again asked what length she was (the mooring fee being a multiple of the boat’s length). I explained that Pamarzi was shorter than she was last time and good naturedly  we struck a deal for a two night stay. We enjoyed a lazy couple of days swimming in the warm (28  degrees) gin clear water, exploring ashore and making very good use of our Kindles. I was not entirely idle as I found time to wash down the entire hull and apply another coat of Permanon. Not wishing to visit Katy’s again we found Kod Kapetana on the waterfront, his signature dish of scampi and spaghetti in white sauce was delicious washed down with a jug of well chilled local red wine, for as my Dutch friend would say “Two times nothing”.
Continuing our northward migration we left early on Tuesday morning  and had a good beat for most of the voyage back to the channel between Otok Ilovik and Otock SV Petar. We really like this spot, the channel between the two islands is less than half a mile wide, SV Petar has just one inhabitant who lives in the ruins of an ancient castle close to the waterfront. The low lying island is cloaked in shrubbery and the remains of dividing stone walls and terracing are still just visible through the lush growth. The castle ruins are surrounded by I assume what was its gardens for there are a rich variety of specimen trees and palms. Most of the mooring buoys are on this side of the channel, there are very few with enough space around them for a boat of Pamarzi’s size but our early arrival enabled us to pick one that we felt comfortable with, although we swam with less than two metres under our keel.
Otok ilovik on the other side of the channel is a charming little hamlet, a clutch of terracotta roofed houses around a tiny harbour, a white walled church with a small bell tower,  a food shop, a bakery, a bar or three and a similar number of restaurants is its entirety. The path around its water front gives the place an almost Caribbean feel. Amico at the harbour end of the village where we breakfast on the yellowest of yolked eggs and Dalmatinka three or four hundred metres along the shore at the south eastern end where we dine. We tender across from Pamarzi and ‘park’ in front of the establishments before taking three strides to our now reserved tables.
I try my “my yacht is getting shorter” ploy with the mooring fee guys and we agree a deal for a three night stay, nice to know I have not lost my touch! We came to notice that our fellow yachtsman and women appear to dispense with the propriety of wearing clothes in this mooring. The fact brought home to me by the sight of a large German lady leaning over the pulpit of her small yacht to pick up a mooring buoy displaying her enormous, bottom. Quite enough to put one off one’s beer but on the other hand some of the sights were more pleasing to the eye.
After three days relaxing in this idyll we must resume our northing for we have a berth booked in Veruda Marina, Pula and tickets for a flight home. We had a good beat to Uvala Maracol on Otok Uije sailing close hauled under full main and staysail. The staysail sheets well inboard and in stiff north and north easterlies we find that we can point higher and maintain good speed. Uvala Maracol is a large deep bay giving good protection from all but the south east. Many mooring buoys have been laid and we picked up one fairly near the entrance to the bay well away from most other boats. No sooner have we tied up than Lynn is in the water cooling off for the temperature is still in the mid thirties. I hear her call and when I look over the transom I see that she is surrounded by a huge shoal of fish all about nine inches in length. They have obviously learnt that boats are a source of food and a shoal of these not unattractive silvery creatures with a dark blue spot on each side of their bodies just forward of their tail fin accompanies every moored boat. The only buildings in the bay a small group of derelict stone structures that I would imagine were once used for salting down fish. We are on the east of the island and their is a path that winds over the hill to the village on the west side some two miles distant where the eighty or so islanders live. How they live is something worth pondering for outside fishing and laying down moorings there would appear to be no other industry. The island is some seven mile in length and two wide and although now cloaked in mostly scrubby growth it must have a sometime in the distant past have been home to many industrious families for as we sail next day heading for Pula we see amongst the greenery the remains of walls, enclosures and terracing and the waters edge is lined with more stone walling. Trying to picture what daily life on this island was like and what they traded we unfurl our sails and head out into open water. The wind fair between fourteen and twenty knots we complete the thirty odd nautical miles to Pula under main and genoa, falling back briefly on engine aid to get us Hrid Porer lighthouse where the strengthening wind and shallows around the point have built up a choppy sea. By 14.15 we are med moored in Veruda Marina for two days of boat cleaning and preparation before our flight home on the 28th.
Normal service (if you can call it that) will be resumed on our return on the 18th August when, having decided that Venice will be too hot and too crowded in August we will start southbound.