Monday, 29th May
Arrived in Gruz which is a Croatian port of entry near Dubrovnik at 0900
hrs local. Almost exactly one month since departing Guernsey, and
what a lot of fun. From Malta we eventually had some wind. Also
a spectacular thunder storm one night - luckily in the distance! After
formalities and being quoted 180 Euro per night to be moored on the
quayside with the 'super super' yachts, we moved up river to a marina
where costs were nearly as bad! Steve (my computer technician, as
well as 1st Mate) did a characteristically rapid departure and 'then we were
two'. He appeared to have left me with a malfunctioning satellite internet
link - typical, isnt it?! Anyway after a couple of days and hours of
blindly tweeking 'settings' , it seems that the problem was in the satellite,
and not aboard WII, so we are now back in communication. I take back all I was
saying about you, Steve!
We had only been there an hour when another Oyster 62 - Carpe Diem,
squeezed in beside us. She was immaculate and in the care of her full time
and paid skipper (Tod) and his partner crew. They immediately set
too cleaning and polishing. This activity had little effect
on John, who only seemed hell bent on interrupting them by engaging them in
conversation. The next morning before departing, John did somewhat
reluctantly, help me wash down our decks!
We moved South again to Cavtat on the recomendation of Tod. This is
closer to Dubrovnik airport, and more typical of what I had expected. We
are anchored in the harbour - all very clean, particularly the water, a little
bit 'twee' with two awful looking 'mega yachts' spoiling the view and
driving up the prices! Also, two more Oysters - Rock Oyster an Oyster 56,
and Roulette a very impressive Oyster 655 - Claudine, do you remember
nearly buying one at the 2008 London Excel boatshow - before reality set
in!!! We liked the oilskin locker!!
Wednesday 1 July
John has departed, so now I am 'one' ! Solitude after such a busy
month, but not for long - Claudine and the boys arrive on Sunday! At least
I can enjoy a cup of 'Earl Grey' tea - something my crew would
never put in the pot! Malc got close to it - 1 Earl Grey to 2 Yorkshire, but you
should have heard the comments!
I have 'been ordered' to do the cleaning, polishing, washing, and MUCH
tidying before Sunday. Plenty of excuses, Claudine! It's too hot
and the water (sea) is too clean to polute. Maybe very early starts before
the heat of the day - at least that puts off starting til tomorrow!
Must stop now, the kettle has boiled!
Regards to all.
Steve has called the satellite phone and claimed the prize! He
thinks the prize is a week on the boat in August with three '30 something'
girls! No chance, Steve - skipper's veto!!
Before arriving, I enquired of fellow members of the Cruising
Association if they had any experience of fuelling up in Tunisia. I
received a number of favourable replies (unfortunately too late to
assist) but one from Maxwell Hubbard was interesting and I quote:
"Prior to fuelling up we had sailed through Algerian territorial
waters - some 10 miles off the coast. The official armed coast guard
patrol boat was extremely helpful and called us up on VHF and approved of our
plan to sail through Algerian waters to refuel in Tunisia. They offered
assistance and wished us a pleasant voyage. Some two hours later we were
accosted by three 'unofficial' coast guards in a RIB who had neither uniforms
nor official identity and who asked us to immediately enter the nearest Algerian
harbour, whilst demanding our passports and ships papers. They were extremely
aggressive and loaded a sub-machine gun when we did not do as they asked.
Shortly afterwards another 'unofficial' coast guard RIB arrived with five
persons on board with a loaded rifle. They also did not have uniforms or
official identity, one was wearing a Chelsea football shirt. They boarded
our yacht and were menacing. We argued that we had clearance from the
official coast guard to sail through Algerian waters and showed them the entry
in the log of our earlier VHF conversation. Luckily I had a crew member on
board who spoke Arabic and I speak fluent French. After two hours they
allowed us to sail out of Algerian territorial waters."
Thank goodness, and to avoid 'pirates', we remained in
international waters , 12 miles off shore, although at times I think it was