Published: June 25th 2011June 25th 2011
WW 2 Submarine shelter
Saturday 25th update.
Well we’ve now completed week two sailing the Adriatic with our second week being on the bigger 13 metre cats. There were 9 of us on each Cat. My cat (Lagoon 440) had me Margie & Kate; mum, Chris, Jules & Glen, Tim and Therese.
Richard’s slightly smaller Belise 43 had himself, Feathers & Kitty; Hannah & JD, Jesse, Janet, Josh & Maeli. The Lagoon 440 that I skippered was a very nice boat but bristled with electric pumps, 3 fridges (!!), 4 bathrooms, too many lights and other battery draining things that tended to stress the batteries badly when at sea or anchored in secluded areas. Some careful energy management was called for and it was really a boat designed to be plugged into shore power each night. Not really my cup of tea. Why the charter company don’t supply a small genny to run things at sea beats the hell out of me. The Lagoon developed a gearbox problem in the starboard engine on the 4th day out. This was quite serious as we lost the manoeuvrability in tight situations. We called the company who sent a mechanic out to check it over. Gearbox had
Submarine bunker. You can see me standing on the right hand side.
seawater in it….not good! Nevertheless, we saw the week out on the boat using the starboard engine as little as possible but I was able to use it a little bit to get some drive (hydraulic drive) when in tight situations. My stress levels tended to elevate quite a bit as it was touch and go whether it would provide the drive exactly when needed and I really didn’t want to bang a $1mil boat into anything hard.
There were a lot more boats on the water during our second week as the European holiday season kicks in. Makes for a lot of congestion at anchorages and village piers. A lot of fun driving a BIG cat with only one engine!!
We had some significant arguing with the charter company (Croatia Yachting) today now that we’ve returned to port. They tried to tell us it was all “our fault” and we’d need to forfeit the $3k insurance deposit. They claimed we must have hit something or tangled some ropes around the prop. This, despite their own diver saying there was no evidence of impact or rope entanglement etc. Richard and I both treated our respective cats as if
Inside the submarine bunker
they were our own and actually did running repairs on the go, so to be told we had somehow contributed to the problem caused us a bit of good old Aussie anger and we let them know it. There were some very ROBUST discussions held.
After being given the run around for a few hours today, it ended with us stating we’d had enough, threatening legal action (as a counter action) against them for providing a poorly maintained boat, added risk etc etc. Seemed to work, we got our deposit back, but it was an untidy end to an otherwise brilliant 2 weeks sailing the Adriatic.
Other than this little hiccup, the past week has been wonderful. Last Monday we returned to the Island of Vis to show the mob the wonderful town of Komiza. We stayed on a mooring in the bay there for 2 nights to give everyone a good chance to explore this wonderful Island. Vis sits well out into the Adriatic off the Croatian coast and was General Tito’s stronghold in 1944 when he was fighting the German occupation. A bunch of us hired scooters and took to exploring this fascinating and picturesque Island.
On the trusty 50cc Typhoon
Unfortunately the younger crew members beat Margie and me to the big bore 200cc and 100cc scooters so Margie and me fanged around the place on a mighty Typhoon 50cc scooter. It was a loyal little dinger that got us up all but the steepest grades (Margie had to hop off on one steep bit), took us trail riding and allowed us to have one of the most enjoyable days of our holiday. The Island perimeter is only around 35kms, but the peaks of Vis are quite high and the roads consist of motorcycle heaven switchbacks along precipitous cliffs with views that make watching the road difficult and criss-cross the Island through varied terrain including vineyards and olive groves. Riding on the “wrong” side of the road wasn’t a problem (first time I’d tried it on this trip). On one down hill run I was throttled off with the little engine trying to do the braking while pulling about 9000 RPM while Margie and me cranked those little scooter wheels into the switchbacks smiling big smiles.
Tito’s stronghold (cave) was interesting and we also came across (completely by accident – when trail riding the scooter) WWII submarine tunnels that
plunged into the cliffs some 100 metres or so. These tunnels fascinated me and had a seriously sinister atmosphere. I’ll put some photos on the blog.
On our last night prior to returning to Split, we ventured into a beautiful secluded anchorage on the Western end of the Island of Brac (pronounced Brach) and lo and behold, there was another submarine tunnel. This one - now occupied by local fishermen. Up the valley at the end of the bay was an abandoned village that was reportedly abandoned 28 years ago when the last family member died (there was a small grave). We spent an interesting morning exploring (respectfully) the several abandoned dwellings in this incredible steep, sharp and beautiful terrain. Fig, almond, Olive and mulberry trees were all bearing their fruit and we were able to sample these delights (cept the Almonds) fresh from the branch. Sheep were running wild and had taken to caves in the area. We had fun getting chased out of the caves by angry Rams!!
We anchored “stern to” the shore that night, running a stern line to a pine tree and pulling up on the anchor to hold the boats in position
Mum enjoying the moment.
within close proximity to each other. We had a lot of fun swimming around, having “lilo” races etc and soaking up the wonderful - wonderful climate.
This morning we were woken at around 1am by a fierce wind blowing down from the mountains. The Bora had arrived without warning and was running at around 35 knots. We were glad we were safely moored up in our home Marina before departing our boat and not relying on our anchor in a bay somewhere. The Bora is an unpredictable localised weather event that can’t be predicted, however is unusual in the summer months (ie now!!). The seas outside the Marina were whipped up into a frenzy and we were glad we were ending our charter rather than beginning. Charter boats are not able to go out while a Bora is running and Bora can run from 4 hours to 10 days. This one was predicted to last 3 days. The only loss we incurred was one of my faithful pluggers got blown away.
Off the boats now, we are now happily ensconced in the old part of Split in some quaint little “apartments” run by a bossy fat woman who
Quite a bit of room
got cranky when we took some chairs out on the veranda to have a few ales. Split in itself is well worth the visit, and the place abounds with history and life. The boys have their eyes hanging out with all the beautiful women here. I can feel the drilling of Margie’s eyes into the side of my head, so I look solemnly at the ground every-where we go, save getting a back hander.
We have 2 nights here before catching the Ferry back to Ancona (Italy), driving to Rome and catching our respective flights home. The trip as been absolutely marvellous, we feel we’ve seen so much and I love being part of this 3 generation family mob who have enjoyed so much fun together.
Till next time.
Bill Margie & Kate.
There are more photos below