Log #22i Back To Croatia (Pula and Dugi Otok)

September 30, 2001 in Log Series 20 - 29, Logs by Series, Series 22 Croatia, The Logs

Sept. 30, 2001

Vathy, Ithaka, Greece

Hi Folks,
We’re on the island of Ithaka, the home of the fabled Odysseus here in the Ionian Sea. A few miles away is the island of Skorpios, the one owned by Onassis and Jackie Kennedy. The weather is beautiful and we are enjoying the idyllic Greek islands.

As the major part of the log #22i below I have included the first set of observations and comments of Judy Johnson, one of the friends who was with us for a couple of weeks from Venice to Hvar. I thought you might find it of interest to see our cruising through someone else’s eyes.

If we haven’t heard from you for a month or two, would you drop us an E-mail indicating whether you still wish to be sent the logs as I write them. Some of you may wish, rather than receiving the logs as written, to view them on the <www.searoom.com> website. I do enjoy feedback on my logs, observations, opinions, or writing style, so do not hesitate to sit down and correspond with me.

I realize as I write, that these logs of August and early September were still in the days of innocence, before the barbarous attacks on Washington and New York. I will not let these terrorists win so I will not stop our enjoyment of cruising here in the eastern Med. We still plan to winter in Kemer, near Antalya, Turkey, from mid November to mid March, unless specific, official  warnings are given by our insurance company or the Canadian government about Turkey or other eastern Mediterranean countries being declared war zones. I respect Islam, and am quite prepared to spend the winter in an Islamic country. Perhaps in our own little way, we can, as individuals, help in promoting mutual understanding and respect between our western and the Islamic cultures. Every act of kindness and understanding between the cultures, no matter how small, may help to diffuse the tension presently being generated. As Canadian guests in an Islamic country we hope we can be good ambassadors, and will continue our planned visit for the winter, and look forward to sailing the Turkish coast this fall and next spring.

More about our winter plans in my next covering letter. Don’t forget to write.

Enjoy Log #22i and all the best.

Aubrey

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Log #22i Back To Croatia (Pula and Dugi Otok)

Vathy, Ithaca, Greece
Sept. 30, 2001
Covers the period Aug. 28 and 29

As mentioned in my last log, we had northerlies on our way coming north up the Adriatic, but now we were going south, we had southerlies! Our course overnight was about 130 and we were motoring into a force 4 diminishing to 2 southeasterly wind. Our visitors, Judy and Barb, seemed to enjoy their first overnight passage, staying up much of the night with my Judy or me while on watch to talk about sailing, old friendships, and shared experiences. I have pasted below the summary of our get-together in Venice and this first crossing as written up by our friend Judy Johnson so that people can appreciate the reaction and experiences of novice sailors.

We had the main and genoa up for about half the trip, finally departing Venice Lagoon around 1900 on the 28th, and, 70 nautical miles later, arriving in Pula at 1000 to check in with customs, and make out a new crew list. No problems, and no costs, but we forgot to ask them to stamp our friends’ passports. I stayed on Veleda at anchor to refuel and get a few logs written up while my Judy took our visitors ashore to see the amphitheatre and other archeological sites of Pula, as I have described in the previous log on Pula.

To my surprise, our visitors were game for another overnight passage out to Dugi Otok, adjacent to the Kornati islands. We weighed anchor at 1700, but re-anchored in one of the outer bays, Stinjanska Dragu, to have a leisurely supper before going out into open water. I think our friends were pleasantly surprised at the gourmet level at which my Judy cooks, especially considering we have a new, but defective Plastimo cook stove that only has one and a half burners working (another main burner and the oven are not working). There is an ongoing saga about this Plastimo stove (to be described in a later log, hopefully with a happy ending) that dates back to its purchase brand new last April. However, we keep a good supply of fresh food, and liberally use the freezer in our refrigerator to keep meat frozen, a bone of contention between my Judy and me because of its power drain. After a lovely supper as described by Judy Johnson below, we set off at sunset for the 65 mile crossing southeast to Dugi Otok, of course into a southeast wind.

More about Dugi Otok and the Kornati islands in my next log, and another contribution by Judy Johnson. I have pasted her first article of this trip below. Enjoy.

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Subj: Note #1: on Cruising with Veleda

From: Judy Johnson                 To: Judy&Aubrey <veledaiv@aol.com>

How it all got started:

Back in the 1960s, when Judy, Barb and I had different surnames, our common interest was scuba diving. We did lots of diving together over the years. Since leaving Toronto in the 70s we have kept in touch. When the opportunity to visit with Judy & Aubrey Millard on their travels arose, I wasn’t sure just how things would work out. During the summer of 2000 I spent a cool and damp 12 days aboard Veleda IV as they traversed Scotland. I certainly enjoyed the visit and admired their passion for sailing and their journey. During my visit in 2000 I asked about their plans for the summer of 2001. They expected to be travelling the Greek Islands. My eyes lit up and I asked to book passage! Amid gales of laughter about my forwardness, the Millards agreed. Somehow, I didn’t really think it would come to pass.

However, once home I could not get it out of my mind. Barb, who lives in Victoria, BC, was visiting me last winter and together we wondered if the Millards would consider TWO visitors during their Mediterranean travels. Having lived briefly on board, I knew that we were asking a lot of our two friends. For example I wasn’t sure just where we would all sleep! Regardless, Barb & I asked if such a visit was possible, and Judy & Aubrey agreed. The planning started way back in the winter months, and the trip finally happened in late August and early September this year.

Meeting up:

As the planning progressed, it became apparent that Veleda was getting behind schedule and we would not likely meet in Greece. Because of this we needed to be flexible in where we arrived and departed. Rome was chosen as a logical central target. If they were west of Italy or east of Italy or even on into Greece, Rome would be central enough. As the time for meeting grew close, we exchanged more frequent emails with Judy & Aubrey. They adjusted their schedules a little and we settled on either Venice or Trieste as a final meeting place. Only a day or so before departure did we finally know that they would be in Venice and we needed to take the train there the morning after arrival in Rome. In spite of jet lag, swollen feet (from the heat) and coping with a new language we managed to make it. There were our friends on the platform to meet us!

Aubrey took our two carts with luggage onto the water bus (everything in Venice is done by water) to return them back to where Veleda was moored, while Judy, Barb & I wandered the streets of Venice toward Piazza San Marco. What a fascinating world we found ourselves! The narrow streets, the singing gondoliers, the bridges over the canals, the marketplace and finally the Piazza San Marco, with the rich decorations and marble buildings. Since we’d not spent any time in Rome, this was our first experience of “old” the Italian way. My brain was boggled…..

On Board Veleda:

Veleda IV is a fine looking vessel, with tall mast and a large Canadian flag flying from the rigging. Anyone who knows nautical custom could see she is properly “dressed”, and that the things left on deck (lines, bumpers, fuel cans, the dinghy) are stowed in the practical ways of those who cruise — there is method to what is done. Landlubbers would call Veleda’s living area “cosy”. For those who sail there is an understanding of just how much room there is in a home 32 feet long, with an 11 foot beam. This is to say that in spite of her small measurements, there is a remarkable amount of space available below decks on Veleda. Standing head room, room for six or more at the table, a galley with storage for all the important things — AND for wine — a Nav station, several bits of electronic gear, a fridge which can create ice cubes! Plus sleeping for four. Indeed Veleda is a well designed boat and the Millards have made her into a well packaged and complete home afloat.

For someone like me, who has sailed occasionally, taken a couple of courses, yet cannot remember which is port and which is starboard, the realities involved in living aboard a small vessel with three other people for two weeks are harsh. This is not for those who like their privacy, who like showering every day, who like to have a wide, unmoving bed and who like to sleep in. It is a place for those who like sun, wind and the occasional smell of diesel fumes. It is for those who enjoy watching the weather move in (or out), who have a sense of wonder at how charts are made and used, for those who have a head for math and astronomy, who like tinkering with things to make them work again. It is a place for those who can understand what is actually being said through radio static, who like to shower on the foredeck in a heavy rainstorm, who can nap in two and three hour bits and then rise to watch the dawn on a night passage, who can use a head in rough seas. And especially on Veleda, it is a place to enjoy food, wine and good company.

Our first sailing:

After a hearty gourmet dinner and talking until the small hours, we settled into our various berths. Barb & I woke up at 2:30 am and sat in the cockpit for an hour admiring the bustle of Venice, with water buses and other traffic in the canals. Prior to leaving we visited the market and shops in Venice for supplies. Judy was busy trying her Italian on the merchants to get what we needed. It was sunny, hot and very humid. Last thing before departure, the three women all had “showers” from a garden hose on the breakwall.

Then we slipped away, motor sailing south through the maze of low islands between the city and the Adriatic Sea. The sun set over Venice and darkness fell as we headed directly across about 60 miles of open sea for Croatia. This was to be a night passage! It was a first for me and Barb! Aubrey & Judy took turns at the helm while we were free to come up and keep them company as and when we felt like it. We were full of questions. Judy gave an impromptu astronomy lesson to Barb. The moon came up, lighting up the sky. The sea was gently rolling. And what wind there was, was right on our nose. I slept fitfully in the port berth. Barb had a good practical lesson in physics as she rolled out of her berth when Aubrey raised the main. She slept the rest of the night in the cockpit.

Arrival at Pula, Croatia included a glorious breakfast. We checked in with Croatian officials and dropped anchor right near the centre of the town waterfront. We three women went ashore with direct orders from Aubrey not to come back until at least 3 pm. Toured Pula on foot: seeing their strange City Hall — each of the four walls were from completely different eras; visiting the amphitheatre; and returned after the appointed time. We moved to a more secluded bay for dinner (rabbit stew, gnocchi, salad and Croatian wine) and to prepare for another overnight sail, south to Dugi Otok. This time I stayed up with Aubrey ’til after midnight, talking about anything and everything. Enjoyed the night air and the sea (wind on our nose again).Tried sleeping in the cockpit — no luck! I’m too tall. Aubrey raised the main again and by 1:30 am I had to be shown how the lee cloth works to keep me in my berth.

Next one: Dugi Otok, Kornati, storms and Judy’s Birthday celebration!