Thursday, 3 July 2008

Reader's Report - June 2008

Many thanks to Ian Shaw for today's posting. Ian is currently sailing around Dalmatia and contacted us via this site. Ian's report is particularly interesting for his comments on entering Croatian waters and facilities, etc, in Vis and Marina Frapa.


Well, we made it to Marina Frapa. We were lucky with the weather; sunshine all the way, with only a heavy swell on the starboard beam to contend with during the leg to Bonifacio, and a force 6 to 7 in the Straights of Messina. Flat calm on the leg to Ischia accompanied by dolphins at the bow of the boat for about half an hour. We sailed each leg overnight and then spent a day in port before the next one.We spent one night at Messina before crossing the straights to Reggio di Calabria. Neither have anything to commend them. We then overnighted at Marina di Leuca right on the heel of Italy, before setting a course for Vis the following afternoon just North of Otranto (the marina at Brindisi was allegedly full).We arrived at Vis on the Saturday morning, 31st May, around 9.00 am, where we eventually completed the entry formalities on the Monday morning. Strictly, our port of entry should have been Ugbi, but no one seemed to mind. The order was harbourmaster first, then police.We ate at the Hotel Tamaris restaurant on the jetty. I went for a beer first to get a feel for the place and came across Darko, the waiter from Zagreb, who could have graced any five star restaurant here in France. He was knowledgeable about the menu and the wines, enthusiastic for the food he served and gave good advice about what we should order. The five of us had a terrific meal of local fish, T-bone steaks with excellent white and red wines. Recommended.One issue left a bad taste in our mouths and it was nothing to do with Croatia. A flotilla of around 25 charter yachts, crewed by young French doctors and partners arrived on the Sunday afternoon. Their fancy dress party continued until breakfast time the following morning when one of the crew on a nearby yacht decided to cool down his friend with the hosepipe. The locals had had enough by this time and had called the police, who arrived only to be hosed down as well through the open window of the police car. Whether this was deliberate or not is difficult to say, but the guilty party was indentified I suspect, by his own colleagues, otherwise all aboard looked likely to be detained "for questioning", and taken off in the police car. On the positive side we met some charming Americans from the Seattle area, when we helped them repair the propeller on the dinghy outboard. They had a "wobbly" arrival and having made up their lines proceeded to remove the outboard from the dinghy which they had been towing. The skipper, unfortunately, was defeated by physics since he stood up in the dinghy cradling the outboard in his arms only for the dinghy to suddenly slide forward dumping him overboard. I was having a beer at the bar opposite and jumped up since I was concerned he might have injured himself in the fall, but as I did a hand appeared over the jetty clutching the rope attached to the outboard followed by a very wet skipper. The sacrificial pin on the propeller broke, but we fixed them up with a temporary repair. They showed their gratitude by kindly inviting us aboard for a drink before dinner.We eventually left Vis late Monday morning for Marina Frapa arriving just after lunch. It is certainly impressive. We moored the boat on the seaward side of the last pier until the marina master had completed his berth planning. A bit strange since the berth had been booked and paid for in February. So we had the long walk to the heart of the marina.
The system there seems to be that you book anything you need through marina reception...boat cleaning, engineering, electricals etc. One fills in a work sheet and it is then processed. It’s too early to say how well this works and the service manager was new.There is an excellent laundry at the marina, to the extent that we left a lot of our clothes there and will pick them up this weekend.We walked to Rogoznica and back, road surfacing and drainage works all over. Not a particularly interesting walk and I think the answer is to take the RIB across to the village if we want to go there.We found the Croatians we met charming. They were interested in us and what we thought of their country and showed real pleasure when we said how impressed we were. I got a good "feel" about the country and I am sure we will enjoy our visits there. Croatia deserves to succeed.


Thanks again Ian - looking forward to more news!

Today's photo is of the the view from Hotel Tamaris, in Vis, across to the small islet, now attached to the mainland.

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