20 January 2018
The day before we left Brindisi we decided to top up the fuel tanks but we didn't want to move to the fuel dock. It took us days to get the bow lines tight enough to stop the stern from hitting the dockso down into the depths of the starboard bow locker we go to find the
fuel cans that came with Ice Bear. ha we found 4 20l cans. Once they were cleaned and inspected we commandeered a cart and an attendant. It took two trips to the fuel dock to fill the tanks not bad. We left Brindisi before the sun came up the next morning the water in the harbour was deceptively calm but we knew better. The forecast
was accurate not much wind but swells heading for the beach. We were travelling almost parallel to the beach for a few hours before heading off into the Adriatic sea not really all that comfy. When we finally turned away from the boot towards Corfu everything calmed down. We boiled some water and had a quick mr noodles for lunch everything was going as planned until about half way across. Did you know waves can come from three different directions at the same time? I didnt. and When these three waves meet they sent a spout of water 20 ft straight up into the air. We thought running parallel to waves was uncomfy try being above those three waves when they meet. The hull slap was slightly alarming. I'm not sure I have mentioned hull slap its a multi hull thing. When a boat moves the water
separates around the hull and creates two waves a multi hull creates four two of which travel out under the center of the boat and when these waves meet in the middle they create a sort of water lump in an ideal world this happens behind the boat but we don't live in an ideal world so this often happens under the main cabin and if it is big enough it will hit the underside of the deck creating a slap which is a little startling the first time you hear it. Well the thing hitting the underside of the boat this time was created by the three waves meeting under the boat and it was jarring.
Luckily in the 5 hours it took us to pass through these weird seas we had less then a dozen of the big slaps and about the same number of waves rolled down the deck and under the bimini soaking everything they hit. About 8 hours into the passage the waves started to flatten out and we could see Albania. While it wasn't our destination it still shared the same coast line. Now that everything had calmed down we started to check Ice Bear for any damage or signs of stress caused by the passage. Two of the hatches let some water in and some things found their way onto the floor but all in all it looked really good on the Port side. We flashed up the stove and started to heat the turkey stew made for the passage and went to check on the starboard side oohh seems the freezer door opened in
all the banging and tore off its hinges. A quick inspection found no damage to the door other then the two broken hinges so we secured it in a spare berth to be delt with later.
The rest of the trip down the Albanian coast to Corfu was quiet and for the most part in the dark we side tied at the Gouvia marina and called it a day.
In the morning we did an inspection of Ice bears outside she looked really good except for the poor trampolines they had pretty much been blown through by the waves. We spent about an hour re stitching them just enough to get us back to Cleopatra marina for the winter haul out. We went to customs to check into Greece and spent the rest of the day wandering around the old town. Seems we lucked out most of the stores only opened in the winter when a cruise ship was scheduled to be in port and it looked like there was two that day. The next day we went to Gaios on Paxos the Quay was free and with help from cruisers from the Netherlands we were able to plug into some power so we could have heat. We spent two days here preparing Ice Bear for storage we removed the main sail and cover,
did some work on the engines and winterized two of the heads. All was going well until we were boarded. The Paxos pirate was nearly silent taking advantage of the distracted crew. All hands were called and the intruder was shooed off the deck and down the passarela. You could tell this wasn't going to be the only encounter as we watched the Pirate slink toward the only other cruising boat at the quay. Every time we left the passerala down the pirate snuck back on board. These brazen day time purrings were getting distracting. Before we left Paxos we went to a olive oil merchant and bought some oil. He had three large vats in his room. He opened one and it was full of the clearest of olive oil. He said it was from the first pressing of the year only green olives were used.
This oil was to be used for salads and things like that not for cooking with. Perfect. The next morning we did a quick check for any stow aways and headed off to Preveza. It was only a few hours away yet some dolphins still found time to play at the bow distracting us from the haul out prep. That night we spent our final meal with the couple we met in Paxos. Good company and good food what more could you ask for. The haul out the next morning was done with the skill and professionalism we have come to appreciate from the people at Cleopatra Marina. They parked us in almost the same spot as last year We spent the rest of the day and half of the next securing, turning off, unplugging, wiping down and stowing hopefully everything that needed to be stowed. Then off to Athens.
Down the coast
06 January 2018
Even though it was early in the morning the route out from Venice was already busy with small boats fishing. We motored past the barrier islands out into the Adriatic
The Italian side was shallow around 40ft for most of the way. There were lots of fish farms mostly mussel and oysters and when we weren't passing a farm we were skirting oil
rigs and floats that marked strings of baskets. We are not sure what they were catching in the baskets. At one point we passed several larger fishing boats stuffed with crew
there were rods sticking out from everywhere. They looked like porcupines. At about 4 pm Ice Bear pulled into Ravenna a few minute earlier then expected. We called on the vhf no answer then we tried the cell phone still no answer. There was a long empty dock at the entrance to the marina so we turned around and side tied to it. There was a man and his son fishing on the dock he wished us luck finding anyone with the marina on the holiday. After a few more tries we gave up and turned our attention to the man and boy they had a bag of whatever they were catching. Its only polite to ask whats in the bag and they were more then happy to show us. They had 4 really nice size squid and they were not happy the squid had sprayed ink everywhere including Ice Bears bow. I hope that stuff comes off
by the time the duo left the dock they had added two more to the bag. I guess we know what they were having for dinner. We on the other hand were having whatever we could find stashed on board as the dock was behind a locked gate and we didn't have the codes to get back in. The next city was the town of Ancona we left early it was going to be a long day. The fish farms, oil wells, small fish boats and floats for the basket strings continued. We arrived around 4 pm the marina was to far from the town to walk so we were left to our own devices once again for food hmmm we didn't plan for two days of eating on board. Three cheers for pasta. The next hop was short so after a quick explore of the area around the marina we headed off to San Beneditto del Tronto. When we arrived the Polizia di Frontiera grabbed one of us. I think they thought we had just arrived from Croatia. I do know they looked bored. After a thorough look at our papers they were happy. Due to weather we spent a few days here exploring they had a really nice walking street and the large break water had carvings in its big blocks making it a really nice place to go for an afternoon walk
. We even found out that it was squid season on the Italian coast. Now we knew what the porcupine boats were catching. It also solved the mystery of all the big black stains we saw on the docks. Picking weather windows we continued to hop down the coast. The town of Pescara has a big walking bridge, Termoli has a house on the end of a long rickety pier, Vieste sat at the tip of the spur and Bari welcomed us with daytime fireworks. Brindisi would become home base for several days while we waited for a weather window to cross back into Greece. We rented a car and drove to the town of Monopoli to look at their town square that just happens to resemble a game board then to the Ikea in Bari where we bought new mattresses for the aft cabins that's when the big storm that caused us to pause in Brindisi hit high winds rain and lightning entertained us for the trip back to Ice Bear then for the rest of the night. The next day we went to Leroy Merlins a home improvement store and bought some lighting stuff and a new kitchen faucet. Across from the hardware store was a big Grocery store where we found smoked mozzarella and these little turkey roasts. omg I need more of the turkey roasts who knew boneless legs and pork products mixed so well.
Finally the weather report suggested the weather for the crossing to Greece had arrived and we went for it.
19 December 2017
The next few days we wandered around an art exhibit called Biennale Arte 2017. It covered two large areas and contained well over 100 different pavilions from all over the world there were interactive displays plus open discussions with the artists. I have no issues saying I didn't understand 99.9% of the things I saw. We stuck our head up through a floor and became part of the Japanese exhibit. note to self just because there is a line it doesn't mean you should get into it. Went through an exhibit where your phone read QR codes and changed the sculptures when viewed on the screen giving them a 4th dimension. There was a delivery truck parked on its nose and in the Canadian exhibit a Gastownesque steam clock with what looked like a potato inside the clock face shared a space with a with a fairly enjoyable water fountain and a really big praying mantis reading a book. One bonus to the art exhibit was one of the two venues was the Arsenale the huge complex where the mighty Venetian navy was created. At first we were a little disappointed that the building was full of stuff but then we learned that the building and grounds were only open to the public if it was hosting an event. We would have missed the biggest steam crane I have ever seen it was installed in 1885 and could lift 160 tons. We also checked out the Doge's Palace wow it was amazing so much bling and to think the Doge was an elected official not royalty. The walls and ceilings were covered in paintings many gilded in gold, statues were everywhere I guess if you want project the image of power and wealth the place that power was controlled had better look the part.
We walked across the bridge of Sighs and went down into the dungeons of Venice to check out where Casanova spent time. Even though the days were still in the mid 20 c the cells felt cold and damp. We checked out the royal palace partly built by Napoleon. Well not by Napoleon but for him. This museum housed a fair sized collection of large detailed globes it was interesting to see
how the detail was filled in as the world was explored. One afternoon we parked ourselves at a restaurant at the base of the Realto bridge set up the go pro and did a time lapse of the Grand canal. We managed to stretch lunch into a two hour meal had the most wonderful thick hot chocolate and if the raw footage is anything to go by captured a really kewl video. One day we came across the guys that had been setting the gondoliers pilings this time one of them was standing in a box suspended by the Hiab crane he was notching the tall pilings with a chainsaw so he could tie them together. The box was swinging with the waves as he cut the pilings but the motion didn't seem to bother him it was kinda like watching a high wire act. We saw a second white bell tower and for a few seconds thought it was the same one as the other day but then realized it wasn't. We wondered if maybe the same builder made them both and offered a discount if the tower didn't need to be straight. The last night in Venice was Halloween I put on my little horns and went out to enjoy the city one last time. As night approached the little goblins started to emerge. There were witches and vampires everywhere I'm going to guess they were yelling trick or treat at the shop keepers and restauranteurs even some of the parents dressed up. For a place that has just recently
began trick or treating they had figured it out really well. Neither of us wanted to leave Venice but the long range weather fore casts were starting to become a little unsettled and we had a long way to travel to get back to Greece. November 1st is a national holiday we called ahead to the next marina to make sure they were open they assured us they would be so we cast off early in the morning to begin the trip down the east side of the boot.
08 December 2017
Today is a bucket list day for one of us. He is like a child in a candy store. At 11:00 am we crossed the border into Italian waters and the countdown began. As buildings became visible on the horizon
the excitement increased even though they didn't belong to our destination. Then it happened get the camera I think I see the bell tower. Sure enough in the distance you could see a bump then several bumps after a bit more buildings and trees came into view and then some low lying islands and very small fishing boats. We entered the channel and passed the first barrier islands. beyond them we could see and would eventually pass the man made barrier system to stop the sea surge from getting to the city. Unsure of the etiquette of travelling the waterway we slipped behind a Vaporetto and tried to stay out of the way. It was insane boats of every description were going everywhere at high speeds with no regard for wake or waves if there was a rime or reason we couldn't see it. Then we came around a bend and there it was Venice.
Who hasn't dreamed of taking their boat to Venice. Marina Santelena was going to be our home for the next week it was the first marina on the main island and easy to find. When we motored past the break wall we interrupted two boats engaged in gondola paddling practice or perhaps we just made it more realistic. Even though the marina was expecting us they needed to shuffle some boats to make space. We where tied by 4 pm and ready to start exploring. We bought a three day transit pass while checking in at the marina office and headed out to the vaporetto (bus) stop. Hehehe the bus stop was bobbing in the waves caused by the boat traffic we waited for a few minutes then the #5 arrived. The driver was anything but gentle he drove at the platform smashing into to it his lone crew threw a line over the bollard and held on the driver never let off the throttle. Everyone at the stop piled on and we were off. This process was repeated several times as we traveled around the main island of Venice. We headed for the Roma stop. Probably the furthest point from the marina. We were looking
for the Frontier police and customs. New country new check in procedures. We found the police and got our passport stamped then set off for customs which it turns out were closed for the day. Whatever we were in Venice time to explore. We headed back towards Ice Bear and wound our way through the small streets and over the bridges looking at the shops and forming the plan of attack for the next few days. It wasn't long before we
found ourselves walking down the boulevard that starts where the grand canal exits or starts I guess it depends on your perspective and runs almost all the way to the east end of the island.
Walking down this street you pass the Doge's palace and other ornate buildings on one side and all the water things on the other. By now it was getting late and most of the tourist had left the island the Gondolas were all tied in their respective slips and the vaporetto where also tied together and what a sound. Imagine 70-80 ft long steal behemoths tied three and four deep bashing together in the waves not a fender in sight. The sound left a knot in your stomach. We arrived back at Ice Bear exhausted we hadn't intended to walk all the way back but with so much to look at it just happened. Day two started slow it seems the walk was farther then it felt the night before. One of us also traded in the sandals for runners which also ment they lost the sock bet sigh...... We walked to the vaporetto stop and headed back to Roma station to check into customs
we made it as far as the ports outer security gate. the guards looked confused and phoned someone. That someone arrived by car took our papers then some more someones arrived dressed all official they looked at the papers then they looked at something else then our papers again Im certain none of them were actually at the gate to look at our papers but in the past we have noticed Italians
like paperwork and papers from a Canadian pleasure craft were unusual. After about 10 minutes they declared we didn't need to check in with customs. If Italian customs changes its mind and suddenly begins to require private boats to check in its not our fault. We headed into the maze that is Venice. Today's main goal was
to find the Realto bridge. Its the main bridge over the grand canal its not really hard to find there are signs pointing in many different direction to help guide you there. Stores run length wise down the middle and all manor of boat traffic goes under it. We were lucky enough to be filming when an ambulance boat passed under the bridge. I felt for the gondola passengers when it went by. I think ambulances are the only boats that don't need to
honour the speed and wake limits. We walked to the fish market which was for the most part done for the day and watched two men with a barge type boat full of logs set wooden pilings into the canal for a gondolier. It was quite the thing to see they would place the piling into the canal then press it into the silt with the end of the boom of a Hiab type crane. They seemed mostly done when the gondolier arrived after some discussion they lifted the pilings and began resetting them.
It looked like the plan was to build a little dock for loading and unloading passengers. It didn't seem to take much pressure to squish the piling down into the silt from what we could see it looked like there was maybe 6 ft of water and then the piling went another 6 ft into the mud. I'm not sure they were hitting anything solid maybe the little dock was going to hold the piling into place? We went to St Marco square and checked out the exterior of the buildings and generally just wandered around enjoying the city. Day 3 we decided to go to the island of Morano where the glass blowers were. Little did we know that the Italian transit union had also decided late the previous night to stage a strike.
We wandered to the bus stop and there were signs with the help of google translate we got the jist of their meaning hmmf. Then out of nowhere a vaporetto crashed into the stop picked up passengers and left. Seems some were still running but they weren't displaying route numbers. We knew which direction our boat bus would be heading so we stood at the stop and got on the one going our direction. oops poor choice it was going to the wrong island. We ended up on Lido island. Thats ok we stayed on the boat and headed back the way we came. Our second attempt was successful and we made it to Morano. We checked out the glass stores and some outdoor glass sculpture had a late lunch did some people watching then caught a vaporetto back to Venice. Note to self just because a bus stop is closer to where you want to go as the crow flies doesn't mean it is closer to walk.
We could see the marina so we hopped off the vaporetto. This stop was on the opposite side of the marina and not the one recommended by the Lady at the marina office. We could see the boats masts all we needed to do was cross one canal.
20 minutes, several bridges, many narrow roads and one leaning white bell tower later we finally found our way out of the residential area into the one with our marina.
20 November 2017
Whatever the commercial fishing boats had come to catch was also attracting lots of sports fishermen. I would like to say they were everywhere but they wernt. Whatever they were catching seemed
to like certain spots. It is possible that the fish everyone was after was small and sardine like seeing as one day in pula we found something like that on one of Ice Bears trampolines.
no idea how that happened as the trampoline is atleast 5 ft above the water.
The small boats were anchored which made it easy to avoid them. One thing we have noticed about Croatia is they have rules and these rules are enforced. A couple of the
spots the fishermen seemed to want to fish at were on the wrong side of a park boundary. The fisheries guys seemed to take exception to the little boats and we could see them patrolling the parks border. Everyone seemed to get a warning but it was still early in the day. The mooring ball field in Ravinj was empty so we picked one and tied. The words painted on the ball instructed us to call
on the radio. The person on the other end welcomed us and said the night was free. woohooo. We dropped the dingy and motored into town past the ACI it had been closed all summer due to a
complete remodel it was going to be big all new docks and large buildings on land. We tied the dingy to the town quay and hoisted ourselves to the top. Ravinj was cute, small streets lots
of stores and food plus the remains of the days farmers market. After walking for an hour we circled back to quay and sat down for an early dinner. We chose poorly but being able to watch
the two barges of equipment set pilings in the harbour almost made us forget. The next morning we were off to Porec (porech) about 3/4 of the way there we passed through a large pod of dolphins
well over 20 animals and they seemed to be playing the few that swam near us had big scratch marks on them. The area they were in was quite shallow only 20 ft give or take and we wondered if the
bottom was a good place to rub that hard to reach spot. We took the opportunity to fuel before tying only 188 liters not bad the last place we fueled was Split two months earlier. We spent a few days wandering around the town checking out the old buildings and noting the towns daily progress at hanging Christmas lights. I suspect they weren't going to be lit until early nov as there was still
one more holiday to observe before Santa's big day. We watched a survey team slowly putter around the harbour getting the info to update the chart and learned maybe a little late that Spar with the circle/tree symbol is a grocery chain. Weird I'm positive its the same company that does lumber at home? oohh ya and we met a Canadian couple with their kids on a six month almost world tour they has started in south america and where on their way to Asia. How kewl is that. The day we left Porec is the day we left Croatia. We cast the lines off the Quay and shuffled sideways to the custom dock. The check out procedure was straight forward. They gave instructions on how to leave Croatian waters. typed some stuff into a computer and didn't stamp the passport I guess EU country to EU country no stamp? by 8 am we were slipping our lines and heading out to who knows where. Well actually we know where hehe.
When we talked to cruisers in Greece about going to Croatia we did not receive glowing reviews of the country. We were starting to wonder what we were getting ourselves into despite the enthusiastic endorsement from a friend from home. Everyone started with its really expensive there, Croatians are indifferent to travelers and will take your money before helping with your lines, there are no ship chandleries, the food is boring, they have lots of rules and will fine you at the drop of a hat and the process to clear in and out of the country is complicated. Generally it was felt Croatia was worth the visit because the islands are amazing but they are its only saving grace. After three months in Croatia I feel safe in saying ppffftt. The people were wonderful you just needed to make just a small attempt to meet them and by small I mean small often just saying hi was enough. It is more expensive to tie then Greece but no more expensive then home same with the food. We had no problems finding stores in the larger towns and as for rules all the ones we found were common sense they even pulled their cars over for emergency vehicles which while that seems normal to us go to Italy and see how far a siren get you. As for the food its not fancy but its good who doesn't like meat and fish cooked on a big charcoal grill. While in the Dalmatian coast peka is a must eat at least once and the truffles from Istra are to die for. And for those that drink alcohol everyone makes a home brew grappa, travarica, and rakija to name a few and they really love to share. We have no issues recommending Croatia as a place to visit many of the cruisers we met had decided that this was their idea of cruising perfection and we can see why. As for checking in and out once again follow the basic rules if in doubt ask oohh and They don't care what citizenship your tomato has.
10 November 2017
we left Sali and spent time at mooring balls in Brgulje and Ilovik then stern tied to a dock in Mali Losinj a larger town with lots of restaurants and stores. We took advantage of the time in Mali Losinj to re work how the passerelle connected to the stern. Gone are the blue lines that tied it to the boat now we have a proper looking connection that has easy to remove pins for the times we side tie and need to step sideways off the stern step.
Even though the cruising season was just about done there were still a couple classic rock bands playing in the evenings. Our next stop was Pula.
Pula was placed deep into a bay and very protected from weather. It has hosted navies, fishing fleets, trading vessels and tourists from early Roman times.
President Tito used one of the islands just off of Pula to keep the exotic animals he was given as gifts from world leaders. The island is now a park where a small number of tour boats take people to see the animals. Once past the long break wall there was nothing really remarkable about the bay don't get me wrong there was lots of stuff to look at old buildings, bridges, boats, parks, swimming areas but as we neared the back of the bay we started to see tall structures and big cranes. Pula it seems had a very active
ship yard and they were in the process of building at least three what we guess were oil rigs and two container ships. There were tug boats scooting back and forth with barges of boat parts
and four tugs were repositioning one of the oil rigs. The first thought was kewl the second was ohoh we are here for two weeks how loud will this be? Once again we chose an ACI marina
it was right at the old town near all the things we wanted to see plus they were offering an off season rate how perfect. We were surprised when we arrived. The marina seemed
full of local boats all the other ACI were full of charter boats but like other ACI they were clean and felt safe. The weather was cool enough that we decided that we didn't need the sun shades
so once we were tied and had checked into the office we went for a walk. The first thing we noticed when we pulled up to the marina was the big colosseum situated right behind it so that's the direction we headed. Like many of the cities it was built on a hillside the streets were narrow and if you walked away from the water you went up. We did a short tour of the town to get our bearings and then stopped for dinner. Lucky us there was a band playing in the square. It seems a local School was celebrating its 150 anniversary. They threw a party and we caught the last 1/2 hour
of music. We walked back to Ice Bear and couldn't help but notice all the cranes in the ship yard were covered in red lights it looked really neat then we noticed the lights on the smaller cranes
(still really big) were slowly changing to other colours this went on late into the night. Pula's colosseum wasn't huge just big the exterior ring was pretty much complete but the structure
inside had been scavenged for parts. The seats facing the water were still there and it didn't take much imagination to see the layout of the rooms and halls that would have been under
the colosseums original floor. Through the summer gladiator demonstrations and concerts are held as long as there no really really loud sounds. We walked into the old town it wasn't hard to find the missing pieces of the colosseum all you needed to do was look at the older churches and civic buildings. Along the outside walls you can find carved bits, stones with words carved into them and pieces that should have been a window or door sill stuck in seemingly random spots. It kinda took us off guard but once we noticed them it became a game to see who could find something that didn't belong. Pula is also home to several Roman arches, town walls and a temple that was bombed during WWII then rebuilt as a way of saying sorry. At the highest point in Pula is a castle. It has gone through a few total remodels over the years and now it looks kinda like a smaller version of the fort in Halifax. It has a commanding view of the harbour and surrounding area and just below it not far from one of Pula's arches was an amphitheater it looked like it was still used but it wasn't really being restored. I guess when you have so many historical structures you
cant restore them all at one time. And that kinda got me thinking about the poor guys trying to restore the colosseum they know where a lot of their stone is but how do they get them out of the
churches and buildings? And how would the guys restoring those buildings react if they did try to take them ? While in Pula I found a hairdresser who didn't really speak english and got my hair cut. She did a really nice job I guess she must be good at playing charades and only 70 kuna so around 15 dollars. The weather was starting to get quite cool in the evenings so we decided it was time to get some heat. so we crossed the road walked three paces past the bakery to the marine store which didn't have what we were looking for hmm. The gentleman behind the counter suggested we try the Bauhaus a few km down the road.
The next day we made a list and grabbed the little cart (best purchase ever I should do an ode to a little orange cart) and trekked off to the store. In case we needed more evidence of fall the sidewalk was littered with chestnuts almost the whole way. 3/4 of an hour later we ended up in a big store area three large grocery stores something that kind of resembled a Canadian tire and the Bauhaus.
Wow a Croatian Home Depot. They even sold Ryobi and an orange house brand that looked remarkably like a Ridgid tool... In the garden center was everything you needed to make wine or olive oil
a claw thing to pick the fruit, presses to get the juice, big vats, bottles and corks. more bits then you could imagine for setting up garden irrigation systems plus all the stuff you expect from a big home improvement store. We found the heater, some calking, assorted hose clamps. I tried really hard to justify bringing home a peka (cast iron dish and bell top designed to go into a charcoal oven) but at over 50 lb it was just to heavy maybe Capital iron will have one. On the trip back we hit the biggest grocery store in search of turkey and the fixins for a thanksgiving dinner. What we found was turkey bits? There were several legs and some breast meat smashed like a cutlet. I'm not sure where the other bits were? We chose two legs found the ingredients for poultry seasoning who knew there was nutmeg in poultry seasoning and a loaf of bread for stuffing. FYI turkey legs make a great Thanksgiving dinner there were even leftovers. Two weeks flew by. One more trip out to the Bauhaus and we were able to complete some of the bigger boat
jobs like re seal the large windows above Ice Bears cabin and fix the galley sink faucet, replace the hose clamps on the hoses you never want to break eeewwww and re run electrical cables
so all the outlets would work ie the new heater. Something thing we didn't expect was the commercial fishermen. One day they all arrived and then everyday after. They were fairly large boats and most had two smaller boats. The whole fleet smooshed themselves onto a section of quay side they were so tight together that we noticed one of them shifting the position of its anchor so it could slide into a spot. They used their small boats like little tugs pushing and pulling the larger boat into and out of its berth. All the yelling and gesticulation attracted its share of attention the boat two births away from us even planed a wine and cheese break around their arrival time. We were even able to attend a craft fair before we left. There was fresh pasta and smoked meats ( boar, llama, bear, horse and elk to name a few) as well as all sorts of sweets and crafts made from olive wood. Plus the standard home heating and cooling options, banks and local environmental initiatives so similar to home yet so different. Two weeks was a long time to spend in one place and we were ready to leave however I'm not sure why most of the guide books gloss over Pula we really enjoyed ourselves and probably could have spent more time exploring the area.
oohh and by the way the ship yard was really quiet we know they were working we could hear the whir of electric motors and the odd thing banging together but for the amount of work being done it was amazing. The main thing that gave them away was the siren I'm guessing it was for beginning of shift, end of shift and lunch break.