We had arranged to drop Tina and Steve in the town of Herceg Novi near the entrance to the Gulf as this had a good bus back to Dubrovnik. We dropped our lines after a leisurely morning in Kotor and spent a few hours sailing slowly or more quickly as the winds changed and gusted around the mountains, allowing Steve and Tina to get engaged in the aspects of tacking and managing the sails.
As the hour neared 14.00 we all agreed that lunch was more important than more practise so the engines went on and we hurried up to berth in Herceg Novi. It’s actually a smaller harbour than the pilot book prepares you for but we moored easily enough and lunch was welcomed.
The afternoon was spent exploring the lower parts of the town. After the mornings climb no one facied the climb up to the main fortifications here! They have a very modern pool stadium right on the sea and were hosting an international water-polo tournament (around under 21 we think). We watched Croatia wallop Australia 14-4, it’s a very tough game to play, those guys were very fit. It was a nice interlude to sit with an ice cream and watch others exert themselves.
International water polo at Herceg Novi
That night was Tina and Steve’s last evening with us and they kindly treated us to dinner at Konobo Feral just on the quay. The food was very good and again the wine was excellent. We’ve been impressed with the local wine here, both the quality and mostly reasonable prices.
Around 21.00 that night the wind got up. We knew a storm was coming in but the forecast suggested northerly winds, either it was wrong or the mountains bent it round to westerly, the direction we had no protection from! The harbour became a rolling mass of boats, particularly the motorboats and mono-hulls. We now know why boats were all widely spaced, they’d have taken out each other’s topsides with the rolling otherwise. We had an hour of thunder, lightning, heavy rain and waves rolling through the harbour but luckily it moved on before any damage was caused and we had a reasonable night.
Steve and Tina found a taxi early the next day and headed off for the bus to Dubrovnik. In the week they had both managed the live-aboard life well in the hottest conditions we have experienced (including the usual fun with sea toilets) and Steve in particular had become a useful crew member. Tina contributed by keeping the crew in drinks and pressing the button to raise the anchor! We had a good week together.
We would have liked to stay and do the washing and sorting out, but a large 30 boat rally was due in and we had to leave, so we motored back to Kotor and took a place on the quay. Cattiva were still anchored in the bay and they came past to chat. As we were talking a large Turkish Gulet tried to moor in the space nearby, got it all wrong and nearly took the bow rails off the boat next to us. He seemed completely unaware of the potential mess he was about to cause as his gangway swung around, the Harbour Master didn’t respond to VHF calls so we spent an anxious 20 minutes whilst this incompetent tried to secure to the shore. In the end a couple of dinghies pushing him got it sorted and the crisis was averted. He could easily have taken all our mast and rigging down as he messed about. Phew!
The Cattiva crew came on board for a drink that evening and we ate together in the town. Three pasta dishes and fish for Grant followed local cheeses and olives and were accompanied by a bottle of good local wine. Another very pleasant evening. Cattiva left to sail towards Greece the next morning but we hope to see them when they visit the UK in October and we head to Australia in November.
Montenegro translates as Black Mountains – you can see why it got its name!
We intended to get on with boat jobs the next morning but Chris’s thigh muscle injury has been exacerbated by surging the mooring ropes tight in the recent strong winds and even walking was painful today. Carolyn has done the washing and Chris has had to sit and catch up with the blog, apologies for the lengthy gap, a combination of lack of internet and having guests on board is our excuse!
Main Photo: The quay Herceg Novi with Splice moored in the centre, Water polo pool showing to the left of picture