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The essentials...
05/20/2010, Dubrovnik, Croatia

...that we have found to be important in our cruising lifestyle include fast Wi-Fi and warm (or at least semi-warm!) weather -- both of which we have here in Dubrovnik.

When we were woken up this morning at 8:45 (we stayed up late the night before), it was to find 20 knot winds on our beam. We were reaching under double reefed main and jib about 5 n.m. away from our destination -- Gruž. We'd picked Gruž because of its size and proximity to Dubrovnik. It was about a mile from the old town (restored from bombing during the war with the Serbs) and relatively small in size -- we didn't want a Bodrum where we paid $200 for an agent to check us in. So we came around the point and docked up at the Customs dock.

After that we had brunch (we hadn't had any breakfast) and headed out to take a boat tour (by Nelson's Croatian Boat Tours) of the old town. I wondered for awhile how my dad planned to get the boat onto the streets of the old town, but I soon stopped worrying when it became evident that we weren't going to tour the old town -- just the outside walls.

Anyway, the castle from the outside is magnificent. It is so much better and well preserved than Mandraki (Rhodes), I wish that we could tour the inside too. But we couldn't, so we motored back to our now a lee shore anchorage.

The overnighter (that became a not-so-overnighter)
05/18/2010, Vlore, Albania

We ended up here even though we don't want to be here. It started out like this...

We left Corfu and started to go on our overnight passage to Budva, Montenegro (we were going to go to Bar). But it got a bit too windy so we turned around and tied up at a quay on the north shore of Corfu where we spent the night. The next morning we had to move because the tour boat we had rafted up to wanted to leave along with two other boats we'd met the day before. So we decided to go with them to the next bay over. However, don't count your safe harbors till you're in them because we decided to try the overnighter we'd tried the day before.

Well we were getting 15 knots from the north, so we decided to duck into Vlore, 50 mile up the coast. Unfortunately there were about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 wave sets, so it was extremely uncomfortable.

However, we made it. So now we are waiting out a 20 knot northerly in the Vlore commercial harbor.

05/18/2010 | Brandon
Hey, my name is Brandon. I've been reading your blog for a while now. I've also been really reading your dads so it's fun to see how you both write on the same situations. I live in Seattle and was searching sail blogs from Seattle, so that's how I found yours. I read you are heading to Croatia so I'm super excited to see what you do and any pictures you post. I've been in that area and loved it. How do you like sailing? How long have you been on the boat? Have you met many friends while traveling? What do you do for school? I homeschooled all the way through my junior year of high school and really enjoyed it. Anyways, thanks for posting your blog, I really enjoy reading it.

Back to Methoni
05/10/2010, Methoni, Greece

Well, we're back in Methoni. I don't believe that I blogged last visit, but I think my dad did. Anyhow, we are here now, although we wouldn't be if the weather was better. It's not too bad - only 20 knots - but the NW winds on the Ionian can build up some large waves (we were seeing them splash up maybe 20 feet on a nearby island!). So we will move on tomorrow (hopefully) to an anchorage 40 miles up the coast.

Bye for now.

The olive capitol of the world?
05/07/2010, Kalamata, Greece

Since I haven't been blogging lately, I'll give you a summarized version of what happened since my last blog.

We got splashed in Agios Nikolaos and spent 2 days sailing to the west end of Crete before taking off on a 73 mile trip to Porto Kayio (the middle point on the Peloponnese). After spending a night there we went on a 50 miler to our current location -- Kalamata. We'll spend one more night here before heading off to Methoni (see previous blogs).

Our salt water pump isn't working!
04/18/2010, Ag. Nikolaos, Crete, Greece

Just after we got hauled out in Ag. Nikolaos our salt water pump stopped working. I wonder why...

Anyhow, we just made the hulls sparkly white and clean today. Sounds fun doesn't it? If you think that moving scaffolding forward and backward along the side of the hull 25 times and using 8 different grains of sand paper on each pass was fun, well...never mind.

But the important thing is is that we got the hull clean. Unfortunately we still have to sand and Acetone the bottom; which we've already done once. But after that we only have to paint before we'll be able to relax and maybe we'll even be able to go see the rest of Crete. (Yeah right.)

The photo is of a scooter that doesn't look like a very comfy ride. :-)

A little rest after 3 days of hard sailing (and one which wasn't so hard)
04/12/2010, Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece

It was a long trek to Agios Nikolaos. We started off in Marmaris, Turkey and headed down to Rhodes Town, which was a nice sail. Then we headed down to Lindos (still on Rhodes), which was in strong breeze, but we were going downwind, so it didn't seem as strong as it really was.

Lindos is a really cool place with an old castle set on top of some high cliffs. The town is really nice too (the gallery will have pictures).

Anyway, after Lindos we went to Karpathos and Kasos, two very windy and wavy days. But the anchorages were stunning (at least Kasos' was) with cool rock formations and scenery. We also caught a fish on our way to Karpathos. Again, the gallery will have photos.

After Kasos we left on a 60 mile day that became a 30 mile day when we decided to stop sooner at a nice protected anchorage we had found. When our protected anchorage turned out to be protecting more than just us (it was a Hellenic (Greek) navy base), we moved aver one bay and there spent the night. In the morning we found that the wind had switched around to the west and was now blowing directly into our bay. Since we were going west, this was not good news.

To make a long story short, we motor-sailed off into the sunset against large seas and 20 knot winds for a couple hours before we became concerned about our fuel level and turned off the engine. That lasted for a little while before we turned the engine back on to get around an island. Then we had a fun reach into Ag. Nikolaos.

We get hauled out tomorrow. That will be a busy time. I doubt that I will have much time for blogging and e-mails then.

The photo is of my dad driving on our way to Crete.

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Who: Peter, Ruth, and Will
Port: Seattle, WA
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