ACROSS THE ADRIATIC
23 May 2013
After clearing out of the Eurozone at Brindisi we set off for the 137nm crossing of the Adriatic at 1600 in 20kn southerly winds for our overnight sail to Dubrovnik. It was a wild sleigh ride in sloppy seas as we encountered a 2kn south setting current along the eastern coast of Italy.
When Trilogy overtook a coastal freighter heading in the same direction we decided to reef the mainsail and partly furl the genoa to slow our progress and to ensure that we arrived in Dubrovnik after sunrise. We averaged almost 9kn for the passage which was remarkable considering the current that opposed us for about half the time.
The entry into Gruz (the port at Dubrovnik) was spectacular as we slotted in between a sister ship to the infamous Costa Concordia and a Club Med 'sailing liner' under directions from the port authority.
I was a tad apprehensive about clearing Trilogy into Croatia but the Customs Officials and Port Police were very efficient and welcoming and we received our crew list 'Vignette', a registration sticker for Trilogy and stamped passports for each crew member before sailing about 2nm upstream in the Ombla River to the very well appointed ACI Marina.
The river flows out of the side of the mountain range only 1nm further upstream and it was heavily guarded as it had been extensively attacked during the civil war being the main water supply for Dubrovnik.
We couldn't wait to see the medieval walled city and after a 20 minute bus ride we walked through the walls into this amazing World Heritage listed city of about 40,000 people which rivals Venice as a tourist destination.
Dubrovnik is believed to have been founded in about the sixth century AD as the remains of a basilica from that era were discovered under the present day cathedral. During the crusades, from 1205 to 1358, it was ruled by the Venetians before becoming a republic right up to 1808 when Napoleon's army marched in.
The walk along the top of the wall takes about 2 hours and provides spectacular views of this spectacular medieval masterpiece although there is some evidence of the careful reconstruction that followed the significant damage inflicted by the Serb- Montenegrin forces during the bloody civil war between 1991 and 1995.
And it was time to sadly farewell our delightful guests. After a lovely meal overlooking the old harbour Sam and Fiona headed off to Istanbul. We then farewelled Jean to the sounds of a great jazz trio during another dinner in this fabulous city.
Early the next morning we met the ferry from Bari bringing my son Adrian, his wife Karlee and two grandsons, Owen and Simon, who will be with Susan and me for the next phase of our Adriatic sojourn - affectionately (or aptly?) named KAOS.